Massive day of NBA action, with 16 teams taking the floor on Monday the 1st of April.
The East was a warzone, as teams ranked 2 through 10 (with the exception of the Philadelphia 76ers) all clashing in a set of marquee matchups.
As Sportstips.com does every day, we’ve watched 3 of the day’s biggest games so you don’t have to!
Here are our key takeaways from the games which meant the most:
Detroit v Indiana
Cracking game of NBA basketball, and a huge win by the Pacers.
Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis played out of their skins in the low post, and whilst Andre Drummond was his usual self on the boards (with 17), Sabonis and Turner combined for 35 points. Turner also swatted away 5 shots in a magnificent performance.
Indiana had lost 7 of their last 8 games and desperately needed to take a big Eastern Conference scalp at some stage, although Boston’s win over the Heat means they’re still tied in fourth place. Detroit started this one strongly, but a huge second quarter gave the Pacers a halftime lead. The Pistons hit back to lead at the end of the third quarter, but a 13-3 run by the Pacers at the start of the last effectively put the game away.
Bojan Bogdanovic was well held for most of the game but still finished with 19 points in a sign that he’s becoming one of the league’s most reliable scorers. Overall the Pacers shot 54.5% from the field and were 10 of 22 on 3s, and it’s fair to say the Pistons really missed the presence of Blake Griffin.
Indiana win 111-102
Top scorer: Wayne Ellington – 26
Top rebounds: Andre Drummond – 17
Top assists: Bojan Bogdanovic – 6
Next up these two teams play each other in Detroit on Wednesday.
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics
Dwyane Wade’s last game at TD Garden, and the Heat nearly snuck a miracle win after trailing by as much as 23 points in the second quarter.
Boston, remarkably, led 30-8 after just the first quarter. Miami were ice cold to start – they were 0-7 from three in the first quarter, before roaring back in to the game to trail by just three points with two minutes to go.
Unfortunately, Wade missed a tying three pointer with about a minute to go, and Kyrie Irving converted two free throws down the other end to effectively ended the game. Miami committed an atrocious 15 turnovers and overall were just 27% from three. You’re not going to win many NBA games with those stats. Goran Dragic continued his excellent vein of form with 30 points, while Wade was fantastic with 17 off the bench.
Al Horford recorded just the second triple double of his career, and his first for Boston with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He is the heartbeat of this Boston team, but overall the Celtics would be hugely disappointed to only score 49 points in the second half and allow Miami back in to the game.
Boston win 110-105
Top scorer: Goran Dragic – 30
Top rebounds: Bam Adebayo – 14
Top assists: Al Horford – 10
Next up these two teams have a rematch in Miami on Wednesday night.
Charlotte Hornets v Utah Jazz
It’s not often a guy (who isn’t named Devin Booker) drops 47 points and still loses, but that’s what happened with Kemba Walker and the Hornets on Monday night.
Walker was brilliant with his outside game, but Rudy Gobert showed what can happen when teams have the ability to utterly control the paint. Charlotte’s starting frontcourt of Bismark Biyombo, Miles Bridges and Marvin Williams contributed just 4 points between them in 61 combined minutes, while Gobert finished with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks in a dominant performance. He’s our clear pick for Defensive Player of the Year, and with tonight’s double-double he ties Karl Malone for most in a season for the Jazz.
As they’ve done all season, Utah got contributions from players across the board. Joe Ingles hit 5 threes, Ricky Rubio dished out 13 assists and Donovan Mitchell was his usual productive self with 25 points. Jeremy Lamb was okay for the Hornets with 23 off the bench, but as it’s been way too many times in Charlotte, Walker was left to do too much.
Utah led 52-39 at halftime thanks to Charlotte shooting 29% from the floor, and were never really headed. They’ve now won 10 of their last 11 games and are arguably the most in-form team in the NBA.
Utah win 111-102
Top scorer: Kemba Walker – 47
Top rebounds: Rudy Gobert – 18
Top assists: Ricky Rubio – 13
Next up the Jazz are in Phoenix, while the Hornets complete a four-game road-trip (and need a win to stay in the playoff hunt) in New Orleans, both on Wednesday.
Milwaukee 131 defeated Brooklyn 121
Top scorers: Eric Bledsoe 29, D’Angelo Russell 28
New York 113 defeated Chicago 105
Top scorers: Luke Kornet 24, Robin Lopez 29
Toronto 121 defeated Orlando 109
Top scorers: Danny Green 29, Evan Fournier 21
Portland 132 defeated Minnesota 122
Top scorers: Rodney Hood 21, Andrew Wiggins 21
Dallas 122 defeated Philadelphia 102
Top scorers: Justin Jackson 24, JJ Redick 26
Phoenix 122 defeated Cleveland 113
Top scorers: Devin Booker 25, Collin Sexton 21
Player of the night: Kemba Walker
Best team performance: Indiana Pacers
Most disappointing: Philadelphia 76ers