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BBNBA: Bledsoe Wins Battle Between Kentucky Point Guards

(Gary Dineen | Getty Images)

(Gary Dineen | Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. KAT and D’Lo teamed up for the first time on Monday night while Bledsoe took down Fox. Let’s talk NBA.

“The beauty in being blessed with talent is rising above doubters to create a beautiful moment.” — Kobe Bryant


De’Aaron vs. The Bledshow

Our BBNBA matchup of the night featured two incredible performances from two different former Kentucky guards.

Eric Bledsoe and his Milwaukee Bucks managed to earn a 123-111 win at home against De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings. Without Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Bucks – who sat out due to the birth of his first child – someone had to step up in his absence and Bledsoe quickly volunteered. The veteran guard posted a BBNBA-high of 28 points to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists with just two turnovers on a 10-16 shooting mark (3-4 from three). The game was close through the first three quarters, with Sacramento leading 90-88 heading into the fourth frame, but Bledsoe led a game-changing surge for the Bucks that included back-to-back triples that put his team up 101-90.

Not to be completely outdone, Fox had himself an impressive evening, as well. The Sacramento point guard went for 17 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists for his seventh double-double of the year. Fox is in the midst of arguably the most impressive stretch of his young career. Coming into the game against Milwaukee, the Kings had won six of their last eight games with Fox leading the charge.

Over his last 19 games, Fox has put up per-game averages of 22.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 1.8 steals on shooting splits of 47.8/30.6/66.9. In the last six outings, Fox shot 45 percent from three on a 9-20 clip.

Milwaukee won its fifth game in a row and currently leads the NBA with an overall record of 46-7.

KAT and D’Lo team up

For the first time since the trade deadline, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell teamed up side-by-side as members of the Minnesota Timberwolves. And in perfect Timberwolves fashion, they still lost, falling 137-126 to the hottest team in the NBA, the Toronto Raptors (who have now won 15 games in a row).

Towns posted 23 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists while Russell added 22 points and five assists in his Minny debut. The lack of chemistry thanks to a sizable roster turnover right before the trade deadline has the Wolves still trying to work out the kinks. They turned the ball over a season-high 23 times against the Raptors (11 combined from KAT and D’Lo).

Lakers decimate Suns

Rajon Rondo played his bi-monthly “trap game”, where he suddenly pops off for an ultra-impressive performance to try and trick people into thinking he can turn it back to his All-Star days with the Boston Celtics. This time he showed out in the Los Angeles Lakers 125-100 drumming of the Phoenix Suns.

The one-time Wildcat recorded 23 points on 9-13 shooting (4-5 from three) in addition to four rebounds and six assists. The now 15-year veteran scored 15 of his 23 in the second quarter along. Phoenix dared Rondo to shoot and they just so happened to catch him on the one game he couldn’t miss. Remember how Rondo shot 40 percent from three on exactly 3.0 attempts per game through his first 20 games of the season? Well, he’s plummeted back down to earth since then, converting on just 23.1 percent of his 2.4 attempts per game coming into Monday night.

Anthony Davis added 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists for the Lakers, who won its 40th game of the season. The win marked the first time since 2010 that the Lakers have hit the 40-win mark before the All-Star game.

Devin Booker had an off-night, recording just 10 points on a poor shooting clip of 2-11. He added four rebounds and five assists but also turned the ball over three times. The Suns have dropped seven of its last eight games.

So about Malik Monk…

He’s good!

At least, for right now he is.

Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk continues to ride the hottest scoring streak of his three-year NBA career. In a 87-76 win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday, the former ‘Cat went for 17 points, three rebounds, and three steals while shooting 5-10 from the field. It marked the fifth game in a row that he’s topped double-digits in scoring and he’s now done so in eight of his last nine appearances. The Hornets elected not to trade Monk at the deadline despite some rumblings that he could be on the move and his impressive play over the last few weeks might have something to do with that.

Since enduring a one-game benching – where he sat out as a healthy scratch in a loss to the Denver Nuggets back on Jan. 15 – Monk has been on a mission. He’s playing consistent minutes for the first time in his career and has the green light to make the offense happen. This stretch right now is why the Hornets picked up his team option for next season.

P.J. Washington registered eight points, three rebounds, and two assists for Charlotte, shooting 4-10 from the field.

For Detroit, Brandon Knight made his (second) debut for the Pistons, playing 12 minutes while posting three points and four turnovers.

Other notes

  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was waived by the Hornets and picked up late Monday night by the Dallas Mavericks, where he’ll join Willie Cauley-Stein.
  • Speaking of WCS, his playing time dipped against the Utah Jazz, but he still managed eight points in just four minutes.
  • Jamal Murray added 26 points and six rebounds for the Denver Nuggets in a 127-120 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Murray shot 11-21 from the floor, pouring in 14 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead his team back from a 23-point deficit. Trey Lyles registered 10 points and seven rebounds on a 4-5 shooting mark for the Spurs.
  • Bam Adebayo posted 13 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists as the Miami Heat cruised to a 113-101 win over the Golden State Warriors.

Check out the full stat sheet below.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)123-111 W vs. SAC2810-16 (3-4)88012+1732
Jamal Murray (DEN)120-127 W vs. SAS2611-21 (2-8)26102-434
Anthony Davis (LAL)125-100 W vs. PHX259-17 (0-3)105113+930
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)126-137 L @ TOR235-13 (3-6)107115-736
Rajon Rondo (LAL)125-100 W vs. PHX239-13 (4-5)46101+2226
Malik Monk (CHA)87-76 W @ DET175-10 (2-4)31303028
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)111-123 L @ MIL175-19 (2-5)811013+334
Bam Adebayo (MIA)113-101 W @ GSW135-8 (0-0)117201-1626
Trey Lyles (SAS)120-127 L @ DEN104-5 (2-2)71112+728
Devin Booker (PHX)100-125 L @ LAL102-11 (0-2)45003-931
P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)87-76 W @ DET84-10 (0-2)32310+235
Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)119-123 L vs. UTA83-3 (0-0)10000-34
Brandon Knight (DET)76-87 L vs. CHA31-4 (1-4)00104-712
Keldon Johnson (SAS)120-127 L @ DENDNP-CD----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)126-137 L @ TORDNP-CD----------------
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)87-76 W @ DETDNP-Waived----------------
Tyler Herro (MIA)113-101 W @ GSWDNP-Ankle----------------
Skal Labissiere (ATL)126-135 L @ ORLDNP-Knee----------------


7:00 (TNT): Clippers (Patteson) @ 76ers

7:00: Bulls @ Wizards (Wall-out)

8:00: Trail Blazers (Gabriel) @ Pelicans (Miller-out) 

8:00: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) @ Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel)

9:30 (TNT): Rockets @ Celtics (Kanter)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR