The Golden State Warriors beat the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime – with Steph Curry really hot towards the end. Orlando Magic remains in contention for play-in spots and Marcus Smart is knocked out of the game.
The Kings win against a western heavyweight, Kawhi Leonard is at his best, as is Talen Horton-Tucker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Bulls and Pacers struggle against a basement kid.
LA Clippers (36-33) – New York Knicks (39-30) 106:95 (BOXSCORE)
- Defensive win for the Clippers, with the Superstars providing most of the offense. Kawhi Leonard scored 38 points at 14/22 from the field and 3/6 from downtown, Paul George followed suit with 22 points (10/21 FG), 8 rebounds and 8 assists. The Clippers ran away with the lead in the fourth quarter to secure their third straight win.
- The Knicks had significantly worse throwing rates from the field and from a distance, but stayed in the game for a long time with 20 offensive rebounds and advantages on the free-throw line (24/27). The game was still balanced after three quarters. Immanuel Quickley was the visitors’ top scorer with 26 points (8/18 FG), 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
- Just as important, however, was Mitchell Robinson (6) with 8 of his 14 rebounds on the opposing board and 2 blocks. Neither RJ Barrett (11, 5/12 FG) nor Julius Randle (19, 5/24) could make up for Jalen Brunson’s absence. Isaiah Hartenstein came off the bench with 4 points (2/5 FG), 5 rebounds (3 offensive), 3 assists and a steal in just under 19 minutes.
- For the Clippers, Eric Gordon was the most important reservist with 10 points, Russell Westbrook remained unremarkable with 7 points and 3 assists.
Charlotte Hornets (22-47) – Utah Jazz (33-35) 111:119 (BOXSCORE)
- He once had 40 points with the Lakers, but this was clearly the best game for Talen Horton-Tucker in the dress of Jazz: In the absence of Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson, THT took responsibility and sank 14 of his 24 field shots for 37 points , 8 rebounds and 10 assists. Utah stays hot on the heels of the Lakers and in last play-in spot with the win.
- All of the guest starters scored in double digits, including Walker Kessler (8/10 FG) and Kelly Olynyk (7/9), each with 17 points and very good odds. Kessler also grabbed half of his 16 rebounds at the opposing ring and blocked 3 throws. Utah dominated the zone 68-36.
- The Hornets stayed in the game with the much better three-pointer rate, which Kelly Oubre Jr. (24) played a big part in with 6/12 from Downtown – but in the two-pointer area he only hit 1/8. Terry Rozier (22, 8 assists) and PJ Washington (18, 4/8 3P) followed well, Dennis Smith Jr. leading an otherwise weak bank with 13 points, 5 assists and 2 blocks.
Detroit Pistons (15-53) – Indiana Pacers (31-37) 115:121 (BOXSCORE)
- The Pacers are closing in on the Wizards in the last play-in spot in the east, but without Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Myles Turner, they’ve struggled with the conference’s basement kid. Indiana’s bench, led by Jalen Smith, was decisive with 20 points (7/11 FG) and 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
- Andrew Nembhard (8 assists) and Isaiah Jackson (7/10 FG) contributed with 19 points each, Jackson was also a force on the board with 6 of his 11 rebounds there, as well as 2 steals and 2 blocks. Strong: Indiana only lost six turnovers.
- In the absence of Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes provided a good offense for the Pistons with 17 points and 13 assists, Isaiah Livers was the top scorer for Detroit despite a mixed hit rate (18, 7/20 FG). James Wiseman made another solid game with 16 points and 9 rebounds.
Orlando Magic (28-40) – Miami Heat (36-33) 126:114 OT (BOXSCORE)
- Key win for Orlando to stay on top of the play-in spots: Five home side contributed at least 16 points, including Wendell Carter Jr. with a monster performance of 27 points (12/17 FG) and 11 rebounds against none lesser opponent than Bam Adebayo.
- A defeat would have been very annoying after a playful lead of 15 points in the last 6 minutes, but Orlando was clearly the better team again in overtime. Miami, as is so often the case, was overly dependent on Butler.
- However, he also delivered a long time with 38 points at 14/25 from the field and one wild threesome to compensate with the final siren of regulation, after already being surrounded by Carter Jr. and Jalen Suggs (16, 4 assists, 4 steals). However, he couldn’t do anything in overtime either, after six Magic hits in a row there was no chance of another comeback anyway.
- Franz Wagner (7/10 FG 8 rebounds, 6 assists) contributed 17 points, as did Paolo Banchero (10 rebounds, 9 assists), although the German was only on the floor for almost 29 minutes and then with an injury to his right ankle that left game. The X-rays that followed revealed no damage. Moritz Wagner took part in just under 11 minutes coming off the bench with 8 points (3/8 FG) and 5 rebounds.
- Kyle Lowry was available to the Heat after missing 15 games, his first off the bench since 2013. Then he was still on the floor for 36 minutes and contributed 12 points (3/6 3P), 4 assists and 2 steals.
Atlanta Hawks (34-34) – Boston Celtics (47-21) 125:134 (BOXSCORE)
- In Atlanta, not only were the Celtics from downtown hot, but so were the tempers of Marcus Smart and Trae Young. The two point guards clashed in the fourth quarter and landed on the ground in the turmoil. Smart appeared to initiate the altercation and was kicked out of the game after brief pack formation and video analysis.
- The fullback didn’t have much to match Young all evening: The Hawks star was the best man on the floor with 35 points, 12/27 from the field and 13 assists. However, Atlanta lacked the long-range success to compete in a shootout.
- The Celtics hit nearly 55 percent from the field and 48 percent from downtown, with Jayson Tatum leading the way with 34 points (12/25 FG), 15 rebounds and 6 assists. Jaylen Brown followed with 24 points (10/18 FG) and 7 assists, while Derrick White (7/10 FG, 7 assists) and Malcolm Brogdon (8/12, 5 assists) were in good form with 18 points each. Celtics coach Joe Mazulla only used eight players, Robert Williams III had to be injured. fit.
- With the Hawks, all starters scored double digits, Clint Capela didn’t miss a shot (6/6 FG) and grabbed 4 of his 9 rebounds in the opposing ring. In addition, Saddiq Bey (17, 4/7 3P) continues to prove an excellent signing for Bank Atlantas.
Houston Rockets (15-52) – Chicago Bulls (31-36) 111:119 (BOXSCORE)
- The Bulls are using the Wizards and Raptors’ short streaks to get closer to the play-in spots. Zach LaVine put in a powerhouse with 36 points on 14/26 from the field and 8 rebounds and 5 assists in over 43 minutes on the court, a lot for a regular-season game with no overtime.
- Chicago was just chasing for 40 minutes, the Rockets got off to a better start and led by as much as 13 points early in the second quarter. After that, the lead was mostly wafer-thin, but still held until the final phase. There, however, the Bulls suddenly got really serious with a 13-0 run, which brought them victory straight away.
- DeMar DeRozan assisted with 27 points, Patrick Beverley (16) grabbed 5 of his 10 rebounds on offense and sank 4 of his 5 long range shots. With the Rockets, all starters and two reservists had double figures, with Jabari Smith leading his team with 20 points (8/14 FG) and 10 rebounds.
Memphis Grizzlies (40-26) – Dallas Mavericks (34-34) 112:108 (MATCH REPORT)
New Orleans Pelicans (32-35) – Oklahoma City Thunder (32-35) 96:110 (BOXSCORE)
- The Thunder stayed close to the play-ins, thanks to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 35 points, 11/23 from the field, 13/13 from the free throw line and 4 steals. After the initial phase, OKC led continuously and even before the break with up to 21 points.
- The Pelicans’ biggest problem was their 22 turnovers, and there was little support from their reserves. CJ McCollum led the way with 26 points at 8/20 FG and 8 assists, followed by Trey Murphy and Naji Marshall (7 turnovers) with 15 points each. New Orleans competed without Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr. and Jose Alvarado.
- In the play-in race, the Pelicans and OKC are now tied, each exactly one win behind the Jazz (33-35), currently tenth in the West. In addition to SGA, Josh Giddey (19, 8/12 FG) and Jalen Willianms (17, 7/10 FG, 3 steals) were in good spirits among the guests.
Golden State Warriors (35-33) – Milwaukee Bucks (48-19) 125:116 OT (BOXSCORE)
- When the champions of the last two years meet, it can lead to a spectacular overtime duel! In the closing seconds of regulation, two key players in the Warriors dynasty almost successfully swapped roles: Stephen Curry blocked Jrue Holiday’s move to the basket maintaining the tie, then Draymond Green fired the siren from outside.
- Why? After a timeout, Curry threw in and probably wanted to return the ball, but the green was probably too short to play at 1.1 seconds. He came to the throw quite freely, the ball also looked into the ring and only then jumped out. In the bonus time, the Warriors didn’t let the last shot matter again, with four goals in a row from Curry and Klay Thompson, they quickly made things clear.
- The Warriors appear to have been lucky in the face of Green, who injured his ankle in the third quarter. He went to the dressing room but returned to the floor and ended the game.
- Curry was the game’s top scorer with 36 points on 6/15 from Downtown, and right at the end of the game he ran brutally hot: 22 points in the last quarter and overtime, including 11 points in the last two minutes of regulation time.
- Thompson had 22 points on 4/9 triples and Donte DiVincenzo had 20 (6/12) and 10 rebounds. Draymond Green (5, 2/10 FG) snagged 13 rebounds and played 9 assists, Kevon Looney (7, 3/11) boxed the box score with 7 offensive rebounds (15 total), 4 assists and 5 steals.
- The Warriors draw level with the Mavericks but remain seventh in the West due to the tiebreaker. The Bucks can pat themselves on the back without being able to put up as much resistance to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Seven Bucks had at least 12 points, led by Khris Middleton (5 assists, 4 steals) and Brook Lopez (5 blocks) with 19 points each.
Phoenix Suns (37-30) – Sacramento Kings (40-26) 119:128 (BOXSCORE)
- Outstanding team effort from the Kings as they prove themselves against the next giants to the west. Seven guests scored at least 12 points, four of which came off the bench. Harrison Barnes was already his team’s top scorer at 19. Sacramento converted almost half of its field shots and almost 43 percent from distance.
- In the final phase, De’Aaron Fox (18, 8/22 FG, 6 assists) set +3 from the middle distance, on the other side Devin Booker committed an offensive foul, which also persisted after a challenge. Then Kessler Edwards (12, 4/6 FG) made the decision from downtown, the Kings secured victory at the free-throw line.
- The Suns had fewer shoulders, with only Terrence Ross providing significant support from the bench with 18 points (7/13 FG). Booker led Phoenix with 28 points (11/19), 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Chris Paul (16) played 16 assists, Deandre Ayton was in a good mood with 22 points at 9/15 FG and 12 rebounds and 2 blocks.
- The Kings remain second in the West with the win, holding the tiebreaker against the tied Grizzlies. Domantas Sabonis had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, Keegan Murray seemed a bit overwhelmed in the top game and went to the bench after only 15 minutes without any points.