Good morning, folks. The Kings are on the rise and the Lakers on the fall. Let’s talk NBA.
[29-30] Lakers – 115 @ [27-34] Pelicans – 128
- Despite Anthony Davis sitting out due to “rest” (because he’s tired of all this bullcrap), the Pelicans whooped LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers at home. For New Orleans, the win means nothing – and ownership would probably have preferred they lost.
- For Los Angeles…. Oh boy…. This may be the team’s worst loss of the season. Worse than the 40-point drumming they were handed by the Indiana Pacers earlier in the month. This was a game the Lakers simply could not afford to lose. Not even because of all the AD nonsense and because they were playing New Orleans, but because the Pelicans are terrible and the Lakers have to beat terrible teams right now. With the Sacramento Kings (more on them in a second) and the Los Angeles Clippers hunting for what will likely be one playoff spot, losing to a team now seven games under .500 is a huge no-no. The Lakers sit at a game under .500 and 3.5 games behind the Clippers for the eight seed. There are still 23 games left, but the clock is ticking.
- As for the game, Rajon Rondo contributed seven points, three rebounds, and four assists for the Lakers in 28 minutes.
- Along with Davis, Darius Miller was also sidelined, but due to an ankle injury. Miller also sat out Friday’s games and could return as soon as Monday when the Pellies take on the 76ers. Julius Randle was the lone Wildcat to take the floor for NOLA, posting 24 points on 9-17 shooting to go along with three rebounds and five assists.
[31-28] Kings – 119 @ [38-21] Thunder – 116
- While the Lakers suffered perhaps their most damaging loss of the season, the Sacramento Kings earned a massive statement win against one of the top teams in the Western Conference. After falling to the Golden State Warriors by only two points on Thursday, the Kings managed to pull out a win in a game that was just as close over the Oklahoma City Thunder. De’Aaron Fox hit a pair of clutch free throws to put the Kings up late and Willie Cauley-Stein took a charge from Russell Westbrook with 11 seconds left that ultimately sealed the win for Sacramento. Fox finished with 19 points on 7-16 shooting and nine assists while WCS added 10 points and 11 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season.
- For the Thunder, neither of Hamidou Diallo or Patrick Patterson appeared in this game. Diallo not playing isn’t too much of a surprise, considering he hasn’t been playing real minutes since December/January, but Patterson not playing is interesting. While it’s true that Patterson is having another down year, he hadn’t missed any games all season. That is until the Thunder signed Markieff Morris, who inked a deal with them not too long ago after he was waived by the New Orleans Pelicans following a trade from the Washington Wizards. Morris, who hadn’t played in a game since December due to neck surgery, has effectively replaced Patterson in the Thunder rotation the last two games (Patterson had played in 164 consecutive games before sitting out against the Utah Jazz on Friday). The former Kentucky forward hasn’t played a minute since Morris’ arrival. Morris was held scoreless in 17 minutes during his first Thunder game but dropped in 10 points in 20 minutes on Saturday night. We probably won’t know for sure if head coach Billy Donovan is going to commit to this until he finalizes a playoff rotation and Morris playing over Patterson is probably more of a “try out” at this moment than anything. But still, Patterson has not played well this season and Morris can do the exact same type of things on the court that he can.
- Nerlens Noel played extended minutes into the fourth quarter for Oklahoma City, contributing a total of six points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal in 20 minutes.
- Starting with Devin Booker, who led the BBNBA in scoring with 26 points on 8-23 shooting while also recording seven rebounds and eight assists as his Phoenix Suns fell to the Atlanta Hawks. Alex Poythress, who was recently called up to the Hawks, has already been moved back to the team’s G League affiliate.
- Enes Kanter played in his second game as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, following up his debut performance of 18 points and nine rebounds with 16 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. The Blazers got the win, as well, beating the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly. Skal Labissiere saw the court for only the second time since being traded from the Kings to the Blazers, playing only three minutes and recording just one block.
- In Milwaukee, Eric Bledsoe posted 16 points on 6-11 shooting while also pulling in five rebounds and dishing out seven assists. The Bucks would pull out the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were missing Karl-Anthony Towns for the second straight game as he remains in the concussion protocol. If you haven’t heard, Towns was in a car wreck earlier in the week that forced him to sit out the first game of his entire career. KAT must pass a slew of concussion tests before he can return to the court. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.
- Check out the rest of the stats below.
|Devin Booker (PHX)||112-120 L @ ATL||26||8-23 (2-6)||7||8||0||1||2||-14||36|
|Julius Randle (NOP)||128-115 W vs. LAL||24||9-17 (2-7)||3||5||1||0||4||+2||38|
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||119-116 W @ OKC||19||7-16 (1-1)||1||9||1||3||2||-3||33|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||130-115 W @ PHI||16||6-14 (0-0)||8||4||0||0||2||-4||20|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||140-128 W vs. MIN||16||6-11 (1-4)||5||7||2||0||3||+17||29|
|DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)||112-118 L vs. HOU||13||4-12 (1-3)||14||2||3||4||6||-17||26|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)||119-116 W @ OKC||10||5-9 (0-0)||11||2||1||0||0||-6||29|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)||115-117 L vs. BKN||9||3-6 (1-2)||2||1||0||0||2||-5||26|
|Rajon Rondo (LAL)||115-128 L @ NOP||7||3-5 (1-3)||3||4||2||0||4||-11||28|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||116-119 L vs. SAC||6||3-7 (0-0)||8||2||1||2||0||-1||20|
|Brandon Knight (CLE)||112-107 W vs. MEM||4||2-5 (0-3)||2||5||1||0||1||+11||18|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||96-119 L vs. DET||4||1-2 (0-0)||3||2||0||0||2||-10||14|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||115-117 L vs. BKN||1||0-1 (0-0)||2||2||0||0||0||+3||7|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||130-115 W @ PHI||0||0-0||0||0||0||1||1||-7||3|
|Anthony Davis (NOP)||128-115 W vs. LAL||DNP-Rest||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||116-119 L vs. SAC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Terrence Jones (HOU)||118-112 W @ GSW||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Patrick Patterson (OKC)||116-119 L vs. SAC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Darius Miller (NOP)||128-115 W vs. LAL||DNP-Ankle||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||128-140 L @ MIL||DNP-Concussion protocol||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (WAS)||112-119 L vs. IND||DNP-Foot||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Alex Poythress (ATL)||120-112 W vs. PHX||DNP-G League||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
3:30: Magic (Briscoe) @ Raptors (Meeks)
5:00 (NBATV): Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt)
7:30 (NBATV): Spurs @ Knicks (Knox)