The Knicks pulled of the impossible and complete a season sweep of the Lakers, the so called “King of New York”. The Battle for the East definitely did not disappoint in the game between the Bucks and 76ers, with the Pistons also pulling an amazing upset over the Toronto Raptors. The Kings beat the bulls but will it get them any closer to the playoffs? Only time will tell!
Los Angeles Lakers @ New York Knicks
The battle of the two largest markets in the NBA and also tied for most disappointing franchise in the last couple of years. Surprisingly LeBron James took to the floor to play tonight after the Lakers essentially have almost basically eliminated themselves from playoff contention. In the grander scheme of things, both teams was looking to lose to help them get closer to that sweet, sweet number 1 draft pick.
Damyean Dotson showed that he’s capable to be a rotation player tonight as he started for the New York Knicks and balled out both offensively and defensively. The 2nd Round 2017 Draft Pick scored 25 points and finished the game with a +9 on the plus/minus box score with the most minutes played. Kevin Knox had another stellar game and showed just how deep this year’s rookie class was.
The most exciting part of the night though was Mario Hezonja securing the Knicks win in the final seconds of the game with a big block on 3 time NBA Champion LeBron James. This is another odd highlight that he can add to his career reel after a scintillating dunk over Giannis Antentonkoumpo earlier in the season!
Knicks Win 124 – 123
Top Scorer: LeBron James – 33 Points
Top Assists: TIED 8 – LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Emanuel Mudiay
Top Rebounds: DeAndre Jordan – 17 Rebounds
Philadelphia 76ers @ Milwaukee Bucks
The giants of the east met and the match definitely did not disappoint. The Sixers finally inserted starting center Joel Embiid back into the line-up after some time off from injury. Both team came in with good form with the Sixers winning 4 of their last 4 and the Bucks doing the same. This was definitely a match-up between the two all-stars with Embiid and Giannis combining for a whopping 92 points for the game.
The Sixers defense did extremely well on Giannis limiting his shots and playmaking abilities in the first half, but as with Giannis he tends to figure out a way to make a statement on the game. He poured a career high 52 points hitting shots from deep, drives and free throws. Joel Embiid definitely did not back down from the challenge though as he seemed to relish guarding Giannis 1 on 1 and also taking him down in the post for scoring opportunities.
Both teams had multiple double digit scorers and it was definitely an offensive game all around. Jimmy Butler scored an efficient 25 points while he was tasked with guarding Giannis as well. The lack of scoring and defense from Bledsoe was definitely the key point for the Sixers taking the win today as he just had trouble all night guarding the relatively large Sixers line up. He finished the game with a minus 17 in the plus/minus box score, the 2nd biggest negative in the game belonged to Mirotic at a minus 8.
Sixers Win 130 – 125
Top Scorer: Giannis Antetonkoumpo – 52 Points
Top Assists: Ben Simmons – 9 Assists
Top Rebounds: Giannis Antetonkoumpo – 16 Rebounds
Toronto Raptors @ Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are an engine that completely runs on the effort on Blake Griffin and when he puts in effort, it seems the rest of the team does too and the game tonight effectively displayed that. The Raptors have basically secured themselves the 2nd seed and these shock losses aren’t a great display of form heading into the post season, for the Pistons though it was a big win with the Nets 1 and a half game behind them for the sixth seed!
Unfortunately for the Raptors, the bench effectively lost them this game, with Lowry out Jeremy Lin was promoted to the starting point guard and Van Fleet couldn’t save the raptors bench from being outscored by Ish Smith and Langston Galloway combining for 19 points off the bench.
Kawhi had a chance to even the game with free throws but missed both with Drummond securing the rebound and completing the Pistons season sweep against the Toronto Raptors.
Pistons Win 110 – 107
Top Scorer: Kawhi Leonard – 33 Points
Top Assists: TIED 8 – Ish Smith, Marc Gasol
Top Rebounds: Andre Drummond – 17 Rebounds
Miami Heat Defeat the Charlotte Hornets 93 – 75
Top Scorer: Goran Dragic 19 Points, Jeremy Lamb 21 Points
Orlando Magic Defeat the Atlanta Hawks 101 – 91
Top Scorer: Nicola Vucevic 27 Points, Trae Young 20 Points
Sacramento Kings Defeat the Chicago Bulls 129 – 91
Top Scorer: Marvin Bagley III 21 Points, Zach Lavine 18 Points
Houston Rockets Defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 117 – 102
Top Scorer: Chris Paul 25 Points, Karl Anthony Towns 22 Points
Los Angeles Clippers Defeat the Brooklyn Nets 119 – 116
Top Scorer: Lou Williams 25 Points, D’Angelo Russell 32 Points
Player of the night: Joel Embiid
Best team performance: Detroit Pistons
Most disappointing performance: Charlotte Hornets
Best overall game: 76ers vs Bucks
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