Tag: joel

The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets hold off the Utah Jazz, 112-102, winning the series, 4-1

The Houston Rockets will look to finish off the Utah Jazz as they host them at the Toyota Center for Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals.  If that takes place and the Rockets advance to the Western Conference Finals, that will be the first time in Chris Paul’s career that will play in a Conference Finals.

SERIES RECAP:

Game 1 took place in Houston on April 29 as the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110-96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, pulled down eight rebounds, gave out seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.

The Houston Rockets hosted the Utah Jazz again for Game 2 on May 2 but this time, the Jazz snuck away with a 116 to 108 victory.  Joe Ingles had twenty-seven points in that game, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden recorded thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.

The series would shift over to Utah as the Jazz hosted the Rockets for Game 3 on May 4.  The Houston Rockets, however, got revenge as they defeated the Utah Jazz with a 113 to 92 score.  During that game, James Harden scored twenty-five points, pulled down four rebounds, gave out twelve assists, committed two steals and blocked one shot.  Eric Gordon also had twenty-five points, along with two rebounds and one steal.  Royce O’Neale had seventeen points, five rebounds, and one assist.

Game 4 would be held on May 6 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena as the Texas team defeated the Jazz, 100-87.  Chris Paul finished that game with twenty-seven points, along with twelve rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block while Donovan Mitchell recorded twenty-five points, nine rebounds, two assists, and four steals.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Dante Exum (hamstring; 8.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 48.3 FG%, 27.8 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Ryan Anderson (coach’s decision; 9.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 43.1 FG%, 38.6 3P%)
Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Houston Rockets would somewhat have control in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field, keeping the Utah Jazz at forty percent.  Chris Paul, desperate for a Conference Finals appearance, would get hot for fifteen points while hitting three three-pointers in the second quarter.  He also had two defensive rebounds and six assists while P.J. Tucker earned himself ten points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  James Harden contributed with nine points which held a three-pointer late in the first period.  2016-2017 Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer, which he took in the second quarter.

On the other end of the court, both Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert scored eight points but Ingles earned six of his points from beyond the arc.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while Gobert had five rebounds and two blocks.  Donovan Mitchell surprisingly had only two points but did manage to dish off six assists.  Missouri-native Alec Burks played fourteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points but it was the Houston team who went into halftime with a 54 to 46 lead.

The Jazz would make sure to hold it close, though, as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, keeping the home team to forty-eight percent.  Mitchell got extremely hot for twenty-two points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  He dropped two three-pointers in the third quarter while recording three rebounds and three assists.  Royce O’Neale helped out with eleven points while Rudy Gobert had four rebounds and four points.  Burks collected ten more points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as Chris Paul responded hugely.  Paul chalked up twenty-six more points, giving the Rockets a 112-102 victory, winning the series 4-1.  Chris Paul finished the game with a playoff career-high forty-one points, along with seven rebounds, ten assists, and one steal.  Donovan Mitchell settled for twenty-four points, four rebounds, nine assists, and one steal.

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The Cleveland Cavaliers complete the sweep against the Toronto Raptors as they win, 128-93

The Cleveland Cavaliers complete the sweep against the Toronto Raptors as they win, 128-93

The Toronto Raptors are on the verge of getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers as tonight marks the fourth game in their playoff series.  If that happens, it will be the second straight time that the Cavaliers sweep the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.  The odds will be against the Raptors as they have to face the Cavaliers and their fans at the Quicken Loans Arena.

SERIES RECAP:

The first game of this series took place on May 1 when the Cavaliers pulled out a 113-112 overtime victory over the Raptors in Canada.  During that game, LeBron James scored twenty-six points, grabbed eleven rebounds, dished off thirteen assists, committed one steal, and blocked two shots while DeMar DeRozan finished with twenty-two points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal, and three blocks.

The second meeting was held on May 3 as the Toronto Raptors fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-128.  That matchup was also played at the Air Canada Centre as LeBron James recorded forty-three points in that game, along with eight rebounds, fourteen assists, and one steal.  DeMar DeRozan settled for only twenty-four points and three assists.

The series would shift over to Cleveland, Ohio, as the third game was played on May 5.  The home team would sneak away with a 105-103 win, thanks to the buzzer-beating floater made by LeBron James.  During that game, though, LeBron James had thirty-eight points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one block while Kyle Lowry scored twenty-seven points, grabbed three rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed two steals.

INACTIVES:

Toronto Raptors:

Malachi Richardson (3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 53.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Rodney Hood (coach’s decision; 14.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 42.9 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Okaro White (3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
Kendrick Perkins (3.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Cleveland Cavaliers would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot sixty-two percent from the field, limiting the Toronto Raptors to fifty-one percent.  J.R. Smith got hot for fifteen points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He also connected for three three-pointers while Kyle Korver contributed with thirteen points.  Korver also had three three-pointers as he shot eighty-three percent from the field.  Kevin Love saw to it that he got eleven points while recording two defensive rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.  LeBron James scored only ten points in the twenty-three minutes that he played but did manage to chalk up six defensive rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.  Jeff Green played the most minutes off the bench but was held scoreless.

As for the home team, Jonas Valanciunas dropped ten points off the bench as he shot a high sixty-three percent from the field.  DeMar DeRozan earned himself nine points and five rebounds while four-time All-Star Kyle Lowry scored five points with a three-pointer early in the first quarter.  He also had four defensive rebounds and seven rebounds while C.J. Miles chalked up six points.  Former Oklahoma City Thunder center Serge Ibaka scored eight points which included two three-pointers.  Fred VanVleet played thirteen minutes off the bench as he received five points but it was the Ohio team who went into halftime with a huge 63-47 advantage.

The home team would close things out in the second half as they went on a 65-46 run, shooting fifty-seven percent from the field.  During that run, LeBron James would heat up for nineteen points while recording two defensive rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block.  Love earned himself twelve points while drilling two three-pointers in the third quarter.  He also had four defensive rebounds while Green contributed with eight points off the bench.  Delon Wright scored ten points off the Toronto bench but it was enough as the Cavaliers hold off the Raptors, 128-93, completing a sweep and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.  LeBron James finished the game with twenty-nine points, eight rebounds, eleven assists, two steals, and one block while Jonas Valanciunas had eighteen points, five rebounds, two assists, and three blocks (tying his playoff career-high).

The New Orleans Pelicans hold off the Golden State Warriors, 119-100, making the series 2-1

The New Orleans Pelicans hold off the Golden State Warriors, 119-100, making the series 2-1

The Golden State Warriors looked to take a commanding 3-0 series lead last night as they battled the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.  The first game was held on April 28 when the Warriors handed the Pelicans a 123-101 blowout loss.  During that game, Klay Thompson scored twenty-seven points, grabbed six rebounds, gave out two assists, and blocked two shots while Anthony Davis finished with twenty-one points, ten rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.  The defending champions would also win the second game by creeping away with a 121 to 116 victory.  Kevin Durant finished that game with twenty-nine points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks while Anthony Davis had twenty-five points, fifteen rebounds, five assists, two steals, and three blocks.

INACTIVES:

Golden State Warriors:

Patrick McCaw (back; 4.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 40.9 FG%, 23.8 3P%)
Damian Jones (1.7 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%)

New Orleans Pelicans:

Jordan Crawford (coach’s decision; 6.6 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 44.4 FG%, 57.1 3P%)
Frank Jackson (foot)
Emeka Okafor (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 50.5 FG%)
DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles; 25.2 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 47.0 FG%, 35.4 3P%)
Alexis Ajinca (knee)

GAMETIME:

The game would be competitive at the beginning as the New Orleans Pelicans shot forty-nine percent from the field while the Golden State Warriors ending up shooting forty-four percent.  Both Nikola Mirotic and Jrue Holiday scored fourteen points each while Mirotic connected for three three-pointers.  He also had seven defensive rebounds while Holiday had two three-pointers, five rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.  MVP-candidate Anthony Davis contributed with eleven points which held a three-pointer in the first quarter.  He also recorded seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals while Rajon Rondo had ten assists.  Solomon Hill played the most minutes off the bench as he earned nine points from beyond the arc.

On the other end of the court, Klay Thompson got hot for twenty points, which he scored all in the second quarter.  He collected nine of those points from behind the three-point line while pulling down five defensive rebounds.  Kevin Durant helped out with thirteen points as he shot fifty percent from the field.  Stephen Curry saw to it that he got nine points which included two three-pointers while Draymond Green had eight points, eight rebounds, and four assists.  He also had two three-pointers as he shot fifty percent from the field.  Andre Iguodala played sixteen minutes off the bench but was kept to just two points as the home team went into halftime with a 62 to 56 lead.

The Pelicans went on to close things out in the second half as they sparked up a 57 to 44 run, shooting fifty-one percent from the field.  During that run, Davis got extremely hot for twenty-two points as he shot a high seventy-seven percent from the field.  He also had eleven rebounds and two steals while Ian Clark had fourteen points off the bench.  Rondo was able to dish off eleven more assists while Mirotic had six rebounds and six assists.  Curry chalked up ten points for the Warriors but it wasn’t enough as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Golden State Warriors, 119-100.  Anthony Davis finished the game with thirty-three points, a playoff career-high eighteen rebounds, three assists, and a playoff career-high four steals.  Rajon Rondo also finished with a playoff career-high twenty-one assists.  Klay Thompson settled for twenty-six points, seven rebounds, and one assist.

The Boston Celtics take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they down the Philadelphia 76ers, 108-103

The Boston Celtics take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they down the Philadelphia 76ers, 108-103

Last night marked the second game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics in their playoff series.  The first game took place on Monday as the Celtics handed the 76ers a surprising 117-101 loss.  During that game, Terry Rozier scored twenty-nine points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out six assists, committed two steals, and blocked one shot while Joel Embiid had thirty-one points, thirteen rebounds, five assists, and one steal.  The 76ers will look to bounce back and tie the series up 1-1 as they battle the Celtics in Boston.

INACTIVES:

Philadelphia 76ers:

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (knee; 5.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 37.5 FG%, 33.5 3P%)
Justin Anderson (coach’s decision; 6.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 43.1 FG%, 33.0 3P%)
Jerryd Bayless (coach’s decision; 7.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.6 FG%, 37.0 3P%)
Markelle Fultz (coach’s decision; 7.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.8 APG, 40.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Richaun Holmes (coach’s decision; 6.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 56.0 FG%, 12.9 3P%)
Furkan Korkmaz (1.6 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 28.6 FG%, 29.4 3P%)

Boston Celtics:

Jaylen Brown (hamstring; 14.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.6 APG, 46.5 FG%, 39.5 3P%)
Gordon Hayward (ankle; 2.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Kyrie Irving (knee; 24.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 5.1 APG, 49.1 FG%, 40.8 3P%)
Daniel Theis (knee; 5.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.9 APG, 54.1 FG%, 31.0 3P%)
Abdel Nader (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.6 FG%, 35.4 3P%)
Guerschon Yabusele (coach’s decision; 2.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.5 APG, 42.6 FG%, 32.4 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The game would be held very close at the beginning as the Philadelphia 76ers shot forty-six percent from the field while the Boston Celtics shot forty-three percent.  J.J. Redick ended up lighting the floor up with fifteen points which included three three-pointers in the first quarter.  Former Houston Rockets’ forward Robert Covington would help out with twelve points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  He ended up recording two rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocks, as well, along with two three-pointers.  Joel Embiid shot only thirty-three percent from the field but earned ten points in return while grabbing ten boards.  Ben Simmons was kept to just a free-throw while collecting three rebounds and three assists.  Marco Belinelli played thirteen minutes off of the bench as he earned six points.

As for the home team, Marcus Smart chalked up thirteen points on eighty percent shooting.  He connected for three three-pointers while putting up three defensive rebounds, two assists, and one steal.  Ohio-native Terry Rozier had himself ten points but shot only thirty-eight percent from the field.  Al Horford posted up seven points and nine rebounds while Jayson Tatum contributed with five points.  Jaylen Brown played the most minutes off of the bench as he received eight points but it was the Philadelphia team who went into halftime with a tight 56 to 51 lead.

The Celtics would come out of the locker room with a different mindset as they went on a 57-47 run in the second half, shooting forty-seven percent from the field.  During that run, Tatum got hot for sixteen points which contained a three-pointer in the third quarter.  Rozier made sure that he got ten more points while collecting five defensive rebounds and six assists.  As for the 76ers, both Covington and Embiid chalked up ten points each but it wouldn’t be enough as the Celtics hold on to win the game, 108-103, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.  Jayson Tatum finished the game with twenty-one points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block while J.J. Redick had twenty-three points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

The Utah Jazz hand the Houston Rockets a 116-108 loss, tying the series up, 1-1

Tonight will mark the second game between the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets in their playoff series.  The first game was on Sunday when the Rockets handed the Jazz a 110 to 96 loss.  During that game, James Harden scored forty-one points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished off seven assists, and committed one steal while Donovan Mitchell finished with twenty-one points, three rebounds, and five assists.  Jae Crowder also had twenty-one points, along with five rebounds, one assist, and two steals.  The Houston Rockets will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they host the Jazz at the Toyota Center.

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

Ricky Rubio (hamstring; 13.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.3 APG, 41.8 FG%, 35.2 3P%)
Thabo Sefolosha (knee; 8.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.9 APG, 49.2 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Tony Bradley (coach’s decision; 0.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 27.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Jonas Jerebko (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.6 APG, 46.6 FG%, 41.4 3P%)
David Stockton (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 66.7 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Ekpe Udoh (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.8 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Houston Rockets:

Tarik Black (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 59.1 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Aaron Jackson (coach’s decision; 8.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Johnson (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 40.6 FG%, 27.6 3P%)
Zhou Qi (1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 18.8 FG%, 10.5 3P%)
Chinanu Onuaku (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Utah Jazz would have complete control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, limiting the Houston Rockets to forty percent.  Joe Ingles ended up scoring fourteen points on sixty-three percent shooting while knocking down four three-pointers in the process.  Rudy Gobert would help out with thirteen points while grabbing one offensive rebound and eight defensive rebounds.  He also had one block while Alec Burks chalked up eleven points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting from the field.  Donovan Mitchell would be limited to seven points while both Royce O’Neale and Derrick Favors scored six points each.  Jae Crowder played sixteen minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two three-pointers and a free-throw.

On the other end of the court, James Harden would get extremely hot for twenty-one points which included a three-pointer near the end of the second half.  He also had four rebounds, five assists, and one steal while Clint Capela saw to it that he had thirteen points on sixty-seven percent shooting.  Former Los Angeles Clippers’ guard Chris Paul contributed with six points and one assist while P.J. Tucker had a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Eric Gordon played the most minutes off of the bench but was limited to just five points as the visiting team went into halftime with a 64 to 55 lead.

The Houston Rockets would attempt to make a comeback as they went on a 53-52 run in the second half, shooting forty percent from the field.  During that run, Paul would start to warm up with seventeen points, five defensive rebounds, two assists, and two steals while drilling two three-pointers.  Harden continued to put on a scoring display as he had eleven points, which included a three-pointer in the final quarter.  Eric Gordon had ten points off of the bench but it wasn’t enough as the Utah Jazz crept away with a 116-108 win, tying the series up, 1-1.  Joe Ingles finished the game with a playoff career-high twenty-seven points, along with three rebounds and two assists while James Harden settled for thirty-two points, six rebounds, eleven assists, and two steals.

The Golden State Warriors take a 1-0 lead in the series as they rout the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-101

The Golden State Warriors take a 1-0 lead in the series as they rout the New Orleans Pelicans, 123-101

Tonight will mark the first game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors in their playoff series.  The Pelicans recently swept the Portland Trail Blazers, 4-0, to get to the Western Conference Semifinals while the Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 4-1.   This will be the first time since 2008 that the New Orleans Pelicans will get play in the Semifinals as they were defeated by the Spurs, 3-4, last time.  The Warriors and the Pelicans have battled each other a grand total of four times in the regular season as that series ended 3-1 in the Warriors’ favor.  Each team would look to take a 1-0 lead in this playoff series as they play each other at the Oracle Arena.

INACTIVES:

New Orleans Pelicans:

Alexis Ajinca (knee)
DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles; 25.2 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 47.0 FG%, 35.4 3P%)
Frank Jackson (foot)
DeAndre Liggins (coach’s decision; 1.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 37.7 FG%, 35.8 3P%)
Emeka Okafor (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 50.5 FG%)

Golden State Warriors:

Chris Boucher (ankle; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Patrick McCaw (back; 4.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 40.9 FG%, 23.8 3P%)
Zaza Pachulia (coach’s decision; 5.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 56.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Stephen Curry (knee; 26.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 49.5 FG%, 42.3 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Golden State Warriors would have full control of the game at the beginning as they shot fifty-three percent from the field in the first half, limiting the New Orleans Pelicans to forty-six percent.  In the midst of that, Kevin Durant would score eighteen points which included a three-pointer in the first quarter.  He collected seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocks to go along with that while Klay Thompson also had eighteen points.  Thompson had three three-pointers in the second quarter while grabbing four defensive rebounds and dishing off two assists.  Draymond Green contributed with twelve points and ten rebounds while Nick Young drilled a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Wisconsin-native Kevon Looney played fourteen minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points.

As for the New Orleans team, Anthony Davis earned himself twelve points on forty-six percent shooting.  He also had five rebounds, one steal, and one block while E’Twaun Moore scored nine points which held a three-pointer in the first quarter.  Former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Jrue Holiday also had nine points but shot only thirty-eight percent from the field.  Rajon Rondo saw to it that he got eight points, along with six defensive rebounds, nine assists, and one block.  Former Warriors’ shooting guard Ian Clark played the most minutes off of the bench but only scored two points as the home team went into the locker room with a commanding 76 to 55 lead.

The New Orleans Pelicans would attempt to make a comeback as they limit the Warriors to a 47-46 run, shooting forty-two percent from the field.  Thompson would start to cool off as he scored only nine points which contained a three-pointer in the middle of the third quarter.  Durant would help out with eight points while knocking down two three-pointers in the third quarter.  He also had six defensive rebounds while Young drilled another three-pointer near the end of the fourth quarter.  Jordan Crawford chalked up fourteen points off of the Pelicans’ bench but it wouldn’t be enough as the Golden State Warriors defeat the Louisiana team, 123-101, taking a 1-0 lead in the series.  Klay Thompson finished the game with twenty-seven points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while Anthony Davis settled for twenty-one points, ten rebounds, three steals (tying his playoff career-high) and two blocks.

The Philadelphia 76ers take a 2-1 lead in the series as they hand the Miami Heat a 128-108 loss

The Philadelphia 76ers take a 2-1 lead in the series as they hand the Miami Heat a 128-108 loss

Tonight will mark the third game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat in their playoff series.  The first game was on April 14 when the 76ers defeated the Heat with a 130-103 score.  During that game, J.J. Redick scored twenty-eight points, grabbed two rebounds, gave out one assist, and committed one steal while Kelly Olynyk finished with twenty-six points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block.  The 76ers and the Heat met up again on April 16 as the Heat got revenge with a 113 to 103 win.  Dwyane Wade finished that game with twenty-eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals while Ben Simmons had twenty-four points, nine rebounds, eight assists and two blocks.  Each team will look to grab a 2-1 lead as they battle each other in South Beach for their third game.

INACTIVES:

Philadelphia 76ers:

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (knee; 5.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 37.5 FG%, 33.5 3P%)
Richaun Holmes (coach’s decision; 6.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 56.0 FG%, 12.9 3P%)
Jerryd Bayless (7.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.6 FG%, 37.0 3P%)
Furkan Korkmaz (1.6 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 28.6 FG%, 29.4 3P%)

Miami Heat:

Dion Waiters (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 39.8 FG%, 30.6 3P%)
Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 0.6 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.4 APG, 20.0 FG%, 12.5 3P%)
Jordan Mickey (4.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 47.6 FG%, 12.5 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The beginning of the game would be held to a competitive standard as the Miami Heat shot fifty percent from the field while the Philadelphia 76ers shot forty-six percent.  Goran Dragic scored twelve points on sixty percent shooting while recording two defensive rebounds and five assists.  Justise Winslow played fifteen minutes off of the bench as he got hot for nineteen points, including four three-pointers.  North Dakota-native Tyler Johnson helped out with eight points while drilling two three-pointers in the first quarter.  Dwayne Wade was kept to just two points off of the bench while Hassan Whiteside had three points.  Kelly Olynyk played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer and a free-throw.

On the other end of the court, Joel Embiid chalked up eleven points but only shot twenty-nine percent from the field.  He did have a three-pointer late in the second quarter while putting up three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block.  Dario Saric had nine points which included a three-pointer in the second quarter.  He also had three rebounds and one assist while Robert Covington scored seven points with a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Ben Simmons also had seven points along with six rebounds, seven assists and one steal.  Former Golden State Warriors guard Marco Belinelli played fourteen minutes off of the bench as he had fourteen points but it was the home team who walked into halftime with a tight 64-63 lead.

The 76ers would respond in the second half with a huge 65 to 44 run as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field, keeping the Heat to forty-one percent.  During that run, Simmons, Saric and Embiid all had twelve points each.  Ben Simmons also collected six defensive rebounds and three steals while Dario Saric had three three-pointers, four rebounds and three assists.  Joel Embiid earned himself two three-pointers as well as four defensive rebounds, two assists and two blocks.  Goran Dragic and Josh Richardson each scored eleven points for the Heat but it wasn’t enough as the Philadelphia 76ers handed the Miami Heat a 128-108 loss, taking a 2-1 lead in the series.  Goran Dragic finished with twenty-three points, two rebounds, eight assists and one steal while Joel Embiid had twenty-three points in his return, along with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks.

The Philadelphia 76ers hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers, 132 to 130

The Philadelphia 76ers hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers, 132 to 130

The Philadelphia 76ers have recently clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2012 when Doug Collins was the head coach.   They will look to put fear in a team that they will potentially meet in the Playoffs as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center.  The Cavaliers are currently looking for their sixth straight victory while the 76ers are on a hot twelve-game winning streak.

This meeting between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will play each other this season.  They have battled each other a grand total of 210 times in the past as the Cavaliers won 104 games while the 76ers pulled out 106 victories.  March 1 was the last time they saw each other as the 76ers handed the Cavaliers a 108 to 97 loss.  During that game, J.J. Redick scored 22 points, pulled down 2 rebounds, and dished out 2 assists while LeBron James settled for 30 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and one steal.

INACTIVES:

Cleveland Cavaliers:

John Holland (coach’s decision; 1.5 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.2 APG, 27.5 FG%, 26.9 3P%)
London Perrantes (coach’s decision; 0.2 PPG, 0.2 RPG, 0.4 APG, 16.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Ante Zizic (coach’s decision; 3.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.2 APG, 71.9 FG%)
George Hill (ankle; 10.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 46.0 FG%, 41.6 3P%)
Jose Calderon (hamstring; 4.6 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 51.1 FG%, 47.3 3P%)

Philadelphia 76ers:

Joel Embiid (face; 22.9 PPG, 11.0 PPG, 3.2 APG, 48.3 FG%, 30.8 3P%)
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (knee; 5.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 37.5 FG%, 33.5 3P%)
Justin Anderson (coach’s decision; 5.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 42.1 FG%, 31.5 3P%)
Jerryd Bayless (coach’s decision; 7.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.6 FG%, 37.0 3P%)
Furkan Korkmaz (coach’s decision; 1.9 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.3 APG, 33.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Demetrius Jackson (1.1 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, 38.9 FG%, 14.3 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Philadelphia 76ers will start the game on a high note as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field in the first half, keeping the Cleveland Cavaliers at forty-three percent.  Former Milwaukee Bucks guard J.J. Redick scored nineteen points, which included 3 three-pointers.  He also had two defensive rebounds and one assist while Ben Simmons recorded thirteen points on sixty-seven percent shooting.  Simmons was also able to grab eleven rebounds while he gave out eight assists, committed three steals, and blocked one shot.  Robert Covington would help out as he connected for two three-pointers and grabbed two boards.  Marco Belinelli played fourteen minutes off of the bench as he earned himself twelve points.

On the other end of the floor, Jeff Green chalked up seventeen points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He also had 3 three-pointers while LeBron James contributed with nine points, five rebounds, and nine assists.  Five-time All-Star Kevin Love would see to it that he got seven points with a three-pointer early in the first quarter.  He also had six defensive rebounds and three assists while Rodney Hood was limited to just four points.  J.R. Smith would play the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points as the 76ers went into halftime with a huge 78-55 advantage.

The Ohio team would make a comeback in the second half as they went on an incredible 75 to 54 run, shooting sixty-three percent from the field.  During that run, LeBron James went off for thirty-five points while hitting two three-pointers in the third quarter and two more three-pointers in the fourth quarter.  He also had six defensive rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block while Green continued to help out with sixteen points.  Kevin Love was able to earn ten points, which held two three-pointers in the third quarter.  The 76ers, however, were able to hold off the Cavaliers as James missed two much-needed free-throws, winning the game 132-130.  J.J. Redick finished with twenty-eight points, two rebounds, and one assist while LeBron James had forty-four points, eleven rebounds, eleven assists, two steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Cleveland Cavaliers will travel to New York as they battle Tim Hardaway (17.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, 42 FG%) and the Knicks (27-51) on Monday at 7:30 p.m.  This matchup will mark the third of four times that they will play each other this season.  The Cavaliers and the Knicks have battled each other a total of 213 times in the past as the Cavaliers won 95 games while the Knicks went on to win 118 games.  The last time they clashed with each other was on November 13 when the Cavaliers crept away with a 104 to 101 win.  LeBron James finished that game with 23 points, 9 rebounds, 12 assists, and 3 blocks while Tim Hardaway had 28 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block.

The Philadelphia 76ers will host Harrison Barnes (18.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.0 APG, 45 FG%) and the Dallas Mavericks (24-55) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.  This game will mark the second and final time that these two teams will meet up this season.  They have played each other a grand total of 72 times as the Mavericks won 37 games while the 76ers were kept to 35 wins.  October 28 was the last time that the 76ers and the Mavericks battled each other as the Mavericks fell to the Philadelphia team, 112-110.  During that game, Ben Simmons scored 23 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, gave out 8 assists, committed 3 steals, and blocked one shot.  Joel Embiid also had 23 points, along with 9 rebounds, and 4 assists while Harrison Barnes finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, and one steal.

The Phoenix Suns get destroyed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-87

The Phoenix Suns get destroyed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-87

The Phoenix Suns cannot wait for this season to end as they are sitting at the fourteenth spot in the Western Conference with a 19-47 record.  They are also on a current three-game losing streak, hoping to break it as they visit Oklahoma to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The Thunder, on the other hand, are hoping to avoid a third straight loss as they are coming fresh off of a 122-112 defeat to the Houston Rockets.

The Suns and the Thunder have battled each other a grand total of 259 times in the past as the Suns won 140 games while the Thunder ended up with just 119 victories.  The last time they played each other was on March 2 as the Suns fell to the Thunder, 124 to 116.  During that game, Russell Westbrook scored 43 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished off 8 assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot while Devin Booker finished with 39 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and one block.

INACTIVES:

Phoenix Suns:

Brandon Knight (knee)
Alan Williams (knee)
Tyler Ulis (coach’s decision; 6.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 37.6 FG%, 25.7 3P%)
Jared Dudley (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 37.3 FG%, 35.7 3P%)
T.J. Warren (back, 19.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 50.0 FG%, 21.6 3P%)
Danuel House (G-League; 4.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 37.3 FG%, 25.8 3P%)

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Andre Roberson (knee; 5.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 53.7 FG%, 22.2 3P%)
Kyle Singler (1.9 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.2 APG, 33.3 FG%, 40.0 3P%)
Daniel Hamilton (3.0 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 45.5 FG%, 40.0 3P%)
PJ Dozier (1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Oklahoma City Thunder would have control at the beginning of the game as they shot forty-six percent from the field while their defense kept the Phoenix Suns to twenty-eight percent.  Seven-time All-Star Russell Westbrook scored 14 points while pulling down five defensive rebounds and dishing off six assists.  Carmelo Anthony helped out with 3 three-pointers while recording four defensive rebounds and one steal.  Both Paul George and Steven Adams had 8 points each while Corey Brewer earned six points, three defensive rebounds, one assist, and one steal.  Former Houston Rockets’ forward Patrick Patterson played 8 minutes off of the bench but was held completely scoreless.

On the other end of the floor, Devin Booker lit the floor up with 15 points while drilling two three-pointers in the first quarter.  He also had four defensive rebounds while Josh Jackson contributed with six points on only thirteen percent shooting.  Jackson added two rebounds, two assists, and one steal to that while Elfrid Payton had four points, three rebounds, and three assists.  Troy Daniels played the most minutes off of the Phoenix bench but was kept to just a three-pointer near the end of the first quarter as the Thunder went into halftime with a 49-38 lead.

The Thunder would close things out in the second half as they went on a 66 to 49 run, completing fifty-nine percent of their shots.  Westbrook continued to add to his scoring total as he chalked up 13 more points on a perfect one-hundred percent shooting.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while George also had 13 points.  He would earn nine of those points from beyond the arc while Brewer had 11 points.  Carmelo Anthony only scored two points in the 8 minutes that he played while Adams had 8 points.

Devin Booker continued to help the Suns out as he put up 15 more points.  He was able to connect for two three-pointers in the third period but it wasn’t enough as the Oklahoma City Thunder handed the Phoenix Suns a huge 115-87 blowout loss.  Russell Westbrook finished the game with 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists while Devin Booker would settle for 30 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Phoenix Suns will travel to North Carolina to clash with Kemba Walker (23.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.7 APG, 43 FG%) and the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.  This game will mark the second and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The Suns and the Hornets have met up a total of 55 times as the Suns won 34 games while the Hornets were limited to just 21 victories.  February 4 was the last time they saw each other as the Hornets slipped away with a 115-110 win.  Nicolas Batum finished that game with 22 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal while Josh Jackson earned 23 points, 5 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will host LaMarcus Aldridge (22.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.0 APG, 50 FG%) and the San Antonio Spurs (37-27) on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.  This meeting will mark the third of four matchups between these two teams this season.  They have saw each other a grand total of 199 times in the past as the Thunder won 89 games while the Texas team went on to pull out 110 victories.  The last time they battled each other was on December 3 when the Thunder handed the Spurs a 90-87 loss.  During that game, Russell Westbrook scored 22 points, pulled down 9 rebounds, gave out 10 assists, and came up with one steal while Dejounte Murray had 17 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and one block.

The Cleveland Cavaliers hand the Detroit Pistons their third straight loss, 112-90

The Cleveland Cavaliers hand the Detroit Pistons their third straight loss, 112-90

Things have been looking good for the Cleveland Cavaliers since the trades have been made as they have won 5 of their 9 games since the deadline.  But right now, they are hoping to avoid a third straight loss as they host the Detroit Pistons, who are also trying to avoid a third straight loss.  This matchup between the Cavaliers and the Pistons will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.

The Cavaliers and the Pistons have battled each other a grand total of 234 times in the past as the Cavaliers won 104 games while the Detroit team went on to pull out 130 victories.  The last time they saw each other was on January 30 when the Cavaliers were handed a disappointing 125-114 loss.  During that game, Stanley Johnson scored 26 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, gave out 4 assists, committed 2 steals, and blocked one shot while LeBron James had 21 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, and one block.

INACTIVES:

Detroit Pistons:

Reggie Jackson (ankle; 14.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 5.5 APG, 44.6 FG%, 33.9 3P%)
Jon Leuer (ankle; 5.4 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 0.6 APG, 41.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Jameer Nelson (coach’s decision; 5.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 40.2 FG%, 33.9 3P%)
Kay Felder (G-League; 3.7 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 29.4 FG%, 21.1 3P%)
Reggie Hearn (G-League; 3.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 100.0 FG%, 100.0 3P%)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Jeff Green (back; 10.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 48.5 FG%, 30.9 3P%)
Kevin Love (hand; 17.9 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 46.3 FG%, 40.4 3P%)
Tristan Thompson (ankle; 6.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 0.6 APG, 58.5 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The game would be somewhat competitive at the beginning as the Cavaliers shot forty-eight percent from the field in the first half while the Pistons ended up shooting forty-one percent.  Larry Nance Jr. got hot for 18 points on seventy-three percent shooting while recording three offensive rebounds and seven defensive rebounds.  LeBron James would help out with 16 points which included two three-pointers.  James also had five rebounds and three assists while Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, and Ante Zizic earned four points each.  Kyle Korver played nine minutes off of the bench but was limited to just a three-pointer in the middle of the second quarter.

As for the Michigan team, Blake Griffin lit the floor up with 15 points while connecting for two three-pointers in the first period.  He also had five rebounds, four assists, and one steal while Maryland-native Reggie Bullock earned eight points.  Bullock was able to knock down two three-pointers while Andre Drummond recorded six points, six rebounds, one steal, and one block.  Stanley Johnson played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just five points while the home team went into the locker room with a 54 to 49 lead.

The Cleveland Cavaliers would close things out in the second half as they went on a 58 to 41 run, shooting fifty percent from the field.  LeBron James added to his scoring total with 15 points while earning 3 three-pointers in the third quarter.  He also had 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal while Cedi Osman had 10 points off of the bench.  Nance would slow down as he had only four points in the second half while Rodney Hood earned nine points.  On the other end of the court, Griffin collected ten more points but it wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers handed the Pistons a 112-90 blowout loss.  LeBron James finished with 31 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and one steal while Blake Griffin had 25 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Detroit Pistons will host DeMar DeRozan (23.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.2 APG, 46 FG%) and the Toronto Raptors (45-17) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This matchup will mark the third of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  The Raptors and the Pistons have played each other a grand total of 89 times in the past as the Pistons earned 54 wins while the Raptors were kept to just 35 victories.  The last time they saw each other was on February 26 when the Raptors handed the Pistons a huge 123-94 blowout loss.  During that game, DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points, grabbed one rebound, gave out 7 assists, committed 2 steals, and blocked one shot.  Kyle Lowry also had 20 points, along with 6 rebounds and 4 assists while Andre Drummond had 18 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will travel to Colorado to battle Gary Harris (17.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 49 FG%) and the Denver Nuggets (35-28) on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.  This game will mark the second and final time that the Nuggets and the Cavaliers will meet up this season.  It was only four days ago when they last saw each other as the Cleveland team fell to the Nuggets, 126-117.  Gary Harris finished that game with 32 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal while LeBron James settled for 25 points, 10 rebounds, 15 assists, and 2 steals.