A 4-game Thursday night lineup didn’t pack a lot of star power, but included the extension of winning streaks for the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, while the Philadelphia 76ers forgot about their injury woes for one night thanks to playing the second worst team in the East, the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks 106 Philadelphia 76ers 115
The perfect remedy to playing without the team’s two stars? Playing the New York Knicks. The Sixers jumped to the lead early and never let it slip, improving to 28-2 at home this season behind 34 Tobias Harris points. The Sixers are still 5th in the East, but with 0 games behind the Miami Heat, this looks like one of the best playoff-seeding battles to watch in what’s left of this season.
Portland Trail Blazers 100 Indiana Pacers 106
The struggling Pacers finally put a 2-game win streak together, led by 20 points from Domantas Sabonis. The entire starting five scored in double figures, including 14 by Myles Turner who hit a key three pointer late in the game. The Blazers, painfully shorthanded, fall to 3 games behind the Grizzlies in the chase for the 8th and final playoff spot in the West.
Sacramento Kings 108 Oklahoma City Thunder 112
Much has been said of the Thunder’s and especially Chris Paul’s clutch abilities this season. Well, it happened again, as the Thunder improved to 37-22 (5th in the West) after coming back from a 19-point deficit. Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points, knocking down four 3-pointers. It’s the 5th straight win for the Thunder, now only 1.5 games behind the equally hot Rockets in 4th.
Los Angeles Lakers 116 Golden State Warriors 86
The Lakers, playing without LeBron James, had no problem against the worst team in the league (8th straight loss). Anthony Davis set the tone with 23 points as the Lakers picked up their 8th straight victory. Eric Paschall led the Dubs with 23 points off the bench, as they await the return of Stephen Curry while another player (Ky Bowman) is lost to injury for an undetermined period of time.
Eastern Conference Standings
|14||New York Knicks||17||42||.288||33.5||59|
(Teams in bold clinched playoff spot)
Western Conference Standings
|1||Los Angeles Lakers||45||12||.789||–||57|
|3||Los Angeles Clippers||39||19||.672||6.5||58|
|5||Oklahoma City Thunder||37||22||.627||9.0||59|
|9||Portland Trail Blazers||26||34||.433||20.5||60|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||25||33||.431||20.5||58|
|11||San Antonio Spurs||24||33||.421||21.0||57|
|15||Golden State Warriors||12||47||.203||34.0||59|
Standings via Wikipedia