Tag: king james

The Pistons end the Celtics’ eight-game winning streak, 113 to 104

The Pistons end the Celtics’ eight-game winning streak, 113 to 104

The Boston Celtics are currently in the midst of their longest winning streak this season, looking for their ninth straight victory.  They will hope to do that as they battle the Detroit Pistons at the Little Caesars Arena.  The Pistons, however, are facing the complete opposite situation.  They are trying to find a way to put an end to what is now a six-game skid.

The Celtics and the Pistons have played each other an inclusive total of 420 times in the past as Detroit Pistons won 156 games while the Boston team went on to win 264 matchups.  This meeting between the two teams will mark the third of four times that the Celtics and Pistons will battle each other during this season.

The last time they saw each other was on October 30 when the Celtics pulled out a 108-105 victory.  During that game, Kyrie scored 31 points, pulled down 5 rebounds, dished off 5 assists, and committed one steal while Blake Griffin finished with 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, and one block.

INACTIVES:

Boston Celtics:

-Jabari Bird (personal)
-Al Horford (knee; 12.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.4 APG, 49.1 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 70.0 FT%)
-Guerschon Yabusele (ankle; 1.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 32.0 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 87.5 FT%)
-Semi Ojeleye (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 39.7 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
-Brad Wanamaker (coach’s decision; 3.2 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 48.1 FG%, 44.4 3P%, 83.3 FT%)
-PJ Dozier (G-League; 3.5 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

Detroit Pistons:

-Henry Ellenson (ankle; 6.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Zaza Pachulia (illness; 4.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 38.6 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 80.3 FT%)
-Glenn Robinson (ankle; 4.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 39.0 FG%, 30.6 3P%, 84.6 FT%)
-Ish Smith (groin; 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 41.5 FG%, 32.9 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Khyri Thomas (coach’s decision; 1.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 33.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-Keenan Evans (G-League)
-Zach Lofton (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

With both the Pistons and the Celtics having something to prove, they played hard in the first half, shooting in the low 50-percents.  Kyrie Irving would get hot as he scored 17 of Boston’s 56 first-half points.  He nailed a three-pointer in the middle of the first period while recording 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.  Marcus Morris, who is averaging a career-high 15 points per game this season, was kept to just seven points in the 15 minutes that he played in the first half, finishing the game with a sum of nine points.

Jayson Tatum, Aron Baynes, and Marcus Smart all chipped in with six points each while Smart earned his from beyond the arc.  Gordon Hayward, who is still trying to bounce back from a nasty injury he endured in last season’s opener, played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just two points.

On the other end of the floor, Blake Griffin put up 11 points on 36 percent shooting, including a trey in the first period.  Reggie Bullock, who missed the last five games due to an ankle injury, drilled two three-pointers and a free-throw to earn himself seven points.  Andre Drummond had 5 points in the first half but grabbed 6 rebounds and blocked one shot while recording one assist and one steal.  Langston Galloway played 15 minutes off the bench as he chalked up 10 points, helping the home team gain a 57-56 lead at halftime.

The Detroit Pistons would be about business in the second half as they went on a 56 to 48 run, shooting 46 percent from the field.  Griffin added 16 more points to his scoring total while earning four defensive rebounds and two assists.  He did, however, have five turnovers.  Andre Drummond contributed with 14 points while going up for 14 boards and preventing 3 shots from going in.  Jose Calderon, who is averaging a career-low two points a game this season, played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just three points.

As for the Massachusetts team, Marcus Smart lit the floor up with 15 points while hitting three treys.  He also had 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals while Tatum helped out with 11 points.  Irving struggled in the last half as he was limited to just nine points on 23 percent shooting.  Hayward had four points off the bench but it wouldn’t matter much as the Pistons held on to end the Celtics’ eight-game winning streak, 113-104.  Blake Griffin finished the game with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and one steal while Kyrie Irving had 26 points, a season-high-tying 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals.

So…what’s next?

The Boston Celtics will host T.J. Warren (18.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 52.1 FG%, 44.4 3P%) and the Phoenix Suns (5-24) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.  This matchup will mark the second and final meeting between these two ball clubs this season.  November 8 was the last time they met up as the Celtics escaped with a 116 to 109 victory.  Kyrie Irving finished that game with 39 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and one block while Devin Booker settled for 38 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3 steals.

The Detroit Pistons will host Giannis Antetokounmpo (26.6 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 6.1 APG, 58.2 FG%, 13.1 3P%) and the Milwaukee Bucks (19-9) on Monday at 7:00 p.m.  This will be the second of four games that these two teams will play against each other this season.  The last time they battled each other was on December 5 when the Pistons fell to the Bucks, 92-115.  During that game, Eric Bledsoe scored 27 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished off 4 assists, and committed 3 steals while Blake Griffin had 31 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and one block.

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The Chicago Bulls push through the Oklahoma City Thunder, 114-112

The Chicago Bulls push through the Oklahoma City Thunder, 114-112

The Chicago Bulls are currently trying to avoid an 8th straight loss as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the United Center.  The last time the Bulls suffered an 8-game losing streak was last year when they lost a total of 10 straight.  They are tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the worst record in the East at 5-20 and at risk of missing the playoff for a second straight time.

As for the Thunder, they are coming fresh off a 114-112 win against the Brooklyn Nets, all thanks to Paul George, who nailed a clutch 3-pointer to secure the win.  They are looking for their 5th straight victory.  The Thunder and the Bulls have played each other a grand total of 151 times in the past as the Thunder won 74 games while the Chicago team pulled out 77 wins.  This will mark the first of two matchups between these ball clubs this season.  The Thunder swept the Chicago Bulls last season in their season series, 2-0.

INACTIVES:

Oklahoma City Thunder:

-Andre Roberson (knee)
-Deonte Burton (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 44.4 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 83.3 FT%)
-Raymond Felton (coach’s decision; 4.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 35.2 FG%, 17.9 3P%, 88.9 FT%)
-Abdel Nader (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (2.5 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Tyler Davis (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)

Chicago Bulls:

-Kris Dunn (knee; 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 7.0 APG, 30.8 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
-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; 9.7 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 44.0 FG%, 44.8 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
-Cristiano Felicio (coach’s decision; 3.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.6 APG, 56.8 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 77.8 FT%)
-Tyler Ulis (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Rawle Alkins (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Chicago Bulls would have control in the first half as they completed 57 percent of the shots they put up, limiting the Oklahoma City Thunder to 46 percent shooting.  The 2018-2018 All-Rookie selection Lauri Markkanen scored 16 points while knocking down four 3-pointers.  He also had 3 rebounds while Zach LaVine contributed with 13 points, 3 defensive rebounds, and 6 assists.  He was able to drill a trey midway through the first session while Ryan Arcidiacono had a 3-pointer in the first period.  He finished the game with just those three points.  Robin Lopez played the most minutes off the bench as he chipped in with 10 points.

On the other end of the court, Steven Adams put up 17 of Oklahoma City’s 62 points while pulling down 5 rebounds but had three turnovers.  Paul George scored 16 points which included a 3-pointer before the first quarter expired.  He shot 63 percent from the field in the first half but struggled overall as he only made 6 of his 16 shots attempted in the game, ending with 38 percent shooting from the field, lowest of all five Thunder starters.

Russell Westbrook recorded 9 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals while Terrance Ferguson was held scoreless in the 14 minutes that he played, attempting only two shots.  Former Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder played the most minutes of all the reserves in the first half as he gave eleven points but it was the home team who went in the break with a 70 to 62 advantage.

The Thunder would not give up, though, as they came out of the locker room to spark a 50-44 run, including a big 29-17 run in the third period.  During that time, Westbrook added 15 more points to his scoring total while knocking down two 3-pointers.  He also collected 7 more rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals but had 7 turnovers.  George would start to see his shooting decline as he only scored three points, earning them from beyond the arc just one minute into the third.

MARKKANEN SAVES THE DAY:

With 34 seconds left in the game and the score being 109-108 in the Bulls’ favor, Dennis Schroder would complete a driving layup to give the Thunder a one-point lead.  That would force the Chicago team to call a timeout.  Out of the timeout, Justin Holiday would drill a huge three-pointer off of a Lauri Markkanen assist, giving the Bulls a 112-110 lead.  Four seconds out of a Thunder timeout, Russell Westbrook would drive the ball in the paint for a layup, tying the game up at 112 apiece.  But Markkanen respond as he made a driving layup with only four seconds left in the game to allow the home team to regain the lead.  Paul George would attempt a three-pointer after a Thunder timeout but would fail to convert as the Bulls hold off the Thunder, 114-112, bringing an end to their seven-game losing streak.

Zach LaVine finished the game with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals but had a career-tying nine turnovers.  Russell Westbrook scored 24 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, dished off 13 assists, and committed a season-tying 4 steals.  Those stats would complete his triple-double (109th of his career; 5th of the season) but had a season-high 10 turnovers.

So…what’s next?

The Oklahoma City Thunder will host Donovan Mitchell (20.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, 42.7 FG%, 29.2 3P%) and the Utah Jazz (13-13) on Monday at 8:00 p.m.  This meeting will mark the first of four matchups between these two teams this season.  The Thunder would win the regular-season series against the Jazz, 3-1, before losing to them in the first round of the playoffs, 2-4.

The Chicago Bulls will host Kyrie Irving (22.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.4 APG, 48.5 FG% 39.2 3P%) and the Boston Celtics (14-10) on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.  This will be the second time that these two teams will see each other this season as one more game lies ahead of them.  The first time they met up each other was on November 14 when the Celtics handed the Bulls a 111-82 blowout loss.  During that game, Jaylen Brown scored eighteen points, grabbed six rebounds, gave out three assists, and committed one steal while Shaquille Harrison had sixteen points, six rebounds, one assist, and four steals.

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 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 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 Pacers pull off a comeback as they hand the Cavaliers their third straight loss, 97-95

The Pacers pull off a comeback as they hand the Cavaliers their third straight loss, 97-95

Things have been ugly for the Cleveland Cavaliers lately as they are going off back-to-back 20+ point losses, first to the Minnesota Timberwolves and then the Toronto Raptors.  They will hope to avoid a third straight loss as they visit Indianapolis to take on the Indiana Pacers.  The Pacers, on the other hand, are looking to prevent a second straight loss as they just recently lost to the Miami Heat.

The Cavaliers and the Pacers have battled each other a total of 195 times in the past as the Cavaliers won 96 games while the Indiana team took 99 games.  This matchup will mark the third of four times that these two ball clubs will play each other this season.  The Pacers won the last matchup, which was on December 8, 106-102.  During that game, Victor Oladipo scored 33 points, pulled down 8 rebounds, dished off 5 assists, and committed one steal.  LeBron James finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, one steal, and 2 blocks.

INACTIVES:

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Derrick Rose (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 47.0 FG%, 23.1 3P%)
Iman Shumpert (knee; 4.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 38.6 FG%, 28.0 3P%)
Isaiah Thomas (rest; 12.3 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 35.3 FG%, 26.1 3P%)
Channing Frye (coach’s decision; 4.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.7 APG, 49.6 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Dwyane Wade (rest; 11.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 44.5 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
John Holland (G-League; 0.8 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 25.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
London Perrantes (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
Ante Zizic (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 26.4 FG%)

Indiana Pacers:

Glenn Robinson III (ankle)
Edmond Sumner (knee)
Myles Turner (elbow; 13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.6 APG, 49.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Ike Anigbogu (coach’s decision; 1.6 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.0 APG, 37.5 FG%)
Alex Poythress (coach’s decision; 1.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.1 APG, 40.0 FG%, 42.9 3P%)
Joe Young (coach’s decision; 4.1 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.7 APG, 47.5 FG%, 35.7 3P%)
Ben Moore (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Cleveland Cavaliers will have full control of the game early as they shot fifty percent from the field in the first half, keeping the Indiana Pacers at forty-eight percent.  LeBron James would score 14 points while draining a three-pointer in the middle of the second quarter.  He also had four rebounds, eight assists, and three steals while Kevin Love chalked up eight points.  Jose Calderon would have eight points while J.R. Smith collected a surprising six points.  Jeff Green played 12 minutes off of the Cleveland bench as he earned a strong 13 points.

On the other end of the court, Thaddeus Young scored 10 points with two three-pointers in the middle of the second period.  Victor Oladipo also had 10 points of his own while recording one defensive rebound, one steal, and one block.  Domantas Sabonis had 10 rebounds but only score two points in the 16 minutes that he played.  Lance Stephenson played the most minutes off of the bench but only had four points while the Ohio team went into halftime with a 58-44 advantage.

The home team would crawl back as they went on a large 53-37 run, shooting forty-four percent from the field.  During that run, former Mavericks point guard Darren Collison chalked up 14 points while shooting seventy-five percent from the field.  Sabonis had 10 more points to put with his five rebounds and one block.  Stephenson played 18 minutes off of the Indiana bench as he got hot for 12 points.

As for the Cavaliers, LeBron James added 13 more points to his scoring total, along with four rebounds, three assists, and one block.  Kevin Love would also score 10 points while Cedi Osman had six points and four rebounds.  Tristan Thompson played the most minutes off of the bench but only had two points as the Indiana Pacers pulled an amazing comeback to win the game, 97-95.  Darren Collison finished the game with 22 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals while LeBron James had 27 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Cleveland Cavaliers will host Stephen Curry (27.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.4 APG, 49 FG%) and the Golden State Warriors (33-9) on Monday at 8:00 p.m.  They have met up a grand total of 128 times as the Cavaliers pulled 59 wins while the Warriors won 69 games.  This matchup will mark the second and final time that they will play each other this season.  The last time they played each other was on Christmas Day as the Warriors escaped with a 99-92 victory.  Kevin Durant finished that game with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 5 blocks.  Kevin Love would settle for 31 points, 18 rebounds, and 2 steals.

The Indiana Pacers will travel to Arizona to battle Devin Booker (24.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 4.3 APG, 44 FG%) and the Phoenix Suns (16-26) on Sunday at 8:00 p.m.  The Pacers and the Suns have played each a total of 85 times in the past as the Suns won 48 games while the Pacers ended up winning 37 games.  This game will mark the first of two games that they will play against each other this season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers earn their third straight win against the Charlotte Hornets, 115 to 107

The Cleveland Cavaliers earn their third straight win against the Charlotte Hornets, 115 to 107

After a slow start at the beginning of the season, it seems that the Cleveland Cavaliers may have figured all their troubles out.  Coming off of an intense matchup at the Madison Square Garden, the Ohio team is looking for their third straight victory as the visited North Carolina to take on the Charlotte Hornets, who are hoping to avoid a fifth straight loss.  These two teams have met up a total of 103 with the Cavaliers winning 62 games while the Hornets/Bobcats won 41 games.

INACTIVES:

Cleveland Cavaliers:

Jose Calderon (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.7 APG, 42.9 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Cedi Osman (coach’s decision; 1.0 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.1 APG, 42.9 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Ante Zizic (coach’s decision; 1.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)
Derrick Rose (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 47.0 FG%, 23.1 3P%)
Isaiah Thomas (hip)
John Holland (G-League)
Tristan Thompson (calf; 4.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.4 APG, 57.7 FG%)
London Perrantes (G-League)

Charlotte Hornets:

Michael Carter-Williams (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 12.5 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Johnny O’Bryant III (coach’s decision; 5.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 40.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
Marcus Paige (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
Mangok Mathiang (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%)
Treveon Graham (quadriceps; 4.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 38.6 FG%, 29.4 3P%)
Julyan Stone (hamstring; 3.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

Even though the Cavaliers were successful in this matchup, it didn’t come easy as the Hornets held a 67-61 lead at the end of the second quarter.  LeBron James chalked up 19 points in the first half which included two three-pointers.  He also pulled down four rebounds and dished off three assists while Kevin Love had 14 points, which would hold a three-pointer he drilled in the first three minutes of the game.  J.R. Smith had seven points in the first half to put with his three assists and two defensive rebounds.  Jeff Green played the most minutes off of the bench in the first half as he recorded eight points and two rebounds.

Nicolas Batum had 15 points in the first half as he shot seventy-eight percent from the field.  Kemba Walker ended up scoring 12 points which included two three-pointers to add to his six assists that he dished off.  Jeremy Lamb played 14 minutes off of the bench as he chalked up nine points and grabbed four defensive rebounds.  Marvin Williams had three defensive rebounds as the Hornets went into the locker room with a slight advantage.

The Cleveland Cavaliers would respond in the second half as they went on a 54 to 40 run, shooting forty-four percent from the field while keeping the home team to forty percent.  James continued to impress as they threw up 12 points while shooting only thirty-nine percent from the field.  He also dished off five assists while Love had eight points and five rebounds.  Kyle Korver played 14 minutes off of the bench in the second half as he knocked down two three-pointers and two free-throws.

Michael-Kidd Gilchrist tried to keep the Hornets in it as he scored 12 points on eighty-six percent shooting.  He also gobbled up four defensive rebounds while Walker had eight points which held a three-pointer he drilled in the third period.  Cody Zeller played the most minutes off of the Charlotte bench in the second half but was kept to just four points as the Cavaliers came back to win the game, 115-107.  LeBron James finished with 31 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would finish with a season-high 22 points, 6 rebounds, a season-high 2 steals, and 2 blocks. ”It’s easy to hang your head and give up when things get hard, but that’s not who we are as a team,” Dwight Howard said after the loss. ”The guys in this locker room are built better than that.”

So…what’s next?

The Cleveland Cavaliers will host Blake Griffin (23.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 4.7 APG) and the Los Angeles Clippers (5-8) for the first time this season on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  These two teams have met up a total of 124 times with the Cavaliers winning 73 of the games as the Clippers/Braves won 51 of them.  The Charlotte Hornets will travel to Illinois to take on Bobby Portis (15.8 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.3 APG) and the Chicago Bulls (2-10) on Friday at 8:00 p.m.  The Hornets and the Bulls have met up a total of 113 times with the Hornets/Bobcats winning 40 games while the Bulls ended up winning 73 of them.

The Cavaliers continue to fight through struggles as they pull away with a 124-119 win over the Bucks

The Cavaliers continue to fight through struggles as they pull away with a 124-119 win over the Bucks

The Cleveland Cavaliers started this season with hope as they acquired players such as Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose during the offseason.  But unfortunately, things would not go well for them so far.  Yes, they handed former player Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics a loss in the season opener but since then, it’s been an up-and-down roller coaster, losing to teams such as the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.

“We got a lot of experience and we’re banking on that.  Eventually, we’re going to figure this thing out,” says J.R. Smith, who is currently averaging five points per game, three rebounds per game, and two assists per game.  With the schedule they have ahead of them, there is no telling when and if they are going to figure it out.  Tonight, they would take on the 4-5 Milwaukee Bucks at the Quicken Loans Arena.

LeBron James played the most minutes for the home team as he exploded for thirty points, hitting one three-pointer in the second quarter and another one in the last quarter.  He nearly notched his 76th triple-double of his career as he pulled down eight rebounds and dished off nine assists.  Former Timberwolves’ forward Kevin Love had an impressive season-high thirty-two points to go along with his season-high sixteen rebounds.  J.R. Smith took advantage of the starting role he was given as he chalked up a season-high twenty points.

Dwyane Wade was coming off a twenty-five-point game against the Hawks as he scored twenty points tonight as the Bucks’ defense.  Iman Shumpert had six points and five rebounds in the nineteen minutes that he played for the Cavaliers.  Tyronn Lue decided to keep Calderon, Frye, Osman, and Zizic out for this game.

Khris Middleton was the player who played the most minutes for the Milwaukee Bucks as he is coming off of a 16-point game against the Detroit Pistons.  He had 20 points in tonight’s game to go along with a season-high eleven rebounds.  He committed three steals while Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 40 points against LeBron James.  Malcolm Brogdon ended up settling for a season-high 22 points, which included four impressive three-point shots.  The Cleveland Cavaliers ended up avoiding a second straight loss as they fight and pull away with a 124 to 119 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.  The next game for the Cavaliers will be a somewhat difficult one as they travel to Texas to take on James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

The Celtics extend their winning streak to nine as they hand the Hawks a 110 to 107 loss

The Celtics extend their winning streak to nine as they hand the Hawks a 110 to 107 loss

The first quarter of this matchup would be held close as the Hawks shot forty-five percent from the field while the Celtics shot thirty-nine percent. Former Hawks’ forward Al Horford would start off with seven points, earning three of them from beyond the arc. Horford collected four defensive rebounds while Kyrie Irving gave five points which would include one three-pointer.

Jaylen Brown chalked up four points with two coming from the free-throw line. Terry Rozier came off of the bench to dropped a three-pointer while Jayson Tatum was held to just two points and one defensive rebound.

As for the Atlanta team, Luke Babbitt would score five points off of one-hundred percent shooting from the field. He collected three of them from behind the arc while Dewayne Dedmon would score five points, as well, with three from beyond the arc, too. Kent Bazemore was held to two points but did manage to grab four defensive rebounds. Marco Belinelli was kept three points, two assists, and two steals as Boston went into the second quarter with a 26-25 lead.

The Hawks would respond in the second quarter as they shot sixty-two, holding the Celtics to fifty percent. Dennis Schroder would heat up eleven points on eighty percent shooting. He earned three of those points from behind the arc while Dedmon contributed with eight points, three defensive rebounds, one assist, and two blocks.

Irving lit the floor up with eleven points, as well, hitting a three-pointer in the process of doing so. Tatum would contribute with four points, two defensive rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block. Brown would knock down a three-pointer while Rozier did the same. Horford was held to just two points, one rebound, and two assists as both teams went into halftime tied, 54 apiece.

The Celtics would have something to say in the third as they shot fifty-two percent from the field, limiting the Hawks to just thirty-three percent. Jayson Tatum would start to heat up as he scores ten points, six coming from behind the three-point line. Kyrie helped out with seven points, hitting a three-pointer in the process. Irving also had four assists while Horford collected six points, three rebounds, and two assists. Smart was held to just a three-pointer but he did pull down three rebounds while dishing off three assists.

Schroder ended up scoring eight points with six of them coming from beyond the arc.  He also recorded two defensive rebounds and two assists while Taurean Prince drilled a three-pointer.  Luke Babbitt also collected a three-pointer while getting his hands on two defensive rebounds in the nine minutes that he played as the Celtics went into the last period with an 82-75 lead.

The Atlanta Hawks went on a 32 to 28 run in the fourth quarter as they shot forty-eight percent from the field but the Celtics still shot fifty percent from the field.  Kyrie Irving would light the floor up with twelve points on seventy-one percent shooting from the field.  He would drill a three-pointer while doing so as Semi Ojeleye came off the bench to knock down two three-pointers.  Terry Rozier was kept to two points but he did manage to grab three defensive rebounds and dish off two assists.

On the other end of the floor, Belinelli scored nine points with three coming from beyond the arc and four from the free-throw line.  Malcolm Delaney played the entire quarter as he hits three 3-pointers but it was the Boston Celtics who pull away with a 110 to 107 win.  Kyrie Irving finished with thirty-five points, three rebounds, and seven assists.  Dennis Schroder would finish with twenty-three points, two rebounds, six assists, and two steals.

The Hawks sneak away with a 117-115 win over the Cavaliers

The Hawks sneak away with a 117-115 win over the Cavaliers

Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks are dealing with their own struggles as the Cavaliers are still recovering from a difficult four-game losing streak.  The Hawks, on the other hand, are currently in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, their longest losing streak since the 2013-2014 season.  Obviously, winning this game in Cleveland against the Cavaliers would be a huge deal for them.

For this game, the Cavaliers would still be without Isaiah Thomas (hip), along with Iman Shumpert (knee; 6.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.0 APG), John Holland (G-League), Tristan Thompson (calf; 4.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.4 APG), London Perrantes (G-League), and Jose Calderon (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.7 APG).  The Atlanta Hawks were without Ersan Ilyasova (knee; 5.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.8 APG), Josh Magette (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 0.2 RPG, 0.6 APG), Miles Plumlee (quadricep), Mike Muscala (ankle; 6.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.0 APG), DeAndre’ Bembry (wrist; 6.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.0 APG), Nicolas Brussino (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG), Malcolm Delaney (coach’s decision; 5.5 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 2.5 APG), and Tyler Dorsey (coach decision; 2.0 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.2 APG).

The Hawks would start the game off right as they shoot a high seventy-two percent from the field, keeping the Cavaliers at thirty-five percent.  Former Heat forward Luke Babbitt scored eight points in the first quarter with six coming from beyond the three-point line.  Kent Bazemore collected seven points in the twelve minutes that he played, six coming from beyond the arc and the other point from the free-throw line.  He also gathered up one offensive rebound and three defensive rebounds while Dewayne Dedmon shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field to earn himself six points.  He also had two defensive rebounds while Dennis Schroder received seven points to go along with the seven assists.

Dwyane Wade would warm up as he scores eight points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field. LeBron James contributed with six points, two offensive rebounds, and four assists as he played for the entire quarter. Rose shot only seventeen percent from the field while he received four points in return. J.R. Smith was able to knock down a three-pointer but it was the Atlanta team who went into the second period with a 37-28 advantage.

Both teams held it close in the next quarter as the Cavs shot twenty-five percent from the field and the Hawks shot twenty-four percent. Wade would continue to stay hot as he chalks up eleven more points, three coming from behind the arc and four from the charity stripe. He also collected six rebounds while James was kept scoreless in the seven minutes that he played. Love was held to two points but he would get his hands on three rebounds.

On the other end of the court, Isaiah Taylor came off of the bench to deliver six points while Taurean Prince four points and four defensive rebounds. Babbitt played for ten minutes just to be held to three points and two defensive rebounds. John Collins just limited to two points but he would manage to pull down six rebounds as the Atlanta Hawks went into halftime with a 54-45 lead.

The third quarter would still be kept close as the Cavs shot sixty-one percent from the field while the Georgia team shot fifty-six percent. Dennis Schroder would light the floor up with thirteen points while shooting eighty-three percent from the field. He knocked down a three-pointer in the process while collecting two defensive rebounds. Prince contributed with eight points with six coming from beyond the arc. Luke Babbitt was limited to just a three-pointer in the ten minutes he played.

As for the Ohio team, LeBron James would warm up with ten points as he shot sixty-seven percent from the field. He dished off four assists while Channing Frye contributed with seven points, earning three of them from behind the arc.  Frye also collected four defensive rebounds while Jae Crowder shot one-hundred percent from the field, earning four points.  Smith was held scoreless while dishing off three assists but it was still the Hawks who ended the third quarter with a 91 to 78 advantage.

The Cavaliers ended up coming back in the fourth quarter as they went on a 37 to 26 run, shooting fifty-four percent from the field while holding the Hawks to forty-five percent.  Kyle Korver got extremely hot as he lit the floor with nineteen points on seventy-eight percent shooting.  He earned fifteen of them from beyond the arc while grabbing two rebounds.  James scored ten points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He did that while grabbing two defensive rebounds, dishing off five assists, committing one steal and blocking one shot.  Wade would be held to just two points in the twelve minutes he played but did manage to grab four rebounds and give out five assists.

As for the Hawks, Schroder chalked up eight points while Bazemore delivered five points, two rebounds, and two assists.  Rookie John Collins ended up with five points, as well, along with two offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds.  The game would come down to the wire but it was still the Atlanta Hawks who escaped with a 117-115 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Dennis Schroder finished with twenty-eight points, three rebounds, and nine assists.  LeBron James would finish with twenty-six points, five rebounds, thirteen assists, one steal, and two blocks.