March 3,2019 at 7:00 PM
3/22/2019 7:00 PM
Magic and Grizzlies Tangle at Amway Center
The Memphis Grizzlies (29-42) snapped a two-game skid in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, dropping the visiting Houston Rockets in overtime, 126-125. Former Raptor Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies on both ends of the floor in the victory, dropping 33 points, hauling in 15 rebounds, and shooting 13-of-17 from the charity stripe. Mike Conley put up a team-high 35 points, facilitating eight assists and grabbing five boards while going 6-of-9 from deep, as Bruno Caboclo rounded out the double digit scoring for the starting five with 15 points and seven rebounds to his credit. Chandler Parsons came off the bench with 11 points and three triples for a Memphis team that no longer has a dog in the postseason hunt, but are looking to play spoiler down the stretch. The team heads back to FedExForum on Saturday to begin a tough three-game home stand that includes visits from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors. Wednesday night saw the Orlando Magic (34-38) win their third straight contest, as they took care of the New Orleans Pelicans on home court, 119-96. With 22 points, five rebounds and three assists, Evan Fournier led the team offensively, going 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Nikola Vucevic, a large part of the reason why Orlando remains in the hunt in the Eastern Conference, logged a double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds, making all four of his attempts from the foul line, while Aaron Gordon delivered 20 points, seven boards, six assists and four three-pointers. Terrence Ross played off the pine to the tune of 19 points and five triples of his own for the Magic, who remain a game-and-a-half behind the Miami Heat for the eight seed in the conference. Orlando owns the fifth-worst offense in the league, one that averages 105.9 points per game.
March 3,2019 at 7:30 PM
3/22/2019 7:30 PM
Quicken Loans Arena Site for Clippers and Cavaliers
The red hot Los Angeles Clippers (42-30) have won three straight games and nine of their last 11, and spent Tuesday night handling the Indiana Pacers at Staples Center, 115-109. Danilo Gallinari scored a team-best 24 points, going 8-of-17 from field goal range, 4-of-9 from three-point range and 4-of-4 from the foul line. Montrezl Harrell put up 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on his way to a double-double in a reserve capacity, making 8-of-12 from the paint, while fellow sub Lou Williams pulled up just short of a double-double of his own with 11 points and nine assists, but was ice cold from downtown, where he missed all five of his attempts. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander came through with 17 points, three boards and three dimes, while Ivica Zubac posted 12 points and nine rebounds. L.A. is in the midst of a Western Conference dogfight that has three teams (the Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs) tied for the sixth seed, with all sitting just a half game behind the fifth place Utah Jazz. On Wednesday night the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-53) upset the visiting first place Milwaukee Bucks, 107-102. Rookie Collin Sexton, who has been a boon for the beleaguered Cavs this season, led the way behind 25 points, 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from deep. Jordan Clarkson emerged off the bench to post 23 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists, shooting 9-of-17 from the paint, while Brandon Knight recorded 13 points and two three-pointers in a starting role. Ante Zizic had 10 rebounds to add to his eight points of offensive production as Cleveland remains in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, with a 14 percent change of securing the number one seed in the Draft Lottery on May 14.
March 3,2019 at 7:30 PM
3/22/2019 7:30 PM
Nuggets Head to Big Apple for Battle With Knicks
The Denver Nuggets take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. The Nuggets (48-22) come into Friday's contest riding an impressive hot streak that has partly come at the expense of Eastern Conference opponents. Denver has notched five consecutive wins, with the last three over the impressive trio of the Pacers, Celtics and high-powered Wizards. Washington was the Nuggets' most recent victim, as they fell by a 113-108 score on Wednesday night. Paul Millsap, Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray Gary Harris and Torrey Craig co-led the Nuggets with a quintet of 15-point efforts, with Jokic notably adding 11 assists and six rebounds. Millsap and Harris had six and five boards, respectively. Will Barton turned in 13 points, four rebounds and one assist. The reserve guard duo of Monte Morris and Malik Beasley furnished 11 and 10 points each. The Nuggets come into Friday's game without any short-term injuries to report. The Knicks (14-58) approach Friday's game in the midst of a significant spiral, as they've dropped 10 of their last 11 contests. New York completely fell apart in its most recent defeat, as they dropped a 137-116 decision to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Kevin Knox led the way with 27 points, adding eight rebounds, three assists and one block. Mario Hezonja furnished 23 points, two rebounds and one assist. Dewayne Dotson poured in 21 points. Emmanuel Mudiay pitched in 15 points while also collecting five assists, two rebounds and one steal. Mitchell Robinson generated a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double that also included three blocks. The Knicks will list Dennis Smith, Jr. (back) and Allonzo Trier (calf) as out Friday. Frank Ntilikina (groin) and Noah Vonleh (ankle) carry questionable designations, while Kadeem Allen (illness) is considered probable. Friday's game marks the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Nuggets hold a 1-0 series lead, having notched a 115-108 victory on Jan. 1.
March 3,2019 at 7:30 PM
3/22/2019 7:30 PM
Raptors Play Host to Thunder on Friday
The Oklahoma City Thunder travel north of the border to play the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Friday. The Thunder (42-30) have hit a bit of a wall since the all-star break and it's happening at the worst time. In fact, Oklahoma City comes into this matchup losing four-straight and 10 of their last 14 games in total. That has put a huge damper on any homecourt playoff hopes, as this club is sliding steadily down the standings. The Thunder have free-fallen all the way to eighth in the west but it's tight throughout. The San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers are both tied with Oklahoma City and the Houston Rockets are just three games ahead all the way up at third. That means a lot can happen over the final few weeks but recent form indicates that the Thunder will have a tough road come postseason time. The Raptors (51-21) have pretty much guaranteed themselves a top-two seed in the east, as they're two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks in first and six games up on the Philadelphia 76ers in third. That means they'll have homecourt advantage throughout most of the playoffs, which is all they can ask for with their stout home form. Toronto owns a 29-7 record at home this season and it's obviously a tough task for any team to play in Air Canada Centre. The big thing they need to do is get Kyle Lowry healthy by the playoffs, as he's expected to miss another game here because of an ankle issue. They need he and Kawhi Leonard to be at full strength if they want to go deep into the playoffs and this Eastern Conference race should be a fascinating one to watch for the final month. These teams actually just played on Wednesday in Oklahoma City, with Toronto prevailing in overtime, 123-114. Prior to that, the Thunder won nine of their previous 12 games over the Raptors dating back to 2012.
March 3,2019 at 8:00 PM
3/22/2019 8:00 PM
Rockets Take On Spurs For Fourth And Final Time
The Houston Rockets will play host to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday at Toyota Center. The Rockets (45-27) were rolling as winners of 12 of 13 games, with their one loss coming in dramatic fashion to the Warriors, but that stretch came to a screeching halt Wednesday night when they headed to Memphis and lost by one point in overtime. Oddly enough, each of the Rockets' last three losses outside of Golden State have come against sub-.500 teams, with the Mavericks and Lakers rounding out the group. However, despite the surprising loss to the Grizzlies, the Rockets are still sitting fairly comfortable in third place in the Western Conference standings, as while they are just a half-game ahead of the fourth-place Trail Blazers, they are three whole games ahead of the Thunder, Clippers, Jazz and Spurs. And while those Spurs' (42-30) chances of catching a team like the Rockets are certainly dwindling, all chances of it happening will certainly be gone if they can't get a victory Friday night. However, independent of its standing against the Rockets, San Antonio still needs every victory it can get down the stretch given that it is currently in a four-way tie in the bottom half of the standings. This is especially the case after their performance Thursday night at home against Miami, as the team's nine-game winning streak came to an end when they dropped the game to the Heat. A win, and the Spurs would be sitting alone as the No. 5 seed in the West. This will be the fourth and final time the Spurs face the Rockets this season, with Houston winning each of the last two after dropping the first matchup in San Antonio.
March 3,2019 at 8:30 PM
3/22/2019 8:30 PM
Bucks Host Rolling Heat
The Milwaukee Bucks play host to the Miami Heat, at Fiserv Forum on Friday evening. This marks the first game of a four-game home stand for the Bucks (53-19), who are 28-6 at home this season. The Bucks are 5-5 in their last 10 games overall, including coming off a loss in Cleveland in their most recent contest. Despite holding first place in the East, the Bucks fell to the second worst team in the conference, as they were without Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle), who has missed the last two games, Antetokounmpo remains questionable for action on Friday. He is obviously a huge part of the Bucks' success, as he has been in MVP talks all season long, and is averaging 27.5 points, 12.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. Khris Middleton came up big in both of the Bucks' last two contests, including a 30-point, 10-rebound and five-assist performance. Middleton has been a great secondary scoring option for Milwaukee, and is averaging 17.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. The Bucks average 117.4 points per game, which is second most in the NBA. Meanwhile, this marks the third game of a four-game road trip for the Heat (35-36), where they have gone 2-0 so far, with impressive wins in OKC and San Antonio. The Heat have won three straight on the road, and are 18-16 on the road this season. They have won eight of their last 10 games overall, including their last three in a row. The Heat sit eighth place in the East, with a 1.5-game lead over ninth, and 1.0 games behind seventh. Goran Dragic is coming back into full health after missing much of the season, and is averaging 14.7 points, 4.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds, in 22 minutes per game over his last seven games. Josh Richardson leads the team, averaging 16.8 points, 4.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals, while Dwyane Wade continues to provide a good boost and results in the clutch, averaging 14.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds, in 25 minutes off the bench per game. The Heat hold opponents to an average of 105.7 points per game, which is third least in the league.
March 3,2019 at 10:30 PM
3/22/2019 10:30 PM
Nets Continue Road Trip With Visit to Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center on Friday evening. On Monday, Brooklyn (37-36) got back above .500 and snapped a three-game losing streak in dramatic fashion. Despite trailing by 25 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Nets came back to earn a last-second win over Sacramento. All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell led the charge, scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter to finish with a career-high 44. The big night was just another highlight in a second half of the season that has seen Russell elevate his game. The fourth-year guard is averaging 22.4 points and 7.8 assists per game since the All-Star Break. With Russell at the helm, Brooklyn is on pace to reach the postseason for the first time since 2015. The Nets currently own seventh place in the Eastern Conference and sit just one game back from the sixth-place Pistons. In Los Angeles, meanwhile, it seems that LeBron James' 14-year playoff streak is set to reach its end. The Lakers (31-40) have fallen apart since the break, going just 3-11 in 14 games since All-Star Weekend. Los Angeles is currently riding a four-game losing streak, including a double-digit defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. James sat out that game for rest, but the Lakers did see a bright spot in the strong play of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Caldwell-Pope scored a season-high 35 points off the bench to lead all scorers in the loss. Still, LA was unable to put together the offense necessary to remain competitive. The Lakers currently rank 11th in the Western Conference and are at risk of failing to match their 2017-18 win total of 35.