Post Up: Battle of Attrition

by December 14, 2016

Suns 113 (8-17), Knicks 111 (14-11)

Despite a game-high 34 points from Kristaps Porzingis, the Derrick Rose-less Knicks took an overtime loss to Eric Bledsoe (31 points) and the Suns. Kyle O’Quinn’s 22 points off the bench provided a lift for Jeff Hornacek’s squad, but the Knicks otherwise received just 13 points on 3-of-15 shooting from Carmelo Anthony. After getting into it with Marquese Chriss during the game, Porzingis offered his thoughts on the incident:

Cavaliers 103 (18-5), Grizzlies 86 (17-9)

After breezing past the Marc Gasol-less Grizzlies for a one-sided victory at home, the Cavs’ regulars earned a day off. In a Popovich-esque move, Coach Tyronn Lue announced LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving would all take Wednesday’s game off for rest; not even travelling with the team. King James defended his coach’s decision after the game:

“I’ve been in this league 14 years. I shouldn’t have to explain me sitting out a game or not playing games. I’ve played in every arena, including Seattle that’s no longer here. It’s not like it’s my first year. I’ve got 14 years. I’ve paid my dues and more than a lot of guys in this league. But I’ll ride with my coach.”

The Grizzlies, who received a team-high 18 points from Zach Randolph, will look to take advantage of the short-handed Cavs at home later tonight.

Magic 131 (11-15), Hawks 120 (12-13)

It was a career-night for Elfrid Payton, who scored 26 points with 14 dimes and a steal. It’s been anything but a consistent year for Payton, who (at least temporarily) had lost his starting role to D.J. Augustin. Orlando’s offense was rolling on all cylinders against Atlanta, however, receiving 20-plus point performances from Payton, Jodie Meeks, Serge Ibaka, and Evan Fournier. The return of Kent Bazemore is a welcome sign for the Hawks, but Atlanta was otherwise outscored 32-24 in the fourth quarter of a disappointing loss.

Warriors 113 (22-4), Pelicans 109 (8-18)

Anthony Davis and Stephen Curry battled it out in NOLA, with Golden State coming away with the narrow victory. Langston Galloway provided quality minutes off the bench, scoring 20 points with five boards and three steals for the Pels. Draymond Green was the difference in this one, however; in addition to notching his first triple-double of the season, Draymond also got a crucial stop in a one-possession game.

Timberwolves 99 (7-18), Bulls 94 (13-11)

Tom Thibodeau’s return to Chicago was a successful one. Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins scored 24 and 23 points, respectively, as the T’Wolves snapped a four-game skid. Despite a 27-point line from Jimmy Butler, the Bulls fell to a 3-4 mark in December. Frustration boiled over for Dwyane Wade, who was ejected with seconds remaining in regulation.

“It was frustration and I told the truth, so I got kicked out,” Wade said.