The most impressive teams on a short Thursday night of NBA basketball were the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by a generous LeBron James against the Los Angeles Clippers, and the San Antonio Spurs in an easy, as expected, win over the sad looking Phoenix Suns.
Los Angeles Clippers 102 Cleveland Cavaliers 115: Another strong performance from the Cavaliers, who improve to 16-2 at home and 2-for-2 since the Warriors humiliation. A strong second and third quarters made the game easy, led by 22 points from LeBron James who also finished with 12 assists, aided by J.R. Smith, also scoring 22 points. Chris Paul finished with 30 for the Clippers, who have almost forgot what it’s like to lose.
Detroit Pistons 99 New Orleans Pelicans 115: Missing Eric Gordon doesn’t bother the Pelicans, winning convincingly at home against a tired Pistons team. Anthony Davis has another big night, scoring 32 points with 7 rebounds, getting plenty of help from Tyreke Evans who scored 22. Andre Drummond put up another impressive stat line with 19 points and 22 rebounds, this time not having to break the wrong kind of records from the free throw line.
Memphis Grizzlies 102 Denver Nuggets 101: A big three points from Marc Gasol with 12.2 seconds in the game put the Grizzlies in front for good in a tough contest against the stubborn Blazers. Gasol led Memphis with 27, followed by Mike Conley with 20 points. Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari scored 17 points each for the Nuggets.
Atlanta Hawks 88 Sacramento Kings 91: The combination of DeMarcus Cousins (24 points) and Willie Cauley-Stein is working quite well in the Kings frontcourt, now only four games below .500, beating the Hawks with some excellent defense and enough support around their big man, including 14 points for Ben McLemore and 13 for Omri Casspi.
San Antonio Spurs 117 Phoenix Suns 89: The Spurs take advantage of the Suns’ sad state which allowed them plenty of garbage time basketball. Kawhi Leonard led the way scoring 21 points, followed by Boban Marjanovic, scoring 17 to go with 13 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Eastern Conference Standings
|1||Cleveland Cavaliers *||30||11||.732||–||41|
|2||Toronto Raptors *||27||15||.643||3.5||42|
|3||Atlanta Hawks *||26||17||.605||5.0||43|
|9||New York Knicks||22||22||.500||9.5||44|
Western Conference Standings
|1||Golden State Warriors *||39||4||.907||–||43|
|2||San Antonio Spurs *||36||6||.857||2.5||42|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder *||32||12||.727||7.5||44|
|4||Los Angeles Clippers||27||15||.643||11.5||42|
|10||Portland Trail Blazers||19||26||.422||21.0||45|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||15||27||.357||23.5||42|
|15||Los Angeles Lakers||9||35||.205||30.5||44|