• Matt Skilton

NBA Weekly Recap 1/17-1/23



The NBA had some great moments this week, the Grizzlies continued their hot run of form, there were some overtime thrillers, the Warriors sold out their 400th straight game and Fred VanVleet’s heavy workload has put him in a category with Raptors’ royalty, so let’s jump in.

 


Chicago Bulls @ Memphis Grizzlies

Final Score: 106 – 119


Desmond Bane and Ja Morant led the Grizzlies past the Bulls for their 12th win in 13 games at the FedEx Forum.


Bane and Morant both had 25 points while Brandon Clarke had 15 points off the bench off 7-8 from the field in 20 minutes. Tyus Jones came off the bench, picking up eight dimes and 11 points in an efficient game.


“I thought our guys came out ready, I thought we did a really good job defensively. To be honest with you, I thought we were supposed to score even more. We missed a couple of chippies, a couple of open looks that we usually make,”

-Memphis interim coach Darko Rajakovic


DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 24 points and also had five assists in 33 minutes, while Coby White had 16 points and Ayo Dosunmu had 15 points and 10 rebounds.


Both sides kept it close throughout the first quarter by trading baskets, they entered the second tied at 20 apiece. The Bulls tied the game with 10:52 remaining in the first half but never got close to leading again as Memphis started to run away. The Grizzlies outscored Chicago 38-25 in the second quarter and took a 13-point lead into the locker rooms.


Memphis continued to roll in the third taking a 20-point lead into the final period. The Grizzlies stretched their lead to 28 points with 9:51 remaining in the game. The Bulls rallied back, but the deficit was too much.


MLK Day rivalry:

The Bulls and Grizzlies have now played each other five times on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, both sides had split the previous four meetings before the Grizzlies made it 3-2. Memphis also paid tribute to former players Muggsy Bogues, Elvin Hayes, and Allan Houston for their commitment to human rights, civil rights, and social justice movements.


Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks

Final Score: 114 – 121


The Atlanta Hawks snapped a 10-game home losing streak, as they rallied late to get past the Milwaukee Bucks at the State Farm Arena.


Trae Young led the Hawks with 30 points, 11 assists, and four rebounds in a 40-minute workload. De’Andre Hunter dropped in 20 points and pulled in nine rebounds, while John Collins and Danilo Gallinari both had 16 points.


Khris Middleton had a team-high 34 points for the Bucks while shooting 50% from the field. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists in 37 minutes.


The Bucks led for the whole first quarter, but the Hawks kept the game close, trailing by nine points heading into the second quarter. In a high-scoring quarter, the Bucks stretched their lead to 62-50 as the sides went into half-time.


The Hawks outscored the Bucks 33-26 in the third, as they slowly closed the gap throughout the quarter, to trail by five points heading into the final period. The Bucks took control of the game again, building a 10-point lead with 7:02 remaining in the game. Atlanta stormed back, going on a 15-4 run to seize the lead 104-103 with 4:37 remaining. The home side trailed briefly but retook the lead and didn’t look back as they snapped their losing streak.


“Sometimes that can turn a game, If that helped us tonight, it's worth the fine,”

-Hawks coach Nate McMillan


Defense wins games:

Onyeka Okongwu was handed the tough task of guarding Giannis down the stretch, but his brilliant effort allowed the Hawks to focus their defense on the Bucks’ perimeter shooting, which gave them a way back into the game.


Charlotte Hornets @ Boston Celtics

Final Score: 111 – 102

LaMelo Ball helped the Hornets get past the Celtics with a triple-double at The Garden.


Ball had 15 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes. Terry Rozier had a team-high 28 points, while Miles Bridges had 22 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. chipped in with 18 points off the bench in 25 minutes.


“To come in here and get a win, we want to make a statement, we want to get to where they're at as an organization,”

-Terry Rozier


Dennis Schroder led the Celtics with 24 points while shooting 9-16 from the field in 37 minutes. Jaylen Brown also added 21 points and six assists but struggled from deep, shooting 2-11 from beyond the 3-point line.


Both sides labored hard throughout the first half, trading baskets constantly. The Hornets took the lead with 4:39 remaining in the second quarter and took an 8-point advantage into the second half, after scoring 31 points in the second quarter.


Charlotte built a lead of 14 points in the third, which was the largest of the game, again with both sides trading baskets, the Hornets were able to take a 12-point lead into the final period. Boston was able to close the gap to four points with 8:40 remaining in regulation but couldn’t get any closer as the Hornets closed out the game.


Young but absent:

The Celtics acquired injured pair, Bol Bol and PJ Dozier from the Denver Nuggets in a 3-team trade involving the San Antonio Spurs. Bol is expected to have foot surgery and be out for 8-12 weeks, while Dozier is out indefinitely with an ACL tear.


Los Angeles Clippers @ Denver Nuggets

Final Score: 128 – 130

Nikola Jokic starred in an overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Ball Arena.


Jokic put up a dominant triple-double, with 49 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in 49 minutes, the reigning MVP also shot 16-25 from the field. Aaron Gordon shot 10-16 from the field for 28 points in his 44 minutes.


Ivica Zubac piled on 32 points for the Clippers in 37 minutes, he also shot an impressive 78% from the field. Reggie Jackson added 28 points and 12 assists in 38 minutes.


The Clippers dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Nuggets 34-18, as they took a 12-point lead into the second half. The Nuggets trailed by 14 points with 9:03 remaining in the quarter but closed the gap and tied the game at 81 apiece with the fourth quarter to play.


The Clippers jumped out to an 8-point lead with 4:01 remaining in regulation, before Denver went on an 8-0 run to tie the game. While trailing 114-112, Will Barton put a layup in with 26.9 seconds remaining, to give the Nuggets a second chance in overtime.


Both sides traded baskets through the extra period, with the Clippers leading the majority of it. Zubac tipped in a shot with 26.4 remaining to tie things up at 127, but it was Aaron Gordon who iced the game for the Nuggets, knocking down a 24-foot 3-point attempt to give the Nuggets the win.


“I knew the ball was going to come to me because [Jokic] makes the right play, the right pass, even in pressure situations, he put it on time and on target. All I had to do was catch and shoot,”

-Aaron Gordon


Getting closer:

Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray have continued to ramp up the intensity of their pregame drills as the pair near their returns from injury. Porter had back surgery late last year while Murray is still out after a knee injury forced him to miss the second half of last season.


Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks

Final Score: 109 – 101

The Phoenix Suns rallied late beat the Dallas Mavericks and swept their five-game road trip at the American Airlines Center.


Devin Booker led the Suns with 28 points, he also had six assists and five rebounds in 38 minutes. Chris Paul chipped in with 20 points and 11 assists in 37 minutes.


Luka Doncic had 28 points while shooting 9-23 from the field, he also had eight rebounds and eight assists in 38 minutes, Doncic also chipped in with the only steal for the Mavs. Jalen Brunson had 19 points in 35 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Suns.


“My neck's not an excuse, But man, they're the best record in the league. We were right there,”

Luke Doncic


Both sides traded baskets in the first quarter, with the Mavs taking a 4-point lead into the second. Dallas built up a 10-point lead with 4:39 remaining in the first half, before the Suns cut the deficit to eight as the teams went into the locker rooms.


Phoenix briefly took the lead in the third quarter, but Dallas rebuilt their 8-point lead, as both sides piled on 29 points in the third quarter. Dallas extended the lead to nine with 10:43 remaining in the game, the Suns then kicked into gear, taking the lead with 3:38 remaining in the fourth. The visitors closed out the game, going on a 10-2 run down the stretch.


European star:

Not the European star everyone is thinking of either, Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis put a small bit of brilliance together during a Mavs run in the second quarter. The 7-foot-3 big man blocked a shot, finished an alley-oop, and then hit a 3-pointer in a little solo run.


Indiana Pacers @ Golden State Warriors

Final Score: 121 – 117


Stephen Curry starred but couldn’t get his side across the line, as the Warriors fell to the Indiana Pacers at the Chase Center.


Chris Duarte had a team-high 27 points and pulled in seven rebounds, Jrue Holiday had 16 points in 34 minutes while Isaiah Jackson dropped in 15 points off the bench and pulled in seven rebounds in 19 minutes.


Steph Curry waved goodbye to his scoring slump, piling on 39 points, eight assists, five rebounds, and knocked down six deep balls in 44 minutes. Kevon Looney was second in points for the Warriors with 13 in 28 minutes.


Both sides traded baskets throughout the first quarter, but the Warriors were stubborn enough to hold to lead, eventually finishing the quarter 30-23. Golden State kept their lead through the second quarter as well, extending it to eight points, with the second half still to play.


Both sides traded the lead through the third quarter, with them heading into the final period on 83 points each. The lead got to as many as five points in the fourth, before the Pacers forced the game into overtime after trailing 110-107 with 9.4 remaining in regulation.


The Warriors shot out to a 5-point lead with 3:36 remaining in the period, before the Pacers went on an 11-2 run to seal the win in San Francisco.


“We were definitely sped up a little bit, 9 for 42 from 3, but it wasn't a great game in terms of our execution to get those 42 3-point shots, I don't think we earned the right to make a lot more than that. It just felt like we were scattered out there and in a rush for sure,”

-Warriors coach Steve Kerr


Packed out streak:

The Warriors sold out their arena for the 400th straight game, including regular season and playoff games, Golden State also sold out every game when arenas were at limited capacity due to the pandemic. The streak started on December 18, 2012, when the Warriors hosted New Orleans.


Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards

Final Score: 109 – 105


Fred VanVleet saved the game for the Toronto Raptors as they took a road win over the Washington Wizards at the Capital One Arena.


Scottie Barnes had a team-high 27 points for the Raptors and also pulled in eight rebounds. VanVleet and Pascal Siakam both had 21 points, VanVleet also picked up 12 assists.


Bradley Beal led the Wizards in points with 25 and also had eight assists, Spencer Dinwiddie was second in points with 17, he also had seven assists and seven rebounds.


“We turned it over way too many times, That's unacceptable. It's 100 percent on me,”

-Bradley Beal


Washington shot out of the gates, outscoring the Raptors 30-20 in the first quarter. Toronto then rallied back into the game taking the lead with 1:17 remaining in the first half. The Raptors added 35 points in the second quarter, to head into the locker rooms with a 1-point lead.


After trading baskets and the lead for the third quarter, the visitors closed out the third on a 9-1 run, to take a 14-point lead into the final quarter. The Wizards fought hard to get back into the game, with the scores tied at 102 with 1:10 remaining. VanVleet saved the visitors, hitting the tie-breaking 3-pointer with 59.5 seconds remaining, the Raptors were then able to close out the game with little struggle.


Larger rotation:

Raptors coach Nick Nurse utilized a nine-man rotation against the Wizards, in the previous two games he only used seven players. Additionally, Fred VanVleet played 39 minutes in the game and played 40 or more in the previous five games. The last player to do that for the Raptors was Chris Bosh back in 2007.


Next Week’s Games:

January 25:

Los Angeles Lakers @ Brooklyn Nets

Dallas Mavericks @ Golden State Warriors


January 26:

New York Knicks @ Miami Heat

Phoenix Suns @ Utah Jazz


January 27:

Los Angeles Lakers @ Philadelphia 76ers

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Golden State Warriors


January 28:

Los Angeles Lakers @ Charlotte Hornets

New York Knicks @ Milwaukee Bucks


January 29:

Brooklyn Nets @ Golden State Warriors


Matt Skilton is a multimedia sports journalism graduate and covers all of your sports needs at ThePyrrhic.com. Keep watching for recaps, analysis, trade news, and more!


Follow Matt on Twitter @MSkilton16


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