Tag: kobe bryant

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.

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The Brooklyn Nets hand the Miami Heat their third straight loss, 104-92

The Brooklyn Nets hand the Miami Heat their third straight loss, 104-92

The Miami Heat are currently off to its second-worst start in the last twelve years as they are holding onto a 6-10 record, hoping to avoid their third straight loss.  They suffered that loss in the hands their former star, LeBron James, and the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Heat will look grab a much-needed win as they host the Brooklyn Nets, who are coming fresh off of a 127-119 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Heat and the Nets have clashed with each other a total of 134 times in the past as the Heat won 83 games, while the Nets were limited to just 51 victories.  This will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will match up this season.  The last time they played each other was on November 14 when the Florida team won, 120-107.  During that game, Tyler Johnson scored twenty-four points, pulled down five rebounds, gave out one assist, and blocked two shots while Spencer Dinwiddle recorded eighteen points, three rebounds, five assists, and one steal.  The New York team will look to even the season series out with a win tonight.

INACTIVES:

Brooklyn Nets:

-Treveon Graham (hamstring; 0.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Caris LeVert (foot; 18.4 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, 47.5 FG%, 31.1 3P%, 72.1 FT%)
-Kenneth Faried (coach’s decision; 3.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.0 APG, 75.0 FG%, 42.9 FT%)
-Rodions Kurucs (coach’s decision; 6.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.1 APG, 51.4 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Dzanan Musa (G-League; 1.7 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.2 APG, 41.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 0.0 FT%)
-Theo Pinson (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Alan Williams (G-League)
Miami Heat:

-Goran Dragic (knee; 16.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.7 APG, 41.6 FG%, 32.3 3P%, 76.0 FT%)
-Dion Waiters (ankle)
-Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 25.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Yante Maten (coach’s decision)
-Kelly Olynyk (coach’s decision; 8.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 46.0 FG%, 32.7 3P%, 78.6 FT%)
-Tyler Johnson (hamstring; 11.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.4 APG, 43.5 FG%, 32.4 3P%, 71.1 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The first half of this matchup will be held extremely close as both ball clubs shot thirty-three percent from the field.  Oklahoma-native Josh Richardson ended up scoring twelve points while knocking down five of his fourteen shots attempted.  He also recorded four defensive rebounds and two assists while Hassan Whiteside collected seven points for himself.  Whiteside ended up grabbing twelve boards while blocking two shots in the sixteen minutes that he played.  Wayne Ellington knocked down a three-pointer in the second quarter while Derrick Jones Jr. would be held scoreless.  Justise Winslow played the most minutes off the bench as he got hot for ten points.

As for the visiting team, Jarrett Allen chalked up nine points on fifty percent shooting.  He also had nine rebounds, one assist, and two rejections while D’Angelo Russell nailed two three-pointers early in the first quarter.  Former Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Joe Harris contributed with six points while Jared Dudley was kept scoreless.  Spencer Dinwiddie played fifteen minutes off of the bench but only scored seven points as the Miami Heat went into halftime with a 42 to 39 lead.

The Nets would come out of the locker room to go on a huge 65 to 50 run, shooting fifty-two percent from the field while the Heat shot thirty-nine percent.  During that run, Russell added to his scoring total as he dropped fourteen more points while grabbing four defensive rebounds.  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just four points.  Whiteside, on the other hand, scored fourteen points for the Heat but it wouldn’t matter as the Nets handed the Miami Heat a 104-92 loss.  D’Angelo Russell finished the game with twenty points, a season-high nine rebounds, six assists, a season-high four steals, and one block.  Hassan Whiteside had twenty-one points, twenty-three rebounds, one steal, and two blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Brooklyn Nets will head over to Texas to battle Luka Doncic (19.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 4.1 APG, 45.3 FG%, 37.5 3P%) and the Dallas Mavericks (7-9) on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.  This meeting will mark the first of two times that these ball clubs will play each other this season.  As for the Miami Heat, they will visit Illinois to take on Zach LaVine (25.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.0 APG, 43.2 FG%, 31.3 3P%) and the Chicago Bulls (4-13) on Friday at 8:00 p.m.  This matchup will be the first of three times that these two teams will meet this season.

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.

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 Oklahoma City Thunder hand the Memphis Grizzlies a 110-92 loss

The Oklahoma City Thunder hand the Memphis Grizzlies a 110-92 loss

The Memphis Grizzlies have one of the longest losing streaks in the league right now, hoping to avoid a sixth straight loss as they battle the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma.  The Thunder, on the other hand, are coming fresh off of a 106-81 blowout loss that was handed to them by the Los Angeles Lakers.  This game between the Grizzlies and the Thunder will mark the second of four meetings between these teams this season.

The Grizzlies and the Thunder have battled each other a grand total of 102 times in the past as the Grizzlies won 36 games while the Thunder went on to pull out 66 victories.  December 9 was the last time they clashed each other as the Thunder snuck away with a 102-101 overtime win.  During that game, Steven Adams scored 21 points, pulled down 9 rebounds and blocked one shot while Carmelo Anthony also had 21 points, along with 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.  Tyreke Evans finished the game with 29 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and one block.

INACTIVES:

Memphis Grizzlies:

Mike Conley (Achilles; 17.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, 38.1 FG%, 31.2 3P%)
Deyonta Davis (knee; 5.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 62.7 FG%)
Chandler Parsons (knee; 8.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 48.6 FG%, 41.1 3P%)
Wayne Selden (knee; 8.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 40.4 FG%, 38.1 3P%)
Kobi Simmons (G-League; 3.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 42.2 FG%, 23.1 3P%)
Brice Johnson (1.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.1 APG, 63.6 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Andre Roberson (knee; 5.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 53.7 FG%, 22.2 3P%)
Nick Collison (coach’s decision; 1.9 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.3 APG, 87.5 FG%)
Russell Westbrook (ankle; 25.5 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 10.3 APG, 44.5 FG%, 30.5 3P%)
Carmelo Anthony (ankle; 17.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.2 FG%, 34.7 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Oklahoma City Thunder would have control of the game in the first half as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field while the defense held the Grizzlies to forty-two percent.  Three-time All-Defensive player Paul George got hot for 16 points while nailing 3 three-pointers in the first period.  He also had three assists and one steal while Alex Abrines contributed with two three-pointers in the first quarter.  Steven Adams saw to it that he had four points and four rebounds while Patrick Patterson collected two points and three defensive rebounds.  Jerami Grant played 7 minutes off of the bench as he had four points.

On the other end of the floor, former San Antonio Spurs’ power forward JaMychal Green earned himself six points on seventy-five percent shooting.  Tyreke Evans, Dillon Brooks, and Andrew Harrison all had two points each while Marc Gasol was held scoreless in the nine minutes that he played.  Jarell Martin played the most minutes off of the Memphis Grizzlies’ bench but was kept to just four points as the home team went into the locker room with a huge 74-54 advantage.

The Grizzlies would attempt to make a comeback, though, as they shot thirty-one percent from the field in the second half while the Oklahoma team shot twenty-nine percent.  Chicago-native Myke Henry contributed to that as he earned himself eight points off of the bench.  Gasol would make up for lost time as he scored seven points but it wouldn’t be enough as the Thunder hold on for a 110-92 win behind George’s 11 second-half points.  Paul George finished the game with 27 points, one rebound, 6 assists, and 2 steals while JaMychal Green settled for 10 points, 5 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.  These two teams will play each other again on Wednesday but this time, it will be in Tennessee and it will mark the third of four times that these two teams will play each other this season.

 

The Chicago Bulls hand the Miami Heat a 119-111 loss, snapping their 7-game win streak

The Chicago Bulls hand the Miami Heat a 119-111 loss, snapping their 7-game win streak

The Miami Heat have been playing mighty impressive lately as they are currently on a seven-game winning streak, hoping to extend it to eight as they take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.  The Bulls, on the other hand, are looking to grab their third straight win against their rival.  The Heat and the Bulls have battled each other a total of 139 times in the past as the Heat won 64 games while the Bulls pulled 75 wins.

This game will mark the third of four matchups between these two ball clubs this season as November 26 was the last time they saw each other.  The Florida team would go on to win that game, 100 to 93.  Goran Dragic scored 24 points in that game while pulling down 2 rebounds and dishing off 3 assists.  Jerian Grant finished the game with 24 points, one rebound, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

INACTIVES:

Miami Heat:

Rodney McGruder (leg)
Dion Waiters (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 39.8 FG%, 30.6 3P%)
Okaro White (foot; 3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.3 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 0.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 40.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Derrick Jones (coach’s decision; 3.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 55.0 FG%, 16.7 3P%)
Jordan Mickey (coach’s decision; 4.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 47.8 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
A.J. Hammons (G-League)
Derrick Walton (G-League; 1.8 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, 33.3 FG%, 45.5 3P%)

Chicago Bulls:

Cameron Payne (foot)
Cristiano Felicio (coach’s decision; 3.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 61.9 FG%)
Quincy Pondexter (coach’s decision; 2.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, 28.6 FG%, 13.6 3P%)
Paul Zipser (coach’s decision; 3.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, 34.0 FG%, 30.3 3P%)
Antonio Blakeney (G-League; 7.1 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.6 APG, 36.4 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
Ryan Arcidiacono (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The Chicago Bulls would have a slight upper hand at the beginning of the game as they shot forty-eight percent from the field in the first half, keeping the Heat at forty percent.  Zach LaVine played well in his season debut against the Pistons on Saturday and he would carry it over against the Heat as he dropped 13 points in the first 24 minutes of the game.  He also drained two three-pointers while grabbing two defensive rebounds and giving out four assists.  Justin Holiday helped out with 3 three-pointers while Robin Lopez had five defensive rebounds.  Denzel Valentine played 12 minutes off of the bench but was kept to just four points.

As for the South Beach team, Josh Richardson warmed up with 11 points on fifty-seven percent shooting.  He also had three defensive rebounds and four assists while Hassan Whiteside collected nine points and seven defensive rebounds.  Kelly Olynyk had three defensive rebounds and three assists while James Johnson was held scoreless.  Wayne Ellington played the most minutes off of the bench as he scored eight points but it was the home team who went into halftime with a 55-48 lead.

The Miami Heat would attempt to pull a comeback as they shot fifty-six percent from the field, holding the Chicago Bulls to forty-eight percent.  Goran Dragic lit the floor up with 18 points while recording five defensive rebounds and eight assists.  Tyler Johnson was only held to two points but James Johnson would warm up with eight points.  Ellington played 20 minutes off of the Miami bench as he added 12 more points to his scoring total.

Nikola Mirotic scored 18 points off of the Bulls’ bench which included 3 three-pointers in the last period.  Lauri Markkanen had 12 points to put along with his five defensive rebounds and three assists.  Valentine played the most minutes off of the bench, though, to earn eight points as the Chicago Bulls snuck away with a 119-111 win.  Justin Holiday finished the game with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal, and one block.  Goran Dragic had 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists.

So…what’s next?

The Miami Heat will travel to Wisconsin to battle Giannis Antetokoumpo (28.4 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 55 FG%) and the Milwaukee Bucks (22-20) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This matchup will mark the second of three times that these ball clubs will battle each other this season.  The Heat and the Bucks have met up a grand total of 110 times as the Heat won 69 games while the Bucks ended up winning 41 games.  January 14 was the last time they played each other as the Heat escaped with a 97 to 79 victory.  Goran Dragic finished that game with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and one steal while Giannis Antetokounmpo settled for 22 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

The Chicago Bulls will host Stephen Curry (30.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 7.2 APG, 49 FG%) and the Golden State Warriors (35-9) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This will mark the second and final time that these two teams will go head-to-head this season.  They have battled each other a total of 160 times in the past as the Bulls ended up winning 87 games while the Warriors won 73 games.  The last time they played each other was on November 24 as the Warriors handed the Bulls a 143-94 blowout loss.  Stephen Curry scored 33 points in that game while pulling down 7 rebounds, dishing off 4 assists, and committing 2 steals.  Jerian Grant finished with 21 points, 3 assists, and 3 assists.

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 Timberwolves easily hand the Lakers their seventh straight loss, 114-96

The Timberwolves easily hand the Lakers their seventh straight loss, 114-96

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in a funk, hoping to break a six-game losing streak as they visit Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves.  The Minnesota Timberwolves, on the other hand, are looking to grab their second straight win as they come off a recent victory against the Indiana Pacers.  The matchup will mark the second of four times that these two teams will meet up with each other this season.

They have battled each other a total of 119 times in the past as the Lakers won 85 games while the Timberwolves ended up winning 34 games.  The last time that they played each other was on Christmas Day when the Timberwolves handed the Lakers a 121-104 loss.  During that game, both Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson scored 23 points each while Butler recorded 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals.  Gibson finished with 9 rebounds and one steal.  Kyle Kuzma had 31 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and one block.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

Lonzo Ball (shoulder; 10.0 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 7.1 APG, 34.9 FG%, 29.7 3P%)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (personal; 13.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 40.0 FG%, 33.0 3P%)
Brook Lopez (ankle; 12.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 44.4 FG%, 29.7 3P%)
Luol Deng (2.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)
Thomas Bryant (G-League; 0.5 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Justin Patton (toe)
Jeff Teague (knee; 13.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 7.3 APG, 44.7 FG%, 37.5 3P%)
Shabazz Muhammad (coach’s decision; 3.9 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 37.5 FG%, 21.1 3P%)
Anthony Brown (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Timberwolves would start the game off right as they shot forty-seven percent from the field in the first half, limiting the Lakers to thirty-eight percent.  Jimmy Butler had 13 points to put with his two rebounds, three assists, and three steals.  Andrew Wiggins would score 11 points while shooting only thirty-eight percent.  He also had five rebounds while Karl-Anthony Towns chalked up seven points and six rebounds.  Gorgui Dieng played 16 minutes off of the bench as he had 13 points.

On the other end of the court, both Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson would score ten points each while Julius Randle got his hands on eight rebounds.  Tyler Ennis committed two steals while knocking down a three-pointer late in the second quarter.  Corey Brewer ended up playing the most minutes off of the Los Angeles bench as he recorded nine points but it was the home team who went into halftime with a 60-48 advantage.

The Minnesota team would close things out in the second half as they went on a 54-48 run, shooting fifty percent from the field.  The Lakers would, however, shoot fifty-three percent from the field as a team as Clarkson put up ten more points.  He played the most minutes off of the bench while Julius Randle continued to contribute with eight points and four defensive rebounds.

Butler scored 15 points for the Timberwolves as he shot a huge seventy-one percent from the field.  He also dished off six assists while Wiggins had ten points, four defensive rebounds, and two assists.  Taj Gibson helped out with ten points, as well, while Towns had seven rebounds and nine points.  Jamal Crawford would play nine minutes off of the bench but was held scoreless as the Minnesota Timberwolves easily pull a 114-96 victory over the Lakers, handing them their seventh straight loss.  Jimmy Butler finished with 28 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, and one block.  Jordan Clarkson would settle for 20 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Lakers will host Russell Westbrook (24.8 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 10.0 APG, 43 FG%) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (20-17) on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.  This game will mark the first of four times that these two teams will play each other this season.  The Lakers and the Thunder have battled each other a total of 283 times as the Thunder won 117 games while the Lakers pulled 166 wins.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will visit New York to take on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (15.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 50 FG%) and the Brooklyn Nets (13-23) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.  This will be the first time they play each other this season as they will battle each other a total of two times.  They have met up a total of 53 times in the past as the Nets won 23 games while the Timberwolves ended up winning 30 games.

The Los Angeles Clippers pull away with a 120-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Clippers pull away with a 120-115 win over the Los Angeles Lakers

It seems like the Los Angeles Clippers has taken over as the top Los Angeles basketball team as the Lakers would be stuck in a four-year playoff drought, going on five years if they fail once again.  But with Magic Johnson in charge and the new additions of rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma, they would hope to break that streak but it won’t be easy as the Western Conference has grown to become more competitive than ever.

Tonight, the Clippers will host their city rivals at the Staples Center as this matchup will mark the second of four meetings this season between these two teams.  The Lakers and the Clippers have met up a total of 213 times with the Lakers winning 145 games and the Clippers winning 68 games.  The last time that they battled each other was on the season’s opener, October 19.  During that game, Blake Griffin scored 29 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, dished off 3 assists, and committed 2 steals.  Brook Lopez had 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Clippers:

Patrick Beverley (knee; 12.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.9 APG, 40.3 FG%, 40.0 3P%)
Danilo Gallinari (buttocks; 12.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.0 APG, 35.5 FG%, 26.0 3P%)
Milos Teodosic (foot; 5.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 4.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 42.9 3P%)
Jamil Wilson (coach’s decision; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
Brice Johnson (G-League; 2.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.2 APG, 71.4 FG%)

Los Angeles Lakers:

Tyler Ennis (coach’s decision; 1.8 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 36.8 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Ivica Zubac (coach’s decision; 0.8 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%)
Alex Caruso (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)
Luol Deng (2.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)
Vander Blue (G-League; 0.5 PPG, 0.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 33.3 FG%)
Thomas Bryant (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Clippers would start things off right for the game as they shot fifty-six percent from the field in the first half, limiting the Lakers to forty-eight percent.  Blake Griffin would end up dropping 15 points with two three-pointers in the second quarter.  He also had eight rebounds and four assists while former Lakers’ player Lou Williams scored 13 points.  Austin Rivers would collect 12 points while earning four rebounds and three assists.  Rookie guard Sindarius Thornwell played the most minutes off of the bench as he settled for just a three-pointer.

On the other end of the floor, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would help the Lakers out as he heats up for 20 points while knocking down four three-pointers in the first quarter.  Kyle Kuzma ended up with ten points as Larry Nance collected four rebounds to put with his six points.  Jordan Clarkson would play 14 minutes off of the bench to earn six points as the Lakers go into halftime with a tight 62-60 lead.

The Clippers would end up outscoring the Lakers, 60-53, in the second half behind Lou Williams’ amazing 29 points.  Blake Griffin would have 11 points but unfortunately, he would have to leave the game in the fourth quarter due to a knee injury.  Brandon Ingram would put up 15 points for the Lakers, along with Clarkson’s 11 points but it was the Los Angeles Clippers who sneak away with a 120-115 win.  Lou Williams finished the game with a season-high 42 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and one steal.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would end up with a season-high 29 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and 3 steals.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Clippers will host Rodney Hood (17.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.8 APG, 42 FG%) and the Utah Jazz (9-11) on Thursday at 10:30 p.m.  The Clippers and the Jazz have battled each other a total of 193 times with the Clippers pulling 83 wins while the Jazz had 110 wins.  This game would mark the second of four times they play each other this season as the Clippers defeated the Jazz on October 24, 102 to 84.  During that game, Blake Griffin scored 22 points, pulled down 9 rebounds, dished off 6 assists, and blocked one shot.  Donovan Mitchell had 19 points, 2 rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

The Los Angeles Lakers will host Klay Thompson (20.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 50 FG%) and the Golden State Warriors (15-5) on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.  These two teams have met up a total of 447 times with the Lakers winning 275 games and the Warriors winning 172 of them.  This game would mark the first of four matchups between them this season.