Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jaren Jackson Jr. drops 26 points to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a franchise-tying record 8th straight win as they took down the LA Clippers, 123-108. Memphis entered this game without both their head coach Taylor Jenkins (healthy and safety protocols) and star point guard Ja Morant (thigh soreness). Nonetheless, the Grizzlies’ depth prevailed again. Alongside Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane added 23 points and Tyus Jones chipped in 18 points. We also got an uncharacteristic performance from Brandon Clarke who finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. Memphis continues to solidify themselves within the Top-4 of the West as they now sit five games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks who are 5th in the standings.
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Marcus Morris Sr.
Tough night for the Clippers offensively but they did get a few solid individual performances. In the starting lineup, Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson combined for 47 points while going a combined perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line. Then off the bench, Brandon Boston came in and dropped 13 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes. No other Clippers scored in double figures and their struggles continue as they sit on a three-game losing streak heading into today’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Charlotte Hornets overcome a monster performance from Giannis Antetokounmpo to take down the Milwaukee Bucks, 114-106. Terry Rozier led the team with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the floor as Miles Bridges chipped in 21 points and eight rebounds in a team-high 35 minutes. Rounding out the group, second-year star LaMelo Ball flirted with a triple-double and Kelly Oubre gave the team a big 18-point performance off the bench. This is back-to-back wins, but they unfortunately have the pleasure of taking on the Bucks in back-to-back matchups as they head back to Fiserv Forum on Monday for the rematch.
The Milwaukee Bucks still had a three-headed monster, but with no Jrue Holiday it was Bobby Portis who had to step up as the third musketeer. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with a monster double-double with 43 points and 12 rebounds while dominating at the free throw line. Alongside him, his wingman Khris Middleton fell one assist short of a triple-double as he finished with 27 points and ten rebounds and nine assists. Then there is Bobby Portis who got in on the double-double fun as he had 19 points and 13 rebounds. But outside of these three, the team only got 17 points from the rest of the squad. Simply put, depth was the difference in this game.
Domantas Sabonis scored a career-high 42 points to carry the Indiana Pacers to the 125-113 victory over the Utah Jazz. Alongside Sabonis, the Pacers got a lot of offensive production from some unsung heroes. Starting with Lance Stephenson who has been killing it in his return to Indiana as he finished with 16 points, a career-high 14 assists and four steals off the bench in this game. Then there’s rookie guard Duane Washington Jr. and Justin Holiday who combined for 31 points. This win snapped Indiana’s six-game losing streak and completed a season sweep of the Jazz.
The Jazz entered this game without their defensive anchor Rudy Gobert leaving Hassan Whiteside to take the start at center. Whiteside had a solid night with eight points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes. But it was Donovan Mitchell who led the charge as he finished with a team-high 36 points. Bojan Bogdanovic also played a big role offensively as he finished with 21 points and six rebounds. Rounding out the group, Jordan Clarkson gave the Jazz a quiet 18 points in 27 minutes off the bench. This was Utah’s second lost in a row, but they have the Detroit Pistons next up on the schedule as a chance to turn the tide.
In a matchup between two of the worst teams in the NBA, Trey Lyles came up clutch in the fourth quarter to lead the Detroit Pistons to the win over the Orlando Magic, 97-92. Lyles finished the game with 16 points, but eight of them came in the fourth to help put Detroit over the top. He also got help from the squad as four other Pistons scored in double figures. Hamidou Diallo led the team in scoring with 17 points and Saddiq Bey added 16 points while playing a team-high 36 minutes. Now in terms of the 2021 1st overall pick Cade Cunningham, he struggled mightily as he shot 3-of-14 from the field and 0-of-5 from three. But the Pistons are 3-2 so far in 2022 after finishing 2021 on a four-game losing streak.
The Orlando Magic dropped their eighth straight with this being their fourth-straight loss by 10 points or less. Gary Harris led the way with 28 points and was feeling it from three as he shot 6-of-12 from distance. Cole Anthony also had a solid performance as he finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Quiet night from the other big-time rookie in this game as Franz Wagner as he shot 4-of-10 from the field and 1-of-3 from three. Orlando continues their search for their first win of 2022 as they prepare for back-to-back matchups against the Washington Wizards.
Jaylen Brown records his first career triple-double as the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks in blowout fashion, 99-75. Last time these two teams squared off, the Knicks won 108-105 on an RJ Barrett buzzer beater. Clearly the Celtics wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again as this time they put the game out of reach early. This game was 77-60 in favor of the Celtics by the end of the third quarter and they did not let up off the gas. Jayson Tatum and Josh Richardson combined for 36 points and shot a combined 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Rounding out the group, Robert Williams had easily the most efficient performance of everyone as he finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks while shooting 6-of-7 from the field. Now the Celtics are 2-2 so far in 2022 as they prepare for yet another back-to-back as they have two games coming up against the Indiana Pacers.
Hard to rave about much when considering the Knicks were blown out by 24 points. Nonetheless, RJ Barrett led the way with 19 points and Immanuel Quickley added 18 points. Knicks All-Star Julius Randle had a really tough night following his recent comments about the New York crowd as could not seem to get much of an offensive rhythm going. Hopefully he can get himself back on track for New York’s sake as they head to Texas for matchups against the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.
Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson had arguably their best game of the season as they led the short-handed Miami Heat to a blowout victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Miami Heat came into the game missing 11 players including All Star guard Jimmy Butler, but that did not stop them from rising to the occasion. Herro and Duncan combined for 60 points and hit 11 combined threes off the bench. This performance from distance between these two alone was half of the Heat’s franchise record-tying 22 threes made in this game. Miami finished with six players in double figures including Kyle Lowry and Max Strus who each finished with 14 points. This win rounds out their four-game West road trip as they now prepare for back-to-back games against the Atlanta Hawks.
Phoenix suffered their first loss of 2022. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that All-Star guard Chris Paul had a quiet night with nine points and seven assists in 32 minutes on the floor. Devin Booker also struggled as he finished with a team-high 26 points, but most of his damage came from the free throw line. With only scoring 100 points in this matchup, this was the Suns’ lowest scoring output since December 13th where they only scored 95 points in a loss to the LA Clippers. Phoenix looks to start up a new winning streak as they start off a three-game road trip out East with a matchup against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.