Post Up: Birds Of Prey

by January 17, 2018
Anthony Davis

Magic 108 (13-31), Timberwolves 102 (29-17)

The Magic entered Tuesday night on a seven-game losing streak, having won just once since December 6th. The Timberwolves entered the evening on a five-game winning streak. Of course, Orlando wound up getting a much-needed W with a strong fourth quarter, a career-high 32 points from Evan Fournier and Khem Birch’s first career double-double. Jimmy Butler (28 points) led Minnesota in the loss.

Orlando’s triumph almost overshadowed the game’s second quarter fireworks, which resulted from Arron Afflalo taking a swing at Nemanja Bjelica on a rebound attempt. Bjelica then put him in a headlock before both benches spilled onto the floor. Both players were immediately ejected and probably will face suspensions. You never know what you’re gonna see when you watch a NBA game.

Pelicans 116 (23-20), Celtics 113 (34-11)

New Orleans controlled this one most of the way, thanks to another monster game from Anthony Davis (45 points, 16 rebounds), and led by 10 at the break but a 16-6 Celtics run to start the second half evened things up quickly. The same thing happened in the fourth quarter, when Boston was actually able to push ahead with just a few minutes left to play.

After a Jrue Holiday (23 points, 7 assists) triple made it 101 apiece, AD and Kyrie Irving (27 points) went back and forth until a Kyrie layup with 11 seconds remaining forced overtime. The extra frame went back-and-forth until a pair of Jrue jumpers gave New Orleans the lead for good. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the C’s.

Nuggets 105 (23-21), Mavericks 102 (15-30)

Perfect example of a final score not really capturing what went on in a game. The Nuggets dominated Dallas almost from the opening tip but a massive late letdown (in the form of a 19-4 run for the Mavericks) nearly resulted in one of the worst losses you could imagine. A Dennis Smith Jr. (25 points on 18 shots) three-point play with 10 seconds left made it 103-102 Denver and gave the Mavs a legit chance to finish off the comeback.

However, they struggled to get the foul down on the ensuing possession and once Gary Harris (25 points) made his free throws, time was almost up. Dallas’ Christian Laettner-like heave failed and the Nuggets eked out a victory. Nikola Jokic (29 points, 18 rebounds, 7 assists) posted another ridiculous line while Will Barton added 22 points.

Trail Blazers 118 (23-21), Suns 111 (16-29)

Imagine if the Suns were (1) healthy and (2) able to surround Devin Booker with a solid supporting cast. He dropped a casual 43-point, 6-rebound, 8-assist night while the rest of the Phoenix starting lineup managed just 28 points. A big halftime deficit put the Suns out of this one until late, when Booker caught fire and kept Phoenix hanging around long enough to force Terry Stotts to put his own starters back in.

For Portland, the formula was the same as it usually is: ride Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. They combined to score 58 on 37 shots and the Suns had absolutely no way to stop them. Al-Farouq Aminu (14 points and 9 rebounds) made some big corner threes down the stretch to help maintain the lead.

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