Good morning everybody and welcome back 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. I hope you didn’t plan on working this morning because we have a shit ton of stuff to get to. The NBA blessed us with 12 games on the schedule last night so you may as well clear your calendar. Wednesday night had it all, upsets, close finishes, near fights with fans, players trolling players, it was awesome. If you didn’t get the chance to watch any of it that’s OK just keep reading, here’s what happened.
Cleveland Cavaliers (8-24) 99 vs Charlotte Hornets (15-15) 110
That’s more like it Cleveland. No need to get crazy and win two games in a row, there’s tanking to be had. To be honest the Cavs didn’t even play that poorly, they finished with 48/43% splits, only turned it over 8 times and actually had a 9 point lead early in this game. They got strong play from their bench wtih 20 points from Jordan Clarkson
and then 15 points from two way player Jaron Blossomgame who went 6-7 from the floor in his 23 minutes
If not for a crazy quarter by Kemba which we’ll get to in a minute, the Cavs probably pull this one out and the last thing this team needs is a winning streak.
For CHA, as he often does, Kemba saved them
As a team the Hornets shot 51% to get them back to .500 and 11-7 at home, had 6 players in double figures and three with at least 18 points
Perhaps the most impressive was Jeremy Lamb’s 18/12/5 on 8-16 shooting, and the Hornets need to go on a little bit of a run if they want to stay in the top 8, the problem is they are 4 games under .500 on the road. That has to improve.
New York Knicks (9-24) 109 vs Philadelphia 76ers (21-12) 131
Watch out for the Knicks man, they are pulling off a tanking masterpiece. I think this is their 10th loss in 12 games or something like that, and really you have to love it as a Knicks fan. With other tanking teams suddenly winning around the league they’ve kept their eye on the prize while also getting promising performances from their young talent
They sort of kept things close in the first half, down by 6 while scoring over 60 points, but then they got their shit together over the final 24 minutes, scored just 48 points and that was that.
For PHI, as is the case with most of their wins their Big 3 were great
and this was a much needed win for the Sixers who had hit of a little bit of a speed bump as of late, but this will certainly help their confidence as they face TOR up next who they really need to beat. What has also shown to be a great find off the bench is the play of Landry Shamet who had 17 off the bench with 4 3PM
they are really going to need his consistent shooting moving forward.
Phoenix Suns (8-24) 111 vs Boston Celtics (18-12) 103
We’ll be talking about the Celtics in their usual blog. Safe to say I have some thoughts there. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the dominance that the Suns young talent showed
Silly for them to win a road game, but they’re hot right now winners of 4 straight. Who saw that coming?
San Antonio Spurs (17-15) 129 vs Orlando Magic (14-16) 90
What the hell? The Spurs dropped 129? On the road? Does this look like a team that’s 5-10 on the road this year? They finished with 64/63% splits which has to be one of the better shooting performances by any team so far this season, and basically if you stepped on the floor for SA you got buckets. They played their entire roster and nobody missed more than 5 shots, that’s impressive
They got off to a good start in the first quarter, blew it open in the second, and the rest was history. The Spurs have started to turn things around, now winners of 5 of their last 6 and have now found themselves owners of the 8 spot in the West where technically they are still within striking distance of a top 4 seed. Maybe they weren’t dead like we all thought.
For ORL, without Vucevic because of the birth of his kid, we got to see the B.I.G lineup and it was OK. The team couldn’t buy a bucket but Bamba/Isaac/Gordon did what you would expect. Bad news is Jonanthan Simmons sprained his ankle and the Magic have now lost 4 of 6. This was basically the highlight of their night
Indiana Pacers (20-12) 96 vs Toronto Raptors (24-9) 99
One of the better games of the night and it was not without controversy. The Raptors basically were trailing the entire night until the final moments, and while Kawhi was once again amazing
the hero of the night was Fred VlanVleet. I feel like we see him make huge last second threes a lot, and it’s a main reason why he plays in crunch time and is one of the best bench players in the league
Their fourth quarter was classic TOR clamps, they held the Pacers to just 11 points and now move to 12-4 at home. This win stopped a two game slide and they have CLE up next so chances are things stay in this direction. Their lead is down to just 1.5 games over MIL, so they can’t afford any sort of slide if they want to stay in the top spot.
For IND, as a Pacer fan, you’re pissed. Let’s be honest, OG fouled Bogdanovic at the end. It’s OK to admit, the Raptors still deserved to win given how they came back, but don’t tell me he wasn’t fouled. He was.
but as a Pacers fan you also can’t say that’s why you lost. To put it nicely, they choked. You can’t have 23 TOs on the road against perhaps the best team in the league right now and think that’s going to work out well for you. Oladipo tried to do his part
and naturally Sabonis had another double double off the bench with 12/10, but the facts are they scored 38 second half points. That’s going to get you beat every single time. The Pacers are still playing great overal, and a loss to TOR is nothing to hang you head on, but they had this one wrapped up and blew it.
Brooklyn Nets (15-18) 96 vs Chicago Bulls (7-25) 93
The Brooklyn Nets have the longest winning streak in the NBA. 7 in a row, just think about that for a second. Does it make sense? Nope. Does that matter? nope. Let their fans enjoy this moment
Who cares that their latest win came against the Bulls. 7 in a row is damn impressive and their doing it without a single All Star. How many other teams can say that?
For CHI, not too much to write home about other than the play of Kris Dunn who had 24/6
They are now 4-12 at home and have now lost 12 of their last 14. I don’t think anyone is all that surprised that a red hot team came in and beat these guys.
New Orleans Pelicans (15-17) 115 vs Milwaukee Bucks (21-9) 123
I swear is the Pelicans would just play a lick of defense like 90% of their problems would be solved. They have the offensive talent to compete
they made 19 3PM which was a team record, hell they even got actual production from fucking Jahlil Okafor
I get being without Mirotic and Randle hurt them, but they still shot 46/45%. Their problem is on the defensive end, giving up another 120+ points and if you look at their recent slide you see a team that’s giving up way too many points. Teams are too good in the West that you have to be able to defend, and if the Pelicans end up missing the playoffs, that’s going to be the reason why.
For MIL, Giannis of course led the charge
and it was their first win over NO in over 2 years. They all chipped in
and for the first time since 2002 the Bucks are 12 games over .500 and within striking distance of TOR. Their matchup Friday against BOS is going to be pretty fucking important if you ask me. They need wins over fellow East contenders, so let’s see if they can carry this on the road.
Detroit Pistons (15-14) 129 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (14-17) 123 F/OT
Pretty crazy game we had in MIN, it had everything from an awesome finish to Blake Griffin wanting to fight a fan
I’m a believer in just because you pay for a ticket doesn’t mean you can be an asshole, so I wish Blake got to this guy because he would have murdered him. Anyway, back to the game. On the court Blake was his usual unstoppable self
and Reggie Bullock has been INSANE since coming back from his injury as he had another 33 and 7 3PM
A huge 40 point fourth quarter is what brought them back, and then from there the Wolves simply ran out of gas.
For MIN, they almost got away with it with this huge shot from Covington in regulation
and Derrick Rose was again pretty legit for them
and considering they were without KAT, I’d say the Timberwolves did better than expected. They’ve been getting great production from their two new additions and last night was no different as both Covington and Saric combined for 37 points and 7 3PM. Sadly though, like it often does, defense or lack thereof is what cost MIN, and they now slide to 12-5 at home and 3 games under .500
Washington Wizards (12-20) 118 vs Houston Rockets (16-14) 136
Listen, sometimes you just run into a buzzsaw, and that’s what happened to the Wizards last night. The Rockets set the NBA record for 3PM in a game with 26, and when they get hot like that, forget about it
Harden continues to absolutely dominate opponents with another 35
CP3 got into the fun with 21 of his own
and all of the sudden the Rockets have won 5 in a row and are cooking. You knew it was only a matter of time before their luck changed, and now that the ball is going in they are tough as hell to beat.
For WSH, like I said they played well. Beal and Wall were awesome
they shot 53% for the game, even had a decent fourth quarter and bench production which is a struggle for them, but when a team makes nearly 30 threes, what can ya do.
Golden State Warriors (21-11) 103 vs Utah Jazz (15-17) 108
Yup the Jazz continue to make no sense whatsoever. They just beat GS shooting 39/38% while turning it over 16 times. How is that even possible? Donovan Mitchell went 5-26 and this team still won. Try and make sense of that shit
The Jazz finally climb to .500 at home and after losing 4 of their last 5 really needed this win before they hit the road to POR which is a tough place to play. After losing by 1 point to GS in the second game of the year, maybe they are just a good matchup or something because for whatever reason GS has trouble with this team.
For GS, outside of Durant and Curry nobody else really showed up
and if you’re the Warriors obviously none of this matters because their season doesn’t start for a few months. They know every team is going to be jazzed up to play them, but one loss doesn’t change the fact that they are still the team to beat until proven otherwise.
Memphis Grizzlies (16-15) 92 vs Portland Trail Blazers (18-13) 99
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that when you face the Grizzlies you’re in store for a slow paced grind it out slugfest. That’s what we had in Portland last night with both teams not really able to score the ball which made for quite an exciting finish. Dame tried his best to shoulder the load for the Blazers, finishing with 24 points on 9-18 shooting
and he really came alive in the third quarter which ended up being the difference. Only one other POR starter finished in double figures which was McCollum who had 11 on 5-16 shooting, which meant that the Blazers really had to rely on their defense to pull this one out. That would encourage me if I rooted for this team.
For MEM, Conley matched Dame in terms of the point guard battle
but just like Dame he didn’t get much help from anyone else. The Grizzlies are sneaky sliding right now, losers of 4 in a row and 6 of their last 7. Things are way too tight in the West for any sort of slide, and they face the sneaky good Kings up next so who knows how long this could last.
Oklahoma City Thunder (20-10) 132 vs Sacramento Kings (16-15) 113
When Paul George and Russell Westbrook are clicking like this, the Thunder are such a hard team to beat
I love when Westbrook gets on his troll game, and remember how De’Aaron Fox said he was the fastest dude in the league? Of course Westbrook heard that
Petty Westbrook rules.
On the night almost every Thunder player played well even guys like Jermi Grant who chipped in with 22 on 9-11 shooting
and Steven Adams who is a fucking monster
OKC has now won 3 in a row, is over .500 on the road and sit just 1 game back of the top spot in the West. They now have the best point differential in the West, and it’s time to take them seriously if you hadn’t been already. They sure turned their season around after a slow start.
For SAC, at least your young talent looked awesome
Depsite the loss the Kings are still playing better than most expected, and while they’ve lost 3 of 4 one of those was to GS who barely beat them, so as a Kings fan I would be happy with the product I’m seeing on the court. They are definitely a fun League Pass team that deserve your losing sleep over.
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 2 games but if you’d rather do something else that’s fine just check back in the morning and I’ll bring you up to speed.