Nets 122, Nuggets 120
Cavaliers 114, Hornets 108
Pelicans 127, Trail Blazers 110
Thunder 102, Spurs 90
Knicks 112, Lakers 108
What went down
Coming into this matchup, the LA Lakers were on the rise, having won three straight games and eight of their 11 games since the trade deadline. The New York Knicks were on a slight decline. After racking up nine straight wins and challenging for a top four spot in the East, they lost three straight to drop to sixth in the conference. Something had to give.
It ended up being the Lakers’ winning streak.
Julius Randle just hammered his former team from the get-go. He was on attack from the very beginning, scoring 18 points, including two three-point plays all in the first period. He finished the game with 33 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. With Jalen Brunson still out, RJ Barrett stepped up with 30 points to help Randle out.
Defense ?? Offense— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 13, 2023
Randle is cookin' pic.twitter.com/PMrJa77VFg
Randle and Barrett kept the Lakers at bay all game long. Barrett’s lone triple of the game gave the Knicks a 10-point lead heading into the final five minutes of the contest. The Lakers tried to steal the game with a last-gasp run that cut the deficit down to just two points. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get the ball back in the dying seconds to make a play.
D’Angelo Russell led LA with 33 points of his own. Anthony Davis had 17 points and 16 rebounds in the contest. The Knicks rise up to 40-30 for the season and are still in contention for the fifth seed. The Lakers failed to reach .500 and are in a four-way tie for ninth in the West.
The New Orleans Pelicans found themselves playing without Brandon Ingram in a virtual must-win game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Pels needed a hero and found one in Trey Murphy III.
The sophomore played the best game of his young career, exploding for 41 points, with 14 coming in the game-breaking third quarter to lead New Orleans to the win.
AN EXCLAMATION MARK FOR POINTS 40 & 41?? pic.twitter.com/53NaNZZD7I— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 13, 2023
A loss would have dropped New Orleans further away from the play-in picture. But because of Murphy III’s explosion, they’re right in the thick of things as one of the teams in the four-way tie for the ninth seed.
What he said
Speaking of career-highs, Spencer Dinwiddie set one today with 16 assists in the phenomenal win over the West-leading Denver Nuggets.
Denver came in with a specific game plan for today’s game. They were blitzing Dinwiddie and trying to force the ball out of his hand. He responded by finding the open man which led to a ton of assists today.
Here’s a great breakdown of the tempo of a basketball game from one of the league’s most underrated point guards.
Spencer Dinwiddie breaks down the quarter to quarter game plan the Nets had to defeat the Nuggets. #NETSonYES pic.twitter.com/myZ10yU0id— YES Network (@YESNetwork) March 12, 2023
Did you see that?
TYRESE'S CELLY FROM THE BENCH WE'RE SCREAMING!!! pic.twitter.com/6JuzVVEuQf— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 13, 2023
James Harden has executed that little push-off to step-back move smoother in the past. That one looked a little jagged. But it didn’t matter, Harden hasn’t looked this happy in a while. Based on Tyrese Maxey’s celly, the Philadelphia 76ers are happy to have the Beard as well.