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Last Night In The NBA: Don't Chirp Donovan Mitchell, Big Night For Threes, The Raptors Are A Machine, And Much More!

Utah Jazz v Detroit Pistons

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 know today is all about football, but we get to kickoff we have 8 games to go over, where for the most part all of them minus a few had a good amount of drama. Maybe you had a few too many because your favorite football team won a playoff game and you’re hurting right now, that’s OK, relax and enjoy some highlights. If you missed the action from Saturday night, here’s what happened.

Charlotte Hornets (18-20) 110 vs Denver Nuggets (26-11) 123

New year, Nuggets still in first place and getting healthier by the day. I would say it’s pretty scary that this team put up 123 despite only having four players in double figures and a starter throwing up a goose egg, but that’s the beauty of the Nuggets. They are deep as HELL, can kill you a wide variety of ways, and they have an MVP candidate on the roster.

Just a little 39/12/6/3 on 16-29 for Jokic, no big deal. On a night where Jamal Murray struggled, going just 3-13, it was going to be up to the second unit to pick up the slack and boy are Nuggets fans happy with what they’re seeing from their formerly injured guys. You had Paul Millsap coming off the bench, playing 27 minutes and dropping 18/6/3/4 on 7-14 shooting and then there was Gary Harris who is working his way back as well who had 17/6/5 on 7-15

The Nuggets got off to a good start, made 14 3PM, turned it over just 7 times, and when they do that you aren’t beating them. They are too good. If Jokic is going to get this sort of consistent help, you can easily make the case this is a top 3 team in the West, and that may be underselling them.

For CHA, there was Kemba

and then a random 16 points from Bismack Biyombo

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but look the reality is this team STINKS on the road where they are now 4-12, they didn’t play defense which is a problem for a team that is offensively challenged like they can be, and the Hornets need to be careful because they now find themselves in the 8 spot in the East with just a 0.5 game lead over the Pistons. They’ve lost two in a row and are 4-6 over their last 10, and their road record is by far the worst of any team in the top 8. They have to figure that shit out and quick.

Utah Jazz (20-20) 110 vs Detroit Pistons (17-20) 105

For 75% of this game, Donovan Mitchell struggled. He had like 2 points, wasn’t doing it on either end, and then something happened. What was it? A Pistons fan kept chirping him. We’ve seen before how this can be dangerous, remember when that Magic fan chirped Dame Lillard and he went nuts? Well, Donovan went nuts over the course of the final 24 minutes

He said it himself, that chirping fan is what got him going, so I don’t think his chirps had the result that fan was looking for. Let that be a lesson to fans everywhere. Don’t tempt really good basketball players because they can come back and destroy you. Sure they were down by 18 in the first quarter, but this league is a league of runs so you always have to be on your toes.

Mitchell certainly had some help

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and who knows maybe this is the Jazz starting to go on a run, they’ve won 3 of their last 4 and have MIL up next so we’ll see. But this is a team that desperately needs a second half run just like they did last season, and having Mitchell play well is going to be a huge part of that.

For DET, not great. Now out of the playoffs, they’re 3-7 over their last 10, and yeah Blake Griffin was once again a fucking monster

Drummond had 15/18 on 7-10 shooting, but none of that matters when you turn the ball over 18 times. They had their chance to balloon their early 18 points lead, but careless basketball got the best of them like it so often does. It also didn’t help that their bench basically gave them nothing with just 13 points total, not something you expect from a team playing at home but that’s life.

Dallas Mavericks (18-21) 100 vs Philadelphia 76ers (26-14) 106

Sure this was another instance where the Sixers blew a big time lead, but they pulled it out and at the end of the day that’s what matters. The fourth quarter for them was a disaster, they scored just 19 points and as a team went 6-26 from deep. So how did they pull this out, especially with no Jimmy Butler? Their other studs showed up in a big way

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The lead got up to as much as 17, and this win brings PHI to a very, very impressive 17-3 record at home. Considering how much better this team is at home, getting a top 4 seed is going to be pretty important for them and that’s certainly no guarantee with how good IND has been and with the Celtics right on their heels. In the meantime this was their 3rd win in a row and the Sixers are 7-3 over their last 10, so they are playing well there’s no denying that. They have WSH/WSH/ATL/NYK/MIN up next, and they need to sweep those because after that run things get MUCH harder with IND/OKC/HOU/SA/DEN/LAL/GS/SAC/DEN/LAL/BOS. That is a fucking insane stretch.

For DAL, a tough shooting night all around for sure, Luka was pretty modest with just 14/8/4

sadly while Dirk didn’t play, they did get a great performance from someone named Ryan Broekhoff who had 15 points off the bench on 6-8 shooting

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The Mavs continue to be horrific on the road, now drop to 3-18, they’re 3-7 over their last 10 and a full 3 games from the final playoff spot. I get they’re playing good teams, but it’s shocking how different they are on the road compared to playing at home. Not exactly like this is a team filled with teenagers, you would think the veterans would have them a little better than this.

New Orleans Pelicans (18-22) 133 vs Cleveland Cavaliers (8-32) 98

Name a Pelican, they had a great night

Even the bench got into the action with a combined 46 points, they shot 58/51% with 14 3PM, and yeah I don’t think anyone is really surprised about this result. To say the Pelicans need wins would be a massive understatement, and considering this was close after the first quarter, it had to be a sigh of relief for Pelicans fans that they opened this thing up and coasted the rest of the way.

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For CLE, someone clearly showed them that Zion 360 or something.

Let’s keep it moving. No one cares about the Cavs.

Toronto Raptors (29-12) 123 vs Milwaukee Bucks (27-11) 116

Now this was a matchup everyone was interested in. The two best teams in the East right now, the Bucks already had a 2-0 H2H lead against TOR, basically this was a must win for the Raptors. Given how close they are in the standings, head to head tie breakers could be very important in deciding seeding. Even without Kyle Lowry, the Raptors relied on three of their best players who came into MIL and balled their dicks off

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These three (plus Lowry when he plays) are reasons why we know the Raptors are so goddamn tough. But you know what takes them over the top? When Fred VanVleet plays like he did in this game

This game pretty much went back and fourth all the way to deep in the fourth, and then boom you have a dagger FVV three. Some Kawhi buckets, a Danny Green three here and there and then boom it’s a double digit lead with only a few minutes left. That’s what TOR does, they never stop coming at you and they have the talent to get it done. What’s crazy is their bench only had 5 points!! Five! For a team that relies on the best bench in the league, for them to win a game like this on the road while getting nothing from the second unit, that’s impressive as hell.

For MIL, no shame in losing to the Raptors, they still own a 2-1 H2H lead, and Giannis was a fucking beast

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The biggest shock was the fact that Lopez only made 1 3PM, but other than that they played well. Giving up 123 is a little concerning, but this is a team that is 18-4 at home and still in that top tier. Sometimes you just run into a team that plays on a different level, and that’s what happened last night to the Bucks. If they play like they did in this game against nearly anyone else, they win. I wouldn’t sweat it.

Memphis Grizzlies (18-21) 88 vs San Antonio Spurs (23-17) 108

You know what you don’t want to do right now? Play the Spurs at home. Just don’t show up because they are going to murder you.

Anyone who may have declared the Spurs dead a few weeks ago is feeling pretty silly. They have something like a top 5 offense and top 5 defense during this stretch, and it’s safe to say Pop has figured something out. They find themselves currently in the 6th seed, but tied with HOU/LAC and in a matter of days could see themselves as high as 4. Imagine that, this was a team that was just trying to scratch and claw their way to a 7/8 seed, and now they very well could be in a position to have homecourt. Incredible.

For MEM, maybe it’s start to panic just a little bit. After dropping 25 points in the first quarter, they never had more than 22 for the rest of the night. They shot just 37/38%, had 20 TOs and had just 3 players in double figures. I don’t need to tell you that’s the formula for getting your doors blown off by a good Spurs team. They laid an egg which has become the norm for this team and that’s a problem. Now losers of 5 straight and 2-8 over their last 10, for a team that doesn’t own their own pick right now, this is turning into a disaster pretty quickly.

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Houston Rockets (22-16) 101 vs Portland Trail Blazers (23-17) 110

Please, a moment of silence for James Harden’s 40 point streak. Sadly, it came to an end last night after 5 straight because when this one went final he looked up and saw he had…….38.

You know, we all joked when the Rockets signed Austin Rivers, mostly because he stinks, but you know what? Let’s give him some credit, he’s been great as a Rocket

He’s averaging 13.5 points on 44/41% splits with 2.8 3PM a night. That’s a godsend for this Rockets team as they try and survive without CP3. The Rockets haven’t lost all that much recently, but it’s important to remind you that they are 9-11 on the road so far this year. For a team currently in the 5 spot, that’s just something to keep in mind.

For POR, their starters turned in the exact performance they needed in order to beat a red hot team like HOU.

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It’s impressive they pulled this out despite Dame/CJ combining to shoot just 14-37, but as a team they took care of the ball, played great defense in the second quarter holding HOU to just 16 points to build their lead, and then from there played the Rockets pretty much even. Big win for them as they are now 15-7 at home, and they are in that SA/HOU/LAC grouping where right now they are a 7 seed, but in a week they could be as high as a 4 seed. Beating HOU was important here because it won them the season H2H series, which could be huge come Spring.

Golden State Warriors (26-14) 127 vs Sacramento Kings (19-20) 123

Do you love threes? If so, this was the game for you because both teams combined to take 83 3PA. That is not a typo. GS had 47 of their 93 FGA come from deep, and SAC had 36 of their 97 FGA from three. They made 41 combined threes which is a record, and here they all are

For the Kings, they’ve lost 4 straight which stinks for them, but watching Buddy Hield go toe to toe with Curry has to make them feel pretty good

then a little career high action for Justin Jackson

and who doesn’t love seeing Harry Giles throw it down like this

Impossible to not root for him.

For GS, I mean the Big 3 were monsters

and as we know Curry got called for a Harden travel which he didn’t exactly like and had this to say about it postgame

This was probably the most fun game of the night, poor Justin Jackson had his career night ruined when Steph hit him with this move

and the Warriors do their part to keep pace with OKC/DEN at the top of the West.


And that’s it! You’re now all caught up on everything that went down last night in the NBA, and hopefully this helps you kill a little time until kickoff. We’re back with 7 more games today, but since you’ll be watching football just make sure to check back tomorrow morning and I’ll fill you in on what you missed.