Post Up: Battle Up North

Damian Lillard and the Blazers outlast James Harden and the Rockets in Portland and Jimmy Buckets puts in work against the Cavs.
by March 31, 2017
James Harden, Damian Lillard

Pistons 90 (35-41), Nets 89 (16-59)

On March 21, the Nets beat the Pistons at the buzzer. Then the Pistons dropped their next four games. But, against the Nets, they snapped that five-game slide tonight.

Both teams played hard, with eight ties and eleven lead changes. Shots didn’t fall for either squad, with the Nets shooting 38% and the Pistons shooting 41%. They combined to shoot 17-49 from three-point range.

Ish Smith, who finished with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, gave the Pistons an 87-86 lead with 28.5 seconds left by hitting a three-ball. Brook Lopez missed a 3-pointer on the Nets’ ensuing possession, and Detroit sealed it at the free-throw line. Marcus Morris had 28 and 13 for Detroit.

Bulls 99 (36-39), Cavs 93 (47-27)

The Cavs have yet another three-game losing streak, their fourth of the season. With their loss to the Bulls tonight, they finished 0-4 against Jimmy Butler and crew.

Butler scored 25 points, Nikola Mirotic had 28 and Rajon Rondo had 15 assists, 9 rebounds and 7 points. The Bulls fought back from an 11-point deficit to get a big win, moving them within one game of eighth place.

In the loss, LeBron James moved into seventh place on the all-time scoring list. He had 26 points tonight.

Wolves 119 (30-44), Lakers 104 (21-54)

Ricky Rubio caught fire, going off for a career-high 33 points. Rubio led the young Wolves, who held onto the lead after the second quarter. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 and Andrew Wiggins had 27 points. Gorgui Dieng had 11 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists. The Wolves had 30 assists on 43 buckets.

Clippers 124 (46-31), Suns 118 (22-54)

Blake Griffin scored 31 points, Chris Paul added 29 points and 10 assists and the Clippers held on to hand the Suns their 10th loss in a row. Phoenix fought hard, trailing 114-112 with 3:43 remaining. They couldn’t get over the hump though, when Devin Booker (33 points and 9 assists) fouled out.

Blazers 117 (37-38), Rockets 107 (51-24)

This one was tied at 105 with just over 2:29 remaining. Then the Rockets went cold and the Trail Blazers found their offense. Damian Lillard had 31 points and 11 dimes to hold off James Harden’s 30 (11-30 shooting) and 8 assists. Jusuf Nurkic added 19 points and 11 boards.