January 14, 2019, 5:20 am
Sunday brought us seven solid matchups with only one being a blowout. We had Kevin Knox show up with a career-high 31, Steph Curry dropped in 11 triples, while Ben Simmons double-doubled with 20 points and 22 boards. If you thought that was all, we had four guys make it into the 40-plus club tonight with Curry being one of them. Of the four guys one even logged a triple-double, nope not Jokic, not Curry, it was Bradley Beal… more on that later.
Knicks – Not easy on Sunday morning
The Sixers came into Madison Square Garden on Sunday morning and it didn’t feel easy at all. They left the matchup with a 108-105 win thanks to Ben Simmons’ near triple-double, led by his 22 boards, 20 points and nine assists. Simmons stuck to his bread and butter to finish the game 10-of-13 from the field, but the lack of steals or blocks hurt his total output. That’s okay though, as Joel Embiid filled in with six swats, 26 points and eight boards. The Sixers only ended up hitting six triples in the game, J.J. Redick hit three of those en route to 22 points and two assists. Jimmy Buckets also failed to collect any counters, finishing with 16 points, eight boards and two assists.
Hard to Knox their effort
The Knicks have their eyes set on the future, with Kevin Knox dropping in a career-high 31 on Sunday, the future became the present. Knox scored the 31 points in efficient fashion, hitting 12-of-23 shots with four triples, seven boards and two steals. With Enes Kanter still out after eating too many burgers (Coach Fiz says he’s got the flu and its not burger-related), Luke Kornet, a fellow rookie also balled out. Kornet delivered 23 points, three triples, five boards, five assists and a steal. The assists are awesome to get from a center and it’s his third game of the season with five dimes. Emmanuel Mudiay was the only other Knick to make it into double-figures with 19 points, four assists, four boards, a triple and a steal. He was short on a game tying triple as time expired.
I’ll take a Klaw-Filled-Up Box
Kawhi Leonard does not like to lose, and on Sunday he had to deliver to avoid a loss to the Wizards. The Raptors had to play a double-OT thriller before emerging victorious 140-138 in Washington. Kawhi led the way with a full box with 41 points, 11 boards, five assists, three triples, three steals and two blocks. Leonard hit over half of his shots, just like Pascal Siakam, who did his best to match the Finals MVP. Pascal scored 24 with 19 boards while adding in three steals and two blocks, just like Leonard. Siakam is not quite on Leonard’s level yet but he’s been better than him during stretches. Kyle Lowry was solid with 11 assists, 12 points, two steals and two triples. Danny Green had 16 points with three triples, two steals and two blocks… I likey.
I Otto be starting…
Otto Porter has been coming off the bench since returning from injury and delivered his finest game of the season on Sunday. Filling the box to the brim, he scored 27 points on five triples with eight boards, two steals, a block and an assist. Porter should move back into the starting five next week when the Wizards play a lone game against the Knicks in London. Not to be outdone, Bradley Beal logged his second 40-point triple-double of the season with 43 points, 15 assists, 10 boards, six triples, three steals and two blocks. The wildest thing is Beal was even more effective in his previous game on Friday thanks to a higher efficiency. He might just end up in the top-12 before everything is said and done. He currently sits at 16th but has been a top-10 option over the last month. But wait, there’s more! Both Trevor Ariza and Thomas Bryant filled up their boxes as well in this extended matchup. Ariza missed a triple-double by a board with 23 points, 10 assists, nine boards, four triples, a steal and a block, while Thomas Bryant brought it with 18 points, 11 boards, two blocks, two assists, a steal and a triple.
Let’s not miss any shots tonight?
The Bucks took care of business against the Hawks on Sunday 133-114, led by Eric Bledsoe. The team combined to shoot over 53 percent from the field and a primary beneficiary was Bledsoe who logged 10 dimes, 24 points, two triples, two steals, a block and two boards. Giannis had his 18th 30-point game (tied 2nd in the league) of the season with 33 points, three steals, six boards, four assists, a block and a triple. Giannis is amazing, and will only continue to improve as his deep-ball shot develops. Khris Middleton also got in on bashing the Hawks with a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Let me Spell it out for you
Dewayne Dedmon is the best center on the Hawks roster, but he doesn’t fit their timeline. Dedmon was out on Sunday due to an ankle injury so rookie Omari Spellman drew the start at center. Spellman had some success early in the year when John Collins was out but recently he’s been buried, only playing during blowouts, which luckily for the Hawks happens weekly. On Sunday he delivered the best line out of all the Hawks with 13 points, four blocks, six boards, four triples and an assist. The Hawks should look to build for the future by trading away Dedmon to allow Spellman to develop alongside John Collins, they’ll still have Alex Len as a solid backup. Trae Young double-doubled with 26 points, 10 boards, four assists and a triple. Taurean Prince returned from his injury, logging 11 minutes for seven points and five boards.
The Most Magical Place on Earth
Not many folks expected the Magic to come off back-to-back games against the Celtics and Rockets with two wins but that’s exactly what they pulled off on Sunday in the 116-109 win. Led by Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon’s 22 points apiece, the Magic stunned the Rockets. Vooch added nine boards, six assists, a triple and a steal while Gordon pulled in eight boards with five assists, two steals and two triples. Both Evan Fournier and Terrance Ross caused havoc from the wings with 19 points and 17 points, respectively.
It’s Harden than it looks from deep
James Harden scored 38 points with 12 assists, nine boards and four steals on Sunday, good for the fifth best line of the night. He also hit 15-of-16 freebies from the line, unfortunately, it was the shots he didn’t hit that might haunt him in Orlando. Harden only hit 1-of-17 triples on the night, hurting his efficiency and robbing him of a performance that likely would have seen him score over 50. Austin Rivers continued his fantasy relevance with 25 points, and four triples. Clint Capela double-doubled with 17 points, 10 boards but failed to deliver any defensive stats.
Stephen Curry can get hot on a dime and on Sunday he turned it into the line of the night with 48 points, 11 triples, six boards, five assists, two blocks and a steal. He shot over 50 percent from the field and was perfect from the charity stripe. The Warriors beat Dallas 119-114, which explains how Curry found the opportunity to log 37 minutes in the game. Kevin Durant also filled up the box with 28 points, seven boards, five assists, two blocks, two triples and a steal. Durant and Curry are unfair and it’s only going to get worse as DeMarcus Cousins is due back next week. As a result of that Steve Kerr stopped staggering Durant and Curry’s minutes, it didn’t seem to matter tonight. Klay Thompson scored 16 with two triples while the rest of the warriors watched as their two super stars carried the night.
Luka of the draw
Harrison Barnes played well against his former team with 22 points, four triples and four boards, unfortunately that won’t be remembered as his last second turnover will be his main highlight in this game. Rest assured in the future Luka Doncic will rush into the frontcourt to get the ball instead of expecting Barnes to take care of business in the waning seconds of a game. Doncic was spectacular, with 26 points, five triples, five assists, six boards and a steal. He’s a top-50 value on the season and could finish in the top-40 without breaking much of a sweat. DeAndre Jordan double-doubled with 13 points, 14 boards. His free throw shooting has continued to trend down and he’s under 69 percent on the season. Expect this to fall to about 65 percent before the year wraps up.
It’s all fun and games till he posts you up.
Nikola Jokic is known as the Joker but if you’re a Blazer you’re not laughing after losing 113-116 in Denver. Jokic delivered a nearly flawless performance after the Blazers continually switched on screens, leaving undersized forwards trying to guard the most offensively gifted big in the game. Jokic made them pay, dropping 40 with 10 boards, eight assists and four triples. He shot over 65 percent from the field for the game. Jamal Murray had a bounce-back game, as he’s struggled since Gary Harris went down, scoring 24 points with four boards, three assists, a steal and a three. Paul Millsap highlighted that it takes time to come back from injury as his contributions were two-dimensional on Sunday with 11 points and six boards. He had no other stats.
Juicy Jusuf feels the squeeze
Jusuf Nurkic has been red-hot-and-rolling for the Blazers recently. He continued that trend on Sunday despite foul trouble, resulting in 25 minutes played. He scored 12 points with eight boards, four assists, three steals and a block. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with a team-high 26 points, seven assists, two triples, and four boards. C.J. McCollum did his part with 18 points, four triples and three assists. The Blazers will struggle to win if their three best players can’t shoot over 39 percent, and that’s exactly what the aforementioned players did tonight. Evan Turner and Jake Layman both scored 13 points and shot 80 percent or better.
Revenge is best served with mimosa brunch in Hollywood
The Cavs are the league’s worst team and the last team without double-digit wins. On Sunday they earned a win in L.A. 101-95, allowing Jordan Clarkson (nine points, two assists) to get his revenge. All jokes aside, the Cavs starting five played amazingly, with each player scoring in double-figures led by Cedi Osman’s 20 points, eight boards and two triples. Rodney Hood scored 18 with three boards, three assists, a steal and a triple while Alec Burks had a massive double-double with 13 boards, 17 points, four assists, a steal and two triples. Not to be forgotten Tristan Thompson delivered 15 points and 15 boards while swatting away two shots. Rookie Collin Sexton rounded out the starters with 17 points, three assists and a triple.
Take it to Hart
Josh Hart did a bit of everything on Sunday for the Lakers, scoring nine points with five boards, two blocks, a steal, an assist and a triple. He only hit 3-of-12 shots yet managed to secure the second-best line of the night for the Lakers. This should help highlight some of the issues at play for the Lakers while LeBron James and Rajon Rondo are out. Lonzo Ball played well thanks to his diverse skillset, scoring 13 points with eight boards, eight assists, two triples and two steals. Kyle Kuzma woke up in the final frame to salvage his night, finishing with 29 points, nine boards, four assists and two triples. He only hit 5-of-9 from the stripe. Brandon Ingram scored 22 points but failed to help out in the defensive categories.