NBA Weekly 2/7 - 2/13
Nets Continue To Struggle & Kyle Kuzma Gets First Career Triple-Double
Another huge week in the NBA & Matt Skilton has got it all on lockdown with his NBA Weekly column. From the Nets continuing to struggle to Kyle Kuzma's first career triple-double, read about it all here!
Boston Celtics @ Brooklyn Nets
Final Score: 126 – 91
The Celtics rolled to a blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center.
Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown both had 22 points, Brown also had nine assists and seven rebounds. Jayson Tatum added 19 points while shooting 7-11 in 27 minutes of game time.
“I don't know how often or if we've ever been so good to start like that before but it felt good, we knew some of those guys were out. We wanted to just to take care of business early. We didn't want to play around and give them confidence and let them linger into the game,”
Jevon Carter had 21 points off the bench for the Nets, James Johnson and Cam Thomas both had 17 points as no Nets starter reached double digits in points.
The Celtics blew out to a 19-point lead at the end of the first quarter, outscoring the Nets 35-16, the visitors continued to control the game in the second, adding seven points to the lead, to head into the locker room with a 26-point lead.
After both sides added 28 points each in the third, the Celtics continued to add to their lead, outscoring Brooklyn by nine points to storm to a 35-point win.
Struggling to torch the nets:
Kevin Durant is still missing due to injury, as Brooklyn is now 5-13 without the former league MVP.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Los Angeles Lakers
Final Score: 131 – 116
Unstoppable Giannis helps the Bucks beat the Lakers at the Crypto.com Arena.
Giannis poured on 44 points off 17-20 shooting and pulled in 14 rebounds in 35 minutes, Bobby Portis added 23 points and Khris Middleton chipped in with 21 as the Bucks’ bench wasn’t needed in the scoring department.
Lebron James led the Lakers with 27 points, eight assists, and five rebounds, Anthony Davis added 22 points and nine boards in 37 minutes and Malik Monk was able to drop in 20 points.
After a back and forth start, the Bucks assumed control of the game and built a 38-24 lead to end the first quarter. The Lakers tried to keep up, but the Bucks piled on 40 points in the second to stretch their lead to 22 with a half to play.
Both sides came out of the half trading baskets, with the Lakers failing to chip into the deficit, the home side trailed by 24 as the fourth started, and cut the deficit to 15 at the end of regulation, but the game was over long before.
“We played a terrible defensive half, disposition, competition, the level of competitive spirit we showed for a big game was very disappointing. Two straight games we started with a terrible defensive half. We've got to get that right,”
No Russ in the fourth:
After putting up 10 points on 3-10 shooting and 10 assists with four turnovers, the 2017 MVP was pulled from the game in the third quarter and didn’t feature in the fourth as the Lakers made a comeback later in the game.
Chicago Bulls @ Charlotte Hornets
Final Score: 121 – 109
DeMar DeRozan continued his spectacular season by leading the Bulls past to Hornets at the Spectrum Center.
DeRozan piled on 36 points in 38 minutes, Zach LaVine added 27 points and Nikola Vucevic chipped with 18 points off 9-13 shooting, he also pulled in 16 rebounds in 38 minutes.
“We have to play through (Vucevic) because it relieves a lot of pressure on us trying to handle the ball at the top of the key, when we play through him we get a lot of open shots and layups,”
- DeMar DeRozan
LaMelo Ball added 33 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, Miles Bridges dropped in 22 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. had 19 points for the Hornets.
After a back and forth first quarter, the Hornets took a 29-28 lead into the second quarter, Chicago fought back during the second, outscoring Charlotte 30-16 to take a 13-point into the locker rooms.
Both sides were fairly matched in the second half, trading baskets throughout the 24 minutes. Both sides put up 31 points in the third quarter, leaving Charlotte a 13-point deficit to close down in the fourth. However, the home side could only cut the gap to 12 points, as they failed to threaten the Bulls.
DeRozan, LaVine, and Vucevic have carried the Bulls through their recent games, but their amazing performances have meant they’re putting in heavy workloads, something Bulls coach Billy Donovan said he can’t continue to do as he called on the Bulls bench to contribute more.
Golden State Warriors @ Utah Jazz
Final Score: 85 – 111
The Utah Jazz put an end to the Warriors’ 9-game win streak as they rolled past the men from the Bay Area at the Vivint Arena.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 23 points in 31 minutes, Donovan Mitchell had an off-shooting night, putting up 14 points off 5-14 from the field, he also added eight assists and 10 rebounds to his stat sheet.
Jordan Poole added 18 points in 32 minutes and Steph Curry had 16 in 30, Curry also had seven rebounds, but it was a night to forget on the scoring end for the Warriors.
“They were pretty aggressive all night trying to run us off the 3-point line, that was a snowball of missing shots and then giving up 3s on the other end. Especially on the road, you're not going to win many games like that and you're going to get blown out,”
- Steph Curry
The Warriors shot out to an early lead, but Utah was able to pull themselves back into the game, to trail 31-30 at the end of the first quarter, after trading baskets in the early exchanges in the second, Utah took control to take a 6-point lead into the second half.
The third quarter was much of the same, with the Jazz controlling the game, the home side added eight points onto their lead to lead 79-65 heading into the fourth. The home side closed out the game rather easily in the fourth, outscoring the Warriors 32-20 in the quarter to end the road team’s win streak.
After what was their worst span of games this season, the Utah Jazz strung together four straight wins and it’s all because of their recommitment to the defensive end, even if they’re missing 3-time DPOY Rudy Gobert.
Brooklyn Nets @ Washington Wizards
Final Score: 112 – 113
Washington held off a late surging Nets’ side to take a 1-point win at the Capital One Arena.
Kyle Kuzma picked up a triple-double, with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in 38 minutes, Raul Neto added 21 points off 7-9 from the field and Anthony Gill chipped in with 15 points off the bench.
“We started off really well and we just hit a rough patch and became really separated, our main message prior to the game was, hey man, we've got 30 games left. It just all depends on us, how we want to finish this season,”
- Kyle Kuzma
Kyrie Irving put up 31 points, six assists, and five rebounds in 38 minutes, Cam Thomas added 27 points and Blake Griffin added 15 points and nine rebounds.
After a tight battle in the first quarter, the Nets took a 3-point lead into the second quarter and after trading baskets, the visitors were able to add onto the lead, taking a 4-point advantage into the second half.
It was more of the same for much of the third quarter before the Wizards put a run together towards the end of the period to lead by eight points with a quarter to play. The Wizards shot out to a 13-point lead in the fourth, before the Nets reeled them back in, but couldn’t take the lead as they fell one point short.
New look Nets:
Irving, Thomas, Griffin, Patty Mills, and Kessler Edwards were the latest starting line-up to feature for the Nets as they lost for their seventh straight game. Irving also played his 13th game since making his seasonal debut in January, Brooklyn is now 4-9 when Irving has played.
Milwaukee Bucks @ Phoenix Suns
Final Score: 107 – 131
The Suns rolled to a blowout win over the Bucks in the first matchup of the 2021 NBA Finals rematch at the Footprint Center.
Deandre Ayton had 27 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes, Devin Booker and Chris Paul both had 17 points, Paul also put up a mammoth 19 assists and pulled in seven boards.
Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton both had 21 points, Giannis struggled for his 18 points, shooting 5-14 from the field, he also had eight assists and seven rebounds.
After a close first quarter that saw Milwaukee lead by three points, the Suns took control with a late surge in the second, outscoring the Bucks 33-22 to take an 8-point lead in the final minutes of the half.
The Suns continued to ride their momentum in the third, outscoring the Bucks by 12 points, to lead 97-77 with the final period looming. Once again, the Bucks struggled to outscore their opponent and failed to mount a challenge, giving the Suns first blood in the finals rematch.
“They're the defending champs, we still hurt, but from a confidence standpoint, for sure, it was a big game for us. I can admit it now,”
- Monty Williams
Both sides were lacking bench depth after trades that had been made earlier on. The Bucks added Serge Ibaka who wasn’t with the team yet, while Donte DiVincenzo, Rodney Hood, and Semi Ojeleye all departed the Bucks camp. The Suns added Torrey Craig and Aaron Holiday but they hadn’t arrived in Phoenix, Jalen Smith was also missing as he got sent to the Indiana Pacers.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Golden State Warriors
Final Score: 115 – 117
The Warriors held off a late surging Lakers led by Klay Thompson’s season-high at the Chase Center.
Thompson had 33 points in a season-high and five rebounds, Steph Curry had 24 points, eight assists, and five rebounds, Andrew Wiggins had 19 points and Jonathan Kuminga had 18 points in 25 minutes.
Lebron James led the Lakers with 26 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists, Russell Westbrook added 19 points and Talen Horton-Tucker added 17 points off the bench in 30 minutes.
Both sides traded baskets in the first quarter, but the Warriors were able to build a 6-point lead to gain some breathing room from their opposition, the Warriors grew their lead early in the second, but the Lakers eventually kicked into gear, outscoring the Warriors 36-33, to trail by three points heading into the second half.
Once again, the third quarter was a closely fought battle, but after a late surge, the Lakers closed within one point, to set the stage for an entertaining finish. The Lakers hit the lead early in the fourth and held the advantage for the majority of the final 12 minutes, but thanks to Steph Curry, the Warriors were able to close out a win after a game-sealing layup.
“This one hurts, we were up six with a few minutes to play. Just one of those nights where a lot of bad bounces didn't go our way,”
- Frank Vogel
Frank Vogel received a technical foul in the fourth quarter, assistant coach Phil Handy received one as well, during a timeout in the first quarter when Lebron James hammered home a one-handed dunk.
Next Week’s Games:
Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers @ Phoenix Suns
Brooklyn Nets @ New York Knicks
Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia 76ers @ Milwaukee Bucks
Matt Skilton is a multimedia sports journalism graduate and covers all of your sports needs at ThePyrrhic.com. Keep watching for recaps, analysis, trade news, and more! Follow Matt on Twitter @MSkilton16 Want more from The Pyrrhic? Check out these: