Tag: 24

The Trail Blazers top the Suns with a 108 to 86 victory

The Trail Blazers top the Suns with a 108 to 86 victory

The Phoenix Suns currently hold the worst record in the league at 4-20 and things haven’t gotten any easier as they are now without their up-and-coming Devin Booker.  They are on their way to tying their longest losing streak of the season at seven games if they don’t win tonight.  Believe it or not, they have not had a winning streak yet this season.

The Portland Trail Blazers, on the other hand, are trying to avoid a fourth straight loss, which would mark their longest losing streak this season.  The Trail Blazers and the Suns have battled each other a grand total of 254 times in the past as the Suns won 135 games while the Oregon team was kept to 119 victories.  Tonight will be the first of three times that two ball clubs will go against each other this season.  The Suns got swept last season against the Trail Blazers in the regular-season series, 0-4.

INACTIVES:

Phoenix Suns:

-Devin Booker (hamstring; 23.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 6.7 APG, 43.9 FG%, 31.3 3P%, 84.2 FT%)
-T.J. Warren (ankle; 17.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 51.1 FG%, 45.0 3P%, 84.6 FT%)
-Ryan Anderson (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 31.7 FG%, 20.6 3P%, 78.6 FT%)
-George King (G-League)

Portland Trail Blazers:

-C.J. McCollum (ankle; 21.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 46.4 FG%, 36.1 3P%, 82.9 FT%)
-Anfernee Simons (2.2 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.2 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 25.0 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The Portland Trail Blazers would set the tone early in this game as they outscored the Phoenix Suns in the first quarter, 34 to 9.  This would not be the first time the Suns were held to just nine points in the first quarter as the Sacramento Kings had the same effect on them during the December 4th matchup.  The Suns would lose that game by seventeen points.  In this game, though, Troy Daniels scored ten points off the bench as he had two three-pointers in the second quarter.  Josh Jackson helped out with eight points on fifty percent shooting.  Overall, the Suns would complete thirty-eight percent of their shots in the first half while the Portland Trail Blazers completed fifty-five percent.

Damian Lillard got hot with twenty-one points for the home team while knocking down three three-pointers in the first quarter.  He also had five rebounds, six assists, and one steal.  Jusuf Nurkic chipped in seven points on only thirty-eight percent shooting.  Seth Curry was kept completely scoreless while Al-Farouq Aminu had five points.  Jake Layman played the most minutes off the bench as he had seventeen points while the Trail Blazers went into halftime with a commanding 62 to 41 advantage.

The Suns would come out of the locker room with a sense of urgency as they scored forty-seven points in the second half, twenty-seven in the fourth quarter.  Rookie Elie Okobo dropped nine points while hitting a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.  De’Anthony Melton scored seven points off the bench while both Josh Jackson and Richaun Holmes had six points each.

The Trail Blazers would make sure to keep fighting as Zach Collins scored ten points in the eighteen minutes he played off the bench.  Evan Turner had six points off the bench while Lillard was limited to four points but his play wasn’t really needed for the rest of the game as the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Phoenix Suns a 108-86 loss, tying their longest losing streak this season at seven games.  Damian Lillard finished the contest with twenty-five points, five rebounds, eight assists, one steal, and one block while Troy Daniels had a season-high fifteen points, along with three rebounds, and one assist.

So…what’s next?

The Phoenix Suns will host Josh Richardson (19.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.3 APG, 41.1 FG%, 39.9 3P%) and the Miami Heat (9-14) tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m.  This will mark the first of two meetings between these two teams this season.  Last season, the Miami Heat swept the Suns in their regular-season series, 2-0.

The Portland Trail Blazers will host Karl-Anthony Towns (21.3 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 49.1 FG%, 41.2 3P%) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (13-12) on Saturday at 10:00 p.m.  This will be the third of four times that these two teams will battle each other during this season.  The last time the Trail Blazers and the Timberwolves saw each other was on November 16 when the Timberwolves defeated the Trail Blazers, 112-96.  Andrew Wiggins finished that game with twenty-three points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block while C.J. McCollum had eighteen points, one rebound, two assists, and one steal.

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The Warriors knock off the Cavaliers, 129 to 105

The Warriors knock off the Cavaliers, 129 to 105

This would have been one of the most hyped matchups of the season but with LeBron James being gone, it’s just another game for the defending champions.  Tonight, the Golden State Warriors will visit the Quicken Loans Arena to battle the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.  The Warriors are facing difficulties of their own, though.  They are currently trying to recover from their two only losing streaks this season; one being a four-game losing streak and another one being a recent two-game skid.

Even though they are still without Draymond Green, who is missing his ninth straight game due to a toe injury, the Warriors were still able to get past the Atlanta Hawks, all thanks to Stephen Curry, who outscored the Hawks in the first quarter by himself, 18-17.  This meeting between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will mark the first of two games between these teams this season.  The Warriors swept the regular season series against the Cavaliers last season before sweeping them in the NBA Finals.

INACTIVES:

Golden State Warriors:

-DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles)
-Draymond Green (toe; 6.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 7.2 APG, 44.4 FG%, 22.2 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Damian Jones (pectoral; 5.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 71.6 FG%, 64.9 FT%)
-Damion Lee (G-League; 5.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.2 APG, 43.4 FG%, 41.4 3P%, 80.0 FT%)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

-Sam Dekker (ankle; 6.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 45.8 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-Kevin Love (toe; 19.0 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 32.3 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 81.8 FT%)
-David Nwaba (knee; 6.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 42.4 FG%, 22.7 3P%, 67.6 FT%)
-Ante Zizic (knee; 3.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 50.0 FG%, 62.5 FT%)
-J.R. Smith (personal; 6.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 34.2 FG%, 30.8 3P%, 80.0 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The game would be held somewhat close in the first half as the Cleveland Cavaliers shot forty-nine percent from the floor while the Golden State Warriors completed fifty-one percent of their shots.  Former Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood scored fifteen points while hitting two three-pointers early in the first quarter.  Rookie Collin Sexton contributed with twelve points which held three three-pointers while Tristan Thompson chipped in five points, eight rebounds, and one assist.  Larry Nance played sixteen minutes off the bench as he had nine points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.

As for the Warriors, Stephen Curry got extremely hot as he chalked up twenty-five points while knocking down six three-pointers in the process.  He also had three defensive rebounds, four assists, and one steal while Kevin Durant earned ten points for himself.  Durant was also able to drill a three-pointer in the second quarter while grabbing five defensive rebounds, dishing off five assists, committing one steal, and blocking two shots.  Four-time All-Star Klay Thompson was kept to just six points on twenty-nine percent shooting while recording three defensive rebounds.  Jonas Jerebko played the most minutes off the bench but only had six points while the Cavaliers went into halftime with a 64 to 58 advantage.

The Warriors would hit the Cavaliers with a huge 71 to 43 run in the second half as they shot fifty-four percent from the field, holding the Ohio team to forty percent.  During that run, Curry continued to put up a shooting display as he had seventeen additional points, nine coming from beyond the arc and the other eight from the free-throw line.  He also had six defensive rebounds and three assists while Durant put up fifteen points with three three-pointers in the third period.  Thompson would make up for that tough first half he had as he scored ten points with two three-pointers in the fourth.  Jerebko played twelve minutes off the bench as he had only five points which included a three-pointer late in the third.

On the other end of the court, both Thompson and Sexton had nine points apiece while Tristan Thompson saw to it that he got eleven rebounds.  The second round pick in the 2015 draft Cedi Osman scored seven points while knocking down a three-pointer early in the third quarter.  George Hill would be held scoreless in the eleven minutes that he played.  Jordan Clarkson played the most minutes off the bench as he put up seven points but it wouldn’t matter as the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 129-105 final score.  Stephen Curry finished the game with forty-two points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal while Collin Sexton had twenty-one points, two rebounds, and three assists.

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers will host Buddy Hield (18.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 47.5 FG%, 41.8 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (12-11) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  This will be the first of two times that these ball clubs will face each other this season.  Both teams tied the regular season series last season at one apiece.

The Golden State Warriors will visit Wisconsin to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo (27.6 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 6.0 APG, 57.8 FG%, 11.5 3P%) and the Milwaukee Bucks (15-7) on Friday at 9:30 p.m.  This game will be second and last one that the Bucks and Warriors will play against each other this season.  The last time they fought each other was on November 8 when the Milwaukee Bucks handed the Warriors a 134-111 blowout loss.  During that game, Eric Bledsoe scored twenty-six points, grabbed four rebounds, dished off six assists, and committed one steal while Klay Thompson finished with twenty-four points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks.

The Denver Nuggets survive the Toronto Raptors, 106-103

The Denver Nuggets survive the Toronto Raptors, 106-103

The Toronto Raptors not only the hottest team in the East but they are also the best team in the league right now, grasping a 20-4 record.  The only teams they have fallen to were the Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, Detroit Pistons, and Boston Celtics.  They will look grab their ninth straight victory as they host the Denver Nuggets.  If they do so, this will tie their all-time longest winning streak which they set last season.

The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, are hoping to earn their sixth straight win, coming fresh off of a close 113-112 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.  The Nuggets and the Raptors have seen each other a grand total of 44 times in the past as the Nuggets won 26 games while the Raptors were kept to just 18 games.  This game will mark the first of two times that these two ball clubs will face each other during this season.  Last season, these teams split the season series at one apiece.  Both teams will look to set the tone tonight.

INACTIVES:

Denver Nuggets:

-Will Barton (hip/core; 16.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 57.1 FG%, 55.6 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Michael Porter (back)
-Isaiah Thomas (hip)
-Jarred Vanderbilt (foot)
-Brandon Goodwin (coach’s decision)
-Tyler Lydon (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.0 APG, 75.0 FG%, 75.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 30.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Thomas Welsh (G-League; 1.3 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.5 APG, 66.7 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

Toronto Raptors:

-Lorenzo Brown (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, 37.8 FG%, 22.7 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Greg Monroe (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 51.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Malachi Richardson (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.0 APG, 27.8 FG%, 26.7 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Jordon Loyd (G-League; 4.0 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 100.0 FG%, 100.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Norman Powell (shoulder; 5.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 47.6 FG%, 40.9 3P%, 75.0 FT%)
-Chris Boucher (G-League; 4.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 25.0 3P%, 66.7 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The Denver Nuggets would have complete control in the first half as they shot fifty percent from the field, limiting the home team to forty-three percent.  Nikola Jokic chalked up fourteen points while grabbing five rebounds and dishing off ten assists.  Jamal Murray helped out with twelve points as he was able to drill two three-pointers in the process.  Juan Hernangomez earned himself seven points which included a trey early in the first period.  Malik Beasley played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight points including two three-pointers in the second quarter.

As for the Canada team, former San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard got hot for sixteen points on sixty percent shooting.  He also had four defensive rebounds and two assists while Pascal Siakam chipped in eight points.  Kyle Lowry, who is averaging fifteen points a game this season, was held scoreless in the eighteen minutes that he played.  Danny Green had a three-pointer early in the first quarter while Serge Ibaka collected five points, two rebounds, one assist, and one block.  Jonas Valanciunas played ten minutes off the bench as he scored six points while the Nuggets went into halftime with a commanding 59 to 47 lead.

The best team in the league would bounce back, though, as they sparked a 56 to 47 run, shooting forty-nine percent from the field.  During that run, Leonard added eleven more points to his scoring total, including a three-pointer midway through the third period.  Ibaka earned ten more points, along with three defensive rebounds and one assist.  Lowry would still struggle as he was only able to hit a three-pointer and two free throws, ending the game with five points.  Fred VanVleet played the most minutes off the bench but was kept scoreless.

On the other end of the court, both Murray and Jokic scored nine points each.  Murray would go on to collect three defensive rebounds and three assists while Nikola Jokic had six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.  Paul Millsap would only have two points, ending the game with six total.  Beasley played fourteen minutes off the bench as he had seven points which held a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

DOWN-TO-THE-WIRE:

With only forty-one seconds left, the Raptors would have a 101-100 lead.  Nikola Jokic knocked down a twelve-foot jump shot with forty seconds left to put the Denver team up by one.  After a missed two-pointer and a missed three-pointer by Danny Green, the Raptors would have no choice but to foul after Juan Hernangomez grabs the defensive rebound.  He would make his second free throw after missing the first one, giving the visiting team a 103-101 lead.

Coming out of a timeout with only seven seconds left in regulation, Kawhi Leonard would drill a jump shot to tie the game up at 103 apiece.  After a timeout called by the Nuggets, Serge Ibaka ended up committing a costly foul away from the ball, sending Jokic to the charity stripe.  He was able to knock down his free-throw, giving them another lead.  Once they got the ball back, Leonard would commit the intentional foul, sending Nikola Jokic right back to the line.  He was able to knock down both of his free throws.  With time running out, Kyle Lowry would be forced to attempt a pull-up three-pointer but would not make it as the Denver Nuggets hold on to be the Toronto Raptors, 106 to 103.

FINAL RESULTS:

Nikola Jokic finished the competition with twenty-three points, eleven rebounds, fifteen assists, and two steals while Malik Beasley had fifteen points, two rebounds, and one assist off the bench.  Kawhi Leonard had twenty-seven points, eight rebounds, and two assists while Delon Wright scored nine points off the bench, as well grabbing three rebounds, dishing off two assists, and committing two steals.

So…what’s next?

The Denver Nuggets will travel down to Florida to take on Nikola Vucevic (21.0 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 3.8 APG, 55.3 FG%, 40.9 3P%) and the Orlando Magic (11-12) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  This will mark the second and final time that these teams will see each other this season.  The last time they played each other was on November 23 when the Nuggets handed the Orlando team a 112 to 87 loss.  During that game, Trey Lyles scored twenty-two points, grabbed two rebounds, and dished off one assist while Terrence Ross finished with eighteen points and one assist.

The Toronto Raptors will host Joel Embiid (27.0 PPG, 13.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, 46.8 FG%, 30.1 3P%) and the Philadelphia 76ers (17-8) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  The matchup will mark the second of four times that these two teams will meet up this season.  The last time they saw each other was on October 30 when the Canada team escaped with a 129-112 win.  Kawhi Leonard finished that game with thirty-one points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals while Joel Embiid had thirty-one points, eleven rebounds, four assists, and one block.

The Los Angeles Lakers hold off the Phoenix Suns, 120-96

The Los Angeles Lakers hold off the Phoenix Suns, 120-96

The Phoenix Suns are dead last in the Western Conference, tying the Cleveland Cavaliers for the worst record in the league at 4-18.  They will look to avoid a fifth straight loss as they battle the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center.  The Lakers, on the other hand, are looking pretty decent after a 0-3 start to the season, holding onto a 13-9 record.  Their current win-loss percentage is 59.1%, marking the first time they had a fifty-percent win-loss percentage since the 2012-2013 season.

The Suns and the Lakers have battled each other a grand total of 308 in the past as the Suns won 130 times while the Lakers went on to pull out 178 victories.  This game between the Suns and the Lakers will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they played each other was on October 24 when the Suns fell to the Lakers, 131-113.  Lance Stephenson finished that game with twenty-three points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals while Devin Booker also had twenty-three points, along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

INACTIVES:

Phoenix Suns:

-T.J. Warren (ankle; 17.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 51.1 FG%, 45.0 3P%, 84.6 FT%)
-George King (G-League)

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Rajon Rondo (hand; 8.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.5 APG, 45.5 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Alex Caruso (G-League)
-Isaac Bonga (G-League)
-Johnathan Williams (G-League; 3.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, 57.9 FG%, 20.0 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Lakers would have control most of the first half as they shot fifty percent from the field, keeping the Phoenix Suns to thirty-eight percent.  Kyle Kuzma lit the floor up with eighteen points while hitting two three-pointers in the second quarter.  Brandon Ingram helped out with thirteen points while recording three rebounds and two assists.  He also had a three-pointer, which he drilled early in the second period.  Three-time NBA Champion LeBron James was kept to just twelve points but did have three rebounds, four assists, and one block.  Lonzo Ball was limited to just two points.  Josh Hart played ten minutes off the block but was held completely scoreless as he only attempted three shots.

As for the struggling Suns, former Orlando Magic forward Trevor Ariza scored eleven points on fifty percent shooting.  He also had three treys in the first quarter while earning four defensive rebounds, one assist, and four steals.  Josh Jackson chipped in eight points while Deandre Ayton put up six points.  Devin Booker had six points, as well, but went down with a hamstring injury in the second quarter and would not return.  Elie Okobo played the most minutes off the bench but was kept scoreless as the Lakers went into halftime with a 61 to 46 advantage.

The California team would close things out in the second half as LeBron James scored ten more points while hitting a three-pointer late in the third quarter.  He also had three defensive rebounds and four assists while rookie Moritz Wagner contributed with ten points of his own.  On the other end of the court, both Troy Daniels and Richaun Holmes scored nine points off the bench each but it wouldn’t mean much as the Los Angeles Lakers go on to defeat the Phoenix Suns, 120-96.  Kyle Kuzma finished the game with twenty-three points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block while Richaun Holmes settled for a season-high fifteen points, along with one rebound, a career-high four steals, and a season-high four blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Phoenix Suns will host Buddy Hield (18.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.7 APG, 47.3 FG%, 41.1 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (11-11) on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m.  This game will mark the first of four times that these two teams will clash with one another this season.  Last season, the Suns won the regular season series against the team, 3-1.

The Los Angeles Lakers will stay at home as they host Demar DeRozan (23.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 6.0 APG, 48.2 FG%, 18.2 3P%) and the San Antonio Spurs (10-12) on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.  This will be the third of four times that these teams will see each other this season.  The last time they met up was on October 27 when the Spurs handed the Lakers a 110-106 loss.  During that game, DeRozan scored thirty points, grabbed twelve boards, gave out eight assists, committed two steals, and blocked one shot while LeBron James finished with thirty-five points, eleven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

The Houston Rockets hand the Chicago Bulls a tough loss, 121 to 105

The Houston Rockets hand the Chicago Bulls a tough loss, 121 to 105

The Chicago Bulls are en route to their longest losing streak this season, hoping to avoid a fifth straight loss as they battle the Houston Rockets in Texas.  The Bulls are currently holding onto a 2-9 record on the road.  The Rockets, on the other hand, are still trying to work things out as they look for their second straight victory.  The Houston Rockets have a 4-5 record at home.

The Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls have played each other a total of 137 times in the past as the Rockets won 69 games while the Bulls were kept to just 68 wins.  This meeting will mark the second and final time that these two teams will match up this season.  The last time they played each other was on November 3 when the Houston team survived the Bulls, 96-88.  During that game, James Harden scored twenty-five points, grabbed one rebound, dished off seven assists, and committed four steals while Zach LaVine had twenty-one points, four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

INACTIVES:

Chicago Bulls:

-Tyler Ulis (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Bobby Portis (knee; 10.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 41.5 FG%, 27.3 3P%, 55.6 FT%)
-Rawle Alkins (G-League)
-Kris Dunn (knee; 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 7.0 APG, 30.8 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-Denzel Valentine (ankle)

Houston Rockets:

-Brandon Knight (knee)
-Carmelo Anthony (13.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 40.5 FG%, 32.8 3P%, 68.2 FT%)
-Zhou Qi (ankle; 2.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 100.0 FG%)
-Vincent Edwards (G-League; 3.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Texas team would have full control in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field, limiting the visiting team to thirty-nine percent.  James Harden would be the only player to score double-digits in the half as he got hot for twenty-three points, knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  He shot sixty-four percent from the field while recording three defensive rebounds, three assists, and one steal.  Clint Capela helped out with seven points and eight rebounds while Chris Paul had five points, two rebounds, five assists, and one block.  Paul had a three-pointer late in the beginning period as James Ennis was kept to four points.  Eric Gordon played the most minutes off the bench as he scored nine points, including a three-pointer in the second quarter.

As for the Bulls, Zach LaVine chalked up fourteen points on sixty percent shooting.  He also had a trey in the second period while grabbing four rebounds and committing two steals.  Illinois-native Jabari Parker chipped in ten points while jumping up for five boards.  Both Justin Holiday and Wendell Carter earned themselves six points.  Lauri Markkanen played twelve minutes off the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer late in the first quarter as the Houston Rockets went into their locker room with a 56 to 46 lead.

The Houston Rockets would finish the job in the second half as they went on a 65 to 61 run, although both teams shot fifty-one percent from the field each.  James Harden would cool down as he only had seven points in the second half, earning six of them from beyond the arc and one from the charity stripe.  Capela would pick up the load as he warmed up with eleven points, shooting a high eighty percent from the field.  P.J. Tucker chalked up eight points while Chris Paul had seven points.  Paul had eight more assists to add to his stat column.  LaVine continued to add to his scoring total, putting up seventeen more points but it was the Houston Rockets who stuck around to hand the Chicago Bulls a 121-105 loss.  James Harden finished the game with thirty points, six rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and one block while Zach LaVine had twenty-nine points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Chicago Bulls will head to Indianapolis to battle Bojan Bogdanovic (16.0 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 4.7 APG, 44.0 FG%, 34.5 3P%) and the Indiana Pacers (13-10) on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.  This game will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they played each other was on November 2 when the Pacers crept away with a 107-105 win.  During that game, Victor Oladipo scored twenty-five points, pulled down fourteen rebounds, dished out five assists, committed two steals, and prevented a shot from going in while Antonio Blakeney had twenty-two points and three rebounds.

The Houston Rockets will travel to the Target Center to clash with Karl-Anthony Towns (20.6 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 48.7 FG%, 39.6 3P%) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (11-12) on Monday at 8:00 p.m.  This will be the first of three times that these two teams will battle each other during this season.  The Rockets would sweep the regular season series against the Timberwolves last season, 4-0.

The Kings would hold off the Pacers, 111-110

The Kings would hold off the Pacers, 111-110

The Indiana Pacers are 3-3 since losing Victor Oladipo to a knee injury, losing recently to the Los Angeles Lakers, 104-96.  They will look to get back on track as they battle the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Center.  The Kings, on the other hand, are trying to end a three-game losing streak, their largest losing streak this season.

The Pacers and the Kings have clashed with each other a grand total of 87 times in the past as the Pacers won 48 games while the Kings were limited to 39 victories.  This event will mark the first of two times that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  Last season, the Pacers swept the Kings in the season series, 2-0.

INACTIVES:

Indiana Pacers:

-Victor Oladipo (knee; 21.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 4.7 APG, 44.0 FG%, 34.5 3P%, 71.2 FT%)
-Ike Anigbogu (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.0 FG%)
-T.J. Leaf (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.3 APG, 38.2 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Kyle O’Quinn (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 42.9 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Edmond Sumner (coach’s decision; 0.8 PPG, 0.2 RPG, 0.2 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 0.0 FT%)
-Alize Johnson (G-League; 0.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 FT%)
-Davon Reed (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)

Sacramento Kings:

-Yogi Ferrell (coach’s decision; 5.3 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.9 APG, 41.8 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Harry Giles (coach’s decision; 5.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 44.9 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 41.7 FT%)
-Frank Mason III (coach’s decision; 5.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, 38.5 FG%, 17.6 3P%, 72.7 FT%)
-Ben McLemore (coach’s decision; 2.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.3 APG, 30.8 FG%, 40.0 3P%, 0.0 FT%)
-Skal Labissiere (2.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 46.2 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-Wenyen Gabriel (G-League)
-Marvin Bagley III (back; 13.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 0.9 APG, 51.0 FG%, 30.4 3P%, 64.8 FT%)
-Zach Randolph

GAMETIME:

Despite the Sacramento Kings shooting only forty-seven percent from the field while the Indiana Pacers shot sixty-one percent, the game would be kept extremely close.  Bojan Bogdanovic ended up scoring thirteen points which included a three-pointer in the first quarter.  Both Myles Turner and Tyreke Evans dropped ten points each as Turner pulled down seven defensive rebounds.  As for Evans, he was able to knock down two three-pointers.  2013-2014 NBA Champion Cory Joseph played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer late in the first period.

On the other end of the court, Buddy Hield chalked up eleven points while shooting fifty percent.  He had two three-pointers in the process while recording one rebound and three assists.  Willie Cauley-Stein helped out with ten points while pulling down seven rebounds and giving out two assists.  Former Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Nemanja Bjelica had eight points while De’Aaron Fox was limited to just five points.  Bogdan Bogdanovic played thirteen minutes off the bench as he chalked up nine points but the Pacers would go into halftime with a tight 60 to 58 lead.

Both teams would come out of the locker room on fire as the Pacers completed forty-six percent of their shots taken while the Kings shot forty-two percent from the field.  Bojan Bogdanovic continued to add to his scoring total as the put up fourteen more points which included a trey in the fourth quarter.  Thaddeus Young contributed with six points, as well as Darren Collison.  Collison earned all of his points from beyond the arc, though, while Myler Turner had four points.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored eleven points off the Sacramento bench while recording two defensive rebounds, four assists, and one steal.  Fox helped out with ten points but only shot thirty-three percent from the field.  Cauley-Stein had seven points while pulling down six rebounds, dishing off one assist, and committing one steal.

DOWN-TO-THE-WIRE:

With one minute and thirty-two seconds remaining in the game, the Pacers would be holding onto a 107 to 105 lead.  But Willie Cauley-Stein would finish an alley-oop pass from Bogdanovic to tie the game up at 107 apiece.  The Indiana Pacers would respond as Darren Collison drills a three-pointer to take a commanding 110 to 107 lead.  But with thirty-five seconds left on the clock, Fox would make a running layup off of a fast break to bring the home team within one.  After a couple of possessions, the Kings would call a timeout.  Out of the timeout, Cauley-Stein would take the ball and slam it home to give the Kings a one-point lead.  The Pacers would have a chance to respond but end up committing a jump ball violation turnover, allowing the Kings to secure the win, 111-110.

THE FINAL RESULTS:

Bogdan Bogdanovic finished the game with twenty points, two rebounds, six assists, and a season-high two steals for the Sacramento Kings.  Bojan Bogdanovic settled for a season-high twenty-seven points, along with three rebounds, and two steals for the Indiana Pacers.

So…what’s next?

The Indiana Pacers will host Zach LaVine (24.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.8 APG, 43.0 FG%, 30.3 3P%) and the Chicago Bulls (5-18) on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.  The game will mark the second of four times that the Pacers and Bulls will play each other this season.  The last time they saw each other was on November 2 when the Pacers slipped away with a 107 to 105 win.  During that game, Victor Oladipo scored twenty-five points, grabbed fourteen rebounds, gave out five assists, committed two steals, and blocked one shot while Antonio Blakeney finished with twenty-two points and three boards.

The Sacramento Kings will head over to Arizona to battle Devin Booker (24.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 7.0 APG, 44.0 FG%, 31.7 3P%) and the Phoenix Suns (4-18) on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m.  This will be the first of four times that these two teams will play each other this season.  Last season, the Suns won the regular season series, 3-1.

The Milwaukee hang on to defeat the Chicago Bulls, 116-113

The Milwaukee hang on to defeat the Chicago Bulls, 116-113

The Chicago Bulls have only made the playoff once under head coach Fred Hoiberg and that was during the 2017 Playoffs when they lost to the Boston Celtics, 2-4, in the first round.  They are trying to avoid a second straight postseason absence as they look to end a two-game losing streak.  They will look to do that as they take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Wisconsin.  The Bucks, on the other hand, are coming fresh off of a 110-107 loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

The Bulls and the Bucks have battled each other a grand total of 263 times in the past as the Milwaukee team won 124 of those games while the Bulls went on to take the other 139 games.  This matchup between the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  November 16 was the last time they saw each other as the Bucks ran away with a 123-104 win.  During that game, Eric Bledsoe scored twenty-five points, grabbed four rebounds, threw out six assists, committed three steals, and blocked one shot while Jabari Parker had twenty-one points, eight rebounds, and three assists.

INACTIVES:

Chicago Bulls:

-Kris Dunn (knee; 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 7.0 APG, 30.8 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-Lauri Markkanen (elbow)
-Bobby Portis (knee; 10.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 41.5 FG%, 27.3 3P%, 55.6 FT%)
-Denzel Valentine (ankle)
-Antonio Blakeney (coach’s decision; 10.3 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.6 APG, 43.6 FG%, 45.6 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
-Cristiano Felicio (coach’s decision; 3.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, 57.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 75.0 FT%)
-Tyler Ulis (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Rawle Alkins (G-League)

Milwaukee Bucks:

-John Henson (wrist; 5.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 46.3 FG%, 35.5 3P%, 60.0 FT%)
-Sterling Brown (coach’s decision; 3.2 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 44.4 FG%, 22.2 3P%, 71.4 FT%)
-Matthew Dellavedova (coach’s decision; 1.6 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 35.3 FG%, 40.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Jaylen Morris (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 75.0 FG%, 100.0 3P%)
-Trevon Duval (G-League)
-D.J. Wilson (G-League)
-Christian Wood (G-League; 3.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.4 APG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 75.0 FT%)

GAMETIME:

This would be a close game for most of the time as the Chicago Bulls shot fifty percent from the field in the first half while the Milwaukee Bucks went on to complete fifty-six percent of their shots.  Zach LaVine would score eighteen points while knocking down two three-pointers.  He also had two defensive rebounds, two assists, and one block while former Bucks forward Jabari Parker collected twelve points.  Parker had two three-pointers in the first period while Ryan Arcidiacono chalked ten points, also nailing two treys.  Robin Lopez played ten minutes off the bench but only scored six points.

On the other end of the court, Giannis Antetokounmpo got hot for twenty points as he shot seventy-three percent from the field.  He was able to record five rebounds and four assists while Malcolm Brogdon scored twelve points, hitting two three-pointers in the process.  South Carolina-native Khris Middleton saw to it that he got ten points while drilling a shot from beyond the arc late in the second quarter.  Pat Connaughton played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer as the home team went into halftime with a 63 to 62 lead.

Both teams would continue to go head-to-head as the Milwaukee Bucks shot forty-three percent from the field while the Chicago Bulls shot forty percent.  Antetokounmpo continued to add to his scoring total as he put up sixteen more points while recording six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block.  Brogdon helped out with four three-pointers while Brook Lopez had eight points.

DOWN TO THE WIRE:

With only thirty-six seconds remaining in the game, both teams would be tied at 111 apiece.  Wendell Carter, Jr. would end up fouling Giannis Antetokounmpo, sending him to the line.  Antetokounmpo was able to knock down both free-throws, giving them a 113-111 lead and forcing the Chicago team to call timeout.  Out of the timeout, LaVine would make a driving reverse layup, tying the game up again.  Middleton responded with a three-pointer, forcing the Bulls to call another timeout.  Out of the timeout, Justin Holiday would attempt a trey to go into overtime but would miss as the Bucks hang on to beat the Bulls, 116-113.

FINAL RESULTS:

Giannis Antetokounmpo would finish the game with a season-high thirty-six points, along with eleven rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and one block while Jabari Parker ended with twenty-four points, eight rebounds, and five assists.  Zach LaVine also had twenty-four points, as well as nine rebounds, seven assists, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Chicago Bulls will travel to Michigan to battle Blake Griffin (25.1 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 5.1 APG, 46.5 FG%, 36.7 3P%) and the Detroit Pistons (11-7) on Friday at 7:00 p.m.  This will mark the second of four times that these teams will see each other this season.  The last time they played each other was on October 20 when the Pistons slipped away with a 118-116 win.  Blake Griffin finished that game with thirty-three points, twelve rebounds, five assists, and one block while Zach LaVine also thirty-three points, along with three rebounds and three assists.

The Milwaukee Bucks will play Tim Hardaway (23.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.9 APG, 40.6 FG%, 36.8 3P%) and the New York Knicks (7-15) at the Madison Square Garden on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.  This will be the second of four times that the Bucks and the Knicks will clash each other this season.  October 22 was the last time that these teams played each other as the Knicks fell to the Bucks, 113-124.  During that game, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored thirty-one points, pulled down fifteen rebounds, dished off four assists, and blocked two shots while Tim Hardaway settled for twenty-four points, two rebounds, and three assists.

The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame the Cleveland Cavaliers, 105-92

The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame the Cleveland Cavaliers, 105-92

The Cleveland Cavaliers started the season 0-6 before winning their first game against the Atlanta Hawks.  Since then, they have posted a 4-8 record, hoping for their third straight victory as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The Timberwolves, on the other hand, are 5-2 since trading away four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler.  They are also looking to grab a third consecutive victory.

The Cavaliers and the Timberwolves have played each other a grand total of 56 times as the Cavaliers won 36 games while the Minnesota team pulled 20 victories.  This battle between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves will mark the second and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up with each other.  The last time they saw each other was on October 19 when the Timberwolves defeated the Cavaliers, 131-123.  Jimmy Butler finished that game with thirty-three points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals, and two blocks while Kevin Love had twenty-five points, nineteen rebounds, and seven assists.

INACTIVES:

Minnesota Timberwolves:

-Jerryd Bayless (knee)
-Luol Deng (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 22.2 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-James Nunnally (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 41.7 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Josh Okogie (coach’s decision; 7.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 36.9 FG%, 26.7 3P%, 78.3 FT%)
-Anthony Tolliver (coach’s decision; 5.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 43.1 FG%, 40.4 3P%, 58.3 FT%)
-Jared Terrell (G-League; 4.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 12.5 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-C.J. Williams (G-League)
-Keita Bates-Diop (2.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 25.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

-Sam Dekker (ankle; 6.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 45.8 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-George Hill (coach’s decision; 12.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 55.6 FG%, 48.0 3P%, 87.5 FT%)
-Kevin Love (toe; 19.0 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 32.3 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 81.8 FT%)
-Channing Frye (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 50.0 FG%, 75.0 3P%)
-J.R. Smith (personal; 6.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 34.2 FG%, 30.8 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-David Nwaba (knee; 6.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 42.4 FG%, 22.7 3P%, 67.6 FT%)
-Billy Preston (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The game would be held close at the beginning as the Cavaliers shot forty-four percent from the field while the Timberwolves shot forty-six percent.  Rodney Hood ended up scoring thirteen points which included a three-pointer late in the second quarter.  Tristan Thompson helped out with ten points while pulling down nine rebounds.  Rookie Collin Sexton saw to it that he got eight points while shooting forty-four percent from the field.  Kyle Korver played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight points which included two three-pointers in the second period.

On the other end of the court, Robert Covington chalked up thirteen points while shooting seventy-one percent from the field.  He had two three-pointers while grabbing three defensive rebounds.  Karl-Anthony Towns also had thirteen points which included two three-pointers in the first quarter.  Towns was able to get his hands of five defensive rebounds while Andrew Wiggins was limited to just four points.  Former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose played twelve minutes off the bench but was kept to just two points as the Minnesota team went into halftime with a 54 to 47 lead.

The event would continue to be kept close as the Timberwolves shot forty-eight percent from the field in the second half while the Cavaliers shot thirty-nine percent.  Covington continued to add to his scoring total as he put up eleven more points, hitting two three-pointers in the process.  Derrick Rose scored ten points off the bench while Wiggins had seven points.  Korver got hot for fourteen points but it wouldn’t matter as the Minnesota Timberwolves escaped with a 102-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Robert Covington finished the game with a season-high twenty-four points, along with seven rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocks while Kyle Korver had a season-high twenty-two points, along with two rebounds and two assists.

So…what’s next?

The Minnesota Timberwolves will travel to Texas to take on DeMar DeRozan (24.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.3 APG, 48.7 FG%, 20.0 3P%) and the San Antonio Spurs (9-10) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they clashed with each other was during the season opener on October 17 as the Spurs crept away with a 112-108 win.  During that game, DeMar DeRozan scored twenty-eight points, pulled down four rebounds, and gave out four assists while Jeff Teague had twenty-seven points, one rebound, four assists, and two steals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will head to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to battle Paul George (24.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.4 APG, 41.1 FG%, 35.2 3P%) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-7) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This will be the second and final time that the Cavaliers and the Thunder fight each other during this season.  The last time that these two teams met up was on November 7 as the Thunder handed the Cavaliers a 95 to 86 loss.  Dennis Schroder finished the game with twenty-eight points, seven rebounds, one steal, and one block while Collin Sexton had fifteen points, two rebounds, one assist, and one block.

The Golden State Warriors ended their losing streak with a 125-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers

The Golden State Warriors ended their losing streak with a 125-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers

The two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors have been in a slump lately, trying to avoid a fifth straight loss.  This current losing streak is the longest losing streak in the Steve Kerr-era.  They will try to capture their first win since November 13 as they host the Portland Trail Blazers.  The Trail Blazers, on the other hand, are coming fresh off of a 143-100 blowout loss against the Milwaukee Bucks.

This matchup between the Warriors and the Trail Blazers will mark the first of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up during this season.  They have played each other a grand total of 235 times with the Warriors winning 111 games.  The Trail Blazers will go on to win 124 of those games.

INACTIVES:

Portland Trail Blazers:

Gary Trent (5.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 44.4 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Anfernee Simons (2.2 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.2 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 25.0 FT%)
Golden State Warriors:

DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles)
Draymond Green (toe; 6.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 7.2 APG, 44.4 FG%, 22.2 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (foot; 6.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.5 APG, 51.3 FG%, 48.4 3P%, 53.8 FT%)
Stephen Curry (groin; 29.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.1 APG, 51.5 FG%, 49.2 3P%, 92.3 FT%)
Marcus Derrickson (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Golden State Warriors would have full control of the game in the first half as they fifty-two percent from the field, limiting the Portland Trail Blazers to thirty-nine percent.  The 2007-2008 Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant would get hot for nineteen points which included a three-pointer in the second period.  He also recorded four defensive rebounds, two assists, two steals, and three blocks.

Klay Thompson helped out with fourteen points while knocking down a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Former Dallas Mavericks point guard Quinn Cook nailed two three-pointers while jumping up for three defensive boards.  Kevon Looney played twelve minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points.

On the other end of the court, three-time All-Star Damian Lillard earned ten points but shot only thirty-three percent from the field.  He did have two three-pointers Al-Farouq Aminu contributed with nine points and six rebounds.  Aminu was able to hit a three-pointer late in the second quarter while C.J. McCollum also had nine points.  McCollum also had a three-pointer.  Evan Turner played the most minutes off of the bench but only managed to get one free-throw as the Warriors headed into the locker room with a huge 59-44 advantage.

The Warriors went on the close things out in the second half as they went on a 66 to 53 run, shooting sixty-two percent from the field.  Thompson threw up seventeen more points which held three three-pointers in the third period.  Durant had thirteen points while shooting a high eighty-three percent from the field.  Nurkic earned fifteen points for the Oregon team but it wouldn’t matter as the Warriors easily come away with a 125-97 victory.  Kevin Durant finished the game with thirty-two points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks.  Damian Lillard settled for twenty-three points, along with two rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Portland Trail Blazers will stay in California as they visit the Staples Center to take on Tobias Harris (20.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 51.6 FG%, 43.4 3P%) and the Los Angeles Clippers (12-6) on Sunday at 9:00 p.m.  This game will mark the second of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  The last time they saw each other was on November 8 when the Trail Blazers escaped with a 116 to 105 win.  Damian Lillard finished with twenty-five points, four rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block while Danilo Gallinari had twenty-points and five rebounds.  Lou Williams also had twenty-points, along with three rebounds and seven assists.

The Golden State Warriors will host Buddy Hield (18.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 47.8 FG%, 44.1 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (10-8) on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.  This meeting will mark the first of four times that the Warriors and the Kings will match up with each other during this season.

The Philadelphia 76ers top the New Orleans Pelicans, 121-120

The Philadelphia 76ers top the New Orleans Pelicans, 121-120

Both the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Orleans Pelicans are on track to capture their fourth straight victory at the Wells Fargo Center so this game will hold some type of meaning to them.  The 76ers are coming fresh off of a 119-114 win over the struggling Phoenix Suns while the Pelicans handed the San Antonio Spurs a 140 to 126 loss.  Former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler had no problem fitting right into the system ran by the 76ers as he averaged 18.3 PPG in his first four games with the team.

This meeting between the 76ers and the Pelicans will mark the first of two times that these ball clubs will battle each other this season.  They have clashed a grand total of 41 times in the past as the 76ers grabbed 21 wins.  The New Orleans Pelicans ended up winning 20 of those games.

INACTIVES:

New Orleans Pelicans:

Cheick Diallo (coach’s decision; 4.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.4 APG, 55.6 FG%, 77.8 FT%)
Tim Frazier (coach’s decision; 2.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 29.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 33.3 FT%)
Solomon Hill (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 27.6 FG%, 21.4 3P%, 75.0 FT%)
Elfrid Payton (finger; 9.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 47.1 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
Trevon Bluiett (G-League)
Kenrich Williams (1.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Philadelphia 76ers:

Demetrius Jackson (coach’s decision)
Shake Milton (coach’s decision)
Justin Patton (foot)
Zhaire Smith (foot)
Markelle Fultz (shoulder; 8.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 41.9 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 56.8 FT%)
Jonah Bolden (leg; 1.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 36.4 FG%, 14.3 3P%, 50.0 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The 76ers would somewhat have control at the beginning of the game as they shot forty-four percent from the field in the first half while the Pelicans shot forty percent.  Joel Embiid dropped eighteen points while grabbing nine boards, dishing out two assists, and blocking one shot.  Three of his points would come from beyond the arc in the first quarter.  Ben Simmons helped out with seventeen points, four defensive rebounds, one assist, and two blocks while Butler had nine points.  Pennsylvania-native T.J. McConnell played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer late in the first quarter.

On the other end of the court, Jrue Holiday chalked up thirteen points on forty-six percent shooting from the field.  He also had six assists and two steals while knocking down a three-pointer early in the second period.  Former Chicago Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic saw to it that he got ten points, which included a three-pointer in the first quarter.  Julius Randle played fifteen minutes off of the bench as he dropped thirteen points but it was the home team who went into the locker room with a 67 to 57 advantage.

The Pelicans would respond as they went on a 63 to 54 run in the second half, shooting forty-six percent from the field while the 76ers shot forty-seven percent.  During that run, E’Twaun Moore got hot for twenty-four points on fifty-six percent shooting.  He was able to drill three three-pointers while Holiday collected seventeen more points.  Five-time All-Star Anthony Davis would continue to have a quiet night as he was held to just six points.  He finished the game with twelve points.  Randle played thirteen minutes off the bench in the second half as he had nine points which included two three-pointers in the third period.

As for the Philadelphia club, Embiid chalked up thirteen more points on fifty percent shooting.  He also had ten more rebounds while hitting a shot beyond the arc late in the fourth quarter.  Former New York Knicks player Wilson Chandler helped out with nine points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  Landry Shamet played the most minutes off the bench as he hit two three-pointers and a free-throw to give himself nine points.

With 2.5 seconds left on the clock and the 76ers up, 121-118, Joel Embiid would commit a shooting foul on Anthony Davis, who ended up missing the three-pointer.  Anthony Davis would go to the charity stripe to shoot three free-throws.  He made the first two free-throws to bring the Pelicans within one but ended up missing the last one as the Philadelphia 76ers survived the game, 121-120.  Joel Embiid finished the game with thirty-one points, nineteen rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while Jrue Holiday settled for a season-high thirty points, along with four rebounds, ten assists, two steals, and one block.  E’Twaun Moore also had thirty points, as well as two rebounds and one assist.

So…what’s next?

The Philadelphia 76ers will host Jordan Clarkson (15.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 45.7 FG%, 31.4 3P%) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-14) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  This matchup will mark the first of three times that these two ball clubs will meet with each other this season.  The New Orleans Pelicans will over to the Madison Square Garden as they take on Tim Hardaway (24.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 42.3 FG%, 37.9 3P%) and the New York Knicks (5-14) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  This will be the last time that these two teams will play each other this season.  They met up November 16 when the Pelicans pulled away with a 129-124 victory.  During that game, Anthony Davis recorded forty-three points, seventeen rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block while Tim Hardaway had thirty points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.