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The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame the Cleveland Cavaliers, 105-92

The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame the Cleveland Cavaliers, 105-92

The Cleveland Cavaliers started the season 0-6 before winning their first game against the Atlanta Hawks.  Since then, they have posted a 4-8 record, hoping for their third straight victory as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The Timberwolves, on the other hand, are 5-2 since trading away four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler.  They are also looking to grab a third consecutive victory.

The Cavaliers and the Timberwolves have played each other a grand total of 56 times as the Cavaliers won 36 games while the Minnesota team pulled 20 victories.  This battle between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves will mark the second and final time that these two ball clubs will meet up with each other.  The last time they saw each other was on October 19 when the Timberwolves defeated the Cavaliers, 131-123.  Jimmy Butler finished that game with thirty-three points, seven rebounds, three assists, four steals, and two blocks while Kevin Love had twenty-five points, nineteen rebounds, and seven assists.

INACTIVES:

Minnesota Timberwolves:

-Jerryd Bayless (knee)
-Luol Deng (coach’s decision; 2.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 22.2 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-James Nunnally (coach’s decision; 2.7 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.5 APG, 41.7 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Josh Okogie (coach’s decision; 7.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 36.9 FG%, 26.7 3P%, 78.3 FT%)
-Anthony Tolliver (coach’s decision; 5.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 43.1 FG%, 40.4 3P%, 58.3 FT%)
-Jared Terrell (G-League; 4.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 12.5 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 50.0 FT%)
-C.J. Williams (G-League)
-Keita Bates-Diop (2.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 25.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)

Cleveland Cavaliers:

-Sam Dekker (ankle; 6.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 45.8 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-George Hill (coach’s decision; 12.6 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 55.6 FG%, 48.0 3P%, 87.5 FT%)
-Kevin Love (toe; 19.0 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 32.3 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 81.8 FT%)
-Channing Frye (coach’s decision; 3.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.3 APG, 50.0 FG%, 75.0 3P%)
-J.R. Smith (personal; 6.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 34.2 FG%, 30.8 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-David Nwaba (knee; 6.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 42.4 FG%, 22.7 3P%, 67.6 FT%)
-Billy Preston (G-League)

GAMETIME:

The game would be held close at the beginning as the Cavaliers shot forty-four percent from the field while the Timberwolves shot forty-six percent.  Rodney Hood ended up scoring thirteen points which included a three-pointer late in the second quarter.  Tristan Thompson helped out with ten points while pulling down nine rebounds.  Rookie Collin Sexton saw to it that he got eight points while shooting forty-four percent from the field.  Kyle Korver played the most minutes off the bench as he had eight points which included two three-pointers in the second period.

On the other end of the court, Robert Covington chalked up thirteen points while shooting seventy-one percent from the field.  He had two three-pointers while grabbing three defensive rebounds.  Karl-Anthony Towns also had thirteen points which included two three-pointers in the first quarter.  Towns was able to get his hands of five defensive rebounds while Andrew Wiggins was limited to just four points.  Former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose played twelve minutes off the bench but was kept to just two points as the Minnesota team went into halftime with a 54 to 47 lead.

The event would continue to be kept close as the Timberwolves shot forty-eight percent from the field in the second half while the Cavaliers shot thirty-nine percent.  Covington continued to add to his scoring total as he put up eleven more points, hitting two three-pointers in the process.  Derrick Rose scored ten points off the bench while Wiggins had seven points.  Korver got hot for fourteen points but it wouldn’t matter as the Minnesota Timberwolves escaped with a 102-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Robert Covington finished the game with a season-high twenty-four points, along with seven rebounds, one assist, two steals, and two blocks while Kyle Korver had a season-high twenty-two points, along with two rebounds and two assists.

So…what’s next?

The Minnesota Timberwolves will travel to Texas to take on DeMar DeRozan (24.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.3 APG, 48.7 FG%, 20.0 3P%) and the San Antonio Spurs (9-10) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This will mark the second of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up this season.  The last time they clashed with each other was during the season opener on October 17 as the Spurs crept away with a 112-108 win.  During that game, DeMar DeRozan scored twenty-eight points, pulled down four rebounds, and gave out four assists while Jeff Teague had twenty-seven points, one rebound, four assists, and two steals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will head to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to battle Paul George (24.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.4 APG, 41.1 FG%, 35.2 3P%) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-7) on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.  This will be the second and final time that the Cavaliers and the Thunder fight each other during this season.  The last time that these two teams met up was on November 7 as the Thunder handed the Cavaliers a 95 to 86 loss.  Dennis Schroder finished the game with twenty-eight points, seven rebounds, one steal, and one block while Collin Sexton had fifteen points, two rebounds, one assist, and one block.

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The Golden State Warriors ended their losing streak with a 125-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers

The Golden State Warriors ended their losing streak with a 125-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers

The two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors have been in a slump lately, trying to avoid a fifth straight loss.  This current losing streak is the longest losing streak in the Steve Kerr-era.  They will try to capture their first win since November 13 as they host the Portland Trail Blazers.  The Trail Blazers, on the other hand, are coming fresh off of a 143-100 blowout loss against the Milwaukee Bucks.

This matchup between the Warriors and the Trail Blazers will mark the first of four times that these two ball clubs will meet up during this season.  They have played each other a grand total of 235 times with the Warriors winning 111 games.  The Trail Blazers will go on to win 124 of those games.

INACTIVES:

Portland Trail Blazers:

Gary Trent (5.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 44.4 FG%, 66.7 3P%)
Anfernee Simons (2.2 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.2 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 25.0 FT%)
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%)
Alfonzo McKinnie (foot; 6.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 0.5 APG, 51.3 FG%, 48.4 3P%, 53.8 FT%)
Stephen Curry (groin; 29.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.1 APG, 51.5 FG%, 49.2 3P%, 92.3 FT%)
Marcus Derrickson (G-League; 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The Golden State Warriors would have full control of the game in the first half as they fifty-two percent from the field, limiting the Portland Trail Blazers to thirty-nine percent.  The 2007-2008 Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant would get hot for nineteen points which included a three-pointer in the second period.  He also recorded four defensive rebounds, two assists, two steals, and three blocks.

Klay Thompson helped out with fourteen points while knocking down a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter.  Former Dallas Mavericks point guard Quinn Cook nailed two three-pointers while jumping up for three defensive boards.  Kevon Looney played twelve minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points.

On the other end of the court, three-time All-Star Damian Lillard earned ten points but shot only thirty-three percent from the field.  He did have two three-pointers Al-Farouq Aminu contributed with nine points and six rebounds.  Aminu was able to hit a three-pointer late in the second quarter while C.J. McCollum also had nine points.  McCollum also had a three-pointer.  Evan Turner played the most minutes off of the bench but only managed to get one free-throw as the Warriors headed into the locker room with a huge 59-44 advantage.

The Warriors went on the close things out in the second half as they went on a 66 to 53 run, shooting sixty-two percent from the field.  Thompson threw up seventeen more points which held three three-pointers in the third period.  Durant had thirteen points while shooting a high eighty-three percent from the field.  Nurkic earned fifteen points for the Oregon team but it wouldn’t matter as the Warriors easily come away with a 125-97 victory.  Kevin Durant finished the game with thirty-two points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and three blocks.  Damian Lillard settled for twenty-three points, along with two rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and one block.

So…what’s next?

The Portland Trail Blazers will stay in California as they visit the Staples Center to take on Tobias Harris (20.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, 51.6 FG%, 43.4 3P%) and the Los Angeles Clippers (12-6) on Sunday at 9:00 p.m.  This game will mark the second of four meetings between these two ball clubs this season.  The last time they saw each other was on November 8 when the Trail Blazers escaped with a 116 to 105 win.  Damian Lillard finished with twenty-five points, four rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block while Danilo Gallinari had twenty-points and five rebounds.  Lou Williams also had twenty-points, along with three rebounds and seven assists.

The Golden State Warriors will host Buddy Hield (18.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 47.8 FG%, 44.1 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (10-8) on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.  This meeting will mark the first of four times that the Warriors and the Kings will match up with each other during this season.

The Philadelphia 76ers top the New Orleans Pelicans, 121-120

The Philadelphia 76ers top the New Orleans Pelicans, 121-120

Both the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Orleans Pelicans are on track to capture their fourth straight victory at the Wells Fargo Center so this game will hold some type of meaning to them.  The 76ers are coming fresh off of a 119-114 win over the struggling Phoenix Suns while the Pelicans handed the San Antonio Spurs a 140 to 126 loss.  Former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler had no problem fitting right into the system ran by the 76ers as he averaged 18.3 PPG in his first four games with the team.

This meeting between the 76ers and the Pelicans will mark the first of two times that these ball clubs will battle each other this season.  They have clashed a grand total of 41 times in the past as the 76ers grabbed 21 wins.  The New Orleans Pelicans ended up winning 20 of those games.

INACTIVES:

New Orleans Pelicans:

Cheick Diallo (coach’s decision; 4.5 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 0.4 APG, 55.6 FG%, 77.8 FT%)
Tim Frazier (coach’s decision; 2.1 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 29.0 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 33.3 FT%)
Solomon Hill (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 27.6 FG%, 21.4 3P%, 75.0 FT%)
Elfrid Payton (finger; 9.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 47.1 FG%, 42.9 3P%, 63.6 FT%)
Trevon Bluiett (G-League)
Kenrich Williams (1.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 40.0 FG%, 50.0 3P%)
Philadelphia 76ers:

Demetrius Jackson (coach’s decision)
Shake Milton (coach’s decision)
Justin Patton (foot)
Zhaire Smith (foot)
Markelle Fultz (shoulder; 8.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 41.9 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 56.8 FT%)
Jonah Bolden (leg; 1.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 36.4 FG%, 14.3 3P%, 50.0 FT%)

GAMETIME:

The 76ers would somewhat have control at the beginning of the game as they shot forty-four percent from the field in the first half while the Pelicans shot forty percent.  Joel Embiid dropped eighteen points while grabbing nine boards, dishing out two assists, and blocking one shot.  Three of his points would come from beyond the arc in the first quarter.  Ben Simmons helped out with seventeen points, four defensive rebounds, one assist, and two blocks while Butler had nine points.  Pennsylvania-native T.J. McConnell played the most minutes off of the bench but was kept to just a three-pointer late in the first quarter.

On the other end of the court, Jrue Holiday chalked up thirteen points on forty-six percent shooting from the field.  He also had six assists and two steals while knocking down a three-pointer early in the second period.  Former Chicago Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic saw to it that he got ten points, which included a three-pointer in the first quarter.  Julius Randle played fifteen minutes off of the bench as he dropped thirteen points but it was the home team who went into the locker room with a 67 to 57 advantage.

The Pelicans would respond as they went on a 63 to 54 run in the second half, shooting forty-six percent from the field while the 76ers shot forty-seven percent.  During that run, E’Twaun Moore got hot for twenty-four points on fifty-six percent shooting.  He was able to drill three three-pointers while Holiday collected seventeen more points.  Five-time All-Star Anthony Davis would continue to have a quiet night as he was held to just six points.  He finished the game with twelve points.  Randle played thirteen minutes off the bench in the second half as he had nine points which included two three-pointers in the third period.

As for the Philadelphia club, Embiid chalked up thirteen more points on fifty percent shooting.  He also had ten more rebounds while hitting a shot beyond the arc late in the fourth quarter.  Former New York Knicks player Wilson Chandler helped out with nine points while shooting a perfect one-hundred percent from the field.  Landry Shamet played the most minutes off the bench as he hit two three-pointers and a free-throw to give himself nine points.

With 2.5 seconds left on the clock and the 76ers up, 121-118, Joel Embiid would commit a shooting foul on Anthony Davis, who ended up missing the three-pointer.  Anthony Davis would go to the charity stripe to shoot three free-throws.  He made the first two free-throws to bring the Pelicans within one but ended up missing the last one as the Philadelphia 76ers survived the game, 121-120.  Joel Embiid finished the game with thirty-one points, nineteen rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while Jrue Holiday settled for a season-high thirty points, along with four rebounds, ten assists, two steals, and one block.  E’Twaun Moore also had thirty points, as well as two rebounds and one assist.

So…what’s next?

The Philadelphia 76ers will host Jordan Clarkson (15.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 45.7 FG%, 31.4 3P%) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-14) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  This matchup will mark the first of three times that these two ball clubs will meet with each other this season.  The New Orleans Pelicans will over to the Madison Square Garden as they take on Tim Hardaway (24.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 42.3 FG%, 37.9 3P%) and the New York Knicks (5-14) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  This will be the last time that these two teams will play each other this season.  They met up November 16 when the Pelicans pulled away with a 129-124 victory.  During that game, Anthony Davis recorded forty-three points, seventeen rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block while Tim Hardaway had thirty points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

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

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

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

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

INACTIVES:

Brooklyn Nets:

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

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

GAMETIME:

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

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

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

So…what’s next?

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

The Boston Celtics fall to 9-8 after getting defeated by the Charlotte Hornets, 117-112

The Boston Celtics fall to 9-8 after getting defeated by the Charlotte Hornets, 117-112

The Charlotte Hornets are coming fresh off of a 122-119 overtime loss that they suffered in the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers this past Saturday.  The only good side of that for the Hornets is the career-high and franchise-high 60 points that Kemba Walker put up, shooting sixty-two percent from the field.  The North Carolina team will look to avoid a third straight loss as they host the Boston Celtics, who are trying to steer away from a second straight loss.

This matchup between the Charlotte Hornets and the Boston Celtics will mark the first of four meetings between these two ball clubs.  They have battled each other a grand total of 106 times as the Hornets won 44 games while the Celtics took 62 games.  Each team will look to set the tone as they face off at the Spectrum Center.

INACTIVES:

Charlotte Hornets:

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (ankle; 8.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.4 APG, 48.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Bismack Biyombo (coach’s decision; 2.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.3 APG, 58.3 FG%)
Devonte’ Graham (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 37.5 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
Frank Kaminsky (coach’s decision; 1.8 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.6 APG, 33.3 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Joe Chealey (G-League)
J.P. Macura (G-League)
Boston Celtics:

Jabari Bird (personal)
Semi Ojeleye (coach’s decision; 2.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.0 APG, 47.6 FG%, 25.0 3P%)
Brad Wanamaker (coach’s decision; 2.8 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.8 APG, 40.0 FG%, 33.3 3P%)
Guerschon Yabusele (coach’s decision; 1.8 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.2 APG, 30.8 FG%, 20.0 3P%)
PJ Dozier (G-League)
Robert Williams (1.0 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.2 APG, 100.0 FG%)

GAMETIME:

The game will be held extremely close in the first half as both teams shot above forty percent from the field.  The Boston Celtics would complete fifty-four percent of their shots while the Charlotte Hornets shot forty-three percent from the field.  Kemba Walker ended up dropping eighteen points in the first half which included three three-pointers.  He also had four assists while former Oklahoma City Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb had eleven points on fifty-seven percent shooting.  He grabbed four rebounds while Cody Zeller had four boards.  Miles Bridges played nine minutes off of the bench as he had five points including a three-pointer late in the first quarter.

As for the visiting team, Kyrie Irving ended up putting up twelve points on a high sixty-percent shooting from the field.  He would also dish out eight assists while Jayson Tatum helped out with ten points, as well as a steal and a block.  Jaylen Brown had four points which would come from a free-throw and a three-pointer while Al Horford contributed with four points as well.  Gordon Hayward, who has accepted a bench role after struggling as a starter, played the most minutes out of all the reserves in the first half but was kept to just two points as the Celtics had a 56-54 lead heading into the locker room.

The home team would respond with a 63 to 56 run in the second half as Walker went off for 25 more points which held four three-pointers in the fourth quarter.  He shot sixty-two percent from the field in the second half while recording four rebounds, one assist, and one steal.  Former San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker played the most minutes off of the bench as he chalked up seven points.  On the other end of the floor, Irving collected fifteen more points but it wouldn’t matter as the Hornets survived with a 117 to 112 victory, handing the Celtics their second straight loss.  Kemba Walker finished the game with forty-three points, four rebounds, and five assists while Kyrie Irving had twenty-seven points, five rebounds and eleven assists.

So…what’s next?

The Charlotte Hornets will welcome Victor Oladipo (21.4 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 4.7 APG, 44.0 FG%, 34.5 3P%) and the Indiana Pacers (10-6) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.  This meeting will mark the first of three times that these teams will clash with each other.  As for the Boston Celtics, they will head back to Massachusetts to host Tim Hardaway (23.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 42.0 FG%, 36.4 3P%) and the struggling New York Knicks (4-13) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.  This matchup will be the second out of four times that these ball clubs will play each other this season.  The last time they met up was on October 20 as the Celtics escaped with a 103-101 victory.  During that game, Jayson Tatum scored 24 points while pulling down 14 rebounds.  Hardaway finished with 24 points, as well, along with three rebounds and three assists.

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

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

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

SERIES RECAP:

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

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

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

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

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

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

Houston Rockets:

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

GAMETIME:

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

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

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

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

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

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

INACTIVES:

Philadelphia 76ers:

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

Boston Celtics:

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

GAMETIME:

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

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

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

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

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

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

INACTIVES:

Utah Jazz:

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

Houston Rockets:

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

GAMETIME:

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

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

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

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

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

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

INACTIVES:

New Orleans Pelicans:

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

Golden State Warriors:

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

GAMETIME:

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

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

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

The 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.