Good morning, folks. Jamal Murray and De’Aaron Fox went head-to-head on Wednesday night as we are now one day away from the All-Star break. Let’s talk NBA.
[30-27] Kings – 118 @ [39-18] Nuggets – 120
- The Sacramento Kings had a shot at the buzzer to steal a road win right before the All-Star break, but Buddy Hield’s three-point attempt hit just left of the target and sealed the win for the Denver Nuggets. Jamal Murray didn’t have a productive game, scoring 10 points on 3-8 shooting to go along with two rebounds and four assists, deferring to the hot hands of Malik Beasley, Paul Millsap, and Nikola Jokic – who combined for 66 of the team’s points. Trey Lyles played only seven minutes, registering three points and a rebound. Jokic tipped in the game-winning shot with 0.8 seconds left on the clock.
- For Sacramento, De’Aaron Fox posted a 15-point, 10-assist double-double in addition to four rebounds despite his Kings’ squad giving up a 17-point halftime lead. Willie Cauley-Stein filled the stat column with eight points, seven rebounds, three assists, and five steals in only 21 minutes. The Kings head into the All-Star break one game back of the Los Angeles Clippers for the final playoff spot.
- For some news that’ll make you feel all warm inside, Nuggets’ guard Isaiah Thomas played in his first game since March 22, when he was a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Thomas dropped in eight quick points in the third quarter, knocking down two important threes while playing a total of 13 minutes. If you aren’t familiar with Thomas’ situation, essentially, he was understandably cast away from the Boston Celtics in the trade that landed them Kyrie Irving, despite Thomas finishing fifth in MVP voting the season prior while averaging over 28 points per game. A serious nagging hip injury kept him from playing productive basketball while a member of both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers last year and this was his first shot at redemption since going from an All-NBA player to basically an outcast. Happy faces all around. I’m not even a huge fan of Thomas, personally (mainly for how he continued to stoke the fire in an already hazardous Cavaliers locker room last season), but even I was wearing a smile after he knocked down that second triple.
[11-48] Suns – 107 @ [32-27] Clippers – 134
- Boy oh boy, do these Phoenix Suns continue to stink or what? The Clippers led this game by 10 after the first quarter, 16 at halftime, and blew it wide open in the second half to win by 27. Devin Booker was simply not good, scoring only 10 points on 2-10 shooting in addition to his six rebounds and five assists. The Suns lost their 15th straight game.
- The Clippers, on the other hand, were just messing around out there. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played 21 minutes and tallied 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Lou Williams poured in 30 points and 10 assists in only 22 minutes – the first player in NBA history to post those numbers in under 23 minutes.
- Karl-Anthony Towns led the BBNBA in scoring for what feels like the 100th day in the row after he dropped in 25 points on 11-18 shooting (3-4 from three) to go along with his nine rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. His Minnesota Timberwolves would beat the Houston Rockets, 121-110, despite 42 points from James Harden – who has now tied Wilt Chamberlian’s record for the second-longest streak of at least 30 points in a row at 31.
- For Miami, seven Heat players scored in double figures as they defeated the Dallas Mavericks to inch closer to that eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Heat is now tied with the Detroit Pistons for the final spot heading into the break. Bam Adebayo recorded 10 points on 3-4 shooting while also pulling down six rebounds and dishing out three assists for Miami.
- DeMarcus Cousins sat out for the Golden State Warriors for the first time since returning from his Achilles injury due to rest.
- In free agent news, Enes Kanter was picked up by the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. I like this move for Portland because I think a change of scenery (especially on a playoff team) will do wonders for Kanter’s mood and I think he can provide valuable playing time. I’m not a huge fan of him potentially stealing minutes away from second-year player Zach Collins, but they could actually work well next to each other with Kanter as the scoring big and Collins protecting the paint. But really, Portland wanted to beef up their bench scoring with a veteran presence for the playoffs, so that checks the box.
- Also, Kevin Knox completely wrecked Ben Simmons on this dunk.
KNOX POSTER OVER SIMMONS ? ? pic.twitter.com/JeuqsPBVBV
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 14, 2019
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
G League update
- Lost in the kerfuffle of a busy Wednesday night in the NBA was an exhilarating G League matchup featuring four former Kentucky players that had to be decided in overtime. The Erie Bayhawks fell to the Maine Red Claws by a score of 128-130 in extra time. Are you ready for the stats, now? Okay, here we go.
- Alex Poythress led both teams in scoring with 41 points for the Bayhawks and nearly recorded a triple-double, tieing a career-high with 18 rebounds in addition to a career-high eight assists. Poythress shot 14-30 from the field and was 10-11 from the free throw line. His teammate, Terrence Jones, was just as incredible, posting 34 points on 15-28 shooting (although he shot a miserable 3-10 from the charity stripe), 15 rebounds, three assists, and three steals. But we aren’t done with Erie just yet, because Isaac Humphries even got in on the action, scoring 14 points of his own on 5-11 shooting.
- But wait! There’s more! For the Maine Red Claws, Archie Goodwin went off for 27 points on an efficient 12-18 shooting! He also added four rebounds and four assists. Why are these dudes still in the G League???
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||121-111 W vs. HOU||25||11-18 (3-4)||9||5||0||2||2||+20||33|
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||118-120 L @ DEN||15||6-11 (1-2)||4||10||0||0||4||+5||31|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||112-101 W @ DAL||10||3-4 (0-0)||6||3||1||0||4||+7||25|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||120-118 W vs. SAC||10||3-8 (2-5)||2||4||0||0||3||-6||31|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||107-134 L @ LAC||10||2-10 (0-3)||6||5||1||1||3||-15||32|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander||134-107 L vs. PHX||10||4-7 (0-1)||4||3||2||1||1||+20||21|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||111-126 L @ PHI||9||4-10 (1-4)||1||0||0||0||0||-29||18|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)||118-120 L @ DEN||8||3-5 (0-0)||7||3||5||0||1||0||21|
|Brandon Knight (CLE)||139-148 L (3 OT) vs. BKN||6||3-8 (0-4)||1||4||1||0||2||+1||15|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||106-97 W @ IND||4||1-4 (0-2)||2||1||0||0||2||-7||20|
|Trey Lyles (DEN)||120-118 W vs. SAC||3||1-3 (0-0)||1||0||0||0||0||-4||7|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||129-107 W vs. GSW||0||0-0||1||0||0||0||0||+1||>1|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||120-118 W vs. SAC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)||107-129 L @ POR||DNP-Rest||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (WAS)||120-129 L @ TOR||DNP-Heel||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk) @ Magic (Briscoe)
7:30: Knicks (Knox) @ Hawks (Poythress-G League)
8:00 (TNT): Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Randle)
Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan