Good morning everybody happy Tuesday 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 jam packed Monday night with 9 total games on then schedule and if you liked blowouts than this was a night for you. We had only 1 true close game and it came at the end of the night and was wild, but for the most part it was a night of blowouts, even coming from teams there's no chance you expected it from. Perhaps you were watching MNF and missed the action and that's fine, just keep reading because here's what happened.
Cleveland Cavaliers (4-9) 105 vs New York Knicks (4-10) 123
Admit it, you didn't know the Knicks were capable of blowing anybody out in the NBA, even the Cavs. I'm not sure what got into the Knicks but they got off to a great start and never looked back. Somehow their offense was consistent, never having a quarter under 29 points, and we even saw this team play defense at times. Who are these guys!
Those three right there did most of the damage and you have to give the Knicks credit. They did a great job getting to the line (35 FTA) a great job taking care of the ball (7 TOs) and dare I say looked like an actual basketball team. This was the version of NYK we saw play against DAL, and who knows now that they are 3-4 at home maybe they are turning this thing around. Probably not, but maybe!
For CLE, no Kevin Love which usually hurts, but hey how about the young kids?
Also the Cavs throwbacks are fucking fire so at least they had those two things going for them. Defense not so much, but they did shoot 47/47% with 17 3PM which usually leads to wins. The 19 TOs was bad, and again so was the lack of overall defense, but hey at least Cavs fans are getting positive signs from their young draft picks. In a way that makes up for everything since nobody expects them to win.
Indiana Pacers (8-6) 115 vs Brooklyn Nets (5-8) 86
OK so maybe a Nets team that's without Kyrie and Caris LeVert isn't all that good offensively. This looked close for the first 12 minutes, in fact BKN got out to a nice early lead, but then a brutal 41-17 second quarter pretty much sealed their fate. Spencer Dinwiddie balled out, he continues to be such a solid player for them
but outside of that they didn't get much else from anyone else. Just 35/32% splits as a team and over 20 points in just 1 quarter, not exactly the type of performance you are hoping for at home. Back to 3 games under .500 Nets fans have to hope Kyrie's shoulder issue isn't serious because it's pretty clear they need his offensive firepower. Maybe not the times he takes 50 shots and nobody else takes 10, but without him they are too inconsistent on that end.
For IND, we had a little bit of history! The Holiday brothers were the first pair of brothers to score at least 20 points in the same game for the same team which was pretty cool
and how about Sabonis. This dude is on an absolute tear right now even with Myles Turner back. I'm pretty sure he had 12 rebounds in 6 minutes or something crazy like that, and he finished with a cool 16/18 on 7-16 shooting
The Pacers used a big fourth quarter to really get that separation and it was a big win to prevent a 3 game skid. With no Brogdon in the lineup this was a nice win for a Pacers team that is just trying to tread water until Oladipo gets back.
Boston Celtics (11-2) 99 vs Phoenix Suns (7-5) 85
We'll be talking about the Celts in their normal blog so let's instead focus on the Suns. One of the biggest surprises this season the Suns were already in a tough spot before the game even started with Ricky Rubio being a late scratch. Offensively it was rough all night with only two players finishing in double figures
and the team only shooting 40/27% with 19 TOs. You aren't going to beat the elite teams in this league with numbers like that, and surprisingly even Aron Baynes was held in check. The Suns did play BOS even in the second half so at least things didn't get truly out of hand, but for a long stretch of this game it got close to around a 20 point deficit. Poor outside shooting and almost no FTs is a tough spot to be in when you're attempting to come from behind, and this was one of those nights the Suns just didn't have it.
Charlotte Hornets (6-8) 96 vs Toronto Raptors (9-4) 132
OK what the hell happened in this second half. This was a relatively close game at the break with TOR only up 4 points and somehow they win by 36?????? I suppose that's what happens with 51/46% shooting and 20 3PM but holy shit what a disaster by the Hornets defensively.
I suppose it helps to get a career night from OG, and then the second unit came in and was just as lights out with 3 players in double figures and a combined 8 3PM coming from that unit. TOR scored a ridiculous 72 points over the final 24 minutes, and now 5-0 at home it's safe to say they are in no way a pushover despite losing Kawhi. This team is good, this team is deep, and sure beating up on the Hornets is pretty common these days but the fact of the matter is Siakam has taken a leap and his supporting cast is playing great.
All this on a FVV off night? Raptors fans will take it.
For CHA, what can I even say/show? They were bad, everyone, even Devonte Graham. I feel bad and figure Hornets fans need something so here's Miles Bridges I guess. he was a -29 but ya know, did some things
Milwaukee Bucks (10-3) 115 vs Chicago Bulls (4-10) 101
Hey good on the Bulls for actually hanging around in this game until the fourth quarter. That's way better than some would have given them credit for. Sure the starters were absolutely pathetic, Zach LaVine led everyone with just 11 points on 4-16 shooting, but that second unit, well they at least showed some heart
Sadly they just ran out of gas in that fourth quarter which often happens when you play a team like MIL. The Bulls do this pretty consistently, they play teams tough but somehow fall apart at the end. It's all part of a young rebuilding team's process. At this point you take being competitive against one of the best teams in the league while all your best players had an off night. Sucks to lose at home like this but again, I think everyone understands.
For MIL, yeah Giannis got his
and Brook Lopez did a great job of providing that secondary scoring
and this was your pretty typical Bucks performance. They clamped down defensively when they had to, they made 15 3PM, got to the line a bunch (35 FTA) and relied on Giannis late to seal the deal. Pretty lucky to pull this one out considering they got jack shit from Eric Bledsoe and Wesley Matthews, but now at 7-2 on the road I bet the Bucks will take it.
Portland Trail Blazers (5-9) 108 vs Houston Rockets (11-3) 132
I hate to say it, but man do the Blazers need Melo. Sort of weak how he wasn't active for this game but is now active for their next game, the Blazers season is unravelling quickly. Not exactly ideal being on the road against one of the best teams in the NBA and Dame throws up an egg with only CJ McCollum doing any real damage
the problem with POR though wasn't just their offense, it wasn't just Hassan Whiteside being a frustrating as hell player to watch because he simply doesn't try, it's their defense. That's what has been plaguing them all season long and it's no surprise that the Rockets got whatever they wanted. This is a team that has now lost 7 of their last 9 and remember 4 of their 5 wins have come on the road so they can't even win at home. What a weird, disastrous start for the Blazers.
For HOU, hey it sure looks like their dynamic duo is able to coexist
and it also helps when the defense is so weak that Clint Capela can have all the lobs his heart desires on his way to a 22/20 performance on 10-17 shooting
This thing was close for a quarter until the Rockets got comfortable in the 2nd and put up a 35-20 quarter giving them all the separation they would need for an easy home win.
San Antonio Spurs (5-9) 110 vs Dallas Mavericks (8-5) 117
Oh look the Spurs once again can't win on the road, dropping to 1-5 on the year. On look DeRozan and LMA combined for a -21, these are things that never happen just kidding they happen every single time the Spurs play. It's very weird that these two can't stop being negatives while sharing the floor together, even when DeRozan has 36
and LMA has 16/9 on 7-14 shooting
outside of them no Spur really did anything and I don't have to tell you what that does when you are on the road facing a good team like DAL. It feels weird to say, but is this finally the year the Spurs are no longer the Spurs?
For DAL, Luka. That's it. That's all you need to know. Motherfucking Luka
a 40 point triple double before age 22 is something only Luka and LeBron have ever done. That feels significant because any time you compare what Luka is doing to what we've seen in history, it's only shit done by legit GREATS.
Sure Porzingis also had 18/10
but the story here is Luka. He is 100% in the MVP conversation, he is dominating this league in ways we haven't seen in DECADES, and the man isn't even 21 yet. What an absolute monster. I think we all were excited for Year 2 Luka given what we saw last year, but who could have expected this?
Minnesota Timberwolves (8-6) 112 vs Utah Jazz (8-5) 102
God damn are the Timberwolves so confusing. I guess that sums up MIN sports but honestly what the hell is going on. No Wiggin in the lineup and they get a big win on the road against a good team while also playing defense? What the hell is that? I suppose it helps when KAT goes nuts
and Jeff Teague provides the scoring that Wiggins would have
but I can't get over the Wolves only allowing 102 points. That's the key to everything for them, if they can be somewhat respectable on that end this team can flirt with an 8/9 seed, I truly believe that. They even made up for their little mini collapse in the third quarter with a strong 36 points fourth. Again I ask, what the hell?
For UTA, not a great loss. Tough when you shoot 36/38%, but even still not a great night for their starting backcourt that combine to shoot 11-38. Conley really has struggled on this team hasn't he?
The good news is this was only the first loss at home for UTA all year, but remember given the conference they play in its not exactly best practice to give games like these away.
Oklahoma City Thunder (5-8) 88 vs Los Angeles Clippers (9-5) 90
No Kawhi which is a bummer but also reality, and if you expected a Paul George revenge game it was weird because he only had 18 points, but also hit the late dagger three to seal it against his former team
and Montrezl Harrel feasted off the bench
which is basically when he does every night. This game didn't end without drama though with Doc Rivers winning a challenge with around 7 seconds left which overturned a foul on Maurice Harkless. That led to a missed Gallo three and the rest is history. The Clippers survive and move to 8-1 at home and are doing their part to keep pace with the rest of the West. They should have both Kawhi/George active in the same game for the first time on Wednesday, so we'll really see what this team looks like healthy.
For OKC, a tough loss to stomach for sure and a tough return for CP3 even though he played well
he just needed much more from Gallo who went 3-13 and SGA who went 4-10, that can't happen if you want to steal a road win against the Clippers. They shot like shit as a team just 37/25% splits and had 17 TOs, and you thought maybe with their big 2nd quarter they could pull off the upset, but then immediately giving it back by scoring just 17 points in the third will bite you in the ass every single time. Sadly. OKC is still winless on the road at 0-5.
And that's it! You're now all caught up with everything that went down last night in the NBA. We're back tonight with 4 more games and as always if you can't watch just check back here in the morning. Have a great Tuesday!