In a busy night of NBA action to cap off the weekend, the Cleveland Cavaliers cruised against the Oklahoma City Thunder in another dominant performance for LeBron James against Kevin Durant, the Chicago Bulls ruined Kobe Bryant’s goodbye from the United Center, Anthony Davis put on maybe the biggest individual performance of the season while the Portland Trail Blazers remain the hottest team in the West right now.
New Orleans Pelicans 111 Detroit Pistons 106: The Pistons keep sliding regardless of their trade deadline moves, while the Pelicans remain hopeful that there’s a playoff at the end of the rainbow. Why not when Anthony Davis is playing like he’s Wilt Chamberlain, finishing with 59 points and 20 rebounds, becoming only the third player in the last 33 years with a 50-20 game.
Cleveland Cavaliers 115 Oklahoma City Thunder 92: The Thunder just can’t get beat LeBron James teams, and got destroyed on national TV with some poor defense and awful shooting. Kevin Love led Cleveland with 29 points and 11 rebounds, while James had the time to do a bit of everything, finishing with 25 points, 7 boards and 11 assists. The Thunder shot just 41% from the field at home in their worst home loss with Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka playing together.
Boston Celtics 121 Denver Nuggets 101: The Celtics are playing some beautiful basketball lately, led by their backcourt with Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley combining to score 42 points and Evan Turner helped out with 17 off the bench. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets, slowly drifting away from a playoff spot, scoring 23 points.
San Antonio Spurs 118 Phoenix Suns 111: The Spurs had a more difficult time than expected, but eventually managed to hand the Suns their 26th loss in the last 28 games. Tony Parker finished with 22 points and Patty Mills added 21, while the Spurs didn’t really miss Kawhi Leonard, not playing due to tightness in his left calf.
Charlotte Hornets 104 Brooklyn Nets 96: The Hornets win five in a row as they improve to 29-26. Kemba Walker had another nice scoring game with 28 points while Al Jefferson, coming off the bench, had his best game in months, finishing with 18. Courtney Lee made a forgettable debut for the Hornets, scoring just 5 points and usually making them worse when playing.
Indiana Pacers 105 Orlando Magic 102: When Monta Ellis is playing well, the Pacers look good. Ellis scored 21 points in a close call against the Magic, getting 20 from Paul George in support. This wasn’t a quality win for the Pacers, who turned the ball over 21 times and shot just 9-of-25 from the field in the fourth quarter, but these days even with these kind of numbers you can beat the Magic.
Memphis Grizzlies 85 Toronto Raptors 98: The Grizzlies look bad and will probably carry on looking this way, so far holding on to their nice cushion in the Western playoff race. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 21 points, Kyle Lowry (who else) helped out with 18.
Philadelphia 76ers 103 Dallas Mavericks 129: There’s nothing like a home game against the 76ers to fill up your stats, with six players scoring in double figures, including 21 for Wesley Matthews and 18 from Dirk Nowitzki. Jahlil Okafor had a game high for the Sixers with 31 points, still two wins away from making it to 10 wins.
Los Angeles Lakers 115 Chicago Bulls 126: For the Lakers, this was another stop on the Kobe Bryant goodbye tour, getting 22 points from him and Julius Randle, 20 from Jordan Clarkson and 15 from D’Angelo Russell. For the Bulls, this was a second straight win, led by a red hot Derrick Rose (24 points) and a surprising E’Twaun Moore, also with 24, still starting for the injured Jimmy Butler.
Utah Jazz 111 Portland Trail Blazers 115: A huge win for the Blazers in a very important playoff duel, giving them a 1.5 game edge over the Jazz. They’ve now won 14 of their last 17 games, and as usual it was their backcourt who delivered. C.J. McCollum with 31 points, Damian Lillard with 30. Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 22 points, as they slip to ninth in the West once again.
Eastern Conference Standings
|12||New York Knicks||24||33||.421||17.5||57|
Western Conference Standings
|1||Golden State Warriors||49||5||.907||–||54|
|2||San Antonio Spurs||47||9||.839||3.0||56|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||40||16||.714||10.0||56|
|4||Los Angeles Clippers||36||19||.655||13.5||55|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers||29||27||.518||21.0||56|
|11||New Orleans Pelicans||22||33||.400||27.5||55|
|15||Los Angeles Lakers||11||46||.193||39.5||57|