Good morning, folks. The All-Star Weekend is upon us, but first, we need to recap Thursday night’s games. Let’s talk NBA.
[27-30] Hornets – 98 @ [27-32] Magic – 127
- After an absolute throttling of the playoff-hopeful Charlotte Hornets right before the All-Star break, the Orlando Magic have now won five games in a row (for the first time in three seasons) and seven of their previous eight to have them only half-a-game out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Magic led this game 71-36 at halftime and didn’t let up in the second half. It was also Orlando’s first win over Charlotte since Dec. of 2015. This was a monumental win for the Magic for a plethora of reasons. Isaiah Briscoe also posted a nifty stat line of six points, eight rebounds, and five assists in 26 minutes.
- For Charlotte, who is hosting the upcoming All-Star weekend, they looked like they were taking their week off a day too early. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was held scoreless in 13 minutes while Malik Monk added 15 points on 7-16 shooting to go along with his four rebounds and two assists.
[37-20] Thunder – 122 @ [26-33] Pelicans – 131
- If I recall correctly, this was the first Pelicans game where the starting lineup featured all three of Darius Miller, Julius Randle, and Anthony Davis. Unfortunately – or coincidentally, however you’d like to look at it – Davis left in the second quarter with what was later diagnosed as a bruised shoulder. He still finished with 14 points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. But now the major question is… Will Davis play in the All-Star Game? I’d still put my money on yes, but this definitely complicates things. That is, if this wasn’t a “planned” injury. I don’t want to go all “tin foil hat” on you, but of all the times for Davis to get hurt, it happens now? Anyways, he probably is hurt. And somehow the Pelicans still won this game. After being gutted by the Magic in a 30-point loss the game before, I’m honestly not sure how they pulled this one off.
- Miller contributed eight points, four rebounds, and five assists while Randle went off for 33 points on 11-21 shooting to lead the BBNBA in scoring. He also added 11 rebounds and six assists to his totals and three clutch buckets late in the game to seal the win for the Pellies. The Pelicans head coach, Alvin Gentry, was happy his team could pull out a win amidst the Davis drama.
- ”To tell you the truth, this whole thing has been a dumpster fire,” coach Gentry said, alluding to the effect Davis’ trade demand has had on the rest of the team. ”It’s hard for guys to go through what they’ve been through, and to be able to come out and beat a team of that quality, I’m happy for all the guys.”
- For the Thunder, Nerlens Noel played his best game of the season, exploding for 22 points in a mere 21 minutes while also corralling 13 rebounds in addition to his two steals. Patrick Patterson got the start for OKC but scored only five points in 15 minutes. Hamidou Diallo did not play.
- Kevin Knox had a poor shooting night, going 2-9 from the field for only nine points but he managed to bring in 10 rebounds in the process. The Knicks were able to end their longest ever franchise losing streak by beating the Atlanta Hawks.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Julius Randle (NOP)||131-122 W vs. OKC||33||11-21 (2-3)||11||6||1||1||4||+19||38|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||122-131 L @ NOP||22||10-16 (0-0)||13||1||2||0||1||+4||21|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||89-127 L @ ORL||15||7-16 (1-7)||4||2||0||0||0||-19||24|
|Anthony Davis (NOP)||131-122 W vs. OKC||14||5-10 (1-2)||4||2||1||1||2||_10||15|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||106-91 W @ ATL||9||2-9 (2-3)||10||1||0||0||3||+8||22|
|Darius Miller(NOP)||131-122 W vs. OKC||8||3-7 (2-5)||4||5||1||0||0||+19||34|
|Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)||127-89 W vs. CHA||6||2-5 (2-2)||8||5||0||0||1||+23||26|
|Patrick Patterson (OKC)||122-131 L @ NOP||5||2-8 (0-4)||3||0||0||0||1||-20||15|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)||89-127 L @ ORL||0||0-2 (0-1)||2||0||0||0||0||-13||13|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||122-131 L @ NOP||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Alex Poythress (ATL)||91-106 L vs. NYK||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00 (ESPN): NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles
9:00 (TNT): MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Challenge
Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan