Good morning, folks. Only two games to cover from Thursday night. Let’s talk NBA.
- The first game of the night featured the Indiana Pacers hosting the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks in a battle between two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers have continued to shoot up the standings despite losing All-Star Victor Oladipo for the season back in late January. But against the floor-spacing, Giannis Antetokounmpo-having Bucks, Indiana stood no chance. And after watching the game, I’m becoming more and more convinced there isn’t another team in the East – and maybe only two or three in the West – that can beat these Bucks in a seven-game playoff series. Eric Bledsoe posted a BBNBA-high 12 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists for Milwaukee, as they trounced the Pacers, 117-98.
- The second game in Portland was much more exciting. The Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder have made it clear they are not huge fans of each other, as evident by the 200 different scuffles Jusuf Nurkic – Portland’s starting center – got himself into, whether it was intentional or by accident. The game went to overtime, where the Thunder pulled ahead late to win the game by a score of 129-121.
- For the Thunder, Patrick Patterson was a DNP-CD for the fourth straight game and it was the seventh game out of his last eight that he’s sat out entirely. Nerlens Noel played 14 solid minutes for OKC, scoring six points while pulling down three boards and blocking one shot. On the Trail Blazers side, Enes Kanter added only three points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. There was also a weird situation near the end of regulation, where Skal Labissiere found himself at the free-throw line with the game on the line despite not having played since Feb. 23. Right before this, some words were exchanged between Nurkic and Thunder forward, Paul George, after George appeared to elbow Nurkic. Following a review, Nurkic was ejected for his second technical foul and a common foul was called on the Thunder, giving the Blazers a chance to tie the game at 113 with under three seconds left. The NBA has this dumb rule that allows the opposing team to choose who shoots the free-throw if the initial player is no longer in the game. The Thunder obviously chose Labissiere, who was as ice cold as it can get (which is not his fault and, once again, a dumb rule to begin with). He missed both free throws, but luckily, a foul was called under the basket after the second-attempt that gave Al-Farouq Aminu another chance to tie the game, which he did, but the Blazers would ultimately fall in extra time.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||117-98 W vs. IND||12||6-10 (0-1)||5||4||1||0||1||+7||25|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||129-121 OT W @ POR||6||2-5 (0-0)||3||0||0||1||0||+4||14|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||121-129 OT L vs. OKC||3||1-6 (0-0)||6||0||0||2||1||-12||18|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||121-129 OT L vs. OKC||0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||+2||>1|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||129-121 OT W @ POR||DNP-G League||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Patrick Patterson (OKC)||129-121 OT W @ POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Wizards (Wall-out) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)
7:00: Mavericks @ Magic (Briscoe)
8:00: Cavaliers (Knight) @ Heat (Adebayo)
8:00: Pistons @ Bulls
8:00 (ESPN): 76ers @ Rockets (Jones)
8:00: Jazz @ Grizzlies
8:00: Raptors @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Randle)
10:30 (ESPN): Nuggets (Lyles-out, Murray, Vanderbilt) @ Warriors (Cousins)
10:30: Thunder (Diallo-G League, Noel, Patterson) @ Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander)