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BBNBA: Booker, Suns Beat Down KAT, Wolves

(Suns.com | Getty Images)

(Suns.com | Getty Images)

Good morning, folks. KAT and the Wolves took another loss to a BBNBA favorite. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

KAT’s 33 not enough to stop Booker’s 26

Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves lost its fifth straight game on Monday night, this time coming at the hands of former Kentucky teammate Devin Booker and his Phoenix Suns squad. Towns posted an impressive stat line that consisted of a BBNBA-high 33 points on 12-18 shooting to go along with 15 boards and two dimes. It was arguably Towns best individual performance in almost a month, but it still resulted in a double-digit loss.

Booker went for 26 points on 11-20 shooting and 3-7 from beyond the arc. He also added four rebounds and seven assists to his total. Suns center Aron Baynes – one of the league’s most improved players before he missed nine out of 10 games due to a calf injury – made his first return to the lineup since Dec. 2. His presence back in the Phoenix lineup has been desperately missed. Phoenix went 3-6 without Baynes (they are now 8-6 with Baynes in the rotation).

Minnesota has had a rough go of it recently. The now-infamous loss to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Oklahoma City Thunder on a miracle full-court heave that landed perfectly in Dennis Schroder’s pocket for a game-tying layup will continue to haunt them. They had that game won before fumbling it all away (no thanks to the tattle-tale, Chris Paul). Before that, Minny took an ugly loss to the Memphis Grizzlies which was followed by a respectable loss to the red-hot Dallas Mavericks. But after a blowout loss to the Lakers on Sunday and a 125-109 L to Phoenix on a back-to-back, the Wolves are in some trouble at the moment. They sport a 10-13 record. Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers are next up on the docket.

OKC continues its winning ways

The new-look Oklahoma City Thunder quickly fell into a 5-10 hole to start the season. A few injuries to key rotational players have hindered them (Hamidou Diallo among them) and the offense was dreadful up until a few weeks ago. Since that rough 15-game stretch to open the year, OKC has battled back, pushing themselves to an 11-12 record and a current three-game win streak.

On Monday night, the Thunder were able to take down a struggling Utah Jazz team, 104-90. SGA finished with 20 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals for OKC while Nerlens Noel added four points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block in just 16 minutes. A lot of the credit for the recent swing in winning for OKC is due to Dennis Schroder, who is averaging 20.6 points on shooting splits of 49.6/41.9/89.5 over his last eight outings.

Utah has lost six of its last eight games.

Other notes

  • Willie Cauley-Stein popped off for a season-high of 17 points in the Golden State Warriors 110-102 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. WCS also added eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two blocks in the process, playing 24 minutes. Rookie of the Year frontrunner, Ja Morant, who missed the last four games with a sore back, posted 26 points and seven assists in his return for the Grizz.
  • We’ll end the recap in Boston, where the Celtics cruised to a 110-88 murdering of the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers. Enes Kanter registered seven points and four rebounds for the Celts, who have won four straight games and sit at 17-5 on the year.
  • Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)109-125 L @ PHX3312-18 (2-4)152022-1434
Devin Booker (PHX)125-109 W vs. MIN2611-20 (3-7)47013+1536
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)104-90 W @ UTA207-20 (2-5)63201+533
Willie Cauley-Stein (GSW)102-110 L vs. MEM176-9 (0-0)82121-824
Enes Kanter (BOS)110-88 W vs. CLE73-5 (0-0)41001+117
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)110-101 W vs. ORL63-9 (0-2)88024+731
Patrick Patterson (LAC)110-99 W @ IND51-5 (1-4)00100+514
Nerlens Noel (OKC)104-90 W @ UTA42-4 (0-0)64110+616
Wenyen Gabriel (SAC)119-118 W @ HOUDNP-CD----------------
Brandon Knight (CLE)88-110 L @ BOSDNP-CD----------------
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)104-90 W @ UTADNP-Elbow----------------
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)119-118 W @ HOUDNP-Ankle----------------
Darius Miller (NOP)103-105 L vs. DETDNP-Achilles----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Wizards (Wall-out) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk, Washington)

8:00 (TNT): Nuggets (Murray, Vanderbilt) @ 76ers

8:00: Hawks @ Heat (Adebayo, Herro)

10:00: Knicks (Knox, Randle) @ Trail Blazers (Labissiere)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR