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Last Night In The NBA: Where Everyone Seemed To Be Dropping 40

Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns

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. It was a busy Saturday night with 9 games on the schedule, and maybe you were out or maybe you were watching a blowout college football game instead, but it was once again a night filled with blowouts, upsets, down to the wire finishes and much much more. Given that we still have a little time until football kicks off today, why not go back and relive everything you may have missed. If you were unable to  watch the games last night, here’s what happened

Brooklyn Nets (17-21) 115 vs Milwaukee Bucks (25-10) 129

What happened to the Nets team that was on this big winning streak? Where did they go? They certainly weren’t much of a problem for the Bucks who now are atop the Eastern Conference, and honestly that’s too bad because the Nets actually played pretty well. On most nights you drop 115, shoot 48/42%, make 15 3PM and get to the line 35 times that tends to lead to wins.

The starters had a rough night, they were also without D’Angelo Russell who got a rest day so that matters, but at least Jarrett Allen added another name in Giannis to his list

That guy blocks everyone, it is very impressive. With the Pelicans up next the Nets really need to start to tack on some wins here if they want to catch DET/CHA in the 7/8 spot as they are just 1.5 games back at the moment. As we saw though, their lack of defense is probably the biggest thing holding them back right now.

For MIL, they win at home where they are now an NBA best 16-3, their main guys were ridiculous as you expect

and as good as Middleton and Giannis are, is the story of the Bucks so far this season how legit Brook Lopez has become from three? He has to be one of the more underrated signings in the entire league this year. Given their new style of play and their desire to take and make more threes, he’s come right in like he’s a long lost Splash Brother it’s pretty incredible. You go zone against this team to try and keep Giannis out of the paint and boom, you have Brook fucking Lopez raining threes down on you. What a world. He took 17 FGA in this game, 15 of them were threes!

Charlotte Hornets (17-18) 126 vs Washington Wizards (14-23) 130

With news coming out earlier in the day that John Wall will be missing the rest of the season with heel surgery, of course the Wizards come out and drop 130 and actually win. That makes total sense. They did it without Markieff Morris as well, shot 52% from the field, had 7 players in double figures, four of which had at least 19 points. What the hell was this?

I was actually impressed with WSH, they got legit production from their shortened bench (just 3 players played) totaling 33 points, and then in the fourth quarter when they usually collapse they matched CHA punch for punch to the tune of 36 points. I know the Wizards are most likely headed for the lottery, but at least they showed they can still play hard so there’s that.

For CHA, their road problems are for real. Now 4-11 away from home, they wasted what was another dominant Kemba performance

some of the shots Kemba is making this season are just ridiculous, and this game was a great example of that. The problem was he just needed a little help and the Hornets probably win this game. Sure he took almost 1/3 of their shots, but Lamb’s 4-12 didn’t help and Batum’s 2-7 didn’t really either. The second quarter where they gave up 40 points sort of did them in, and once again their inability to get a stop late came back to bite them. For a team holding onto a playoff spot with dear life, this isn’t exactly the formula you want.

Boston Celtics (21-14) 112 vs Memphis Grizzlies (18-17) 103

We’ll be talking about the Celtics in their normal blog, so let’s focus on the Grizzlies here. Not the best look to blow a 19 point lead at home, but it really was a tale of two halfs for them. In the first half they got whatever they wanted inside, they barely missed, and they played great defense. In the second half they scored just 39 points, gave up 65 and their offense was suddenly missing everything. Guys like Gasol and Conley were solid like they almost always are with 41 points between the two of them, the Grizzlies got great play off their bench from Dillon Brooks who had 19 points and made 4 3PM

and it really was a grind to pull this game out. The Grizzlies are one of those teams that you definitely can’t take lightly because they have talent, but they also basically never score. They hit their average after the first half was a bit crazy, and I think that’s why the Celts were always in this game. Offensively this team just doesn’t have that pull away capability.

They’re now 3-7 over their last 10 and a full game behind SAC for the final playoff spot out West, and as good as their defense is, they do in fact have a negative point differential, which is tough to have given the conference they play in.

Houston Rockets (20-15) 108 vs New Orleans Pelicans (16-21) 104

Yeah, the Rockets are back folks. Winners of 9 of their last 10, as of now they’re a 5 seed but sit just 0.5 games back of LAC and just 2.5 back of a top 3 seed. James Harden had another MVP type performance

The Rockets got back to being the Rockets and made 16 3PM, and this thing was close down the stretch with things being a 1 point game entering the fourth quarter. Harden became the first player since Oscar Robertson to put up at least 7 games in a row of 35/5 which is cool, and with the game tight in the final seconds it was the Rockets who were clutch at the line and secured the win. There is no hotter team in the league right now than HOU, and it’s almost as if their slow start never even happened.

For NO, every loss feels 10x bigger than it really is given the AD shit, and they’re now 3-7 over their last 10 and a full 4 games out of the final playoff spot. Not great! Their starters did their job, with four players snagging at least 20 points, it was just everyone else that didn’t give them anything. Their bench had just 16 points which is a problem, especially when you’re playing a team like HOU

With MIN/BKN/CLE/MEM/CLE/MIN up next maybe they can pick up some ground, but things are certainly getting tougher for NO as the year goes on. Can’t imagine AD is happy with what he’s seeing.

Cleveland Cavaliers (8-29) 108 vs Atlanta Hawks (11-24) 111

Listen someone had to win this game even if nobody really wanted to. It was a little surprising that two dogshit teams like these could actually have an entertaining game, but kudos for them for keeping things close. For the Cavs, first and foremost you’re happy for the loss, but also happy because you saw some key young pieces play well. There was Cedi wiuth his 22/8/3 on 8-12 shooting

Larry Nance Jr did some things to finish with 18/7

and Collin Sexton matched the rookie battle with Trae Young

Overall I would say this was a pretty successful night on the road for the Cavs, who are now 3-16 away from home.

For ATL, look the win stinks, but look at Vince Carter!!

Trae Young was also great with his 21/9 on an efficient 8-16 shooting

and you add in a nice 14/12 for John Collins as well and even with almost blowing things in the fourth quarter, the Hawks were able to hold on, win their second in a row and actually be 6-45 over their last 10. What are they doing!?!?

New York Knicks (9-28) 97 vs Utah Jazz (18-19) 129

Oh hey cool look the Jazz continue to make zero fucking sense. If you’re a Jazz fan, this offensive inconsistency has to drive you mad right? I get it, it’s the Knicks, but why does it seem like every once in a while the Jazz put up an offensive showing like this one night, and then the next can barely break 90. So weird. In this one though, they shot 54/44% as a team, made 16 3PM, and if you touched the floor for them you played well

It was certainly a much needed win as the Jazz are trying to claw their way back into the top 8, and this thing was really over after the first quarter when they jumped out to a 39-17 lead, but then they backed that up with a 32-17 second quarter just for good measure. They go to TOR next so things are going to get a whole hell of a lot harder, and then face MIL not too long after that, so let’s see if the Jazz can actually be consistent for once.

For NYK, this is now their 7th loss in a row, they are 1-9 over their last 10, and they are putting on a tanking clinic right now. It was hard to find a good play from them in this game, so enjoy Frankie Nicotine throwing down this impressive dunk

This will be much, much easier next year once they have Zion.

Denver Nuggets (23-11) 122 vs Phoenix Suns (9-28) 118

I don’t think anyone would have blamed the Nuggets for sitting Jamal Murray in this game given his fucked up ankle. I mean it is the Suns after all, the NUggets should be able to handle them without him. Instead he played, and went out and dropped 46 fucking points

you add that with a near triple double from Jokic

and they needed every little bit of that because the Suns gave them all they could handle. That’s the thing about PHX, they stink, but they also play good teams pretty well for whatever reason, Hard to beat DEN when they finish with 55/51% splits and 18 3PM, but they really didn’t have an answer for Murray. He was cooking right from the jump, had like 21 points in 15 minutes or something like that, and this was an important win the DEN not just because it kept them atop the West, but it also brings them to over .500 on the road. If they are going to have any staying power at the top of the West, they need to win away from the Pepsi Center.

For PHX, just like you thought, both Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton were awesome

I know Luka gets all the rookie hype, but Ayton has been so fucking solid this season and definitely worthy of that #1 pick. He just plays on a team that loses all the time, but he’s going to be really good for a really long time. I give PHX credit, they fought in this game, dropped 40 points in the fourth and nearly pulled off the comeback. They just shot themselves in the foot early getting down 20 after the first quarter, but they didn’t quit, which is encouraging to some degree.

Golden State Warriors (24-13) 115 vs Portland Trail Blazers (20-16) 105

If it feels like these two teams just played each other, it’s because these two teams just played each other. This time, it was GS’s turn to win on the road

they even got their complaining in

Hard to beat this team when their Big 3 is locked in like this, and I’m sure Warriors fans were happy to see Klay finally shoot like this after struggling basically all season. This win was big because it kept them within striking distance of DEN, and also stay ahead of OKC. They now go PHX/HOU/SAC/NYK/CHI over their next handful, so something tells me they’ll be fine. That battle with HOU will be must watch though.

For POR, Dame tried his best and carried them with 40

and Nurkic did his part with 21/10/7 on 8-12 shooting

the problem was no other Blazer was all that good. CJ finished with 14 points but shot 6-17, no bench player had more than 4 points, and as a team they finished with just 42/29% splits. That’s tough to stomach at home, where the Blazers are now 13-6. They tried to make a run late in the second half but couldn’t really get over the hump, and as a result find themselves stuck in that 7 spot out West.

San Antonio Spurs (20-17) 122 vs Los Angeles Clippers (21-15) 111

The Spurs won on the road! I’m serious, they did it! All thanks to beastly performances from DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge

They shot 50% from the field, went 28-31 from the line, and don’t look now but they are just percentage points behind SAC for that final playoff spot. The Spurs are 7-3 over their last 10 and have climbed their way back into relevancy, and if this is a sign of more to come on the road, they for sure can make the playoffs. Already a legit 14-5 at home, it’s been the road that has been plaguing this team for like two years.

For LAC, they kept it close in the first half only to see the Spurs win the third quarter 39-19, and even though they came out and dropped 36 in the fourth, the damage was done. The Clips still own the 4 spot out West at least for now, and honestly this was just one of those nights for them. Lou Williams struggled going 4-14, both Gallo and Harrell were nice with 21 a piece, but outside of them there wasn’t much to write home about

They better be careful because HOU is coming for them real quick.

And that’s it! You are now caught up on everything that went down last night in the NBA. Hopefully this helped your hangover as you wait for football to start, have yourself a great Sunday and I’ll see you all again tomorrow morning.