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Last Night In The NBA: Heroic Fourth Quarters Was The Theme Of The Night

Oklahoma City Thunder v Brooklyn Nets

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we bring you up to speed on everything that went down from the night before in the Association. We had ourselves a full slate last night with 10 games on the schedule and mostly it was a night of blowouts with only 2 games being decided by under 10 pints. That’s OK though, that just means there were awesome individual performances which means there are a ton of highlights which is the whole point of this blog. I won’t bore you with the small talk, let’s just dive right in. If you were unable to see any of the games last night, here’s what happened.

Golden State Warriors (17-9) 129 vs Cleveland Cavaliers (5-19) 105

Look nobody even thought the Cavs would be able to hang with the Warriors, and don’t let the final score fool you. For the first half of this game the Cavs actually matched GS punch for punch. They actually had a first half lead! That’s sort of what the Warriors do though, they give you a sense of false hope and then come out in the third quarter and murder your hopes and dreams. They followed that to a T last night

Yeah, Steph Curry looks pretty good to me! You just aren’t going to beat the Warriors when they go 53/53% and 18 3PM while only turning it over just 8 times. They had 71 points in the second half and had 29 assists on 45 baskets. Yes, the Cavs stink, but this was one of those complete Warrior performances that keep the rest of the league up at night. Throw in 34 points from their second unit and yeah, GS crushed.

For CLE, not sure how you could be mad as a Cavs fan. You hung around for a long time with the defending champs, and had your fair share of great individual performances while not messing up your Lottery odds. Looks like wins all around to me

Tristan Thompson did work on the boards with 7 OREB, he finished with 14/19, and Jordan Clarkson led the way off the bench with 17 points, their problem was once the Warriors started trying they couldn’t really handle that. I mean they scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, can’t be doing that if you really want to win this game.

Denver Nuggets (17-7) 124 vs Orlando Magic (12-13) `119 F/OT

Man this Nuggets offense is intoxicating. They’re now the top seed in the West and while some may have thought they were just a flash in the pan earlier in the year, I think we’re starting to learn that they are in fact for real. I get it, the Magic are nothing to puff your chest out about, but they are a tough out and this was certainly a competitive game the whole way through

This is now the 7th win in a row for DEN, and they have wins over some legit teams over that streak like TOR/POR/LAL/OKC/MIN. That’s pretty impressive. To pull this one out it’s not like there wasn’t drama. It was pretty clear that Murray was out of bounds in the final 20 seconds of OT before being fouled, but according to some bullshit rule it was not reviewable. That’s tough to swallow. Sometimes you get a little lucky during a win streak, and this was one of those times.

For ORL, a tough loss at home no doubt. Pretty crazy they did not take a single FTA until the fourth quarter, and even if they are a team that takes the fewest amount of FTs in the league, that’s still pretty bullshit. The final tally was 37-8. There’s your game right there folks. The Magic got great nights from their three best players

and the Magic made 20 3PM which you don’t see a team lose often when that happens, especially when they only turn it over 9 times. Terrance Ross continues to be a clutch scorer for them at the end of games, his big three sent it into OT,

but I think it’s safe to say they ran out of gas in that extra frame. This Magic team is feisty and for sure can no longer be talked about as an easy win, they are playing everyone tough this season.

Washington Wizards (11-14) 131 vs Atlanta Hawks (5-20) 117

When things are going poorly for you, all you need to do is play the Hawks, sometimes it’s that simple. The Wizards have started a little run here with wins over BKN/NYK/ATL and with CLE up next I don’t see that ending any time soon. This team has been up and down all year, but at least we know against the dogshit of the league they can put up points

They did this all without John Wall, and it was a very weird Wizards performance. They got great production from their bench with Oubre Jr dropping 19 and as a group they put up 36 points, and in the fourth quarter they didn’t collapse! They put up 28 points, which was big because they had just given up 45 in the previous quarter. At this point the Wizards need all the wins they can get, so who cares that this was just ATL.

For ATL, I mean they may never win again. They have 2 wins in their last 16 games and they have the Nuggets on deck. Good luck with that. But hey, at least their young talent played well!

Remember, wins are like poison to this team right now, so in my opinion this was another great night for the Hawks.

Oklahoma City Thunder (16-7) 114 vs Brooklyn Nets (8-18) 112

Finally a close game! Thank you lord. This was one of the best games of the night not just because of the ending, but because we also saw history. First off, the Thunder have now won 4 in a row and 6 of their last 7. They’re rolling. Our bit of history comes from Russell Westbrook, who had another triple double

which officially puts him ahead of Jason Kidd on the all time list with 108. Congratulations to him. While that’s cool and everything, the story of the night in OKC was the dominance of Paul George, who finished with 47 points, 25 in the fourth, and the eventual game winner

PG13 has quietly had a pretty solid season as the #2 banana, and it was because of him that the Thunder were able to come back from being down 23 earlier in the night. Yeah he started slow, but the way he finished was pretty badass.

For BKN, yeah that one stings. The Nets are now 3-10 at home which is in fact not good, and this was their 8th loss in a row with TOR on deck. Yikes. They certainly had their moments

and they made 15 3PM which is nice, but yeah a 39-19 fourth quarter is your textbook collapse. Hate to see it.

Philadelphia 76ers (17-9) 102 vs Toronto Raptors (21-5) 113

I would say heading into the night, this was the most anticipated matchup. The Sixers are yet to beat either BOS/MIL this season, but this was the first time they would face TOR with Jimmy Butler. I don’t fault them for losing up in Canada because that’s a tough place to play, and they did hang with them for like 90% of this game so that means something. At the end of the day though a loss is a loss and PHI can now no longer win the H2H matchup between these two teams. Jimmy Butler was awesome, just like you thought he would be, with a legit 38 on 15-27 shooting. Going against Kawhi, that’s no joke

JJ Redick continues to be one of the most consistent players for PHI and he was great last night as well

hell Ben Simmons had a near triple double with 8/10/11, so what happened? Well, they needed more from Embiid. He faced a physical center in Valanciunas, and he was mostly held in check. Just 10/12/5 on 5-17 shooting, that’s tough. To beat a team like TOR you need more than 2 guys, and Embiid’s struggles proved to be pretty costly. You add in the 21 TOs, and no shit they lost this game in that building. The Sixers are now 4-8 on the road and this was their first matchup against a legit team since they got Butler (opponents had been 104-159) so as you can see they still have a ways to go. The bigger test with be Dec 22nd when they play this team in their building, but their road issues are nothing new.

For TOR, this is how they do it. They keep it close, get to the fourth quarter, and out execute you when it matters most. Kawhi was every bit of a problem for Butler and PHI that he was with 36 of his own

and then JV off the bench completely outplayed Embiid with 26/8 on 9-13 shooting

Considering TOR had just 3 players score in double figures and shot just 43/27%, you could make the argument they won this game and didn’t even play that well. That’s the sign of a legit squad. They are now 11-3 at home and are 9-1 over their last 10.

Los Angeles Clippers ((16-8) 86 vs Memphis Grizzlies (14-9) 96

Hey even good teams have an off night, and that’s what happened here with LAC. They couldn’t buy a basket with just 33/34% splits and 18 TOs, and seeing as how they sometimes struggle on the road, this isn’t all that surprising. But you know when things are tough and you need something to cheer you up, the Basketball Gods give us a big Boban night

I think you take that despite the loss. Everyone loves Boban.

For MEM, we had Joakim Noah making his Grizzlies debut

and on a night where Gasol went 1-13, thankfully Mike Conley was there to save the day

This game was pretty much the definition of Grit and Grind, with their opponent in the 30s and under 90 points, we’ve seen this game from MEM a billion times.

Detroit Pistons (13-9) 92 vs Milwaukee Bucks (16-7) 115

The Bucks are certainly no joke at home, now 12-2 on the year and even though DET has been playing well, they got their dicks stomped here. You know it’s bad when it happens despite Giannis not going crazy, he finished with just 15 points and one legit poster on Blake Griffin

instead it was Eric Bledsoe’s night, he finished with 27 points on 10-17 shooting

and after getting out to s 30-21 lead after the first quarter, they never really looked back. Everyone on the roster played for MIL, and their second unit held up their end of the bargain with 41 points.

For DET, Blake was fairly unstoppable with 20 points in the first half and 31 for the game

but outside of him there wasn’t really much. For the game they shot just 36/23% and had 20 TOs, which is obviously a recipe for disaster against a quality of team like MIL.

Charlotte Hornets (11-13) 104 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (13-12) 121

Wolves are back on track! Crazy what this team can look like when both KAT and Wiggins are actually contributing at the same time in the same game like they did last night

Derrick Rose continues to have a hell of a season with 16 points off the bench

and as a team MIN put up 53/50% splits. Things were close the whole way until the fourth when MIN was able to pull it out 35-18, which is a big step for a team that often times has issues closing games. They are now 11-4 at home, so I feel like all of us on the internet owe them an apology for how we thought they wolud fall off post Butler. It’s been the exact opposite.

For CHA, they’ve now lost 3 in a row and are now 3-8 on the row. That’s tough.

Hard to win when your starting backcourt goes 12-34, and as a team they struggled with 40/36% splits. As of now CHA is hanging onto that 8th seed, but they’ve been up and down all year so don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

Dallas Mavericks (12-11) 106 vs New Orleans Pelicans (13-13) 132

The Pelicans are like the Jazz to me. I can’t figure them out. One day they look awful, the next we get something like last night where they look UNSTOPPABLE offensively. 132 points, 55/58% splits, 17 3PM, just 11 TOs, what a offensive showing

Their bench came up huge as well with 50 points which is no small number, and they actually played defense which you don’t always get. Considering how well DAL is playing, this was a great win for NO, one that they desperately needed.

For DAL, what a difference not being at home is. They are now 2-9 on the road, Luka was pretty quiet, and really it was a rough night all around. I can’t imagine Carlisle is happy with this defensive effort, and I think that’s why he played his second unit so much. I get they were without DSJ, but even still, that was rough.

San Antonio Spurs (11-14) 113 vs Los Angeles Lakers (15-9) 121

Man, the Spurs were so close! They almost pulled out a road win, something that has been virtually impossible for them but at the end it was just too much LeBron. The Spurs are now 4-10 on the road this year, and we’re getting closer and closer to considering them done. What a wild time for this franchise that has known nothing but success for decades

They actually had a lead heading into the fourth quarter, but we know what happened next.

For LAL, what else is there to say. LeBron was incredible and the kids did their part

The Lakers have now won 4 in a row, and are just 2 games outside of the top spot in the West. That’s nothing to sneeze at and they are actually defending which is the biggest surprise. The fourth quarter was all about LeBron, and right now I’d say he looks as good as he ever has. Strong play late though from Ball and Kuzma was big, but when James is locked in like this, no one stops him.

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 just three games, so you should be able to watch but if you aren’t just check back in the morning and I’ll bring you up to speed.