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Sunday, April 14, 2024

NBA Scores: Nuggets, Timberwolves surge as playoff standings form up

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Nuggets prime Embiid-less Sixers, 116-111

This sport coulda had class. It coulda been a contenda. As an alternative of bein’ a bum. Which isn’t completely what this sport ended up being, however contemplating what it will have represented had Joel Embiid been out there for it, it’s finally a disappointment. Lengthy-billed because the epic duel between the 2 MVP frontrunners, Denver’s win was overshadowed by Embiid’s absence on account of a sore proper calf — even with Nikola Jokic posting his twenty ninth triple-double of the season. He scored 25 factors, had 17 rebounds, and 12 assists to steer the Nuggets, whereas Jamal Murray (19 factors), Bruce Brown (18), Michael Porter Jr. (15), and Aaron Gordon (12) all completed in double-figures. Provided that James Harden was additionally sitting for the Sixers, Tyrese Maxey was the one actual offensive spark for Philly. He poured in 29 factors, 23 of which got here within the first half.

The Nuggets have now gained 4 straight, whereas the Sixers have misplaced three in a row. I’ve a sense that streaks like these, particularly this late within the season, might be on MVP voters’ minds as they get nearer to submitting their picks on the finish of the 12 months.

Timberwolves proceed profitable methods, outlast Kings, 119-115

Now this is the form of streak that may flip a whole season round. After a stretch throughout which Minnesota misplaced 5 of six, Anthony Edwards and co. have now gained 4 in a row — together with this one over Sacramento, which was denied the privilege of clinching a playoff spot within the loss. Jaden McDaniels scored 20 factors to steer the T-Wolves, who swept two powerful opponents back-to-back. First got here Golden State, and now, Sacramento. With the win, Minnesota tied the Warriors for sixth place within the Western Convention standings. Keep in mind: the highest six groups keep away from the play-in event. And although the play-in spherical was type to the Timberwolves final season, there aren’t any ensures in a one-game, do-or-die scenario.

The Kings will definitely keep away from the play-in and can nearly definitely have homecourt benefit within the first spherical of the playoffs, at any time when it’s that they do clinch. Video games like this one from stars De’Aaron Fox (29 factors and 6 assists) and Domantas Sabonis (24 factors and 10 rebounds earlier than fouling out) ought to do the trick.

Pelicans pummel Portland, 124-90

Make that 5 in a row for New Orleans, who stay within the eighth spot within the West with a 34-point drubbing of the Path Blazers. Brandon Ingram led all scorers with 29.

It’s secure to say that these Blazers have seen higher days.

Mavs snap four-game slide with trouncing of Pacers, 127-104

Just some days faraway from what’s undoubtedly the low level of their season to date — dropping 4 in a row, together with two straight collapses towards the Charlotte Hornets — it’s secure to say that that is precisely what the physician ordered for Dallas. Luka Doncic, additionally days faraway from saying he doesn’t really feel the identical pleasure on the courtroom these days, placed on a present to cleared the path for the Mavs. He scored 25 factors, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished six dimes, certainly one of which is within the working for essentially the most insane go you’ll ever see.

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Hopefully, at the very least for the Mavs and their followers, outings like these will grow to be a regularity down the stretch. In the event that they don’t, they’ll miss the play-in: Dallas is half a sport again from the ninth and tenth spots within the West, trailing the Lakers and Thunder, respectively.

Knicks deal with Rockets, 137-115

It was a defense-less affair, however the excellent news for the Knicks is that their offense has reached some extent the place it will possibly sometimes be referred to as dominant. Particularly when Immanuel Quickley is doing issues like he did on Monday night time. He dropped a career-high 40 factors to steer all scorers and assist the Knicks snap a three-game dropping streak. In his stead, Julius Randle had 26, whereas RJ Barrett added an environment friendly 19.

Shorthanded Bucks overpower Pistons, 126-117

Each Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) and Jrue Vacation (private) have been unavailable for Monday’s sport towards Detroit, clearing the best way for the sport Bucks followers had been ready for all 12 months: The Khris Middleton Recreation. And that’s precisely what they received, as Middleton scored a season-high 34 factors to steer all scorers and assist hold Milwaukee two video games clear atop the Jap Convention standings. Brook Lopez added 24 factors and 14 rebounds; Bobby Portis had 21 factors and 14 rebounds; and Jevon Carter scored 22. All gasoline, no brakes for these Bucks, who really feel like they’re on a collision course with their second NBA Finals journey in three seasons.

In the meantime, the Pistons received a career-high 32 factors, eight rebounds, and eight assists from Jaden Ivey, however misplaced their sixth sport in a row. They’re additionally losers of 17 out of 18. The highest of the 2023 NBA Draft is that this crew’s solely hope.

Clippers drop Bulls, 124-112

Seven Clippers — SEVEN — completed in double-figures as L.A.’s higher squad gained their seventh out of 10 on Monday. Nicolas Batum scored 24 factors, all coming from past the three-point arc, to steer all scorers, whereas Kawhi Leonard (22), Eric Gordon (22), Bones Hyland (13), Russell Westbrook (12), Ivica Zubac (11), and Mason Plumlee (10) all adopted.

Even with the loss, the Bulls cling to the ultimate play-in spot within the East. And given how poorly the Washington Wizards have carried out just lately, Chicago is definitely the betting favourite to hold on to it.

Suns deal with sliding Jazz, 117-103

Although Phoenix stays Kevin Durant-less, Monday’s win over the Jazz was nearly as full an effort because the crew has managed all season. Regardless of not capturing notably nicely from the sphere (42.6 %) or from three (30.6 %), 5 gamers ending in double-figures was sufficient to prime the Jazz, who’ve now misplaced 4 straight. Devin Booker’s 24 factors led the Suns, whereas Lauri Markannen scored a game-high 25 in defeat.

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