Good afternoon, folks. The All-Star game reserves will be announced later tonight. Let’s talk NBA.
“Haters are a good problem to have. Nobody hates the good ones. They hate the great ones.” — Kobe Bryant
SGA and OKC take down Fox and the Kings
The Oklahoma City Thunder limited the Sacramento Kings to just 16 first-quarter points and forced them to miss eight of the team’s first nine outside shots. From there, OKC would not lose a quarter the rest of the way and ultimately ran away with the win in the second half thanks to a surprising career-high of 23 points from Loguentz Dort (they call him Lou. Or maybe it’s Loo? Something like that. But he’s a 20-year-old rookie from Arizona State that NBA fans might want to keep an eye on in the coming years.)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored eight straight points for the Thunder to open the fourth quarter that extended the OKC lead to as many as 27 points. SGA finished the evening with 17 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks while shooting 6-13 from the floor and 3-5 from beyond the arc. The Thunder have now won six straight road games and six of their last seven games overall.
Thunder guard Chris Paul – who was deeply connected to Kobe Bryant – sat out the previous game due to personal reasons. He was back on Wednesday, but played his fewest minutes since late November and finished with nine points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds.
“Probably the best thing (I) could have done is to get out there and play,” Paul said after the win. “Kobe wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Nerlens Noel added 12 points, five rebounds, and four blocks on 6-7 shooting off the bench for OKC while Hamidou Diallo contributed just two points and three rebounds in 18 minutes.
For the Kings, De’Aaron Fox went for a BBNBA-high of 19 points on a 9-15 shooting clip in addition to his five assists and two steals. Sacramento came into the game riding a two-game win streak that followed a six-game losing streak. With the next two games coming against the teams in Los Angeles, the losses might keep piling up for Fox and company.
- The New York Knicks fell to Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies, 127-106. Julius Randle registered 16 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists for the Knicks in what was his 20th double-double of the season. Kevin Knox added eight points and three rebounds 22 minutes. Sell the team, James Dolan.
- The San Antonio Spurs won arguably it’s most impressive game of the season, taking down the surging Utah Jazz by a final score of 127-120. Trey Lyles played 11 minutes, posting six points and four rebounds for the Spurs, who ended a three-game losing streak. The win keeps the Spurs just 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||100-120 L vs. OKC||19||9-15 (0-3)||1||5||2||0||1||-12||27|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||120-100 W @ SAC||17||6-13 (3-5)||7||7||1||2||2||+25||38|
|Julius Randle (NYK)||106-127 L vs. MEM||16||5-14 (0-4)||14||6||0||0||3||-20||35|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||120-100 W @ SAC||12||6-7 (0-0)||5||0||1||4||2||+12||20|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||106-127 L vs. MEM||8||3-7 (1-3)||3||0||0||0||1||+2||22|
|Trey Lyles (SAS)||127-120 W vs. UTA||6||3-6 (0-2)||4||0||0||0||0||-3||11|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||120-100 W @ SAC||2||1-3 (0-1)||3||0||0||0||1||+7||18|
|Wenyen Gabriel (POR)||125-112 W vs. HOU||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Keldon Johnson (SAS)||127-120 W vs. UTA||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||125-112 W vs. HOU||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Raptors @ Cavaliers (Knight-out)
7:00: Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk, Washington) @ Wizards (Wall-out)
7:30: 76ers @ Hawks
8:00 (TNT): Warriors @ Celtics (Kanter)
10:30 (TNT): Jazz @ Nuggets (Murray-out, Vanderbilt)
10:30: Kings (Fox) @ Clippers (Patterson)