NBA Wrap January 30th
IMAGE: Clips Nation
HORNETS BOUNCE BACK TO SPLIT TWO GAME MINI-SERIES WITH PACERS
P.J Washington and Terry Rozier each scored 19 points and the Charlotte Hornets executed down the stretch to spilt its two-game series with the Indiana Pacers 108-105.
Domantas Sabonis continued his ultra-consistent campaign finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists, while Malcolm Brogdon had 21 points and 8 assists.
Charlotte who couldn’t execute in the final four minutes of last’s contest between the teams, held an 11 point early fourth before Indiana fuelled by hustling work of Sabonis cut away at the deficit, with Brogdon levelling scores at 94 all on a three.
There were multiple ties as the contest went into the final two minutes when former Hornet Jeremy Lamb sunk a three to regain the lead for Indiana.
Not to be denied Charlotte found an instantaneous answer when Devonte Graham passed the ball out to a wide-open Rozier who found the bottom of the net to take back a one point Hornets lead.
Rozier would return the favour to Graham, on the next team possession finding him for a three to extend the margin to five with 52.6 seconds left. Indiana though would go to Brogdon who got to the rim for a layup to cut the Charlotte lead to three.
The Pacers then would catch a break when Gordon Hayward coughed the ball up, allowing Indiana the opportunity to tie the game. Out of a timeout, Indiana drew up a play with Sabonis giving a handoff to Brogdon who’s three hit the back iron. However, Sabonis was there to gather the offensive rebound, but unfortunately couldn’t handle the ball going out of bounds as Hornets prevailed.
Charlotte next faces Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Indiana travels back home for a matchup with Joel Embiid and the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers.
KINGS NULLIFY RAPTORS SURGE
After losing six of seven, the Sacramento Kings are steadily finding its feet and with it are building momentum.
Harrison Barnes had 26 points, while lightning quick Point Guard De’Aaron Fox scored 24 and Buddy Hield with 22 as the Sacramento Kings withstood a Toronto Raptors comeback to win 126-124.
The victory is the Kings’s third straight having begun its four-game road trip with consecutive victories.
2019 Most Improved Player, Pascal Siakam tied his season-high with 32 for Toronto, while Fred VanVleet had 26 for the Raptors who have dropped three consecutive games.
Sacramento controlled the majority of the three quarters building a comfortable double-digit lead stretching its margin to game-high 18 with seasoned campaigner Corey Joseph’s layup with 1:32 left in the third.
Toronto though was not finished as the 2019 Champions began pegging away at the sizeable deficit with the 6’8 Japanese forward Yuta Watanabe playing a major contribution. Watanabe getting extra minutes scored 7 of his 12 points in the fourth as the Raptors went on a 25-13 run capped off by VanVleet’s excellent ball fake getting Hassan Whiteside in the air multiple times.
But the momentum came to a halt, after Whiteside missed an open dunk he regained his own miss firing out a bullet pass to Rookie Tyrese Haliburton who from the top of the key swished a triple home to create a two possession Kings lead with 44.3 seconds left.
Sacramento down the stretch sunk five free throws: three by Fox and two by Barnes to give the Kings its first win over the Raptors since November 20, 2016.
In other results around the Association:
Trae Young delivered 41 points and 5 assists, his 14th 40 point game of his career and the Atlanta Hawks’s current surge continues defeating the Washington Wizards 116-100.
Superstar Bradley Beal had 26 points as too Russell Westbrook who was ejected early in the fourth as the Wizards who fall to an NBA-Season worst 3-12.
Blossoming Rookie Immanuel Quickley scored 25 points, including five triples and the New York Knicks returning to MSG after a four-game Western trip clamped down the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-81.
Cleveland’s cornerstone players of the future Darius Garland and Collin Sexton scored 24 and 17 points for the Cavaliers who’s offence wilted under the immense suffocating
Brandon Ingram posted 28 points, while Lonzo Ball scored 27 points dishing 8 assists and tying his career-high with seven threes as the New Orleans Pelicans negated a Milwaukee Bucks surge to prevail 131-126.
The “Greak Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo was indestructible posting 38 points and 11 rebounds for Milwaukee.
Paul George had 26 points and Kawhi Leonard scored 24 in the superstar duo’s first games back after missing the last two due to the League’s Health and Safety Protocols and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the scuffling Orlando Magic 116-90.
One of the candidates for Sixth Man, Terrence Ross led Orlando with 24 points who have lost 10 of 12 after starting the season 6-2.
Joel Embiid was a major factor posting 37 points and 11 rebounds and the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers extended the Minnesota Timberwolves miserable season winning 118-94.
Malik Beasley led Minnesota with 22 points, while Number One draft pick Anthony Edwards in his first NBA start scored 15.
The juggernaut Brooklyn Nets clicked into another gear as it breezed by the Oklahoma City Thunder 147-125 behind James Harden’s 25 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, while Kyrie Irving too had 25.
Veteran DeMar DeRozan posted 30 points and 10 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 119-109.
Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic led the way with 35 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, while Jamal Murray put up 20 points and 7 assists who had its five-game winning streak snapped.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 32 points and the Utah Jazz won its 11th consecutive game cantering by the Dallas Mavericks for a second straight outing 120-101.
It was a milestone to celebrate for Utah with Aussie Joe Ingles becoming the franchise’s all-time leader for three pointers made (846) passing the great John Stockton (845).
By Juri Bilcich