It was a busy day in the NBA yesterday, with 18 teams meeting head to head to deliver 9 games of pure adrenaline and non-stop action. Well, for the most part.
It all kicked off in Boston where the home Celtics hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was a meeting between two teams that have not been playing as well as they can lately and it was the Thunder who got their mojo back first, trumping the Celts 130-109. It was more of a team effort than it usually is for the Thunder and maybe that was the secret.
The Charlotte Hornets were wrapping up their 7-game home stand during which they got dangerously close to 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and their opponent for the night were the Orlando Magic. Orlando led after the first quarter, but the 35-13 second quarter pretty much sealed their destiny. Not even a strong 4th quarter could prevent the 107-99 loss.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were without LeBron James and they were hosting the Dallas Mavericks who have been in somewhat of a freefall these last few weeks. It seemed that this would be another blowout loss for the Mavs, but they pulled their ranks in the fourth quarter and took this game to the line. The Cavs needed a spectacular last-second steal from Kyrie Irving to win this one, 99-98.
The Washington Wizards were hosting the Chicago Bulls and it was a must-win game for them if they are to squeeze back into the playoff picture. The Wizards delivered, with John Wall leading the way with a 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds triple-double. They controlled the game from start to finish, winning in the end 117-96.
It was a real close one in Detroit, as the home Pistons were trying to beat Eastern Conference rivals the Atlanta Hawks. The game was neck and neck for the entire 48 minutes, but in the end, it was the Hawks’ experience and a bit of hack-a-Drummond that won them the game 118-114.The Minnesota Timberwolves were in Memphis to take on the absolutely decimated Grizzlies who are missing pretty much everyone after a freak series of injuries. Six Wolves players scored in the double figures and seven Grizzlies did the same. In the end, however, the youngsters from the north took home the win 114-108.
The Houston Rockets hosted the Los Angeles Clippers and things weren’t going right from the very start. The Clips blew the game open in the first quarter, with Chris Paul recording double-figure assists in only 12 minutes. This time the Clippers stayed in control and in the end it was 122-106.
The tumultuous Sacramento Kings hosted the New Orleans Pelicans in the matchup of two teams that underperformed this season, for very different reasons. The Pelicans were led by their All-Star Anthony Davis who scored 27 and Ryan Anderson who scored 29. Both teams shot really well and the final score was 123-108 for the New Orleans team.
In the final game of the night, the Golden State Warriors played host to the New York Knicks and the game went exactly as expected. Steph Curry shot 8 of 13 from the three point line, absolutely torching the Knicks 121-85. It was a bad night for the Knicks.