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Last Night In The NBA: It's Time Some Teams Get A Little Nervous

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder

Happy Wednesday everybody and welcome to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that went down from the night before in the Association. Much like Monday, I’m going to help you kill as much time as possible on this hump day because there were 13 games last night. A shit ton of basketball was played, much of it with big time playoff seeding implications. This is what we all dreamed of for the last week of the season, where every game matters. I can’t imagine what you were doing instead of watching these games last night, but if you didn’t get to see any of them here’s what happened

Raptors (55-22) 106 vs Cavaliers (48-30) 112

That sound you hear is TOR fans definitely not freaking out. No reason they would be worried why would you think that? Can’t collapse in the playoffs if you start your collapse early everybody knows that. This was a big game for both teams, with TOR looking to stop their bleeding and get some confidence back, and CLE doing their best to hold onto that 3 spot. As you can expect, playing at home things leaned in CLE’s favor, but they were also just flat out better

TOR loves to talk about their great defense, well where was it? For much of this game early the Cavs lived in the 62/65% range and finished with 49/43% splits, 13 3PM, 28 FTA, and just 12 TOs. Every one of their starters finished in double figures and four of the give with at least 17 points. It didn’t even matter that the CLE bench gave them absolutely nothing, the starters couldn’t be stopped. The fact that Jose Calderon made that much of an impact is hilarious, and really TOR should be forced to give up their playoff spot if they can’t even stop Jose fucking Calderon. TOR how now lost 2 in a row and is still in a dogfight with BOS for that top seed. As long as CLE is going to stay in the 3 spot, that’s a very important wrinkle.

For TOR, I know we joke but the Calendar has turned to April and as a result Kyle Lowry has turned into a pumpkin. Another 2-11 last night, he’s shooting 38/38% averaging just 12 points over his last 5 games. Safe to say that if this is the Lowry they get in the playoffs, it’s an early exit for sure. Let’s check in to see how they thought things went!

Keep in mind the Raptors have 1 good win since Feb 6th. They loaded up on beating non playoff teams to provide this false sense of dominance. Just 3 wins against playoff teams in like a month and a half. Don’t talk too loud though TOR Twitter is very sensitive.

Nets (25-53) 95 vs Sixers (47-30) 121

Make it 11 in a row for PHI. Pretty damn impressive if you ask me. Did you know they also haven’t lost at home in 103 days? Also impressive. Even without Embiid this team is rolling, and while no one should be throwing a parade for beating BKN, you can’t ignore the fact that they looked great doing it

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They finished with 54% shooting and 8 guys in double figures. That’s balance like you read about. Illyasova had another double double, something that has become a regular thing now that he’s a Sixer again, Belinelli had another great shooting night off the bench with 17 points on 7-11 shooting and this Sixers offense has been on fire lately. This marked the 7th time in their last 8 games that they’ve scored at least 118 points. Not to mention during this winning streak they’ve been defending at a pretty good level as well, holding teams to 105 or less in 7 of the 11 wins. PHI is cruising for sure.

For BKN, guess what, the Okafor trade worked out! Not really, but he did have 15 points

What a revenge game. Remember when people said he just needed an opportunity and didn’t actually stink? The NBA season is weird like that.

Hawks (22-56) 98 vs Heat (42-36) 101

I am almost positive Heat fan(s) did not expect things to be this tight against a lowly Hawks team. But then ATL showed up and gave the Heat everything they could handle. Fortunately, MIA had just enough and they can thank guys like Dragic, Whiteside and Wade for preventing what would have been a disastrous loss

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Granted they needed a big fourth quarter comeback to do it, but the Heat have now made the playoffs for the 18th time since Pat Riley got there, which just so happens to be the second most appearances over that timeframe.The clincher came on the defensive end which was pretty fitting because this team can lock down and defend when it has to

Also, who is happier than my man Kelly Olynyk today?

For ATL, a classic fourth quarter collapse. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from a team that is allergic to winning. At least John Collins is showing to have promise, they’ll probably fuck up his development but he’s still fun to watch at the moment

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ATL currently sits in the 3 spot in the Lottery Standings, so I already feel for whatever high end lottery talent has to go to that wasteland.

Magic (23-54) 97 vs Knicks (27-51) 73

We don’t really care about this do we? I mean Jesus Christ Knicks what the hell are you doing? I respect the attempt to out tank the tanking Magic, but this was painful and I care about you as a reader so let’s just move on.

Celtics (53-24) 102 vs Bucks (42-36) 106

Full blog is coming but let’s just say we learned that it’s hard to win on the road against a playoff team when you’re starting point guard is from the YMCA. Now we know and knowing is half the battle.

Hornets (34-45) 114 vs Bulls (27-51) 120

Here was a game full of offense that I certainly did not expect. I’m not sure exactly what the hell the Bulls are doing after spending the whole year tanking to perfection. Now they choose to win 3 straight? They’ve dipped all the way to 9th in the lottery standings and I’m sorry to say I do not support this strategy. It may be time to shut Baby Dirk down, because he’s winning them way too many games

Who knew that bringing in Sean Kilpatrick would also change their season around. He had another strong game with 21 off the bench

and really the entire CHI offense was great. They finished with 46/44% splits, 15 3PM, and just 7 TOs. If you’re a Bulls fan how do you feel right now? Your young pieces are flourishing, but maybe flourishing too much if that makes any sense.

For CHA, Dwight was once again solid with 23/17 but he’s a dick and I don’t really want to talk about him. Instead, let’s just watch Malik Monk who sneaky had a pretty average season

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Also I’m not surprised that March ended and Kemba went 4-11. March Kemba was fun as hell though.

Wizards (42-36) 104 vs Rockets (63-15) 120

The Rockets wanted to find their rhythm heading into the playoffs, well they looked pretty good to me

Just three guys in double figures and CP3 went 3-11 and they still scored 120 points. Lol. You’re not going to beat HOU when they shoot 51%, make 16 3PM, get to the line 27 times and turn it over just 9 times. On top of that Harden shot 12-18. They make it look so easy I cannot WAIT to see what they do in the postseason.

For WSH, not the best time to drop 2 in a row and be 4-6 over your last 10. They’ve dropped all the way down to 7th, and really this game was over by the half. Their defense simply had to idea how to contain Harden, and when that happens you give up 70+ points in the first half. But hey, at least Bradley Beal had 27! John Wall also came back and shot 3-10 while also netting 10 assists and 8 TOs. That is….not great.

MIA/WSH/MIL are all now tied at 42-36, so this is going to be a crazy last few days for all three.

Warriors (57-21) 111 vs Thunder (45-34) 107

A potential playoff preview? I hope so because these two teams always seem to play really well whenever they face each other.  GS finally had 3 of their 4 main guys play in the same game, and while Draymond didn’t make a shot, Durant and Klay looked great

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Thompson had 20 on 9-19 as well, and it just goes to show you how deep this team is that they can have just 3 guys in double figures and still win a game like this on the road. Many people think GS is just going to flip a switch come the postseason, and now that guys are coming back I believe it.

For OKC, it’s time to start worrying a little bit. Things are so bunched with the 4-9 seeds every loss hurts. OKC can still miss the playoffs if you can believe it based on certain scenarios, something that seemed impossible just a few weeks ago. In this one, Westbrook was obviously motivated and it showed

but PG13 and Melo combined to go 9-35. That is horrific. Melo is most definitely washed up, he looks cooked, and George didn’t quite fill his role in helping out Wesbtrook. 20 points on 19 shots is not going to cut it.

This Alex Abrines dunk was cool though

The good news for OKC is that every team around them also lost, but don’t forget about those early season losses to MIN back in November. We’re about to enter a time where tie breakers are 100% going to screw someone over, and OKC could very well be that team.

Trail Blazers (48-30) 109 vs Mavericks (24-54) 115

Christ POR what are you thinking? I know your playoff spot and seed are locked up, but you still can’t be losing to the Mavericks. You’re better than that. As is my rule with DAL, you should watch them only for Dennis Smith Jr, and he most certainly did not disappoint

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In fact all DAL starters ended the night in double figures making this one of the best offensive nights of the Mavs season. Good for them!

For POR, look Dame can only do so much

Did you know POR never won any quarter in this game? They tied the first 22-22 and then dropped each of the remaining three. These things happen and it literally made no difference for them in terms of their standings, but you still never want to drop a game like this to a shitty team. Even if it is on the road.

Pacers (46-32) 104 vs Nuggets (43-35) 107

The Nuggets are still alive! They are pulling this off by the skin of their teeth but a win is a win. This time they needed to beat a playoff team at home after just beating a playoff team on the road and just like the MIL one this game came down to the wire. Fortunately the Nuggets have Nikola Jokic, who is playing out of his mind right now

Will Barton was also awesome with 26/10/5 on 10-18 shooting, and DEN needed every one of those points from those two because the bench was a total non factor, finishing with just 15 points. As we sit here today the Nuggets have won 3 in a row and sit just 0.5 games out from a playoff spot and 1.0 games from the 7 spot. They still need to take care of business, but the playoffs are very much still in play. I hope they get in because with that offense vs someone like HOU/GS, that could be a fun short series.

For IND, it’s a little crazy that PHI can win 11 in a row, IND can lose, and still be 1.5 games from regaining homecourt. Oladipo was once again awesome

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and really as a team the played well. Good shooting, they took care of the ball, and had balanced scoring with 5 guys in double figures. I also really like Myles Turner, I feel like people don’t talk about him enough when discussing the really good young bigs, but the dude is a monster

Lakers (33-44) 110 vs Jazz (45-33) 117

The Jazz are a 4 seed. Pretty wild ride they’ve had this season, from everyone being hurt, to winning 20-22 and still being in the 1oth spot, to now having homecourt in the first round. Certainly impressive, and last night it was all about their guards

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Rubio has been playing some of his best basketball as of late, and that makes all the difference for this team when you add it to what they’re getting from everyone else

I think it’s maybe time to believe in how good UTA is.

For LAL, Kuzma and KCP were fairly unstoppable, combining for 54 of their 110

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and Randle had a near triple double with 12/12/9 but he only took 9 shots. That feels low for a guy who has been on a tear for a few months now. Sadly the Lakers have lost 3 in a row and are 2-8 over their last 10. I feel so bad for them I promise I am not enjoying this.

Kings (25-54) 94 vs Suns (20-59) 97

Sometimes toilet bowl games can be fun. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen and last night was one of those games between these two dogshit teams. For SAC, their prized young talent in Bogan Bogdanovic was the guy

as well as rookie Justin Jackson

Some good young talent on this team for sure, you hate to see them waste away in SAC but what can you do.

For PHX, same thing, this game was all about their prized rookie Josh Jackson, who is having himself quite a finish to his first season

Over his last 5 games Jackson is averaging 24/4.6/3.0 on 48/37% splits. I’m telling you, buy Suns stock now while you still can. Eventually they are going to be pretty damn good.

Spurs (45-33) 110 vs Clippers (42-36) 113

If you stayed up for this one, you were not disappointed. You have both teams fighting for their playoff lives, and the last minute of this game included great makes by both teams, with the Clippers coming through while gigantic shots to pull out the home win.

Tobias Harris set the tone with his 31/9

and then came everyone else

LAC can still get in, but they need help. As of now they sit 1.5 games from the final spot, but they just refuse to die so you never know.

For SA, the loss dropped them to the 5 spot and ensured that for the first time in many of your lifetimes they will not win 50 games. Wild that it actually happened. The good news is LMA is still dominant

This is a team that really does need homecourt, because they are now 14-25 on the road this year. 14-25!!! The Spurs?!?!?!?!

And that’s it. You’re now all caught up on everything that happened last night in the NBA. We’re back at it tonight with 6 games and the most notable matchup being BOS/TOR. As always if you miss anything you can check back here tomorrow morning and I’ll fill you in.