Good afternoon, folks. Jarred Vanderbilt played his first NBA minutes on Friday night and it was magical… Let’s talk NBA.
[23-25] Hornets – 99 @ [35-12] Bucks – 108
- The Charlotte Hornets played three great quarters against the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks, but couldn’t get it done in the one that mattered the most. The Hornets were up 12 with under 10 minutes left in the game before the Bucks went on an 11-0 run to make things interesting and ultimately win the game. Charlotte was outscored 32-12 in the fourth period.
- Micahel Kidd-Gilchrist played an outstanding game, registering 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 25 minutes. Malik Monk, on the other hand, had another tough outing for the Hornets. Monk was held scoreless on 0-5 shooting from the field in 12 minutes.
- For the Bucks, Eric Bledsoe continues to build his case for making an All-Star team after he posted 18 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Expect to hear more on Bledsoe from me in the near future.
[11-40] Suns – 95 @ [32-15] Nuggets – 132
- Let’s skip straight to the juicy news in this one. Jarred Vanderbilt made his NBA debut during the final three minutes of the Nuggets blowout win over the lowly Phoenix Suns. It may have come during garbage minutes, but every second was beautiful. Vando recorded one point off a made free throw, three rebounds, an unreal full-court bounce pass for an assist that I will show in a moment, and a steal for good measure.
— T.J. McBride (@TJMcBrideNBA) January 26, 2019
- Vanderbilt has been sidelined with nagging foot/ankle injuries that forced him to miss the majority of his one season at Kentucky and the entire first half of the NBA season. We saw how special he could potentially be during his impressive 14-game run as a Wildcat, but it was satisfying to watch him do it against NBA talent. If he can ever get 100 percent healthy, he’s going to look like a second-round steal for an already loaded Nuggets bench. I am incredibly confident that Vanderbilt’s abilities and skillset would thrive to measures beyond my comprehension in the modern NBA.
- But back to the blowout. Jamal Murray rolled the same ankle that has been bothering him for a few weeks now and didn’t return to the game. However, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said that Murray is fine and there was no reason to bring him back in with the game already decided. He still finished with 13 points. Trey Lyles contributed 12 points and six rebounds, as well. Eight different Nuggets topped double-digits in scoring.
- For Phoenix, Devin Booker led the BBNBA in scoring with 35 points and it didn’t even matter. Phoenix scored only 40 points in the second half as Denver absolutely gutted them from the opening tip. That’s now seven losses in a row for the Suns. They seriously suck, but we already know this. Just get Booker into the All-Star game, please.
- De’Aaron Fox hit the game-winning shot for the Sacramento Kings in a 99-96 victory over the struggling Memphis Grizzlies. This was must-win for the Kings, in reality. The Grizzlies are in unofficial tank mode right now and can’t win a game to save their lives (and I don’t think management wants them to). The Kings had dropped two games in a row before this and would have fallen to under .500 with the loss. Now, they’re only two games back of the sixth spot in the West. On top of his game-winner, Fox added 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists while Willie Cauley-Stein dropped in 11 points, six rebounds, and five steals in 30 minutes.
- Karl-Anthony Towns went off for 33 points in a close loss to the surging Utah Jazz. It was the second game of a back-to-back for the Timberwolves and the loss kills their three-game winning streak. But, they’ll get another shot at the Jazz on Sunday to bring themselves back to .500 and well within range of the playoffs. Towns also pulled in 10 rebounds for his 32nd double-double of the season while dishing out four assists and blocking three shots.
- In injury news, Isaiah Briscoe sat out on Friday to nurse an injured right ankle he sprained during his most recent game against the Brooklyn Nets. The injury isn’t expected to keep Briscoe out for long, which is great news considering he’s currently playing the best basketball of his career.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Devin Booker (PHX)||95-132 L @ DEN||35||9-19 (2-4)||4||2||0||0||4||-20||30|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||102-106 L @ UTA||33||12-19 (2-5)||10||4||1||3||3||+11||28|
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||99-96 W @ MEM||22||8-17 (1-3)||6||5||1||0||7||-5||35|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||108-99 W vs. CHA||18||7-16 (0-7)||4||3||1||1||2||+12||30|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)||99-108 L @ MIL||16||6-11 (0-2)||7||2||2||0||2||-11||25|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||132-95 W vs. PHX||13||5-9 (3-5)||2||5||0||0||0||+17||23|
|Trey Lyles (DEN)||132-95 W vs. PHX||12||5-13 (2-3)||6||0||1||0||1||+10||22|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)||99-96 W @ MEM||11||5-9 (0-0)||6||2||5||1||1||+6||30|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||100-94 W @ CLE||8||2-4 (0-0)||8||1||2||0||2||-13||25|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||99-109 L @ BKN||7||2-11 (0-4)||4||0||2||0||4||-4||24|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)||106-101 W @ CHI||6||2-6 (0-2)||0||5||0||0||2||-7||21|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||132-95 W vs. PHX||1||0-0||3||1||1||0||1||+6||3|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||99-108 L @ MIL||0||0-5 (0-1)||3||2||0||0||2||+7||12|
|Enes Kanter (NYK)||99-109 L @ BKN||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (SAC)||99-96 W @ MEM||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)||91-95 L vs. WAS||DNP-Ankle||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Brandon Knight (HOU)||121-119 W @ TOR||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (WAS)||95-91 W @ ORL||DNP-Heel||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
6:00: Spurs @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Randle)
8:00: Pacers @ Grizzlies
8:30 (ABC): Warriors (Cousins) @ Celtics
9:00: 76ers @ Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt)
10:00: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ Trail Blazers
Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan