Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Hornets 94-107
The Hornets were buzzing to have LaMelo back and that showed on the court with their victory over a Detroit Pistons team that is already officially out of playoff contention and without their best player in Jerami Grant.
Frank Jackson surprisingly led the way for the Pistons off the bench with 25 points, seven rebounds, and three assists while he shot. 42.1% from the field and hit six triples. Rookie Killian Hayes played nearly 32 minutes as he continues to progress back from that hip injury and to prove to the many doubters that he is not a bust. You cannot call someone a bust when he has barely played. Last night he put up 10 points, six rebounds, and six assists as well as two steals. “Beef Stew” Isaiah Stewart had an underwhelming game with only nine points and two rebounds while playing the bulk of the minutes in the stead of Mason Plumlee who was held out for rest purposes.
For the Hornets, LaMelo Ball was up to his usual shenanigans, as he returned to action and made Hornets announcer Eric Collins lose his cool and go bananas in his booth. His full-court passes were in full effect as shown through his eight total assists that went along with seven rebounds and 11 points. Malik Monk also returned to action and scored 11 points, stole the ball once, and grabbed two boards in 22 minutes of action. Meanwhile, LaMelo’s best bud on the team was flying even higher than usual to throw down his passes. Miles Bridges scored 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Miles has really come into his own this season and one upside of Hayward’s unfortunate injury is that now Miles has an even bigger opportunity to do so. We cannot forget about Scary Terry Rozier, who scored a game-high 29 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out four assists. An excellent season as well for Rozier. These Hornets are fighting and LaMelo’s return may now be that extra punch they need to stay in a play-in spot.
Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets 113-87
Steph Curry and the Warriors picked up a much-needed win after dropping the two previous games to Dallas in a blowout and an inexcusable loss to Minnesota.
Now Steph may have cooled off from that historic run in the month of April, but he still scored 30 last night off the back seven triples to go along with six rebounds and five assists. He is on an absolutely mad run of form and although he does seem to be cooling down just a bit, it must be said that we are indeed witnessing history thanks to the greatest shooter of all time. Andrew Wiggins played second fiddle and scored 20 points, but did not do much else. It seems like we cannot get used to a good Wiggins or a bad Wiggins. He’s been very on and off this season to a point where we just don’t know what to expect on any given night. Jordan Poole and Mychal Mulder also contributed with 17 points apiece.
The whole of the Rockets’ side was underwhelming last night. The team high was 16 points reached by both Kevin Porter Jr. and Kenyon Martin Jr. However, the most underwhelming performance came from Christian Wood. He scored only 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out three dimes while shooting a dismal 26.7% from the field. I mean, come on Christian, I need you in this final matchup, my guy! But jokes aside, this isn’t the norm for a player of his caliber so he will be back to normal next game. Kelly Olynyk also had an eye-catching performance, stuffing the stat sheet with eight points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals continuing to make his fit seem, in a way, seamless.
Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks 97-108
After leading by double digits the Chicago Bulls found a way to blow the lead and hand Trae Young and the Hawks their 35th win of the season.
Being without Nikola Vucevic, another Bull big had to step up and that was Thaddeus Young, who flirted with a triple-double scoring 20 points, hauling in seven rebounds, and assisting his teammates on nine baskets. He also stole the ball twice and shot a ridiculous 83.3% from the field. In my league, he has arguably been the pickup of the year. Lauri Markkanen showed signs of life with a near double-double of seven points and 11 rebounds. Nevertheless, his stint with the Bulls has not been the best and he may need a change of scenery to perhaps see an improvement in his play.
For the Hawks, Trae Young played his second game back from that ankle injury suffered at MSG a week or so ago and he scored 33 points, grabbed three rebounds that went along with two steals and seven assists. Trae continued his excellent play, which will be much needed if the Hawks want to remain in the 4-6 seed range in the Eastern Conference. John Collins also had a solid game with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and an impressive four steals! Maybe he does get that max contract after all… Nah, who am I kidding? He should have signed that extension. To round off though, Clint Capela also had a productive evening with a 20/11 double-double and two blocks as well.
Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers 124-107
Jimmy Butler and the Heat picked up a pretty routine win over the Cavs last night in Cleveland.
For the Heat, we saw six players score in double digits, which included all five of their starters. The performance of the night, though, goes to Bam Adebayo who managed to do a little bit of everything with his 13 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Jimmy Butler didn’t have to do much either as he cruised with 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals while Duncan Robinson knocked down six threes on his way to 20 points. It is crunch time for the Heat as they are eyeing those 4-6 spots after a pretty bad start to the season for their standards. Games like tonight should be routine for them so this might be a good sign for Miami moving forward.
The Cavs found themselves without Darius Garland but his backcourt mate Collin Sexton poured in 25 points and dished out eight assists while also getting four rebounds and two steals in an overall good performance. Kevin Love actually attempted a shot last night and they came in bunches. He went 9-14 from the field on his way to 25 points and grabbed six rebounds while Jarret Allen scored only six points but grabbed 14 rebounds. Moving forward, Jarret will be an absolute stud as he has all the tools to be one of the best defensive bigs in the game.
Memphis Grizzlies at Orlando Magic 111-112
The Grizzlies take a loss which was more like a slap in the face as they are fighting in the trenches of the play-in spots in the West and a loss to a team like the Magic, which they should be defeating may come back to bite them. Shoutout to Cole Anthony for that game-winning triple.
Three Grizzlies scored 20+ starting with Dillon Brooks, who put up 23 but needed 20 shots to do so. Dillon has taken on much of the offensive load in Memphis and that is something that I don’t really understand. The load should be split more with their young superstar Ja Morant who in all fairness did put up 18 shots last night but that is not the usual. Ja usually has eight or nine or maybe even 10 attempts a game. A guy like him should be more in control. Last night he scored 22 points and had seven assists while Jonas Valanciunas posted an 11/16 double-double. JV has been one of the constants all season long for Memphis while he has been on the court.
As for the Magic, let’s start with the man of the hour, Cole Anthony. Before he topped off the night with a game-winner, Cole scored 26 points, hauled in eight rebounds, handed out six assists, and had three steals. Anthony has taken the opportunity given to him by injuries and trades , amongst other things, by the horns. He has a bright future ahead of him. Mo Wagner, who was recently signed, contributed with 24 points and five rebounds and will continue to have ample opportunities to continue to produce as the season dwindles down. RJ Hampton also stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals as well as one block. The Magic have a great young core and good things to look forward to. Let’s not forget they have youngsters like Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac on the mend.
New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves 140-136
It took overtime for the Pels to handle their business against the T-Wolves. This either speaks to how bad they have been or that the resurgence in Minnesota as of late is real. Up to the viewers of course to decide, but I would probably side with the latter.
Lonzo Ball. What a player. Last night he posted his career-high in points with 33 points, but he also grabbed 11 rebounds and had eight assists as well as three steals. Lonzo will be well sought after this offseason by teams like the Bulls and the Knicks and with performances like these, his price will only be going higher and higher. The other young starlet Zion Williamson had another bananas game with a near triple-double, 37/9/8, while Brandon Ingram was pretty mediocre for a player of his caliber with 14 points and six assists. Perhaps this whole, “this is Zion’s team” narrative should be looked into in a more serious manner.
Anthony Edwards, aka Ant-Man, had another impressive performance tonight as the rook put up 29 points to go along with nine rebounds and six assists. In all honesty, I did not expect such a season from the number one overall pick. I was sold completely on the questions surrounding his motor and love of the game, but I guess when you’re this talented, it’ll be very hard to not draw attention. Big man Karl-Anthony Towns had a splendid night in which he scored 28 points and had 14 rebounds, while D’Angelo Russell came off the bench and posted a double-double of 17 points and 11 assists. This Minnesota team seems to have figured some things out lately as they are 6-4 in their last 10 games. Their stars, KAT and D-Lo, have also had more time to play and gel together so that should also be factored in.
Indiana Pacers at Oklahoma City Thunder 152-95
A historic game as this approached the biggest blowout in NBA history! Boy did the Pacers take care of business tonight.
In his return, Domantas Sabonis left scorched earth in his wake. A triple-double in 30 minutes! He scored 26 points, hauled in 19 rebounds, and had 14 assists! Sabonis was on one tonight and it was evident how much the Pacers missed him. On to the man though who many may consider a league winner… my man Oshae Brissett! Oshae played a massive 40 minutes and in those minutes he gave us a 16/13 double-double with four blocks and three assists. With how depleted the frontcourt is he continues to garner minutes, but most importantly he continues to produce. Doug McDermott also had a big outing scoring 31 points while Caris LeVert scored 25 and had six assists.
The Thunder were absolutely hammered. Darius Bazley only scored 10 and had four rebounds, while Moses Brown had the team-high of 16 points and seven rebounds to go with it. Moses has been a peculiar one since before he got that contract he seemed poised to win people leagues like Brissett but since then he’s been extremely on and off. Something that can be expected though from a player his age. Gabriel Deck though has been on an impressive streak for OKC and last night he continued it with a near double-double of 8 points and 10 rebounds.
Washington Wizards at Dallas Mavericks 124-125
A close game in Dallas saw Luka and the Mavs triumph over Russ and the Wizards. A victory that gave the Mavs the 5th seed and dropped the Lakers into 6th.
For the Wizards, Russell Westbrook surprisingly did not have a triple-double. You’ve spoiled us, Russ! He fell one assist shy though with a stat line of 42/10/9. This just serves as a reminder for me that Russ has made us expect a triple-double every game from him and that is absolutely ludicrous to think about. Bradley Beal put up 29 points and had two steals to go with four rebounds and three assists while Raul Neto flirted with a double-double since he had eight points and nine rebounds but also assisted on four shots. Neto has quietly been putting in work for the Wizards since he has been starting. Shoutout to the Brazilian!
Luka Doncic had an absolutely insane night with a triple-double taken out of NBA 2K My Career. He scored 31 points, hauled in 12 boards, and dished out 20, yes 20 dimes! Luka has been hitting his stride lately and this could not have happened at a better time as the season dwindles down and the Mavs continue to fight for placement in the Wild Wild West. Willie Cauley-Stein had a solid night with six points, 12 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks while Dorian Finney-Smith scored 22 and grabbed five rebounds. A big final stretch awaits the Mavs as they’ll try to avoid the play-in spots.
Toronto Raptors at Utah Jazz 102-16
The Jazz picked up an important win against the Raptors after losing the 1 seed to the Suns. The Jazz have been wavering lately without Donovan Mitchell but last night they got the job done against the Raptors who were without Kyle Lowey.
Fred VanVleet led the way for Toronto with 30 points, six rebounds, and seven assists as he picked up the slack in place of Lowry. Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby both played 40 minutes! Pascal contributed with 15 points and seven rebounds, while OG scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out four assists. Not their best games, but nothing that should be worrying. Khem Birch had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He also had six assists and a steal while he shot 61.5% from the field. Good thing I picked him up for the back-to-back.
For the Jazz, Bojan Bogdanovic had the game-high with 34 points on 54.5% shooting while Rudy Gobert posted a double-double 13 points, and 16 rebounds with a steal and a block as well. Joe Ingles had a solid night with a near double-double of 15 points and nine assists that went with three rebounds as well. The Jazz have been really missing Mitchell’s scoring so the burden has fallen on guys like Bojan as mentioned before, but also Jordan Clarkson who scored 15 off the bench. They’re going to need a bit more moving forward as Donovan Mitch was also ruled out for at least another week yesterday.
Denver Nugget at Los Angeles Clippers 110-104
The Denver Nuggets picked up an impressive win against a Clippers team that featured a returning Kawhi Leonard on national TV. The Nuggets now find themselves all alone as the 3rd seed as they’ve overtaken the LA Clippers actually themselves with this win.
Nikola Jokic. What else can you say? He is one of the few players that make you run out of adjectives to describe him week in and week out. But there is one that has to stick this season and that is MVP. The MVP frontrunner put up 30 points, 14 rebounds, and seven assists last night. A usual occurrence nowadays. The Nuggets also got 25 points from Michael Porter Jr., who also grabbed seven rebounds and handed out five assists. MPJ is the key from here on out for Denver. If they want to do well in the playoffs, MPJ will have to step up. Aaron Gordon did not have the best game numbers-wise with only seven points, a rebound, and two assists, but he wasn’t brought into Denver to fill the stat sheet and help us fantasy managers.
As for the Clippers, the returning Kawhi Leonard scored 16 points, hauled in five rebounds, and had six assists while Paul George ruined field goal percentages across the board shooting 5-21. He scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Rajon Rondo came off the bench to score 16, grab five rebounds, and also dish out five dimes. The Clippers missed a chance last night to make a statement against the team that ousted them in the playoffs last season. Although they have already beaten the Nuggets this season, this loss may not bode well moving forward. Keep an eye out for them Nuggets…