The Blazers hope to not only hold on to the 4th seed but advance to the second round might be gone after a freak injury to Nurkic. The Sixers were demolished by the Magic who’s fighting their hearts out for a playoff spot. The Thunder seem to still can’t get it going after another big win by the Grizzlies while it was business as usual for the Jazz.
As SportsTips.com does every day, we’ve watched 3 of the day’s biggest games so you don’t have to!
Orlando Magic vs Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers came into the building after a shock loss to the Hawks and things only got sourer when Ben Simmons was announced out with gastroenteritis before the match started. This wasn’t going to be an easy match against the Magic who’s been red hot at home and is desperate to make into the playoffs.
It was a tight affair to begin with, both Embiid and Butler were going toe to toe Vucevic and Evan Fournier. The sixers defense was lacking though as they allowed so many shots to go up with their only capability to stay competitive was to make most of their shots. This wasn’t a viable strategy for the Sixers who kept bleeding points when Embiid is out.
Star additions Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler to say the least was disappointing, this level of play is not what the Sixers faithful want to compete in the playoffs. They weren’t playing for much though with the 3rd seed basically locked up so it’s hard to judge them on this game. Vucevic and Fournier looking like an awesome combo who’s getting hot at the right time scoring 28 and 24 respectively.
Magic Win 119 – 98
Top Scorers: Nikola Vucevic 28 Points
Top Assists: Evan Fournier 7 Assists
Top Rebounds: Nikola Vucevic 11 Rebounds
Memphis Grizzlies vs Oklahoma City Thunder
What a performance by the Memphis Grizzlies! 5 Players scoring in double digits matching point for point against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They came into the game scoring at will and set the tone early, while the Thunder just couldn’t get it going at any point.
Paul George was able to notch a double-double and scored 30 points on the board, a welcome addition after his shooting woes. His efficiency was not one to brag about though, going 10 – 29 from the field, it seemed like the whole offense was drawn up to get PG13 his mojo back. Westbrook was still struggling from 6-20 from the field, but it seems the Thunder offense really relies on these two to make a majority of their shots. With the way the playoffs are set up with defensive schemes, it’s a worrying factor on whether or not they’ll be competitive.
The Grizzlies on the other hand have our player of the game, Bruno Caboclo! Scoring a career high 24 points, formerly compared to Kevin Durant, the Toronto Raptors picked him up in the 2014 draft and his lack of basketball skills, but raw talent and coaches coined the term “two years away from being two years away” for him. His game last night showed immense improvement over his last couple of seasons and we’ll be interested to see if he can continue his great game and become the player he was touted to be.
Grizzlies Win 115 – 103
Top Scorer: Paul George 30 Points
Top Assists: Delon Wright 13 Assists
Top Rebounds: Jonas Valuncianas 14 Rebounds
Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trailblazers
Our game of the night did not disappoint, it was a scoring fiesta all through out the game. Both teams hit clutch shots after clutch shots, and it was definitely a game that you didn’t want to miss. A heart-breaking injury occurred to Blazers key player Nurkic in 2OT, that you just don’t want to see. He had 32 points and 16 rebounds in the game before the injury occurred and will be a massive loss to the Blazers in the post season.
It was a battle of D’Angelo Russell and Damian Lillard that set the tone, you can see straight forwardly that it’s the engine of these two that make their team run. Both players combined for 70 points which was great to see, unfortunately for the Nets though it was the Blazers who railed at the end on some crucial defensive stops that got them the win.
Blazers Win 148 – 144
Top Scorer: D’Angelo Russell 39 Points
Top Assists: Damian Lilllard 12 Assists
Top Rebounds: Jusuf Nurkic 16 Rebounds
Utah Jazz defeat the Phoenix Suns 125 – 92
Top Scorers: Rudy Gobert 27 Points, Devin Booker 59 Points
Player of the Night: Bruno Caboclo
Best Team Performance: Orlando Magic
Most Disappointing: Oklahoma City Thunder