Month: April 2019

The Suns would make a comeback to defeat the Pelicans in overtime, 133-126

The Suns would make a comeback to defeat the Pelicans in overtime, 133-126

Since both the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns have been eliminated from playoff contention, they have little to nothing left to play for.  This will be the 6th time in the last eight seasons that the Pelicans will miss the postseason, partly due to the distraction caused by rumors that Anthony Davis was going to team up with LeBron James in Los Angeles halfway through the season.

As for the Arizona ball club, this will mark the ninth straight season that the Suns will miss the playoffs.  The last time they made a postseason appearance was back in 2010 when Amar’e Stoudemire was leading the team in points per game.  They ended up losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, 2-4.  As they host the Pelicans tonight, they will hope to avoid a second straight loss.

The Phoenix Suns and the New Orleans Pelicans have battled each other a grand total of 58 times in the past as both teams have a tied matchup record at 29 wins apiece.  This meeting will mark the fourth and final time that these two teams will play each other during this season.  The last time they saw each other was on March 16 when the Suns pulled away with a 138-136 win.  Devin Booker finished that game with 40 points, 5 rebounds, 13 assists, and one block while Julius Randle had 21 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal.

INACTIVES:

New Orleans Pelicans:

-Trevon Bluiett (thumb)
-Anthony Davis (back; 25.9 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 51.7 FG%, 33.1 3P%, 79.4 FT%)
-Jrue Holiday (abdominal; 21.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 7.7 APG, 47.2 FG%, 32.5 3P%, 76.8 FT%)
-Frank Jackson (concussion; 8.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.1 APG, 43.4 FG%, 31.4 3P%, 74.0 FT%)
-Darius Miller (thigh; 8.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 39.0 FG%, 36.5 3P%, 78.9 FT%)
-E’Twaun Moore (quad; 11.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 48.1 FG%, 43.2 3P%, 76.3 FT%)
-Stanley Johnson (ankle; 6.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 38.9 FG%, 28.8 3P%, 78.1 FT%)

Phoenix Suns:

-Deandre Ayton (ankle; 16.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 58.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 74.6 FT%)
-Devin Booker (ankle; 26.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 6.8 FT%, 46.7 FG%, 32.6 3P%, 86.6 FT%)
-Richaun Holmes (ankle; 8.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 60.8 FG%, 73.1 FT%)
-Tyler Johnson (knee; 10.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 41.3 FG%, 34.6 3P%, 74.8 FT%)
-Kelly Oubre (thumb; 15.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 44.5 FG%, 32.0 3P%, 77.5 FT%)
-T.J. Warren (ankle; 18.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 48.6 FG%, 42.8 3P%, 81.5 FT%)
-Jimmer Fredette (coach’s decision; 5.5 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, 32.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-George King (0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)

GAMETIME:

The New Orleans Pelicans would have the slight upper hand in the first half as they shot sixty-seven percent from the field, holding the home team at fifty-four percent shooting.  Former Utah Jazz’ guard Ian Clark got hot for 18 points while hitting 3 three-pointers in the first period.  He also had two rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Julius Randle helped out with 12 points on fifty-five percent shooting.  Kenrich Williams saw to it that he got nine points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting.  He also drilled a three-pointer to end the first quarter.  Solomon Hill played 12 minutes off the bench but only had three points.

As for the Phoenix Suns, Ray Spalding earned 12 points as he shot eighty-five percent from the field.  Troy Daniels also had 12 points off the bench, collecting them all from beyond the arc.  California-native Josh Jackson chalked up 10 points, which included two three-pointers.  Jamal Crawford played the most minutes off the Phoenix bench as he lit the floor up with 16 points, hitting two three-pointers in the second quarter.  He also had one rebound, 2 assists, and 2 steals but it was the Louisiana ball club that went into halftime with a 76-65 lead.

The Suns would come out of the locker room with more of a purpose as they went on a 52 to 41 run, completing forty-three percent of their shots, limiting the Pelicans to thirty-four percent.  During that run, Jackson added to his scoring total as he put up 17 more points, knocking down a three-pointer in the fourth quarter.  He also earned 7 rebounds and 2 assists while Crawford scored 10 more points off the bench.

On the other end of the court, Julius Randle earned 17 more points on fifty percent shooting.  Cheick Diallo played the most minutes off the bench as he had six points but it was the Arizona team that would complete the comeback, forcing overtime where they would eventually pull out a 133 to 126 victory behind Josh Jackson’s eight overtime points.  Josh Jackson finished the contest with a season-high 35 points, along with 9 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals while Julius Randle settled for 31 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists.

So…what’s next?

The New Orleans Pelicans will head over West to battle Buddy Hield (21.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 46.0 FG%, 42.9 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (39-40) on Sunday at 9:00 p.m.  This meeting will mark the fourth and final matchup between these two teams this season.  The last time they battled each other was on March 28 when the Pelicans pulled away with a 121-118 win.  During that game, Julius Randle scored 34 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and dished off 3 assists while Buddy Hield recorded 27 points, 2 rebounds, and one assist.

The Phoenix Suns will take on James Harden (36.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 7.5 APG, 44.1 FG%, 36.5 3P%) and the Houston Rockets (51-28) on Sunday at 7:00 p.m.  This will be the third and final time that the Suns and Rockets will battle each other during this season.  March 15 was the last time they saw each other as the Suns fell to the Texas team, 102-108.  James Harden finished that contest with 41 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists, 6 steals, and 3 blocks while Devin Booker settled for 29 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.

The Trail Blazers hand the Grizzlies a huge 116 to 89 loss

The Trail Blazers hand the Grizzlies a huge 116 to 89 loss

Like most expected, the Memphis Grizzlies have been knocked down out of playoff contention for the second straight season.  Before the 2017-2018 season, the Grizzlies have made seven straight postseason appearances and one Western Conference Finals appearance.  Even though they are basically finished for the season, they will hope to avoid a second consecutive loss as they battle the Trail Blazers in Portland tonight.

As for the Portland Trail Blazers, they will make a sixth consecutive playoff appearance.  As they sit at the fourth spot in the Western Conference with a 49-28 record, they hope to capture a second straight victory tonight.

The Grizzlies and the Trail Blazers have met up a grand total of 93 times in the past as the Grizzlies grabbed 43 wins while the Trail Blazers went on to win 50 games.  This game will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they saw each other was on March 5 when the Grizzlies handed the Portland team a 111-120 loss.  Mike Conley finished that contest with 40 points, four rebounds, four assists, and one steal while C.J. McCollum had 27 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one block.

INACTIVES:

Memphis Grizzlies:

-Kyle Anderson (shoulder; 8.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 54.3 FG%, 26.5 3P%, 57.8 FT%)
-Avery Bradley (knee/wrist; 9.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 40.8 FG%, 35.1 3P%, 86.0 FT%)
-Dillon Brooks (toe; 7.5 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.9 APG, 40.2 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 73.3 FT%)
-Mike Conley (ankle; 21.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 6.4 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 84.5 FT%)
-Jaren Jackson (quad; 13.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, 50.6 FG%, 35.9 3P%, 76.6 FT%)
-C.J. Miles (foot; 6.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 36.0 FG%, 33.0 3P%, 82.8 FT%)
-Joakim Noah (knee; 7.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 51.6 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 71.6 FT%)
-Jonas Valanciunas (ankle; 15.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 55.9 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 79.5 FT%)

Portland Trail Blazers:

-C.J. McCollum (knee; 21.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 46.3 FG%, 38.0 3P%, 83.1 FT%)
-Jusuf Nurkic (leg; 15.6 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 3.2 APG, 50.8 FG%, 10.3 3P%, 77.3 FT%)
-Meyers Leonard (coach’s decision; 5.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 54.1 FG%, 45.0 3P%, 83.7 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The game would be held close at the beginning as the Portland Trail Blazers shot fifty-seven percent in the first half while the Memphis Grizzlies completed fifty-three percent of their shots.  Damian Lillard would score 14 points, earning three of those points from beyond the arc in the first quarter.  He also had four rebounds, seven assists, and one steal while Enes Kanter chalked up 13 points on eighty-five percent shooting.

Former Los Angeles Clippers’ forward Al-Farouq Aminu helped out with seven points as the drilled a trey late in the first quarter.  Rodney Hood also had seven points which included a three-pointer while Maurice Harkless earned five points.  Evan Turner played fourteen minutes off the bench but only had four points.

As for the visiting team, Delon Wright scored eleven points while hitting a three-pointer in the first period.  2014-2015 NBA champion Justin Holiday had eight points which held two three-pointers in the first quarter.  Ivan Rabb also had eight points, along with four rebounds and one steal.  Chandler Parsons played the most minutes off the bench as he had 13 points while the Oregon team went into the locker room with a 62 to 59 lead.

The Trail Blazers would pick up speed as they went on a 56 to 30 run in the second half, shooting forty-six percent, holding the Grizzlies to a low twenty-three percent shooting.  During that run, Zach Collins dropped eleven points off the bench while hitting two three-pointers late in the fourth quarter.  Lillard would only score eight points but had three rebounds, three assists, and one steal while Kanter also had eight points.

Rabb scored five points for the Memphis Grizzlies but it wouldn’t matter as the Portland Trail Blazers ended up blowing them out, 116 to 89.  Enes Kanter finished the game with 21 points, along with 15 rebounds, and a season-high and a career-high-tying 3 steals.  Chandler Parsons ended up with 16 points, one rebound, one assist, two steals, and a season-high-tying one block.

So…what’s next?

The Memphis Grizzlies will travel to Texas to take on Luka Doncic (21.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 5.9 APG, 42.5 FG%, 32.7 3P%) and the Dallas Mavericks (31-46) on Friday at 8:30 p.m.  This will be the third of four times that these two teams meet up this season.  March 2 was the last time they saw each other as the Grizzlies blew the Mavericks out, 111-81.  During that game, Jonas Valanciunas scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out four assists, and committed one steal while Luka Doncic finished with 22 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.

The Portland Trail Blazers will head to Colorado to battle Nikola Jokic (20.1 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 7.3 APG, 50.8 FG%, 31.4 3P%) and the Denver Nuggets (51-26) on Friday at 10:30 p.m.  This game will mark the third of four meetings between these two ball clubs during this season.  The last time they played each other was on January 13 when the Nuggets snuck away with a 116 to 113 victory.  Nikola Jokic finished that matchup with 40 points, along with 10 rebounds, and 8 assists while Damian Lillard settled for 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists.

The Celtics survive against the Heat, pulling away with a 110-105 win

The Celtics survive against the Heat, pulling away with a 110-105 win

With the Tuesday win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics have clinched another playoff spot for the fifth straight time and the tenth in the past eleven years.  Last season in the playoffs, they had to go on without their star player, Kyrie Irving, and lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Cavaliers, 3-4.  The Celtics will look to avoid a second straight loss, though, as they host the Miami Heat.

The Heat, on the other hand, are still trying to stay alive in the playoff hunt as they are sitting at the eighth spot with a 38-38 record.  They will hope to make a second straight postseason appearance and a ninth in the past eleven years.  Last season, they lost in the first round to the Philadelphia 76ers, 1-4.  They will try to grab their third straight victory tonight.

The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat have battled each other a grand total of 135 times in the past as the Heat won 56 games while the Celtics went on to grab 79 wins.  This meeting will mark the third of four times that these teams will play each other this season.  The last time they saw each other was on January 21 when the Massachusetts team handed the Heat a 99-107 loss.  During that game, Kyrie Irving scored 26 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished off 10 assists, committed 8 steals, and blocked one shot while Derrick Jones settled for 18 points, 9 rebounds, one steal, and one block.  Dion Waiters also had 18 points.

INACTIVES:

Miami Heat:

-Rodney McGruder (knee; 7.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 40.7 FG%, 35.6 3P%, 74.3 FT%)
-Josh Richardson (heel; 16.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 4.1 APG, 41.2 FG%, 35.7 3P%, 86.1 FT%)
-Justise Winslow (thigh; 12.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.3 APG, 43.6 FG%, 38.0 3P%, 62.9 FT%)
-Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 0.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Yante Maten (coach’s decision)
-Duncan Robinson (coach’s decision; 2.4 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.2 APG, 34.4 FG%, 26.9 3P%, 66.7 FT%)

Boston Celtics:

-Brad Wanamaker (coach’s decision; 3.4 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 46.3 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 90.0 FT%)
-Robert Williams (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.2 APG, 71.7 FG%, 64.3 FT%)
-Jaylen Brown (back; 13.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 46.3 FG%, 34.2 3P%, 66.3 FT%)
-Greg Monroe (4.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 46.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 57.4 FT%)
-R.J. Hunter
-P.J. Dozier (1.4 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.0 APG, 42.9 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Boston Celtics would have a slight upper hand in the first half as they shot forty-three percent from the field while the Miami Heat shot forty-one percent.  Kyrie Irving got hot for 15 points while knocking down four 3-pointers in the process.  He also had five rebounds, one assist, and two steals while Jayson Tatum helped out with eleven points.  The Missouri-native had two 3-pointers in the first quarter while recording four defensive rebounds and three assists.

Former Atlanta Hawks’ center Al Horford scored nine points while grabbing six boards.  Marcus Smart earned himself eight points in the 13 minutes that he played while drilling two buckets from beyond the arc.  2017 All-Star Gordon Hayward played the most minutes off the bench but was held to just six points on sixty-six percent shooting from the field.

On the other end of the court, Bam Adebayo dropped ten points while getting ahold of ten rebounds and blocking two shots.  Former Houston Rockets’ guard Goran Dragic also had ten points while Dion Waiters had seven points, including a three-pointer late in the second period.  Hassan Whiteside was kept to just three points off the bench while Kelly Olynyk helped out with a three-pointer in the second quarter.  Dwyane Wade played 12 minutes off the bench as he had nine points but it was the home team who went into halftime with a 61 to 47 advantage.

The South Beach would attempt to make a comeback as they went on a 58 to 49 run in the second half, shooting forty-eight percent from the field.  During that run, Dragic lit the floor up with 20 points while knocking down 3 three-pointers in the process.  He also had one rebound, three assists, and four steals while Olynyk added 11 more points to his scoring total.  Adebayo earned himself nine more points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He also had a trey at the end of the game.

Both Horford and Irving scored ten more points each for the Boston Celtics.  Horford had five rebounds, four assists, and one steal, as well, while Kyrie Irving had three rebounds and two assists.  Tatum and Smart collected eight points each as the Celtics held on to hand the Miami Heat a 105-110 loss.  Kyrie Irving finished the game with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and two steals while Goran Dragic had a season-high 30 points, along with one rebound, 5 assists, and a season-high and career-high-tying 5 steals.

So…what’s next?

The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat will play each other again on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.