Tag: toronto raptors

The Denver Nuggets survive the Toronto Raptors, 106-103

The Denver Nuggets survive the Toronto Raptors, 106-103

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

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

INACTIVES:

Denver Nuggets:

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

Toronto Raptors:

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

GAMETIME:

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

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

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

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

DOWN-TO-THE-WIRE:

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

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

FINAL RESULTS:

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

So…what’s next?

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

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

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

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

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

SERIES RECAP:

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

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

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

INACTIVES:

Toronto Raptors:

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

Cleveland Cavaliers:

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

GAMETIME:

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

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

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

The 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 Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards with a 108-98 score, taking a 3-2 series lead

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Washington Wizards with a 108-98 score, taking a 3-2 series lead

Tonight’s matchup between the Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors will mark the fifth game in their playoff series.  The first game was on April 14 when the Raptors defeated the Wizards with a 114-106 score.  During that game, Serge Ibaka scored twenty-three points, grabbed twelve rebounds, gave out one assist and blocked two shots while John Wall had twenty-three points, three rebounds, fifteen assists, four steals and two blocks.  The Raptors would also take Game 2 as they pulled out a 130-119 victory.  DeMar DeRozan finished that game with thirty-seven points, five rebounds, and four assists while John Wall had twenty-nine points, four rebounds, nine assists and one block.

The Washington Wizards would make a desperate comeback as they handed the Raptors a 122-103 blowout loss in Game 3.  During that game, Bradley Beal scored twenty-eight points, pulled down four rebounds, dished out four assists and committed three steals.  John Wall also had twenty-eight points, along with seven rebounds, fourteen assists, four steals and one block while DeRozan finished with twenty-three points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block.  Game 4 would also be a victory for the Washington team as they snuck away with a 106 to 98 win.  Beal had thirty-one points in that game, along with five rebounds and two assists while DeRozan had thirty-five points, six rebounds, six assists and one steal.  The Wizards will look to take a 3-2 lead in the series as they travel back to Canada to battle the Raptors for Game 5.

INACTIVES:

Washington Wizards:

Jodie Meeks (suspension; 6.3 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.9 APG, 39.9 FG%, 34.3 3P%)
Tim Frazier (coach’s decision; 3.0 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.3 APG, 39.5 FG%, 30.4 3P%)
Jason Smith (coach’s decision; 3.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 39.1 FG%, 12.5 3P%)
Chris McCullough (2.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.2 APG, 42.9 FG%, 12.5 3P%)
Ramon Sessions (4.9 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.8 APG, 35.9 FG%, 30.8 3P%)

Toronto Raptors:

Fred VanVleet (shoulder; 8.6 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.2 APG, 42.6 FG%, 41.4 3P%)
Lorenzo Brown (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 41.2 FG%, 16.7 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (coach’s decision; 1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 53.3 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Lucas Nogueira (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.4 APG, 61.3 FG%, 26.3 3P%)
Malachi Richardson (3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The beginning of the game would be somewhat competitive as the Toronto Raptors shot forty-five percent from the field while the Washington Wizards shot thirty-eight percent.  DeMar DeRozan would get extremely hot as he scored twenty points which included two three-pointers.  He also had two assists while Kyle Lowry contributed with seven points which held a three-pointer in the second period.  Lowry had two defensive rebounds and three assists while Jonas Valanciunas earned himself six points, six rebounds, and two blocks.  Meanwhile, Serge Ibaka was kept to just two points on thirty-three percent shooting while OG Anunoby was held scoreless.  California-native Delon Wright played twelve minutes off of the bench as he chalked up seven points.

As for the visiting team, John Wall saw to it that he got twelve points while grabbing five defensive rebounds, dishing off four assists and committing one steal.  Bradley Beal would help out with eight points which included a three-pointer at the end of the second quarter.  Beal also had three defensive rebounds and three assists while Otto Porter threw up seven points on fifty percent shooting.  Kelly Oubre played the most minutes out of Washington’s reserves but was restricted to five points as the Raptors went into halftime with a tight 48 to 47 lead.

The Canada team would close things out in the second half, though, as they sparked up a 60-51 run while shooting forty-eight percent from the field.  In the course of that run, DeRozan received twelve points which carried a three-pointer near the end of the third quarter.  The 20th pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft Delon Wright assisted with eleven points on a high sixty percent shooting.  On the other end of the court, John Wall chalked up fourteen points but that wouldn’t be enough as the Toronto Raptors take a 3-2 series lead with a 108-98 victory.  DeMar DeRozan finished the game with thirty-two points, two rebounds, and five assists while John Wall had twenty-six points, nine rebounds, nine assists, one steal and three blocks.

The Raptors extend their winning streak to six as they take down the Heat, 115-112

The Raptors extend their winning streak to six as they take down the Heat, 115-112

The Toronto Raptors have been playing with a lot of confidence lately as they currently have the number one seed in the Eastern Conference, holding onto a 39-16 record.  They will hope to grab their sixth straight win as they host the Miami Heat in Canada, who are coming fresh off of a five-game losing streak.  This meeting between these two ball clubs will mark the second of three times that they will play each other this season.

The Raptors and the Heat have battled each other a grand total of 87 times as the Heat won 54 games while the Raptors were limited to just 33 wins.  The last time they met up was on January 9 when the Miami team snuck away with a 90 to 89 victory.  During that game, Goran Dragic scored 24 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, committed one steal, and blocked one shot while DeMar DeRozan finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists.

INACTIVES:

Miami Heat:

Rodney McGruder (leg)
Kelly Olynyk (shoulder; 11.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 49.5 FG%, 36.8 3P%)
Dion Waiters (ankle; 14.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 39.8 FG%, 30.6 3P%)
Luke Babbitt (coach’s decision; 6.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 0.7 APG, 47.6 FG%, 44.1 3P%)
Udonis Haslem (coach’s decision; 0.6 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 0.4 APG, 40.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Jordan Mickey (coach’s decision; 4.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.5 APG, 47.8 FG%, 9.1 3P%)
Derrick Jones (G-League; 3.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.5 APG, 38.6 FG%, 13.3 3P%)
Derrick Walton (G-League; 1.9 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 1.1 APG, 33.3 FG%, 41.2 3P%)

Toronto Raptors:

Lucas Nogueira (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 59.0 FG%, 21.4 3P%
Lorenzo Brown (G-League; 1.2 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Malcolm Miller (G-League; 2.0 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Malachi Richardson (G-League; 3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.5 APG, 33.3 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (G-League; 1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%)

GAMETIME:

The game would start very competitve as the Heat shot fifty-five percent from the field while Canada team ended up shooting fifty percent.  Wayne Ellington would knock down 3 three-pointers in the second quarter as he grabbed three rebounds.  The 2016 NBA leader in blocks Hassan Whiteside would contribute with eight points while shooting fifty-seven percent from the field.  He also had 7 rebounds and one steal while Dwyane Wade had six points off of the bench.  Goran Dragic ended up scoring seven points but only shot thirty-eight percent from the field.  James Johnson played 17 minutes off of the bench as he had eleven points.

As for the Raptors, Kyle Lowry poured 13 points on the court while knocking two three-pointers down in the second quarter.  He also had two defensive rebounds and six assists while DeMar DeRozan earned himself seven points on thirty-three percent shooting.  Serge Ibaka helped out with seven points, as well, along with four defensive rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas had six points.  Former Utah Jazz player C.J. Miles played the most minutes off of the bench to get hot for ten points as the Raptors went into halftime with a 57 to 55 lead.

The home team would close things out of the second half as they went on a 61 to 57 run, shooting forty-five percent from the field.  During that run, DeRozan lit the floor up with 20 points which included a three-pointer in the middle of the third period.  He also had two rebounds and three assists while Lowry added to his scoring total by chalking up 12 more points.  Lowry earned nine of those points from beyond the arc while Ibaka had 7 points and 6 rebounds.  Dragic, on the other end, got extremely hot for 21 points but it wasn’t enough as the Raptors hold the Heat off, 115 to 112.  DeMar DeRozan finished the game with 27 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal while Goran Dragic had 28 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.

So…what’s next?

The Miami Heat will travel to Pennsylvania to battle Joel Embiid (23.7 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 49 FG%) and the Philadelphia 76ers (29-25) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  This meeting will mark the second of four times that they will clashed with each other this season.  The 76ers and the Heat have met up a total of 119 times in the past as the 76ers won 57 games while the Heat went on to win 62 games.  February 2 was the last time they saw each other as the 76ers pulled away with a 103-97 victory.  Ben Simmons finished that game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and one block while Kelly Olynyk had 19 points, 6 rebounds, one assist, and one block.

The Toronto Raptors will visit the Windy City to take on Zach LaVine (17.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 41 FG%) and the Chicago Bulls (20-36) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This game will mark the fourth and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The Raptors and the Bulls have battled each other a grand total of 84 times as the Raptors won 36 games while the Bulls went on to pull out 48 victories.  The last time they played each other was on January 3 when the Raptors handed the Bulls a 124-115 loss.  During that game, DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, dished out 6 assists, and committed 3 steals while Justin Holiday had 26 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and one steal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Memphis Grizzlies hand the Los Angeles Clippers a 113-104 blowout loss

The Memphis Grizzlies hand the Los Angeles Clippers a 113-104 blowout loss

The Memphis Grizzlies would hope to avoid a three-game losing streak as they visited California to take on the Clippers at the Staples Center.  Mike Conley and Marc Gasol decided to suit up for this game while the Grizzlies would be without Wayne Selden (quadricep), Andrew Harrison (coach’s decision), Deyonta Davis (coach’s decision), JaMychal Green (foot/ankle), Kobi Simmons (G-League), Ivan Rabb (G-League), Ben McLemore (G-League), and Vincent Hunter (G-League).  The Clippers were without Jawun Evans (coach’s decision), Sam Dekker (coach’s decision), Milos Teodosic (foot), C.J. Williams (G-League), Brice Johnson (G-League), and Jamil Wilson (G-League).

The first quarter would be held close as the Grizzlies shot forty-four percent while the Clippers would shoot forty percent.  Mike Conley ended up scoring eight points while shooting forty-three percent from the field.  Marc Gasol played for ten minutes but was limited to just six points while he gobbled up three defensive rebounds.  James Ennis shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  Chandler Parsons came off of the bench to put up four points while Brandan Wright scored two points off of the bench.

As for the Clippers, Blake Griffin warmed up with ten points while shooting sixty percent from the field.  Three of those points came from beyond the arc as he collected two offensive rebounds, one defensive rebound, one assist, and one steal.  Austin Rivers contributed to five points while knocking down a three-pointer in the process.  Patrick Beverley chalked up five points to go along with his three rebounds while Danilo Gallinari collected two defensive rebounds.  DeAndre Jordan was held scoreless in the ten minutes that he played but managed to grab four rebounds as the Memphis team ended the first quarter with a tight 27 to 25 lead.

The Los Angeles Clippers would try to respond in the next period as they shot fifty-eight percent from the field while holding the Grizzlies to forty-eight percent.  Gallinari ended up posting up six points on sixty-seven percent shooting from the field.  Beverley would also collect six points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  Former Lakers’ Lou Williams contributed with six points, as well, while Griffin scored five points to go along with the three defensive rebounds he grabbed.

On the other end of the court, Mario Chalmers would come off of the Memphis bench to record nine points while shooting eighty percent from the field.  Tyreke Evans also came off the bench to deliver seven points while hitting a three-pointer in the process.  Mike Conley would knock down a three-pointer and two free-throws while Gasol was kept scoreless in the six minutes that he played.  Even though the Clippers showed signs of life, the Grizzlies still had a 60-56 lead heading into halftime.

The third quarter was kept close as the Clippers shot forty-eight percent from the field while the Memphis Grizzlies shot forty-seven percent.  Evans continued to contribute to the Memphis lead as he chalked up nine points, three from behind the arc and the other six from the free-throw line.  Blake Griffin would also help out as he recorded nine points of his own.  Jordan played nine minutes as he scored six points and pulled down three offensive rebounds.  Gasol ended up scoring six points which would include one three-pointer while Mike Conley was held to five points, including one three-pointer.  Dillon Brooks had three defensive rebounds while Patrick Beverley had two defensive rebounds as the Grizzlies maintained an 87 to 80 lead at the end of the third.

The visiting team closed things out in the last period as they shot forty-seven percent from the field while holding the Clippers to thirty-nine percent.  Patrick Beverley warmed up with ten points on fifty percent shooting from the field.  Griffin had three defensive rebounds and six points while Brandan Wright had two defensive rebounds.  Gasol scored nine more additional points, three coming from beyond the arc and four from the charity stripe.  Conley had four points in the closing quarter as the Memphis Grizzlies escaped with a 113 to 104 victory over the Clippers.  Conley finished with twenty-two points, one rebound, three assists and one steal while Griffin ended up with thirty points, eleven rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Damian Lillard’s late three-pointer gives the Trail Blazers a 113-110 win over the Lakers

Damian Lillard’s late three-pointer gives the Trail Blazers a 113-110 win over the Lakers

The Portland Trail Blazers started the game with shooting a high seventy-one percent in the first quarter while limiting the Los Angeles Lakers to forty-four percent.  Ohio-native C.J. McCollum started off hot as he shoots eighty-three percent from the field to earn himself thirteen points.  He collected nine of those points from beyond the arc while Jusuf Nurkic chalked up ten points.  Nurkic also dished off three assists while Damian Lillard had seven points, three from beyond the three-point line and the other four from the charity stripe.  Lillard also gave out the assists while Evan Turner came off of the bench to record two points, three rebounds, and two assists.

As for the Lakers, Kyle Kuzma played six minutes off of the bench as he dropped seven points, shooting sixty percent from the field.  Brook Lopez would contribute with four points but would earn two of them from the free-throw line.  Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Julius Randle would both come off the bench to also be limited to four points each while Lonzo Ball would be held scoreless in the eight minutes that he played.  He would, however, get off two assists but it was still the Portland team who ended the first quarter with a huge 41 to 25 advantage.

The purple-and-gold would respond in the second period with a 37 to 25 run, shooting sixty-three percent while holding the Blazers to forty-two percent.  Former Nets’ center Brook Lopez would start to warm up as he scores thirteen points off of eighty-three percent shooting.  Jordan Clarkson came off of the bench to help out with six points while grabbing one defensive rebound and dishing off two assists.  Kuzma continued to work as he put up four points and two defensive rebounds.  Randle came off of the bench to also put up four points to go along with his three defensive rebounds while Lonzo was kept scoreless.

On the other end of the court, Jusuf Nurkic would chalk up ten points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  Lillard ended up with six points, along with one offensive rebound and two assists.  Former Lakers’ forward Ed Davis came off of the bench to score three points while pulling down one offensive rebound and three defensive rebounds.  Maurice Harkless was limited to just two points as the Trail Blazers closed out the first half with a 66-62 lead.

The Lakers continued to impress as they shot fifty-seven percent from the field as a team, holding the Blazers at only thirty percent.  Brandon Ingram would decide to warm up with eight points while gobbling up two defensive rebounds.  Caldwell-Pope ended up scoring five points while knocking down a three-pointer in the process.  Larry Nance and Brook Lopez would each be held to just three points, both earn one of them from the free-throw line.  Even though Ball was still scoreless in the third quarter, he managed to grab one defensive rebound while blocking two shots.

As for the Oregon team, Damian Lillard continued to contribute as he dropped ten points but only shot twenty-nine percent from the field.  He earned six of those points from the free-throw line while grabbing two boards.  McCollum helped out with a three-pointer and one free-throw as he gave out two assists.  Caleb Swanigan came off of the bench to give three points while pulling down two offensive rebounds and one defensive rebound.  Evan Turner was scoreless in the seven minutes he played but he did grab two defensive rebounds while dishing off two assists.  Nurkic recorded two points and two defensive rebounds while the Trail Blazers went into the third quarter with a tight 87-85 lead.

The Lakers continued to shoot at a high rate as they shot fifty-six percent from the field in the fourth period while the Portland team shot forty-three percent.  Kyle Kuzma played for the entire quarter as he chalked up nine points, hitting a three-pointer in the process.  Brook Lopez scored seven points in the quarter, three coming from beyond the arc and two from the free-throw line.  Corey Brewer was held at two points while grabbing two defensive rebounds while Ball was scoreless.

As for the other team, Damian Lillard scored nine more additional points with three coming from beyond the arc.  He was able to gobble up one offensive rebound and one defensive rebound while Nurkic collected six points.  Harkless was held scoreless but he did manage to get his hands on two defensive rebounds.  The game would be tied with fifteen seconds left but Damian Lillard would connect for a 30-foot three-pointer with one second left to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 113-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.  Brook Lopez finished with twenty-seven points, three rebounds, and one assist while Lonzo Ball would be held scoreless.  Damian Lillard ended up with thirty-two points, six rebounds, and five assists.

The Warriors overcome a slow start as they hand the Spurs a 112 to 92 blowout loss

The Warriors overcome a slow start as they hand the Spurs a 112 to 92 blowout loss

The San Antonio Spurs were trying to avoid a four-game losing streak as they hosted the somewhat-struggling Golden State Warriors.  The Warriors are, however, coming fresh off of a 141-133 win against their rival, Los Angeles Clippers.  For this game, the Warriors would be without Quinn Cook (G-League), along with Kevon Looney, Damian Jones, and Chris Boucher (G-League).  The Spurs would play without Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps), Tony Parker (quadriceps), Matt Costello (G-League), Darrun Hilliard (G-League) and Joffrey Lauvergne (ankle).

The Spurs would start the game off right as they shot forty-eight percent from the field while the Warriors shot forty-one percent.  LaMarcus Aldridge would heat up for eleven points as he shot fifty percent in the twelve minutes that he played.  He would connect for two three-pointers in the process while recording one offensive rebound and one assist.  Manu Ginobili shot sixty-seven percent from the field as he received five points in return, collecting three of them from beyond the arc.  Kyle Anderson would chalk up four points to go along with the two offensive rebounds and one assist that he recorded.  Pau Gasol would knock down a three-pointer while gobbling up two defensive rebounds.

As for the Warriors, Klay Thompson shot fifty percent from the field to earn eight points, six coming from behind the three-point line.  Stephen Curry contributed as he also scored eight points with six coming from beyond the arc.  Curry would also pull down two defensive rebounds while Draymond Green shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field to score four points.

Green also grabbed two rebounds while dishing off two assists.  Kevin Durant was held to just two free-throws in the eleven minutes that he played but he did manage to get his hands on three defensive rebounds while dishing off two assists.  Andre Iguodala was held scoreless off the bench but would commit two steals as the home team went into the second quarter with a 33 to 24 lead.

The Golden State team would respond in the next quarter as they shot fifty-nine percent from the field while holding the Spurs to just thirty-three percent.  Thompson continued to impress as he recorded nine more points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  He would earn three of those points from behind the arc while crashing the boards for two defensive rebounds.  Curry ended up with seven points as he earned three of them from beyond the arc and two from the charity stripe.  Iguodala drilled a three-pointer while Green collected two points, two defensive rebounds, and four assists.  Durant continued to struggle as he was limited to just a three-pointer but he would get two defensive rebounds.

On the other end of the court, Anderson helped out with four points, two coming from the free-throw line.  He also gobbled up one offensive rebound and one defensive rebound while giving out two assists.  Aldridge cooled down as he was held to just four points which all came from the free-throw line.  He did, however, get ahold of three offensive rebounds and two defensive rebounds while recording one assist and one steal.  Pau Gasol and Danny Green are also limited to just four points while Rudy Gay came off the bench to chalk up two points.  He also grabbed two offensive rebounds as the Texas team went into halftime with a tight 55-50 lead.

The Warriors went on a 34-23 run in the third as they shot fifty-four percent, holding the San Antonio Spurs to forty-four percent.  Kevin Durant would make up for the past two quarters as he goes off for fifteen points while shooting eighty-six percent from the field.  He also connected for a three-pointer while grabbing three defensive rebounds and dishing off one assist.  Green would contribute as he scores eight points with three coming from behind the arc.  Curry was held to just two points in the twelve minutes that he played but did manage to get his hands on four rebounds while throwing out three assists.

As for the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge chalked up nine more points while pulling down two defensive rebounds.  Two-time champion Pau Gasol contributed with four as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  He also grabbed three defensive rebounds while Gay collected four of his own points.  Dejounte Murray came off of the bench to post up two points and two rebounds as the Golden State team entered the fourth quarter with an 84-78 advantage.

The defending champions would close things out in the last period as they went on a huge 28 to 14 run, shooting forty-eight percent from the field while limiting the home team to a low twenty-five percent.  Patrick McCaw came off of the Golden State bench to record nine points with six coming from the three-point line.  Klay Thompson helped out with seven points as he shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  Durant would put up four more points on one-hundred percent shooting as Stephen Curry was held to two points.  Iguodala was also kept to two points but he did manage to grab four defensive rebounds.

On the other end of the court, Michigan-native Bryn Forbes would come off of the bench to score seven points off of seventy-five percent shooting from the field.  Kyle Anderson ended up with six points with four coming from the charity stripe.  He also pulled down three defensive rebounds but it was the Golden State Warriors who pull out a 112 to 92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.  Klay Thompson would finish the game with twenty-seven points, three rebounds, and two assists while LaMarcus Aldridge finished with twenty-four points, ten rebounds, and two assists.

The Cavaliers get handed their fourth straight loss by the Pacers, 124-107

The Cavaliers get handed their fourth straight loss by the Pacers, 124-107

Things are not going as planned for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are dealing with early struggles in the season, trying to avoid a fourth straight loss.  Last night they hosted the Indiana Pacers at the Quicken Loans Arena, who are currently seeking their third straight win.  The Pacers would be without Ike Anigbogu (coach’s decision) in this matchup, along with Alex Poythress (coach’s decision), Joe Young (coach’s decision), Edmond Sumner (knee), Myles Turner (neck), and Glenn Robinson III (ankle).  The Cavs were without Isaiah Thomas (hip), Iman Shumpert (knee), John Holland, and London Perrantes.

The first quarter of the game would be held closely as the Pacers shot fifty-seven percent from the field while the Cavaliers shot fifty percent. LeBron James played for ten minutes while scoring eight points on fifty-seven percent shooting. He ended up collecting one offensive rebound, two defensive rebounds, and two assists in the meantime. Derrick Rose chalked up six points while shooting seventy-five percent from the field.

Kevin Love would settle for five points which included one three-pointer but he did manage to pull down four rebounds. Tristan Thompson was held to two points while gobbling down three offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds. Dwyane Wade was limited to just two points, one rebound, and one assist in the four minutes that he played.

As for the Indiana team, Bojan Bogdanovic shot a perfect one-hundred percent from the field as he collected ten points, which would include two three-pointers. Thaddeus Young played for ten minutes but was held to only six points but he would commit two steals.

Darren Collison collected six points with two coming from the free-throw line as he shot one-hundred percent from the field. He was able to pull down two defensive rebounds and dish off four assists. Domantas Sabonis collected five defensive rebounds as the Pacers ended the first with a tight 30-28 lead.

The Ohio team would respond in the second period as they shot sixty percent from the field while holding the Pacers to forty-six percent. Former Knicks’ guard J.R. Smith knocked down two three-pointers while Rose scored six points on seventy-five shooting from the field. He also collected two defensive rebounds while giving out one assist.

Jeff Green would come off of the bench to give six points, collecting two of them from the free-throw line. He was also able to collect two defensive rebounds while recording one assist and two steals. Kyle Korver came off the bench, as well, to deliver five points which would hold one three-pointer. James played for seven minutes, only to be held at two points but he would get off four assists.

On the other end of the court, Cory Joseph would come off of the bench to score eight points while shooting sixty percent from the field. He earned six of those points from beyond the arc as he recorded two rebounds and three assists. Young collected six points to go along with the two steals that he committed and the one offensive rebound he grabbed. Sabonis would chalk up six points with two coming from the charity stripe. He also got ahold of three defensive rebounds as the Indiana Pacers went into halftime with a tight 62-61 advantage.

The Pacers went on a 30-24 run in the third quarter as they shot fifty percent from the field as the Cavaliers shot forty-eight percent.  Victor Oladipo would heat up as he chalked up twelve points on fifty percent shooting.  He ended up connecting for two three-pointers while Sabonis collected four rebounds while dishing off two assists.  Collison played for eleven minutes as he shot seventy-five percent from the field to receive eight points, three coming from behind the arc.

As for the Ohio team, LeBron James would post up nine points while hitting a three-pointer in the process.  He also did work in other ways as he crashed the boards for two rebounds while giving out five assists.  Love would contribute as he recorded four points to go along with his three rebounds and two assists.  Smith was held scoreless in the eleven minutes that he played while Rose delivered seven points.  Both Jae Crowder and Jeff Green came off of the bench to score two points each but it was still the Pacers who had a 92 to 85 advantage heading into the fourth.

The Indiana team finished things off in the last period as they shot sixty-eight percent from the field, limiting the Cavaliers to a low forty-two percent.  Thaddeus Young went off for twelve points while shooting eighty-three percent from the field.  He collected six of those points from behind the three-point line while gobbling up three defensive rebounds.  Joseph played twelve minutes off of the bench only to be held scoreless but he would manage to get ahold of two defensive rebounds while giving out two kindly assists.

On the other end of the floor, LeBron James would take over as he goes off for fourteen points while shooting sixty-seven percent from the field.  Jae Crowder would contribute with five points and two records but it still wasn’t enough as the Indiana Pacers handed the Cleveland Cavaliers their fourth straight loss, 124 to 107.  Thaddeus Young finished the game with twenty-six points and six rebounds.  LeBron James would finish with thirty-three points, six rebounds, and eleven assists.