NBA Roundup: Highlights and Analysis from Tonight’s Games: 4/2/23

By: OutOfSightSports


NBA Roundup: Highlights and Analysis from Tonight’s Games: 4/2/23

Raptors vs Hornets:

Game Summary: Last night, the Toronto Raptors defeated the undermanned Charlotte Hornets 128-108, securing a place in the NBA play-in tournament. Pascal Siakam scored 36 points, Fred VanVleet added 20 points and a career-high 20 assists, and O.G. Anunoby added 23 points for the Raptors. The team clinched the spot after the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Utah Jazz later in the day. With four games remaining, the Raptors are now focused on seeding. They entered the day tied with the Atlanta Hawks for eighth place in the Eastern Conference and are looking to move up in the standings to secure a better chance of advancing out of the play-in tournament. The Raptors dominated the game, outscoring the Hornets 90-44 in the paint. VanVleet played a pivotal role in the victory, scoring 20 points and setting a franchise single-game record for assists. The Hornets, who played without all five of their anticipated starters this season, were led by Svi Mykhailiuk’s career-high 26 points and Mark Williams’ 15 points and 12 rebounds. The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night in Charlotte.

Nets vs Jazz

Game Summary: On Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Utah Jazz 111-110, with Mikal Bridges contributing 30 points and seven rebounds to bring the Nets closer to securing a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Despite blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Nets managed to hold off the Jazz and win their third consecutive game. Spencer Dinwiddie had 17 points and 12 assists, while Cam Johnson scored 18 points. The Nets are now two games ahead of Miami for the No. 6 seed and need just two more wins to clinch the last guaranteed playoff spot in the East. Talen Horton-Tucker scored 32 points for the Jazz, who lost for the fifth time in six games and are currently 12th in the West. Lauri Markkanen had 23 points and nine rebounds, but struggled to find his rhythm early in the game. Despite their strong fourth-quarter performance, the Jazz were unable to close the gap, and the Nets held on for the win.

Grizzlies vs Bulls

Game Summary: The Memphis Grizzlies appeared to be cruising towards another victory, but the Chicago Bulls had different plans. Led by Zach LaVine’s 36 points and DeMar DeRozan’s 31, the Bulls rallied in the second half to defeat the Grizzlies 128-107, overcoming Ja Morant’s triple-double performance. After being down by 23 points at halftime, the Bulls outscored the Grizzlies 75-39 in the final two quarters and dominated the third quarter, ending it on a 17-0 run to take the lead. The Bulls responded with another big push in the fourth quarter after Memphis pulled within three. Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 31 points for the Grizzlies, but the team committed 18 turnovers, resulting in 31 points for the Bulls. The win was crucial for the Bulls, who are aiming to secure a spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.

Trailblazers vs Timberwolves

Game Summary: The short-handed Portland Trail Blazers managed to beat the playoff-hopeful Minnesota Timberwolves 107-105 on Sunday, despite missing four regular starters. Shaedon Sharpe led the team with 27 points, while Kevin Knox II contributed 19. Trendon Watford and Skylar Mays also made solid contributions with 15 and 13 points respectively. Anthony Edwards was the top scorer for the Timberwolves with 37 points, but it was not enough to secure the victory. Despite the win, the Trail Blazers have had a tough time recently, losing 11 of their last 12 games, and missing several key players due to injury or trades. The Timberwolves have lost three in a row and are currently in the running for the playoffs, but have struggled against teams with the worst records in the NBA this season.

Hawks vs Mavericks

Game summary: In a game with significant playoff implications for both teams, the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Dallas Mavericks 132-130 in a hard-fought battle that required regulation and overtime to settle. While the matchup between Trae Young and Luka Doncic is always significant, this game was mainly centered around Kyrie Irving versus the rest of the Hawks. Irving put up an impressive 41 points for Dallas, but he made a costly defensive mistake with one second remaining in overtime by committing a reach-in foul on Young, who then hit the game-winning free throws. Although the Hawks blew a 15-point lead in the second half and had some errors of their own, all seven players who scored in double digits contributed to the victory. In contrast, Dallas’s chances of reaching the Play-In Tournament are dwindling. Atlanta’s record improves to 39-39, while Dallas drops to 37-42 for the season. The Hawks will have a practice session tomorrow before traveling to Chicago for a road game against the Bulls on Tuesday.

Knicks vs Wizards

The New York Knicks secured their spot in the playoffs with a 118-109 win over the Washington Wizards on Sunday. Jalen Brunson and Quentin Grimes scored 27 points each, while Immanuel Quickley contributed 22 points and Obi Toppin had 21. Corey Kispert led the Wizards with 29 points, and Johnny Davis had 16 points, and Taj Gibson added 14. The Knicks had missed the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons before making it twice in the last three years. The team has won its last four games, including this one, despite the absence of All-Star forward Julius Randle due to a sprained left ankle. The Wizards were missing their top three scorers, Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma.

Magic vs Pistons:

Game Recap: In a 128-102 victory, the Magic triumphed over the Pistons with Jalen Suggs leading the team with 18 points and Paolo Banchero contributing 14 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Despite Jaden Ivey’s 14 points and six assists, the Pistons were unable to secure a win. The Magic’s record now stands at 34-44 for the season, while the Pistons drop to 16-62.

Spurs vs Kings

The San Antonio Spurs stopped the Sacramento Kings from clinching the Pacific Division with a 142-134 victory on Sunday, despite Doug McDermott’s 30-point performance in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Kings were hoping to win their first division title in 20 years in front of their home fans but failed to do so against the struggling Spurs. The win ended San Antonio’s six-game losing streak, with Julian Champagnie contributing a career-high 26 points and Tre Jones adding 17 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. The Kings remain two games behind Memphis in the race for second place in the Western Conference. The victory was particularly significant for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who was recently announced as part of the Hall of Fame class alongside former point guard Tony Parker and former assistant Becky Hammon.

Lakers vs Rockets

Game Recap: On Sunday night, Anthony Davis scored 40 points and LeBron James recorded his 107th triple-double to tie Jason Kidd for fourth place, with 18 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 134-109. The Lakers moved into a tie for seventh in the Western Conference with the New Orleans Pelicans with four games to go. James stated that the team wants to compete for a championship and these last four games are important to build chemistry. Davis has been in a great rhythm, scoring 38 points or more in three straight games and at least 37 in four of the last five. Lakers starter D’Angelo Russell did not return to play in the second half due to left foot soreness, and will be reevaluated on Monday. Alperen Sengun notched his third straight double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, while Jalen Green scored 24 points and Kevin Porter Jr. chipped in 20 points. The Lakers extended their lead to 117-90 with 7:56 to go in the game.

Suns vs Thunder

The Phoenix Suns won their fifth consecutive victory on Sunday night, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-118. Kevin Durant, who led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012 and is now playing for the Suns, scored 35 points, including 13 points in the fourth quarter and a crucial block at the rim. Devin Booker added 22 points and 10 assists, while Chris Paul had 16 points and eight assists. Despite 39 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder lost for the third time in their last four games. Phoenix remains fourth in the Western Conference standings. Before the game, Phoenix coach Monty Williams expressed his admiration for Durant’s scoring abilities. Williams also thanked members of the Thunder organization for their support after his wife died in a traffic accident in Oklahoma City in 2016.

Cavaliers vs Pacers

Game Recap: On Sunday, the Cleveland Cavaliers dominated the Indiana Pacers with a score of 122-103, thanks in part to Darius Garland’s 24 points and Isaac Okoro’s 20 points. The Cavaliers had an excellent shooting percentage of 52.3% from the field, including 15 of 37 (40.5%) from long range, and their top-ranked defense held the Pacers to just 43.5% shooting. All five of the Cavs’ starters scored in double digits, with Jarrett Allen contributing 18 points and 13 rebounds, Evan Mobley with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Donovan Mitchell with 19 points and six assists. Despite averaging 22 points and 8.2 assists, Garland was not named an All-Star and commented on this after the game. The Pacers were led by Myles Turner with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Tyrese Haliburton with 15 points and 11 assists, but they were unable to keep up with the Cavaliers after the first quarter. Cleveland’s victory marked their 23rd double-figure victory of the season.

Bucks vs 76ers

The 76ers defeat the Bucks 133-130, ending the Bucks’ 16 game win streak. James Harden had an impressive performance, contributing 38 points, nine rebounds, and 10 assists for the 76ers. Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey combined for 57 points, with Embiid scoring 31 points, six rebounds, and 10 assists, while Maxey added 26 points. Although Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Bucks, they were unable to secure a win. With this victory, the 76ers improve their record to 41-22, while the Bucks’ record falls to 45-18.

Nuggets vs Warriors

Game Recap: The Denver Nuggets secured a 112-110 win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night. Jamal Murray contributed 26 points and made a crucial block on Klay Thompson’s 3-point attempt in the final seconds. Michael Porter Jr. added 29 points and 11 rebounds while Aaron Gordon scored 13 points and secured 10 rebounds, despite Denver playing with a shortened team. The victory means Denver is now within one game of securing home-court advantage in the Western Conference. With four games remaining, or one loss by Memphis, the Nuggets will clinch the No. 1 seed for the first time in franchise history. Warriors’ Thompson led with 25 points, followed by Stephen Curry with 21, but Curry struggled with his shots, missing his first five from behind the arc and finishing 2 of 14. Golden State is now tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the fifth seed, with New Orleans and the Lakers, who have won three straight games, half a game behind.

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