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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Publish Up: Best possible within the West


by way of Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz

Pete Walsh is taking the night time off to atone for Ladies, so I’m subbing in for the Monday Publish Up. Remaining night time, the Spurs position gamers ignited a win towards the Thunder and the Warriors ruled the Knicks. No nail-biters, however some fascinating tales anyway. Let’s get to it.

76ers (24-39) 106, Nets (37-27) 97
Dorrell Wright were given sizzling in the second one quarter remaining night time, serving to the Sixers keep watch over a seven-point halftime lead. The 2 groups performed even within the 3rd quarter as Deron Williams heated up for Brooklyn. The Nets had been inside of 5 a couple of occasions within the mid-fourth quarter, however Philly held them off within the ultimate six mins.

Wright completed with 15 off the bench for Philadelphia. Spencer Hawes blew up for twenty-four issues to head in conjunction with 10 forums, 7 dimes and a couple of blocks. Jrue Vacation and Thaddeus Younger additionally double-doubled for Philly. The group as a complete shot over 53 % from deep.

Brook Lopez had a powerful first part for the Nets however was once silent within the ultimate two quarters. He completed with 19 issues. Deron scored 27 with 13 dimes, and Joe Johnson added 20. Gerald Wallace endured his statistically embarrassing season with 4 issues, 1 rebound and 1 lend a hand.

I love him as a tricky glue man who will have the ability to maintain difficult defensive matchups within the Playoffs, however his loss of offense this 12 months has been wild. He’s averaging 8.4 issues on simply over 40 % capturing from the ground within the first 12 months of a 4-year, $40 million deal. He’d be a significant issue if Brooklyn wasn’t owned by way of this man. Kris Humphries performed as many mins as your niece on a trainer’s determination remaining night time. His $12 million annual price ticket may also be a topic if no longer for this man.

Spurs (49-15) 105, Thunder (47-17) 93
This was once a large recreation. The simple two perfect groups within the West got here into the night time a recreation aside within the standings, with San Antonio having the leg-up on OKC. The Thunder will have evened issues up, however as an alternative fell two video games in the back of. I believe we’ll see those two groups within the Western Convention Finals, and the Spurs would possibly get house court docket benefit as a result of Monday’s win.

The Thunder led by way of 10 after the primary quarter, however had been outscored 35-18 in the second one and trailed going into the spoil. Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Inexperienced and Gary Neal had been the sparks for San Antonio’s run.

The Spurs, who had been once more with out Tony Parker, had been in a position to open up an 18-point lead after a 9-0 run to start out the fourth, and the Thunder by no means were given again within the recreation.

Splitter led the Spurs in scoring and rebounding with 21 and 10. Leonard added 17 and Inexperienced scored 16. The Spurs can depend on other guys on any night time, and it sort of feels like Trainer Pop offers the best gamers the very best quantity of mins each recreation. I don’t know the way he does it, however they’re my select to win all of it.

OKC were given 26 from Kevin Durant, 25 from Russell Westbrook and a double-double from Serge Ibaka, however handiest 9 from Kevin Martin and the group dedicated 19 turnovers.

Jazz (33-31) 103, Pistons (23-43) 90
Utah pulled away in the second one quarter and sealed the sport with a powerful fourth. The Jazz had been led by way of Mo Williams (20), Al Jefferson (16 and 10) and robust play from their 2nd unit. Marvin Williams, Enes Kanter and Gordon Hayward every got here off the bench for a minimum of 13.

Detroit had six guys in double-figures, however no one scored greater than 15. In spite of Greg Monroe’s 13 forums, they misplaced by way of 17 at the glass. That’s an unsightly, unpleasant stat.

Nuggets (43-22) 108, Suns (22-42) 93
Denver’s offense rolled all the way through Phoenix remaining night time. The group shot over 51 % from the ground, however were given giant contributions from extraordinary puts. Kosta Koufos led the group with 22 issues and Corey Brewer dropped 20. It’ll be difficult to overcome Denver if the ones two every rating 20+. Fortunately for the remainder of the League, it’ll most definitely by no means occur once more.

Ty Lawson added 19 and Kenneth Faried narrowly neglected a double-double. I will’t come to a decision what to make of the Nuggets. Occasionally I communicate myself into pondering that they are able to create a sneaky nightmare Playoff matchup for a veteran group that may’t catch their breath in Denver whilst Lawson & Co. eternally run up and down the court docket.

Extra incessantly, I’m of the opinion that they’ve an excessive amount of intensity and no longer sufficient famous person energy. Danilo Gallinari is strangely unreliable, Andre Iguodala’s offense disappears in a flash and it’s no longer clean that Lawson can run an actual part court docket offense. I just like the gamers themselves and hope they do smartly, however I’m nonetheless no longer bought.

Phoenix trailed by way of simply six coming into the fourth ahead of letting Denver draw back. Wes Johnson led the group with 18. In his remaining 7 video games, he’s scored 14, 8, 15, 5, 19, 5 and 18 issues. That’s comical inconsistency, however a minimum of he’s appearing some indicators of existence after flopping miserably over his first 2+ years within the League. He’s unquestionably on a group that may find the money for to present him mins whilst he tries to seek out his stride. Learners Marcus Morris (16) and Hamed Haddadi (13 and eight ) had been productive within the loss.

Warriors (36-29) 92, Knicks (38-23) 63
The remaining time the Knicks and Warriors confronted off, Stephen Curry hit 11-of-13 threes on his option to 54 issues in a Warriors loss. If he did that once more remaining night time, he would have wanted his teammates to mix for simply 10 issues to get a win.

New York merely were given blown out in Golden State, combining for 21 issues between the second one and fourth quarters. The dinged up Carmelo Anthony shot 4/15. Tyson Chandler tried simply 2 photographs. Iman Shumpert made handiest 3/9 makes an attempt without a assists or rebounds. JR Smith shot 3/11 ahead of getting ejected. Jason Kidd was once 0/3. Steve Novak was once 0/6. Ouch.

It’s a nightmare begin to the Knicks’ west coast highway shuttle, which can ship them to Denver, Portland, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Utah over the following week. They lead the Pacers by way of just one recreation within the loss column and groups like Chicago, Brooklyn and Boston by way of 4 or 5 losses. Issues may just temporarily get dicey if Melo’s as banged up because it seems.

This was once additionally a large win for the Warriors. Curry led the best way with 26, David Lee went for 21 and 10 and Klay Thompson dropped 23. Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli totaled 21 forums. That’s an ideal system for a Golden State win.

After a sizzling first part of the season, Mark Jackson’s membership has began to slide a bit. They will be the 6th seed if the Playoffs began the next day to come, however, in fact, it doesn’t. The Lakers, lately the ninth seed, path Golden State by way of simply two losses. I believe the Jazz will fall out of the postseason and the Rockets, Warriors and Lakers will spherical out the ground of the Convention.


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