Good morning everybody and welcome back to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that happened from the night before in the Association. It was a full slate last night, with 10 total games on the schedule and boy did they not disappoint. Some where closer than others for sure, but a night like last night is what makes the NBA so much fun. I would best describe it as one of the more disrespectful nights we’ve had so far, with some of the best posters to date. We have a lot to get to so I won’t fluff this intro one bit, if you missed all the action from Wednesday night, here’s what happened
Oklahoma City Thunder 6-4) 95 vs Cleveland Cavaliers (1-10) 86
It may not have been pretty, but this is now 6 wins in a row for the Thunder, obviously snagging this one without Russell Westbrook. That was always the silver lining for Thunder fans, that OKC over the next two weeks is playing a pretty cupcake schedule, so good on them for taking advantage of the easy matchup, even if it did come on the road. Filling in for Westbrook was obviously Dennis Schroder who played pretty well with 28 points on 11-19 shooting in his 34 minutes
And Paul George was really the only help he got, chipping in 18 of his own on 7-16 shooting
You see as a team they shot just 41.7/25.9%, only had three players in double figures, but never really trailed in this game. That’s the beauty of playing a team like CLE, you can kinda stink and still win comfortably.
For CLE, you don’t care because who cares about wins right now, instead Cavs fans are probably happy today because Collin Sexton got his first start and probably had his best game as a pro so far
But when a team goes 37/20% and turns it over 19 times this is usually what happens.
Detroit Pistons (5-5) 103 vs Orlando Magic (4-7) 96
Finally the Pistons losing streak is over! Sometimes you need to just play a team like ORL to get back in the win column, but after the skid the Pistons went on I don’t think anyone will complain. As it so often is with this team both Blake/Drummond were pretty unstoppable against a decent ORL front line
but don’t let the final score fool you. The Pistons had to work for this win after blowing their lead in the third quarter. They actually trailed heading into the final frame, but a solid 25-16 fourth quarter helped them secure their second road win of the year. Again, this is the sort of thing that happens when you go 41/29% with 19 TOs, you give bad teams life.
For ORL, despite the loss they did what they have done all season and that’s be a little feisty. They may not have the best record but they play teams tough, and they had five players in double figures, all of which had at least 14 points, led by Fournier’s 27. That’s not bad!
The best part of their night though had to be the Aaron Gordon tribute to Karl Malone
The other night we had Miles Bridges paying homage to Vince Carter, well last night we had a pretty sweet transition dunk from Gordon that was classic Mailman
Love shit like that. What Magic fans don’t love is the play of their bench, because….woof.
New York Knicks (4-8) 112 vs Atlanta Hawks (3-8) 107
Ahhh, the game nobody wanted to win. Unfortunately the Knicks still have a ways to go in a tanking battle with a veteran club like the Hawks, I guess shame on them for playing so well in that third quarter they won 35-18. I guess nobody got the memo.
The Knicks are another one of those teams that despite their record they are still fun to watch because they play hard and their young talent is proving to be pretty promising. This is all with Kevin Knox going 0-6, so just imagine what they look like once he gets going. Tim Hardaway Jr has been on a mission this season, and Allonzo Trier has to be considered one of the top steals of this entire draft class, seeing as how he went undrafted and can really play. Remember they still have Porzingis as some point as well, so this is a pretty decent lottery team in my opinion.
For ATL, you don’t care about many of these players, but you do care about Trae Young, so here’s how he did
Pretty much for of the same for this Hawks team. We can move on.
San Antonio Spurs (6-4) 88 vs Miami Heat (5-5) 95
Well this one was a little weird. In a battle between two good bigs in Aldridge and Whiteside, man did Hassan destroy that matchup. LMA was help to just 6 points on 2-14 shooting, as a team the Spurs shot just 33% from the floor, and when that happens not even good bench play can save you. On the bright side DeRozan was solid with 18/14/8, he’s been such a different player as a passer this season, but it clearly wasn’t enough
For MIA, the story here is Hassan Whiteside and his ridiculous 29/20 with 9 blocks. That’s some rare shit right there.
Did you know since 1983 the only other person to have a night like this in NBA history is Hakeem Olajuwon? You do shit that The Dream used to do, that’ll impress me every single time. To be honest the Heat as a team didn’t shoot all that well either, just 38/31%, but they took care of the ball and got a good night from Wayne Ellington as well, and together that was enough to secure the home win.
Philadelphia 76ers (7-5) 100 vs Indiana Pacers (7-5) 94
The Sixers have a road win!! The Sixers have a road win! They’ve done it! Big congrats to them for not only snagging their first road win, but doing it in a tough place to play against a very quality opponent. No sarcasm there, the Pacers are legit and this is as legit as road win as you can get. As is often the case they relied on Embiid/Simmons who for sure showed up. Not just in their totals but in their efficiency as they went a combined 14-28
Now there’s usually a third amigo when the Sixers are at their best, and it wasn’t Fultz who went 3-7, but instead a for sure welcomed sight for Sixers fans in that Dario Saric had one of his best games of the season with 18 points on 6-13 shooting including 4-6 from deep. I’m one of those people that believe he is really the difference maker for this team, that when he plays at a high level it changes everything for PHI.
A strong third quarter gave PHI control of this game, and from there IND battled, but never made it truly close.
For IND, you’re a little disappointed to drop one at home for sure, but Oladipo was still a monster with his 36/6/7
and we did get perhaps the play of the night when Domantas Sabonis put Embiid right into the center of the Earth
Holy shit. I give Embiid credit, the dude challenges everything, and as he has learned over the lsat couple weeks, first with Blake Griffin and now with Sabonis, sometimes you get your life dunked on and it lives on the internet forever. What a play, and Sabonis again was solid off the IND bench with 16/11 on 7-14 shooting.
Denver Nuggets (9-2) 87 vs Memphis Grizzlies (6-4) 89
Did you know the Grizzlies are undefeated at home? It’s true. This was such a MEM style game, both teams under 90, poor shooting, end of game drama, the whole works. It was also a bit of a coming out party for Jaren Jackson Jr who had a very nice 20/7/0/3/3 in his 33 minutes
and between him and Gasol who had 20/12 of his own, it’s safe to say the Grizzlies won that frontcourt battle. They needed it considering Conley went 2-9 and the bench didn’t really do all that much, but hey a win is a win and the Grizzlies continue to be one of the better surprises of the young season.
For DEN, they probably thought they won it when Jamal Murray his that shot with around 17 seconds left, and they did have the ball with 4.7 seconds left down two, but it wasn’t meant to be. Even still, a 9-2 start is nothing to be ashamed of obviously.
Chicago Bulls (3-9) 98 vs New Orleans Pelicans (5-6) 107
Another perfect night for the Bulls in my opinion. Keep things interesting, get good performances from your young talent, but ultimately lose. That’s how you tank folks
They shot just 39/29% as a team so that stinks, but for the most part the starters played well. No quarter was decided by more than 5 points so it’s not like they got blown out, but it’s clear NO is just the better team.
For NO, this was probably Anthony Davis’ best game since his return from his elbow injury, he was for sure a problem
and even on an off shooting night in which he went 4-14, Nikola Mirotic still made an impact with 9/15. Jrue Holiday also played well, nearly securing a triple double with 17/10/9, and these were all much needed performances that helped NO finally snap their 6 game losing streak. They have PHX up next so something tells me good things are ahead.
Dallas Mavericks (3-8) 102 vs Utah Jazz (5-6) 117
The Jazz finally won at home! Congratulations! Big time win for them as I’m sure many Jazz fans didn’t know if it would ever happen for them at home. Thankfully they looked much more like the Jazz we know, with 48/35% splits, 13 3PM, 26 FTA, just 11 TOs and three straight 30 point quarters to start. Also having Donovan Mitchell back helps, as he not only had their best performance, but also had some kinda poster himself. Take a look.
Six total players in double figures for UTA helps, and I would imagine now that they are back to full strength things are due to turn for them. They’re too good to be this bad at home.
For DAL, they still haven’t won on the road, now 0-6, but whatever Luka Doncic rules and that’s all that really matters with this team right now
Nobody else really stood out, and this team did itself no favors getting into a 30-18 hole early, they just never really were able to recover from that since they backed it up by losing the second quarter 38-27. Ah well, shit happens.
Toronto Raptors (11-1) 114 vs Sacramento Kings (6-5) 105
Kawhi was back and guess what, the Raptors continued to dominate, this time agains the fun upstart Baby Kings
What else is there to say about this team right now. Even with 21 TOs on the road, it didn’t matter. Things were close after the first quarter but their big push in the second gave them all the cushion they needed and they never looked back. Aside from Kawhi you had Ibaka going for 14/14 on 6-13, Lowry a solid 16/8, and then there’s Saikam, who is having himself some sort of season
He had 21 points getting the start last night, and he’s turning into a real player for TOR. I know many expected them to win this game, but I give SAC credit for kinda hanging around.
For SAC, you knew it was going to be an uphill battle, but at least De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield showed up
and then there was WCS who had 24/8/4 as well
so in my opinion the Kings have nothing to be ashamed of. They played well against perhaps the second best team in the NBA right now.
Minnesota Timberwolves (4-8) 110 vs Los Angeles Lakers (5-6) 114
This game was on ESPN so you knew there was no chance Jimmy Butler was going to have his general soreness act up. No way. He played, and frankly he was the same Jimmy Butler we already knew, the one that’s really good. He finished with 24/5/5/3 on 9-18 shooting,
but what if I told you he wasn’t even the best guard of the MIN backcourt? That would be Derrick Rose
This was a great game, close the entire way until the Lakers were able to pull away in the fourth quarter, but both teams shot the ball great, with MIN coming in at 45/50% with 20 3PM. That’s crazy for a team that really doesn’t shoot the three all that often or all that well. You could argue maybe Rose deserved that foul at the end, but he’s not going to get that call in LeBron’s house.
For LAL, it was a great night for basically any Laker that played
LeBron went to the headband and it responded for sure, and then Kuzma/Ingram had a nice 41 combined points
You had Tyson Chandler actually making an impact in his debut
While JaVale McGee was still effective with 16 points
and let’s not forget the 21 points from Josh Hart
I would call this a complete win for the Lakers, and one they needed given all the drama surrounding this team right now. They’ve now won 3 of 4 so maybe Luke Walton can keep his job for another few weeks.
And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that went down last night in the NBA. We’re back tonight with 4 games and for the most part they are all great matchups like HOU/OKC, LAC/POR, and MIL/GS. As always go ahead and watch football, just make sure you check back here in the morning and I’ll bring you up to speed on what you missed.