If the dog days come in August, these must be the cat weeks of April. The list of banged-up former Wildcats, which now includes the likes of Anthony Davis, John Wall, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Malik Monk, seems to be growing by the day–and it’s liable to make this post a short one. But here at BBNBA, we never let a silly thing like a lack of content slow us down. So let’s get into it.
Murray’s 22 minces Magic
Sunday night’s Nuggets-Magic matchup brought with it some delicious storylines for the sickos like us who enjoy writing about these games. Mainly, it was the first matchup between the two clubs since the blockbuster trade that sent one-time franchise player Aaron Gordon to Denver in exchange for Gary Harris and recent first-round pick R.J. Hampton. Gordon took to the challenge immediately, leading all scorers with 14 first-half points, but his new team still trailed by 18 at the break.
Enter Jamal Murray, who posted an emotional message on Instagram at the time of the trade, bummed by the loss of his good friend Harris on the Nuggets sideline. He scored 18 of his 22 in the second half, leading Denver to a huge 119-109 comeback win that kept them just ahead of the Lakers in 4th place in the West. Gordon finished with 24, and potential MVP favorite Nikola Jokic added 17 points and 16 assists.
The comeback effort was highlighted by this filthy reverse throwdown on the break:
Jamal Murray showing out on the break ? pic.twitter.com/1RgY4dFDdE
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 5, 2021
The 22-point effort was Murray’s 30th 20+ point outing of the year and his eighth in his last nine games. The dude has clutch written all over him this season.
Bledsoe buoys shorthanded Pels in victory
For all the eyes that were on that Denver-Orlando game, very few were likely drawn in by the Pelicans-Rockets matchup that proceeded it. Still, with both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram out, it provided an opportunity for Eric Bledsoe to step into the spotlight for a night (well, sort of).
The true star of this one was probably Lonzo Ball, who rode his revamped stroke to a career-high eight three-pointers and 27 points in New Orleans’ seven-point win. But Bledsoe chipped in a solid 19, including four made threes, four rebounds and two assists. He did most of his work at the line, where he hit 7-8 on the night, including 3-4 to ice the game in the final 30 seconds. It was Bledsoe’s fifth-highest scoring output of the season.
On the other side, John Wall missed his third straight contest due to fluid build-up in his right knee.
– P.J. Washington was unable to break out of his scoring slump against the Celtics, even with Monk, LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward all sitting out with injuries. He finished with just three points on 1-6 from the field, while Nick Richards made his fourth bucket of the season in garbage time.
– Patrick Patterson and Rajon Rondo combined for nine points and three steals in 30 minutes vs. the Lakers. Could Boogie Cousins be joining them as soon as today?
– Anthony Davis is still “at least a week away” from returning from his calf injury, but he made headlines over the weekend for being among the first responders on the scene of a motorcycle accident involving his personal security guard. Whatta guy, that AD.
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||119-109 W vs. ORL||22||7-18 (3-9)||5||4||2||0||2||+15||37|
|Eric Bledsoe (NOP)||122-115 W vs. HOU||19||4-15 (4-12)||4||2||1||1||2||+5||34|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||104-86 W vs. LAL||7||2-6 (1-4)||0||0||1||1||0||-5||17|
|P.J. Washington (CHA)||86-116 L vs. BOS||3||1-6 (1-3)||3||2||0||1||2||-19||21|
|Rajon Rondo (LAC)||104-86 W vs. LAL||2||1-3 (0-0)||1||3||2||0||4||+2||13|
|Nick Richards (CHA)||86-116 L vs. BOS||2||1-1 (0-0)||1||1||0||0||2||-4||9|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||86-116 L vs. BOS||DNP - Sprained ankle||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (HOU)||115-122 L vs. NOP||DNP - Knee soreness||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Tyrese Maxey (PHI)||100-116 L vs. MEM||DNP - COVID-19 protocols||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Anthony Davis (LAL)||86-104 L vs. LAC||DNP - Calf injury||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Mychal Mulder (GSW)||111-117 L vs. ATL||DNP - Coach's decision||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Wenyen Gabriel (NOP)||122-115 W vs. HOU||DNP - Coach's decision||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TODAY IN THE NBA:
7:00 (NBA TV): Knicks (Randle, Noel, Quickley, Knox) @ Nets
7:00: Wizards @ Raptors
7:00: Jazz @ Mavs (WCS)
7:00: Kings (Fox) @ Timberwolves (KAT, Vanderbilt)
7:00: Pistons (Diallo) @ Thunder (SGA*, Miller)
7:00: Cavs @ Spurs (Johnson, Lyles)
8:00: Suns (Booker) @ Rockets (Wall*)
* – inactive