Tag: lbj

The Lakers spoil the Suns’ late comeback attempt, 117-107

The Lakers spoil the Suns’ late comeback attempt, 117-107

Thursday, January 2, 2020

 

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to start the new year off right as they try to come up with a win against the Phoenix Suns tonight at the Staples Center.  The Lakers are one of the four teams in the league who have managed to stay under 10 losses this season.  With a victory tonight, they will be able to push their regular season record to 27-7.

The Suns, on the other hand, are hoping to achieve their third straight win as they play their fourth and final game on this four-game road trip.  Tonight’s matchup will mark the second of four times that these two teams will see one another this season.  The last time they played each other was on November 12 when the Lakers escaped with a 123-115 win.  Anthony Davis finished that game with 24 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Devin Booker had 21 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, and one block.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Lakers and the Suns have battled each other a grand total of 312 times in the past as the Suns won 131 games while Lakers came away with 181 victories.

INACTIVES:

Phoenix Suns:

-Frank Kaminsky (knee; 11.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.2 APG, 45.5 FG%, 34.8 3P%)
-Ty Jerome (coach’s decision; 4.2 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 32.7 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
-Jalen Lecque (G-League)
-Jared Harper (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Los Angeles Lakers:

-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)
-Quinn Cook (coach’s decision; 4.6 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.3 FG%, 31.6 3P%)
-Jared Dudley (coach’s decision; 1.5 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.6 APG, 39.3 FG%, 52.6 3P%)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Devontae Cacok (G-League)
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Lakers would have full control of the game in the first half as they shot sixty-percent from the field, limiting the visiting team to just thirty-eight percent.  Anthony Davis got hot for 19 points, missing only one of his nine shots attempted.  He was able to hit a three-pointer in the process while Avery Bradley dropped 14 points.

LeBron James chalked up ten points while recording six rebounds, ten assists, two steals, and a block.  Former Spurs’ shooting guard Danny Green scored seven points which included a three-pointer in the first quarter.  Kyle Kuzma played 13 minutes off the bench as he had eleven points.

On the other end of the court, Devin Booker scored 17 points on fifty-four percent shooting.  He also had four assists and one rebound while Kelly Oubre helped out with 11 points.  Oubre was able to drill two three-pointers in the second period while Dario Saric and Aron Baynes combined for six points.  Deandre Ayton played the most minutes off the bench but only had two points as the Lakers went into halftime with an incredibly huge 43-17 advantage.

The Suns would not give in as they went on a 66-43 run coming out of the break.  During that run, Kelly Oubre threw up 15 points while grabbing four rebounds, dishing off two assists, and committing three steals.  He also had a three-pointer while Booker had 15 points on his own, hitting a three-pointer, as well.  Ayton played the most minutes off the bench as he put up 14 points.

As for the Lakers, James got hot for 21 points, knocking down a three-pointer in the process.  He also recorded seven rebounds and two assists while Davis had seven points.  Kuzma scored eight points off the bench as the Lakers were able to hold off the Suns, 117-107.  LeBron James finished the game with 31 points, a season-high-tying 13 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals, and one block while Devin Booker settled for 32 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Phoenix Suns will host Julius Randle (18.7 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 45.7 FG%, 29.1 3P%) and the New York Knicks (9-24) on Friday at 9:00 p.m.  This will mark the first of two meetings between these two ball clubs this season.

The Los Angeles Lakers will host Brandon Ingram (25.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 49.1 FG%, 40.9 3P%) and the New Orleans Pelicans (11-23) on Friday at 10:30 p.m.  This will be the second of four times that they see each other this season.  November 27 was the last time they played each other as the Lakers came away with a 114-110 win.  During that game, Anthony Davis scored 41 points, 9 rebounds, one assist, three steals, and one block while Jrue Holiday had 29 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists, and 3 steals.

The Lakers get by the Nuggets with a 105 to 96 victory

The Lakers get by the Nuggets with a 105 to 96 victory

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

 

The Los Angeles Lakers ten-game win streak came to an end on Sunday as they fell to Luka Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks, 114-100.  That game marked the first of many difficult games for the Lakers this December as they will play only four times at the Staples Center this month.  The Lakers will hope to grab a win tonight, though, as they battle the Denver Nuggets in Colorado.

The Nuggets, on the other hand, just recently came off a streak of their own.  On Saturday, they lost to the Sacramento Kings in a 100-97 overtime loss, ending their six-game win streak.  Tonight’s matchup between the Nuggets and Lakers will mark the first of four times that these two teams will play each other this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Lakers and the Nuggets have battled each other a grand total of 203 times in the past as the Nuggets won 77 games while the Lakers went on to grab 126 victories.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Avery Bradley (leg; 9.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48.8 FG%, 28.6 3P%)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)
-Quinn Cook (coach’s decision; 5.5 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.6 APG, 43.8 FG%, 36.4 3P%)
-Jared Dudley (coach’s decision; 1.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 40.0 FG%, 57.1 3P%)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (G-League)
-Zach Norvell (G-League)
-Kostas Antetokounmpo (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)

Denver Nuggets:

-Bol Bol (foot)
-Torrey Craig (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 34.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Michael Porter (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, 44.1 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
-Jarred Vanderbilt (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.3 APG)
-Vlatko Cancar (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-PJ Dozier (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Lakers would have a slight advantage in the first half as they shot forty-nine percent from the field while the Denver team shot forty-four percent.  LeBron James scored 13 points which included a three-pointer in the first period.  He also had three rebounds and three assists while Anthony Davis earned himself 10 points and seven rebounds.

Former Wizards’ center JaVale McGee contributed with four points while collecting four rebounds and blocking one shot.  Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for just four points.  Rajon Rondo played the most minutes off the bench as he scored nine points, hitting two three-pointers in the process.

On the other end of the court, Jamal Murray chalked up 11 points on fifty-percent shooting.  He also had four rebounds, two assists, and a steal while Paul Millsap had nine points.  Gary Harris chalked up four points while Nikola Jokic had three points, one rebound, five assists, and two steals.  Jerami Grant played nine minutes off the bench but only had five points as the Lakers went into the locker room with a 60-49 lead.

The Lakers would continue to impress in the second half as they shot forty-two percent from the field, keeping the Nuggets at thirty-seven percent shooting.  Davis had 15 more points to go along with three rebounds and a block.  He also had a three-pointer while James earned 12 points, three rebounds, and six assists.

As for the home team, Millsap scored 12 more points while Murray and Jokic combined for 21 points.  Gary Harris had five points but it was not enough as the Lakers came away with a 105-96 victory.  LeBron James finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists while Jamal Murray had 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Lakers will head to Utah to take on Donovan Mitchell (24.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 43.5 FG%, 36.9 3P%) and the Utah Jazz (12-9) on Wednesday.  This will mark the second of four meetings between these two teams this season.  The last time they played each other was on October 25 when the Lakers beat the Jazz, 95-86.  LeBron James finished that game with 32 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, and one steal while Donovan Mitchell had 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and one block.

The Denver Nuggets will travel to the Big Apple to battle Marcus Morris (18.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 42.4 FG%, 52.4 3P%) and the New York Knicks (4-17) on Thursday.  This will mark the first of two times that they will see each other this season.

The Miami Heat sneak by the Brooklyn Nets with a 109-106 win

The Miami Heat sneak by the Brooklyn Nets with a 109-106 win

Monday, December 2, 2019

 

The Miami Heat have been playing like they have a chip on their shoulder this season as they are sitting with a 13-5 record, good for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.  They are coming fresh off of a 122-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday.  The South Beach team will look to grab a second win as they battle the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center tonight.

As for the Nets, they are coming off of a 112-107 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday.  After tonight’s game, the Brooklyn team will go on a two-game road trip before returning back on Sunday.  Tonight’s matchup will mark the first of three times that these two teams will see each other this season.

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY:

The Heat and the Nets have battled each other a grand total of 137 times in the past as the New York team won 53 games while the Miami Heat went on to grab 84 victories.

INACTIVES:

Miami Heat:

-KZ Okpala (Achilles; 0.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 100.0 FG%)
-James Johnson (coach’s decision; 3.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.7 APG, 44.4 FG%, 22.2 3P%)
-Dion Waiters (suspension)
-Daryl Macon (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.3 APG, 33.3 FG%, 50.0 3P%)

Brooklyn Nets:

-Nicolas Claxton (hamstring; 3.0 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 52.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Kevin Durant (Achilles)
-Kyrie Irving (shoulder; 28.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 7.2 APG, 44.4 FG%, 34.1 3P%)
-Caris LeVert (thumb; 16.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 42.1 FG%, 36.1 3P%)
-Rodions Kurucs (G-League; 2.3 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.1 APG, 39.1 FG%, 42.9 3P%)
-Henry Ellenson (G-League; 0.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG)
-Timothe Luwawu Cabarrot (G-League; 0.5 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
-Wilson Chandler (suspension)

GAMETIME:

The Brooklyn Nets would have a slight advantage in the first half as they shot fifty percent from the field, keeping the Miami Heat to forty-one percent.  Spencer Dinwiddie warmed up with 16 points while knocking down 3 three-pointers in the process.  He also had two rebounds, three assists, and one steal while Joe Harris helped out with 14 points.

Texas-native Taurean Prince earned himself nine points while hitting two three-pointers in the process.  He also had three blocks while Garrett Temple and Jarrett Allen combined for nine points.  DeAndre Jordan played the most minutes off the bench as he had seven points, seven rebounds, and an assist.

On the other end of the court, Jimmy Butler scored 12 points but shot only thirty-six percent from the field.  He did have five rebounds and one assist, however.  Bam Adebayo contributed with nine points and seven rebounds.  Kendrick Nunn gave five points while hitting a three-pointer in the second quarter.

Duncan Robinson had a three-pointer in the first period while collecting three rebounds. Former Trail Blazers’ Meyers Leonard was held scoreless but managed to get three defensive rebounds.  Goran Dragic played 15 minutes off the bench as he had nineteen points but it was the New York team who went into halftime with a 65-58 advantage.

The South Beach ball club would make a comeback in the second period as they went on a 51-41 scoring run.  During that run, Leonard made up for his scoring drought as he scored nine points on seventy-five percent shooting.  He earned all those points from beyond the arc while Butler had five free-throws and a three-pointer.  Justise Winslow played the most minutes off the bench but only had six points.

As for the Nets, Harris and Dinwiddie combined for 24 more points.  Jordan played 11 minutes off the bench as he had eight points but it wouldn’t matter as the Miami Heat came back to defeat the Brooklyn Nets, 109-106.  Goran Dragic finished the game with 24 points, two rebounds, and six assists while Spencer Dinwiddie had 29 points, a season-high six rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Miami Heat will up north to fight Pascal Siakam (25.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 46.0 FG%, 37.7 3P%) and the Toronto Raptors (14-4) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.  This will mark the first of three matchups between these two teams this season.

The Brooklyn Nets will go to Georgia to take on Trae Young (28.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 8.4 APG, 45.4 FG%, 38.7 3P%) and the Atlanta Hawks (4-16) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.  This game will be the first of four times that they will see each other this season.

The Heat come back to defeat the Grizzlies, 120-101

The Heat come back to defeat the Grizzlies, 120-101

With the new acquisition of Jimmy Butler, who joined the Miami Heat via a sign and trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in a four-team trade, the Heat will look to get back into playoff form this season.  Even though the Heat are now without Dwyane Wade, who retired at the end of last season, their hopes to become a championship are still high.  The South Beach team is also without Hassan Whiteside, who was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers this offseason.

The Memphis Grizzlies stayed quiet during the offseason.  Their only trade was Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz in return for Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, and draft rights to Darius Bazley.  With the team in the process of rebuilding, they will hope to grab a win at the American Airlines Arena tonight.

INACTIVES:

Memphis Grizzlies:

-Solomon Hill (coach’s decision)
-Andre Iguodala (not with the team)
-Yuta Watanabe (G-League)
-Josh Jackson (not with the team)
-John Konchar (G-League)

Miami Heat:

-Jimmy Butler (not with the team)
-Dion Waiters (team suspension)
-James Johnson (conditioning)
-Udonis Haslem (wrist)

GAMETIME:

The Memphis Grizzlies would have the slight upper hand in the first half as they ended up shooting fifty-one percent from the field while the Miami Heat shot forty-one percent.  Jaren Jackson scored 11 points in the first half while collecting two rebounds.  Rookie guard Ja Morant helped out with ten points on seventy-one percent shooting.  Jae Crowder had eight points which included a three-pointer in the middle of the second quarter.  Serbia-native Marko Guduric played the most minutes off the bench but only had five points.

As for the South Beach ball club, Justise Winslow chalked up 12 points while shooting forty percent from the field.  He also racked up four assists, one steal, and one block while Bam Adebayo recorded nine points and nine rebounds.  Rookie Kendrick Nunn helped out with eight points on fifty percent shooting.  Goran Dragic played fifteen minutes off the bench as he had six points but it was the visiting team who went into the locker room with a 60 to 54 lead.

The Heat would turn it up in the second half as they went on a huge 66-41 run, shooting fifty-three percent from the field.  During that run, Nunn added to his impressive scoring with 16 more points which held a three-pointer in the fourth quarter.  Winslow saw to it that he had 15 more points, along with five rebounds and three assists.  Chris Silva played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight points.

On the other end of the floor, Jackson chalked up six more points while shooting a very low thirty-three percent.  Jonas Valanciunas was held to two points while Morant had four more points.  Tyus Jones played the most minutes off the bench but was kept to just six points as the Heat came back to defeat the Grizzlies, 120-101.  Justise Winslow finished the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, one steal, and one block while Jaren Jackson had 17 points, 3 rebounds, one steal, and two blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Memphis Grizzlies will host Lauri Markkanen (35.0 PPG, 17.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 52.0 FG%, 14.3 3P%) and the Chicago Bulls (0-1) on Friday at 8:00 p.m.  The Miami Heat will travel to Wisconsin to battle the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

Davis’ Laker debut is spoiled as the Clippers hand the Lakers a 112-102 loss

This offseason was one for the books.  With all the trades and team moves that took place this year, none are more exciting than the new additions to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers.  This offseason, the Clippers signed defending champion and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and traded a record number of draft picks for Paul George.  This move put the Clippers as favorites to win it all as they have two great defenders and scorers at the head with a bunch of other great defensive players behind them.

As for their rival, the Lakers, they hired Frank Vogel as head coach for the team with Jason Kidd as his assistant.  On the court, the Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to pair with three-time champion LeBron James.  In return, the Pelicans received Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks.  They also added Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley, DeMarcus Cousins, Jared Dudley, and Danny Green.

As the season starts, the Lakers and the Clippers will battle tonight for the upper hand in this season matchup.  This game will mark the first of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  Last year, they split the season series at two apiece.  Overall, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers met a total of 220 times with the Lakers winning 148 games and the Clippers grabbing 72.

INACTIVES:

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Kostas Antetokounmpo (coach’s decision)
-Alex Caruso (coach’s decision)
-Zach Norvell (coach’s decision)
-Kyle Kuzma (ankle)
-Talen Horton-Tucker (foot)
-Rajon Rondo (calf)
-DeMarcus Cousins (knee)

Los Angeles Clippers:

-Mfiondu Kabengele (coach’s decision)
-Terance Mann (coach’s decision)
-Johnathan Motley (coach’s decision)
-Jerome Robinson (coach’s decision)
-Amir Coffey (ankle)
-Derrick Walton
-Paul George (rehab)
-Rodney McGruder (ankle)

GAMETIME:

The Los Angeles Clippers would have the upper hand in the majority of the first half as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field, keeping the Los Angeles Lakers at forty-six percent.  Kawhi Leonard got hot for 20 points as he hit eight of his eleven shots attempted.  He had a three-pointer early in the second quarter as he collected three rebounds and gave out three assists.

Former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Landry Shamet helped out with five points which included a three-pointer in the second period.  Patrick Beverley was held to just two points but was able to record seven rebounds, three assists, and one block.  Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams contributed with 13 points off of the bench.

On the other end of the court, Anthony Davis chalked up eighteen points on forty-five percent shooting.  He also grabbed four rebounds, threw out two assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot.  LeBron James helped out with 14 points which held a three-pointer in the second quarter.  He also had four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Washington-native Avery Bradley had five points, missing only one of his three shots attempted.  Two-time NBA champion Danny Green had a three-pointer at the beginning of the game while JaVale McGee had just two points.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held scoreless as he played the most minutes off the bench while the Clippers went into halftime with a 62 to 54 advantage.

The Clippers would still impress in the second half as they shot forty-six percent from the field while the Lakers shot forty-one percent.  Leonard added 10 more points to his scoring total but only shot twenty-five percent from the field.  Leonard also recorded three more rebounds, two more assists, and two steals while Williams helped out with eight points.  Montrezl Harrell played eighteen minutes off of the bench as he had twelve points.

As for the Lakers, Danny Green got extremely hot for twenty-five points as he missed only one shot out of the ten taken.  He also had six three-pointers and four rebounds.  Anthony Davis and LeBron James disappeared in the second half as they went for a combined eleven points.  Caldwell-Pope was still held scoreless off of the bench as the Los Angeles Clippers spoiled Davis’ Laker debut, 112-102.  Kawhi Leonard finished the game with 30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Danny Green had 28 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Los Angeles Clippers will battle Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. at the new Chase Center.  The Los Angeles Lakers will host Mike Conley and the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center on Friday at 10:30 p.m.

The Nets eliminate the Lakers from the playoffs as they defeat them, 111-106

The Nets eliminate the Lakers from the playoffs as they defeat them, 111-106

The Los Angeles Lakers are on the brink of playoff elimination if they happen to get defeated by the Brooklyn Nets tonight in the Staples Center.  It would also mark the first time since 2004 that LeBron James would miss the postseason.  The Lakers on currently on a four-game losing streak, trying to avoid a fifth straight loss, which would tie their longest losing streak on the season.

The Nets, however, are trying to stay alive in the playoff run as they are sitting at the seventh seed with a 37-36 record.  They are seeking their second straight victory as D’Angelo Russell hopes to beat his former team.  It’s been four straight years since the Brooklyn Nets failed to make the playoffs but their confidence is at an all-time high.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets have met up with each other a grand total of 92 times as the Lakers won 68 games, holding the New York team to just 24 victories.  This event tonight will mark the second and final time that these two ball clubs will see each other this season.  December 18 was the last time they played each other as the Nets escaped with a 115-110 win.  During that game, D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, dished off 13 assists, and blocked one shot while LeBron James had 36 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, one steal, and one block.

INACTIVES:

Brooklyn Nets:

-Allen Crabbe (knee; 9.6 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 36.7 FG%, 37.8 3P%, 73.2 FT%)
-Shabazz Napier (illness; 9.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 38.9 FG%, 32.9 3P%, 83.3 FT%)
-Treveon Graham (coach’s decision; 5.0 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 32.9 FG%, 26.2 3P%, 77.8 FT%)
-Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (coach’s decision; 8.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 41.3 FG%, 19.1 3P%, 64.9 FT%)
-Dzanan Musa (G-League; 2.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 40.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 0.0 FT%)
-Theo Pinson (G-League; 4.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 34.9 FG%, 28.2 3P%, 86.4 FT%)
-Alan Williams (G-League; 3.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 60.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)

Los Angeles Lakers:

-Lonzo Ball (ankle; 9.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 40.6 FG%, 32.9 3P%, 41.7 FT%)
-Josh Hart (knee; 7.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 40.7 FG%, 33.6 3P%, 68.8 FT%)
-Brandon Ingram (Deep Venous Thrombosis; 18.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 49.7 FG%, 33.0 3P%, 67.5 FT%)
-Lance Stephenson (coach’s decision; 7.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.0 APG, 43.5 FG%, 37.9 3P%, 67.7 FT%)
-Scott Machado (coach’s decision)
-Mike Muscala (ankle; 6.5 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 38.4 FG%, 32.7 3P%, 81.5 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The beginning of the game would be held close as the Brooklyn Nets shot thirty-six percent from the field while the Los Angeles Lakers completed thirty-two percent of their shots.  Former Cleveland Cavaliers’ shooting guard Joe Harris ended up scoring thirteen points while drilling three 3-pointers.  The other four points came from the charity stripe.  He also had two defensive rebounds while Jarrett Allen contributed with nine points and nine rebounds.

D’Angelo Russell would drop six points in the first half while finishing the game with 21 points against his former squad.  Rookie Rodions Kurucs was able to knock down a three-pointer early in the first quarter while DeMarre Carroll was held scoreless.  Spencer Dinwiddie played 16 minutes off the bench but only had five points.

On the other end of the court, JaVale McGee got hot for fourteen points while shooting seventy-eight percent from the field.  He also had nine rebounds and three blocks while  Kyle Kuzma recorded eleven points while hitting two three-pointers.  LeBron James only had eight points in the first half but managed to get four rebounds and six assists.  Texas-native Alex Caruso played the most minutes off the bench but only had two points while the Nets went into the locker room with a close 44-43 lead.

The Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles would continue to battle it out as the Lakers shot forty-eight percent from the field in the second half while the Nets shot forty-four percent.  Carroll would make up for his scoreless first half as he got hot for 15 points, nailing three 3-pointers in the process.  He also collected five rebounds while Russell also had 15 points.  The former Laker hit four shots from beyond the arc while dishing out eight assists and grabbing a defensive rebound.  Dinwiddie played the most minutes off the bench as he earned 14 points, hitting a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.

As for the California ball club, McGee continued to show out as he poured 19 more points on the Nets while shooting seventy-three percent from the field.  He was able to pull down 11 more rebounds while preventing three of the Nets shots to go in.  James warmed up with 17 points while recording eight more assists and five rebounds to go along with a steal and a block.  Caruso had eight points off the bench but it wouldn’t matter as the Brooklyn Nets crept away with a 111 to 106 win over the Lakers, officially eliminating them from the playoffs.  This would be the sixth straight year that the Lakers would miss the playoffs and the first time over a decade that LeBron James would miss the postseason.

Joe Harris finished the game with twenty-six points, three rebounds, and two assists while D’Angelo had 21 points against his former team, along with two rebounds, thirteen assists, and three steals.  JaVale McGee ended up with a career-high thirty-three points and a career-high twenty rebounds.  He also had one steal and six blocks.

So…what’s next?

The Brooklyn Nets will travel to Oregon for their next stop to battle Damian Lillard (26.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.7 APG, 45.2 FG%, 37.3 3P%) and the Portland Trail Blazers (44-27) on Monday at 10:00 p.m.  This will mark the second and final time that these teams will play each other this season.  The last time they saw each other was on February 21 when the Trail Blazers handed the Nets a 113-99 loss.  Jusuf Nurkic finished the game with 27 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, and 3 blocks while Allen Crabbe settled for 17 points, 4 rebounds, one assist, and one block.

The Los Angeles Lakers will host Buddy Hield (20.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.5 APG, 46.1 FG%, 43.0 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (35-36) on Sunday at 9:30 p.m.  This game will mark the fourth and final meeting between these two ball clubs this season.  The last time they saw each other was on December 30 as the Lakers slid away with a 121-114 win.  During that game, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 26 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, gave out one assist and stole the ball twice while De’Aaron Fox recorded 26 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and one block.

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.

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.