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Last Night In The NBA: Game Winners, Dirk's Farewell, Upsets, And Much More!

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls

Happy Saturday 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. Maybe you’re a little hung over and need something to help you get yourself to today’s NFL playoff games, and fortunately the NBA blessed us with 10 games on the schedule so we have a shit ton of highlights for you to watch to get you back to neutral. If you’re reading this on the toilet right now, get comfortable, because here’s what happened.

Utah Jazz (19-20) 117 vs Cleveland Cavaliers (8-31) 91

Can’t say this outcome is all that surprising. The Jazz are a weird team in that their point differential of +2.3 is better than 4 teams currently in the top 8 out West, yet they are under .500 and 2 full games out of the final playoff spot. That doesn’t make much sense, but it’s their reality. They need to take care of games like this and this was a very Jazz like performance. They had balance, with 8 players in double figures, they shot 51/40% from the field and only turned it over 11 times.

When UTA plays like this, with 28 assists and the ball moving well they sure as hell look like the team that made that huge second half run last year. I get it, this was against the Cavs so you take it with a grain of salt, but at this point if I’m a Jazz fan I don’t give a shit. I need wins, no matter who it’s against. Shit was maybe a little too close for comfort after the first 24 minutes, but a nice 69 points over the final 24 is what turned this into a blowout.

For CLE, it makes no sense that they shot 39% for the game but 52% from three. It’s usually the other way around ya know? Not a whole lot to write home about with them, Alec Burks was good off the bench with 17 points

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and look the Cavs have lost 8 in a row which stinks, but is also exactly what they should be doing. Why? Well look here

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Worth it!

Dallas Mavericks (18-20) 92 vs Boston Celtics (23-15) 114

You can read about things from a Celtics perspective here, so let’s just focus on DAL for this blog. As expected, Luka was awesome

and sadly this was not the last performance in Boston that Dirk probably wanted given that he missed every shot

The Mavs stayed true to the story of their season, great at home, complete disaster on the road. They’re now 3-17 on the road, and I don’t know why considering they have talent, but they shot 38/25% and this was a blowout the whole way. Sad way for Dirk to end it, but this just means he has to come back for one more year because I’m not ready to say goodbye.

Washington Wizards (15-24) 109 vs Miami Heat (19-18) 115

Don’t look now, but the Heat are now 8-2 over their last 10 and firmly in that 6 spot out East. I feel like they are a bit under the radar, and honestly I haven’t heard all that much out there about their strong play. I didn’t even know they were playing this well until I looked it up. If they can figure out how to win at home and not be 9-11, they could potentially be a tough out for someone this Spring. Now that Dion Waiters is back, anything is possible

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I’m not even kidding, I really think their strong play can be traced back to their fire uniforms. It’s the ultimate look good feel good approach, and the proof is in the pudding. If I’m MIA, I make these the permanent look pronto.

For WSH, honestly they didn’t play that poorly. Considering they were without Wall, and Porter Jr things were essentially competitive the whole way. A huge reason for that was the performance from Bradley Beal

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but he also had some legit help from Trevor Ariza and his 21/6 with 5 3PM

Now it did come out that the Wizards have given a price for Beal for those interested. It’ll cost you 2 first rounders, a young good asset and another player. That’s the starting point, and there were reports that the Raptors reached out but it was too rich for them. Someone will probably pay it, but just something to keep in mind as we approach the deadline.

Indiana Pacers (26-12) 119 vs Chicago Bulls (10-29) 116

You listen here. You put some fucking respect on the Pacers name. Hottest team in the East with their 6th win in a row, they trail TOR by just 1 game for 2nd in the East, and they have the 2nd best point differential in the conference. They are as legit as they come and people need to start paying attention and including them in terms of the best teams in the East. They’ve proved it with Oladipo, they’ve proved it without him while he was hurt, they are very much for real.

Last night, it’s a little troubling they had to go to OT against CHI, but that shit happens. When you have a clutch player like Oladipo, it’s whatever

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What a ridiculous game winner. I mean you let him take that all day, but for him to bank it in like that unless he called game then I’m not sure that should count. Good teams find ways to win games they maybe shouldn’t, and that’s what IND did. You add in another monster performance from Sabonis off the bench

and this team really does check all the boxes. They have good high end talent, they have great depth, they defend, and they have a closer who is not afraid. If you are STILL sleeping on IND you’re just being a hater because they aren’t a big market team. They are awesome.

For CHI, hey another best case scenario if you ask me. You got great performances from your young talent in Baby Dirk, LaVine, and Kris DUnn

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you were in it till the end but ultimately got the much needed loss. They came out blazing with a 30-18 lead after one, and sure they basically gave it right back in the second quarter but from there they played IND even. For a team that has one of the worst offenses in the league since their coaching change, 116 points for them is no joke.

Brooklyn Nets (19-21) 109 vs Memphis Grizzlies (18-20) 100

Man, what is going on in Memphis right now. They’ve now lost 4 in a row, are 2-8 over their last 10,, and they’re doing this while being relatively healthy. Not to sound too dramatic, but they are sinking like a rock in a conference where you absolutely cannot go on slides like this. Especially when you don’t own your own pick this summer. Mike Conley was great with 31 on 10-20 shooting

and Jaren Jackson Jr continued his strong play this season with 19 points on 9-15 shooting and a couple blocks

but their lack of three point shooting certainly hurt (5-24), and frankly they had all sorts of issues defending the Nets second unit, which for a team who’s identity is to grind and defend isn’t the best look. Grizzlies fans may not be in full panic mode yet, but they have to be getting close.

For BKN, D’Angelo Russell led the way with 23/10

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but he wasn’t alone. You look up and down this roster last night and guys everywhere played well

I find the season Russell is having to be very interesting. The Nets made it clear they are moving on, but he’s certainly making his case for someone to drop a shit load of money on him this summer. Remember he’s still so young, and it is starting to look like he’s figuring things out. This Nets team dropping 61 points in the second half was huge for them, and for them do this on the road was impressive.

Orlando Magic (17-21) 103 vs Minnesota Timberwolves (18-21) 120

MIN is sort of like DAL in a sense that they are a completely different team at home. They’re 13-6 in their building and 5-15 on the road. So it’s not all that surprising that they got Teague back in the lineup, played a stinky ORL team and looked 1000x better.

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It certainly didn’t always look so great, allowing 40 points to the Magic in the opening quarter wasn’t great, but they cleaned up their play on that end the rest of the game, especially in the second half. Holding ORL to just 35 second half points is how this turned into a blowout, and given the recent stretch MIN is on, I think they’re fans will take anything positive at this point. Good to see them actually use KAT, he led the team with 20 FGA, but they have a long way to go just to get to the 8 spot, which they trail by 3 full games.

For ORL, the beauty of the East is they can be 4 games under .500 and still totally not out of the playoff conversation just yet. They trail BKN by just 1 game, are getting solid play from Vucevic every night

but like I said, 35 points in a half just isn’t going to get it done on the road. Considering they have LAC/SAC/UTA/BOS/HOU up next, things are about to get a little dicey for them.

Atlanta Hawks (11-27) 112 vs Milwaukee Bucks (27-10) 144

Listen I don’t care that this was against the Hawks. You drop 144 in regulation, with no player scoring more than 19 points, that’s impressive as hell. Especially when you only shot 35% from deep. The Bucks finished with 55% from the floor, had 8 players in double figures and those who weren’t all had at least 8 points. This was about as complete an offensive performance as you’re going to see all season from any team. Giannis played 19 minutes and it didn’t even matter. That’s messed up

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The Bucks had not scored 144 points in any game since 1989. They’ve now done so twice and we aren’t even halfway through this season and are now 18-3 at home. Not bad.

For ATL, I mean there’s really nothing you can do when a team bukkakes you like this, so at least they got a much needed lottery loss. DeAndre Bembry had a career night so that’s cool for him

Trae Young had 13/10 as well and his efficiency wasn’t all that terrible so that’s a positive, but we all knew they were going to get stomped in this game and that’s pretty much what happened.

Los Angeles Clippers (22-16) 121 vs Phoenix Suns (9-31) 111

I’m not sure if the Clippers thought this was going to be easy, but credit the Suns for making them earn this win. Especially on a night where Ayton had just 4 points on 2-3 shooting in his 27 minutes. Thankfully guys like Devin Booker and TJ Warren were willing to pick up the slack

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It’s tough when you get down by 19 points after the first quarter and then are down 24 at the half. But PHX came out firing in the second half, had 67 points and did their best to make this competitive. At the end of the day that’s all you can ask from a team that is just 5-16 at home.

For LAC, they’ve been struggling a little recently, just 5-5 over their last 10, they have 4 teams breathing down their next for the 5 spot out West, so it’s time they start winning some games consistently. They do trail HOU by just 0.5 games for the 4 spot, so there are definitely worst spots to be in. In this game, Gallo led the way with 21 on 6-11

and Clippers fans have to be ecstatic with the fact that he’s played in nearly every game this season. That never happens with Gallo and it’s made a huge difference in their season. Sprinkle in a little Patrick Beverly

and some solid Gortat minutes

with some solid Lou Williams off the bench who had 21

and that’s how you secure a blowout win on the road against a dogshit team.

New York Knicks (10-29) 119 vs Los Angeles Lakers (21-18) 112

Oh no Lakers, what are you doing. You really hate to see a historic franchise like this, one that is supposed to have all this great young talent that is worth Anthony Davis lose at home to the Knicks. Brutal. No Lebron? Major problems

With news coming out that LeBron is missing more time, the Lakers are in trouble of falling out of the top 8. They are just 3-7 over their last 10, and there’s no way Bron is happy with what he’s seeing.

For NYK, they came out and dropped 39 points in the first quarter and never looked back. They did all this while still shooting 37/29%! How is that possible? Well they were 34-41 from the line. Considering the Lakers only took 20 FTA, that’s a pretty crazy difference.

The Knicks had great balance, with 7 players in double figures, and their second unit really showed up. They combined for 54 points which is no joke, and while Knicks fans may be mad because they were doing a great job tanking losing their last 8 in a row, sometimes you run into a win every once in a while. Also, beating the Lakers will always be good in my opinion.

Oklahoma City Thunder (25-13) 111 vs Portland Trail Blazers (22-17) 109

Hard to beat this OKC team when both Paul George and Russell Westbrook combine for over half their points

I’m sure OKC fans enjoy seeing Westbrook actually make some shots considering how poor he’s been shooting lately, and I can’t stress enough how good this OKC team is. Their slow start is a thing of the past and they are beating anyone who stands in their way. It’s hard to win in POR, and even though they only scored 18 fourth quarter points they made enough plays down the stretch and make late FTs to pull it out. They’ve now won 3 in a row, are 7-3 over their last 10. and are just 1 game back of DEN for the top spot in the West. If Westbrook actually starts shooting at an acceptable clip, watch out.

For POR, Dame and CJ were a tough 14-34, but Nurkic was solid

They certainly didn’t play great but they did have their chances when they cut it to a 4 point game with 42 seconds left, they simply were the victims of a tough second half where they scored just 47 points. Just 9-31 from deep that’s going to happen against a good OKC team, and thankfully the Blazers still have some room given how poorly the Lakers look recently, but they can’t really go on a slide if they want ot stay top 8.

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 8 more games. but because you’ll most likely be watching football, just make sure to check back in the morning and I’ll bring you on to speed on what you missed. Have a great Saturday!