Een wekelijks overzicht geschreven door Sanders Jackson. Een overzicht van de NBA wedstrijden.
On Sunday in the NBA, the red-hot Cleveland Cavaliers and Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks continued their winning ways, with the Cavaliers blowing the hapless New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden, and the Hawks snapping a two-game skid en route to winning its first game after the All-Star break over the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile in Oklahoma City, All-Star Russell Westbrook continues to dominate in Kevin Durant’s absence, helping the Thunder to a blowout win over struggling Denver Nuggets, the Memphis Grizzles grinded out a road win over Portland Trailblazers, the Dallas Mavericks got the best of the Charlotte Hornets at home, the Detroit Pistons’ strong second half helped them get the best of the Washington Wizards. For the struggling teams in their matchups, the Orlando Magic win a close one over the Philadelphia 76’ers, while the Boston Celtics would beat the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime.
Cavaliers Crush Hapless Knicks
In the Cavs-Knicks matchup, it was already clear at the end of the 1st quarter that it would be once again a long night for the struggling Knicks, with Cleveland dominating by the score of 36-17. That gave the psychological edge Cleveland needed, enabling them to coast to a 101-83 blowout victory. The Cavs were able to rest their starters in the 4th quarter with the Knicks unable to find any rhythm on offense. LeBron James led the Cavs with 18 points, added 7 rebounds and 7 assists, Kevin Love added a double-double of 16 points and 16 rebounds. It was a good return to the Garden for ex-Knicks J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, with a highlight reel alley oop play the icing on the cake. James would move past Allen Iverson for 22nd place on the career NBA scoring list. New York, playing without superstar Carmelo Anthony for the remainder of the season, were led in scoring by Langston Galloway with 13 points. Cleveland has now won 16 of the past 18 games, improving its record to 35-22 while the Knicks fall to a league-worse 10-45.
Hawks Get Back On Track, Soar Over Bucks
In Milwaukee, a strong fourth quarter effort and balanced scoring by the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks helped them avoid a three-game skid versus surprising Milwaukee Bucks, with All-Star Paul Milsapp leading the way with 23 points and 16 rebounds en route to a 97-86 victory. The Hawks, coming off a disappointing 25-point home loss to the Toronto Raptors, had an extra film session from head coach Mike Budenholzer which paid dividends. The Hawks would squander a 16-point lead in the third period, but a strong 24-9 start in the final period would give the Hawks the edge it needed until the end, with their trademark halfcourt defense and extra passes on offense, finding open looks for All-Star Kyle Korver, who made three three-pointers during the run. Atlanta had six players in double figures. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton both led the Bucks with 19 points each. The Hawks improve to 44-12.
Pacers Get The Best Of League-Best Warriors
At Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, it appeared that it would be another huge night for one of the “Splash Brothers” Klay Thompson, who scored 15 points in the with the Warriors taking a 38-26 lead. But the Pacers would get it together the next three quarters, tightening up their defense and with a big night from Rodney Stuckey, who did some splahing of his own, scoring a season-high 30 points to lead Indiana to a 104-98 win.
Indiana’s bench and strong defense were difference makers, with the bench scoring 61 points and their defense held the Warriors to only 38.6% after the strong first quarter start. Golden State were playing without Stephen Curry, who sat out the game due to soreness in his right ankle. Thompson led all scorers with 39 points. The Pacers improve to 23-33 while Golden State falls to 43-10.
Thunder Win Easily Over Reeling Nuggets
The new-look Oklahoma City Thunder continue to play well even in the absence of reigning league MVP Kevin Durant, with Russell Westbroook continuing his stellar play, leading the Thunder to a strong 1st quarter advantage that the reeling Denver Nuggets could not overcome, winning in a 119-94 blowout. Westbrook scored 21 points with a career-high 17 assists. The Thunder would lead 67-42 at the break and never were threatened. Recent acquisition Enes Kanter added 20 points and 12 rebounds, with Serge Ibaka adding 20. The Thunder outrebounded the Nuggets by a 60-42 margin. Oklahoma City are now 5-1 in Durant’s absence, with Westbrook averaging 30.3 points, 9.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds on 48 percent shooting.