A lackluster night of NBA basketball didn’t see some major occurrences except how fun the Los Angeles Lakers seem to be having when Kobe Bryant isn’t playing, while the San Antonio Spurs had an easy time against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Toronto Raptors keep on pressing the Cleveland Cavaliers for their lead of the East.
Brooklyn Nets 99 Toronto Raptors 104: The Raptors keep on putting pressure on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a weird game against the inferior Nets. Brooklyn had the lead until the fourth quarter before Toronto turned things upside down, and then almost lost a 14-point lead. Brook Lopez carried the Nets as usual on his shoulders, scoring 35 points. The Raptors had their usual backcourt dominance, with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combining to score 48 points.
San Antonio Spurs 116 Minnesota Timberwolves 91: The Timberwolves managed to make a game of it until the end of the second quarter, and then there was just one team on the court. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 29 points, as David West (scoring 18) and Andre Miller (adding 13) started and made the lineup a very old yet effective one. Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 23 points.
New York Knicks 94 Denver Nuggets 110: Carmelo Anthony had another unpleasant return to the team he played for until a few years ago. He scored 30 points, but the Knicks played bad defense and got crushed on the glass. The Nuggets big men partied, led by Kenneth Faried with 24 points and 10 rebounds, helped out by Nikola Jokic, scoring 20 points to go with 9 rebounds. Gary Harris added 16.
Atlanta Hawks 91 Utah Jazz 84: The Hawks winning in Salt Lake City means the Jazz are drifting away from a playoff spot they eagerly want. The Hawks grabbed the lead late in the first half and never let go, constantly keeping a safe distance. Jeff Teague had one of his best games recently with 24 points and 6 assists and Paul Millsap added 18 against his former team. The Jazz shot just 34.9% from the field, and were led by Gordon Hayward, scoring 22 points.
Washington Wizards 109 Portland Trail Blazers 116: Another Damian Lillard show carried the Blazers, stopping their losing streak. He scored 41 points in the overtime win, hitting six three pointers, not leaving anyone else with too much to do. C.J. McCollum helped out with 18 points. Ramon Sessions scored 21 points off the bench for the Wizards; John Wall scored 20 points.
Orlando Magic 98 Los Angeles Lakers 107: The Lakers simply have fun when Kobe Bryant isn’t playing, winning back-to-back games for the second time in 2016. This was a game that showed what the future might hold for this group, as D’Angelo Russell with 27, Jordan Clarkson with 24 and Julius Randle scoring 23 made the most of the opportunity. Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 26 points.
Eastern Conference Standings
|13||New York Knicks||26||39||.400||19.5||65|
|15||o – Philadelphia 76ers||8||55||.127||36.5||63|
Western Conference Standings
|1||x – Golden State Warriors||56||6||.903||–||62|
|2||x – San Antonio Spurs||54||10||.844||3.0||64|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||43||20||.683||13.5||63|
|4||Los Angeles Clippers||41||21||.661||15.0||62|
|6||Portland Trail Blazers||34||31||.523||23.5||65|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||24||38||.387||32.0||62|
|15||Los Angeles Lakers||14||51||.215||43.5||65|