Post Up: Oh Snap

The Bulls, Suns, Wizards and Lakers see their streaks snap.
by December 31, 2014

Pistons 109 (8-23), Magic 86 (13-22)

Ay, Jodie Meeks—I see you. The city of Orlando sees you too. I mean, you’re pretty hard to miss when you make nine of 11 shots fall from downtown.

That’s right, Mr. Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 34 points off-the-bench in last night’s game between the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. Meeks had the hot hand to lead his team to its third consecutive win after establishing a lead that’d never dwindle in the second quarter. He received help in the form of double-doubles from both Andre Drummond (17 points and 22 rebounds) and DJ Augustin (11 points and 10 assists):

Hawks 109 (23-8), Cavaliers 101 (18-13)

With the win last night at home, the Atlanta Hawks are only a half game behind the Raptors for the top spot in the East. And they’re tied with the Grizzlies for the fourth best record in the League. We just don’t know when—and if—we’ll ever need to stop saying #ATLshawty.

The Hawks held the visiting Cavaliers to 28.6 percent in the second quarter for 16 points. They built a nice 17-point lead early in the third period to extend their 10-point advantage from halftime. That didn’t put the Cavs away, however. The LeBron-less Cleveland team stuck around to come back within 5 by the end of the third, led by Kyrie Irving (35 points and 9 assists). In the fourth, the Cavs cut the gap to 2, but Paul Millsap ensured the Hawks would win. He scored 10 of his 26 in the final period as Atlanta went on to win it.

Nets 96 (15-16), Bulls 82 (22-10)

The Brooklyn Nets officially put the Chicago Bulls’ winning streak to rest last night in the United Center. Brook Lopez (season-high 29 points and 5 rebounds) and Joe Johnson (20 points and 11 rebounds) showed no mercy for the home team that looked to extend their streak to eight. It wasn’t the best shooting night for the Bulls. They went 38.4 percent from the field and missed seven free throws out of the 15 times they were at the stripe. The backcourt of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler combined for 5-27. The Nets held the Bulls to a 14-point second quarter for a 55-45 halftime lead. They went up by as many as 23 in the fourth quarter, and well, that was that.

Grizzlies 95 (23-8), Spurs 87 (19-14)

The Memphis Grizzlies added another satisfying win over the defending Champions to their record last night, as they beat out the Spurs in the FedExForum. Mike Conley had the game-high 30 points to go along with 7 boards and 6 dimes. Sixteen of his 30 came in the first quarter alone, as Memphis took an early 10-point lead. They extended their lead to 14 at the half. San Antonio wasn’t ready to give up yet though. They did what they could to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 3 in the final quarter, but it simply wasn’t enough.

Pelicans 110 (16-15), Suns 106 (18-15)

Another wining streak saw its end last night. The New Orleans Pelicans forced the Phoenix Suns to say goodbye to their season-high six-game winning streak in the Smoothie King Center yesterday. Tyreke Evans (24 points and 8 rebounds) and Anthony Davis (19 points and 18 rebounds) led their Pels to victory, after both teams started off the game a little ugly. The Suns and Pelicans combined to miss their first 10 shots (and two free throws). Goran Dragic (22 points) ended the three-minute dryspell when he scored the first two points of the game with a layup at the 9:09 mark in the first quarter. The Pelicans gained a 14-point advantage in the first quarter, but the Suns were back in it to keep the score close throughout the night. In the final couple minutes, Evans scored 8 points to seal the W for the Pelicans.

Mavericks 114 (23-10), Wizards 87 (22-9)

You guessed it, another winning streak ended yesterday. This time it was a mini one—but I’m trying to find a common thread here. The Washington Wizards saw their little three-game streak snap when the Dallas Mavericks came out with a big 27-point victory in the American Airlines Center last night. After hurting his ankle in the Mavs’ previous game on Sunday, Monta Ellis came right back to the starting lineup. Not only that, but he scored a game-high 20 points and snagged 4 steals to lead his team to the W. Chandler Parsons added 14 points for the Mavs, including this 4-point play that came in the third:

Lakers 111 (10-22), Nuggets 103 (13-19)

A triple-double (23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) for Kobe Bryant in a victory to snap a three-game losing streak—doesn’t get much better than that for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 9 boards off-the-bench and Ronnie Price contributed 18 points in the win. The high-scoring men for the Denver Nuggets were Ty Lawson and rookie Jusuf Nurkic, each with 16 points. Though the Lakers had a 23-point lead in the third, the Nuggets came as close as 5 near the end of the fourth before L.A. pulled away for good.

Jazz 100 (11-21), Timberwolves 94 (5-25)

So at least one of the active streaks in the League continued last night…the losing streak for the Minnesota Timberwolves. With yesterday’s loss in Utah, the Wolves dropped their ninth in a row. One bright side though—Shabazz Muhammad looked great, scoring a game- and career-high 30 points to go along with 7 boards. No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins didn’t look bad either with his 21 points, 2 of which came from this play:

Perhaps the future will be a little brighter for Minneapolis, because this season is far too cloudy.

Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke had 26 points each to lead the Jazz to a win at home. Hayward scored 11 in the fourth to bring his team back from 10 points down earlier in the quarter. Enes Kanter added another double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Trail Blazers 102 (26-7), Raptors 97 (24-8) OT

While we couldn’t witness another buzzer-beating shot from Damian Lillard in last night’s Trail Blazers-Raptors game, we still got a pretty good one. We’ve just been kind of spoiled by him and his clutch gene. Nevertheless, Lillard scored a game-high 26 points (6 in OT) to go with 9 assists (2 in OT) to give the Blazers a win after being down 13 earlier in the game. LaMarcus Aldridge added a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double in the victory. For the Raptors, Amir Johnson tied the game at 87 to force the OT. But despite that shot, 25 points from Kyle Lowry, and a double-double from James Johnson (14 points and 11 rebounds), the Raps ended up with a loss in Portland.

Warriors 126 (25-5), Sixers 86 (4-26)

Can’t call this anything but a pure blowout—a 40-point win for the team with the best record hosting the team with the worst record. The biggest lead was actually 47. Seven Warriors finished the game last night in the Oracle Arena in double-figures, led by Marreese Speights (23 points). Golden State shot 56.1 percent from the field, while holding Philly to 38.4 and forcing 27 turnovers. Appreciate some of the beautiful plays, courtesy of the Warriors from last night’s dub: