Post Up: Randle is Rolling

by January 04, 2017

Lakers 116 (13-25), Grizzlies 102 (22-15)

The Lakers certainly didn’t play like a 12-25 team in Tuesday’s match-up. Nick Young drained six 3-pointers to score a team-high 20 points while Julius Randle recorded a triple-double (19p, 14r, 11a). It was an off-night for the Grizzlies, who shot a combined 38% from the field despite 20-plus point performances from Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.

76ers 93 (9-24), Timberwolves 91 (11-24)

Robert Covington was hearing it from the crowd throughout yesterday’s game- shooting 4-of-14 from the floor- but he came through when it counted, scoring the game-winning bucket with 1.6 seconds left in regulation. Joel Embiid helped the cause with 25 points, eight boards and a pair of blocks. Karl-Anthony Towns and Zach LaVine were stellar, but Andrew Wiggins was held to just eight points in the loss.

Celtics 115 (21-14), Jazz 104 (22-14)

Gordon Hayward scored 23 points on 50% shooting, but this one was otherwise the Isaiah Thomas show. Thomas, who entered Tuesday averaging 33.9 points over his last seven games, tallied 29 points with 15 dimes. His highlights, particularly when maneuvering around the 7’1” Rudy Gobert, are a sight to be seen.

In an awkward subplot, Jae Crowder voiced his grievances with Celtics fans after the game. Disturbed that fans cheered for Gordon Hayward (thought to be a potential free agent signing of the Celtics), Crowder welcomed the idea of finding a new team.

Pacers 121 (18-18), Pistons 116 (16-21)

The Pacers won a significant road match-up at the Palace behind 32 points from Paul George and 17 apiece from Jeff Teague and Myles Turner. Despite a team-high 22 points from Tobias Harris, the Pistons dropped to 2-8 over their last 10 games. Stan Van Gundy was characteristically blunt after the defeat.

“Our starters didn’t guard anyone, and neither did our bench,” Van Gundy said. “I’ve got to figure out who to play and when to play them, but they aren’t making it easy on us.”

Mavericks 113 (11-24), Wizards 105 (16-18)

New year, same Wizards. John Wall, the most recent Eastern Conference Player of the Week, scored 27 points with eight dimes in Washington’s second straight loss. Harrison Barnes led the Mavs with 26 points and Deron Williams added 21.

Spurs 110 (28-7), Raptors 82 (23-11)

Fatigue was clearly a factor in Toronto’s lopsided loss at the AT&T Center, as the team completed its sixth straight road game in 12 days. Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 and 23 points, respectively, while Tony Parker scored 15 points with eight dimes. The Raptors, who shot a combined 37% from the field in Tuesday’s loss, will receive a night off before returning home against the Jazz on Thursday.

Kings 120 (15-19), Nuggets 113 (14-21)

The Kings are tough to beat when DeMarcus Cousins has help on the offensive end. Boogie scored 31 points, Darren Collison added 26, and Kosta Koufos/Arron Afflalo combined for 37 in Sacramento’s fifth win in their last seven games. Nuggets coach Mike Malone didn’t mince words after the game:

“Offense sells tickets; defense wins championships. Right now our defense is the worst in the NBA. That is the bottom line. It is embarrassing how we go out and attempt to defend every night. That is something that we have to try and fix as soon as possible, because it’s at an all-time low right now, and that is a huge concern of mine.”

Suns 99 (11-25), Heat 90 (10-26)

Willie Reed performed admirably in Hassan Whiteside’s absence- scoring 22 points with 18 boards- but Miami had no answers for Devin Booker, who turned in a stellar 27-point night. The Heat will be hard-pressed to compete without Whiteside, Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, James Johnson or Josh McRoberts.