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NBA Game Recaps for February 23, 2018
122
Charlotte Hornets  at  Washington Wizards
Final  – February 23, 2018
105

Hornets Defeat Wizards, 122-105

By Joel Bartilotta

The Charlotte Hornets defeated the host Washington Wizards, 122-105, at Verizon Center on Friday. This was a dominating performance from the Hornets. as the Wizards only lead came in the first five minutes. In fact, Washington never got the game within six points after the first quarter in addition to holding a double-digit lead for the final 20 minutes of action. Offensive rebounding was a huge factor for Charlotte, with the Hornets winning that battle, 13-6. Rim protection was also key, with Charlotte recording five blocks and Washington failing to record a block. Turnovers were also a decisive statistic, with the Wizards committing 14 turnovers and the Hornets committing just eight. The Hornets (26-33) were led by Kemba Walker, as he tallied 24 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Nicolas Batum accrued eight points, six rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Frank Kaminsky was huge off the bench, providing 23 points, three rebounds and three assists. Jeremy Lamb also played well off the bench, totaling 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Wizards (34-25) got a gem out of Bradley Beal, as he accumulated 33 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Otto Porter amassed 16 points, six rebounds and four assists. Markieff Morris finished with 13 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Both teams return to action on Sunday, with Charlotte hosting the Detroit Pistons and Washington playing host to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 9:27 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 10:10 PM ET

By Joel Bartilotta

Charlotte thoroughly dominated Washington in this game, as the Wizards never got the game within six points after the first quarter. In addition, the Hornets led by a double-digit margin for the final 20 minutes of action. Rim protection was the difference in the game, with Charlotte recording five blocks and Washington failing to record a block. Turnovers were also key, with the Hornets forcing 14 turnovers from the Wizards while committing just eight on their end. Kemba Walker led the way for Charlotte, as he tallied 24 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Nicolas Batum accumulated eight points, six rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Frank Kaminsky led the bench with 23 points, three rebounds and three assists while Jeremy Lamb also provided 13 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench as well. Bradley Beal led Washington with 33 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Otto Porter accrued 16 points, six rebounds and four rebounds. Markieff Morris totaled 13 points, six rebounds and eight assists.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 9:42 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 10:10 PM ET

110
Boston Celtics  at  Detroit Pistons
Final  – February 23, 2018
98

Celtics Dominate, Defeat Pistons On The Road

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

The Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons, 110-98, at Little Caesars Arena on Friday evening. The Celtics (41-19) had to come from behind to defeat the Pistons (28-30), as they went down by six in the first quarter but stormed back in the second; a 38-21 pushed Boston in front and they never looked back. Detroit won the third quarter by three, but Boston answered with a three-point lead in the final 12 minutes The game was over after the second quarter, however, as Boston built a 12-point lead they would never let go. One of the reasons why Boston walked away with the win as comfortably as they did was because they shot better than Detroit, especially from three-point range (43.6 against 30.3 percent). Boston had a balanced effort since six players scored in double figures, but surprisingly the top scorer came from the bench as Daniel Theis finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in just 21 minutes of action. Kyrie Irving had 18 points, six assists and four rebounds, and Jayson Tatum added 15 points. Marcus Morris had 15 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Marcus Smart had 12 points in his return from injury. The entire starting lineup of the Pistons scored in double figures in this game. Ish Smith led the way with 20 points and six assists, while Andre Drummond finished with a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds. Blake Griffin had 17 points, but he only shot 5-of-19 from the field. Reggie Bullock had 13 points, and Stanley Johnson added 12 points with four boards.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 9:50 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 10:02 PM ET

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

Boston had a balanced effort since six players scored in double figures, but surprisingly the top scorer came from the bench as Daniel Theis finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in just 21 minutes of action. Kyrie Irving had 18 points, six assists and four rebounds, and Jayson Tatum added 15 points. Marcus Morris had 15 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Marcus Smart had 12 points in his return from injury. The entire starting lineup of the Pistons scored in double figures in this game. Ish Smith led the way with 20 points and six assists, while Andre Drummond finished with a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds. Blake Griffin had 17 points, but he shot 5-of-19 from the field. Reggie Bullock had 13 points, and Stanley Johnson added 12 points.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 9:50 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 10:02 PM ET

93
Atlanta Hawks  at  Indiana Pacers
Final  – February 23, 2018
116

Pacers Handle Hawks, 116-93

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Indiana Pacers defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 116-93, at Banker's LIfe Fieldhouse on Friday evening. The Pacers (34-25) have the postseason firmly in mind, and rightfully so, considering they came into Friday's contest slotted fifth in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Hawks' (18-42) situation is such that they are essentially playing out the string. Both clubs played the first half accordingly, with Indiana establishing a dominating 61-44 halftime advantage. The third quarter was a 22-22 draw, and the home squad put their foot on the gas again in the fourth, pulling away even further to cruise to an easy win. The biggest advantage outside of the scoreboard for the hosts was in the rebounding column, as they handily prevailed in the battle on the glass by a 57-40 margin. The visitors also came up considerably short in ball security, turning it over on a whopping 22 occasions. Isaiah Taylor led the way for the Hawks with 17 points off the bench, a total he supplemented with six assists and two steals. Taurean Prince provided 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Kent Bazemore followed with 12 points, five boards, two assists and one block. Tyler Dorsey accounted for 11 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal. Dennis Schroder mustered just nine points on 3-for-12 shooting and complemented them with two rebounds, two assists and one steal. John Collins matched Schroder's scoring total and added nine boards and two blocks. DeAndre' Bembry posted eight points, six rebounds, one assist and one block in 26 minutes off the bench. Domantas Sabonis spearheaded the Pacers with a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double in 30 minutes off the bench. He added three assists. Thaddeus Young was right behind him with 20 points, four rebounds, one assist, five steals and one block. Cory Joseph poured in 15 points and added four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Victor Oladipo had a modest 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting, but he stuffed the rest of the stat sheet with nine assists, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Lance Stephenson delivered 13 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals on the second unit. Bojan Bogdanovic turned in 12 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Myles Turner supplied seven points, eight rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes. The Hawks head back home and await a Monday night visit from the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Pacers hit the road and tangle with the Dallas Mavericks on that same evening.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 9:44 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 10:08 PM ET

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Pacers got off to a quick start, establishing a dominating 61-44 halftime advantage. The third quarter ended in a 22-22 draw, but the home squad pulled away even further in the fourth to cruise to an easy win. Indiana won the rebounding battle by a 57-40 margin, while the visitors also came up considerably short in ball security, turning it over on a whopping 22 occasions. Isaiah Taylor's 17 points off the bench, a total he supplemented with six assists and two steals, led the Hawks. Taurean Prince's contributions included 14 points and seven rebounds. Kent Bazemore's line partly consisted of 12 points, five boards and two assists. Tyler Dorsey accounted for 11 points, while Dennis Schroder mustered just nine. John Collins matched Schroder's scoring total and added nine boards and two blocks. DeAndre' Bembry's line included eight points and six rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. Domantas Sabonis' 21-point, 13-rebound double-double led the Pacers. Thaddeus Young was right behind him with 20 points, four rebounds, one assist, five steals and one block. Cory Joseph poured in 15 points and added four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Victor Oladipo stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Lance Stephenson delivered 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists on the second unit. Bojan Bogdanovic turned in 12 points, while Myles Turner supplied seven points and eight rebounds.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:05 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 10:08 PM ET

122
Milwaukee Bucks  at  Toronto Raptors
Final  – February 23, 2018
119

Bucks Rally, Defeat Raptors In OT

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Toronto Raptors, 122-119, in OT at Air Canada Centre on Friday evening. The Bucks (33-25) had a great performance and even though they wasted away an eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, they still managed to turn the game around when it mattered the most. The Raptors (41-17) won the fourth quarter by eight points and they built a five-point advantage starting the OT period. But the Bucks scored eight straight points and they never looked back until they clinched a huge win on the road against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. As it has been the trend through most of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee with 26 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Eric Bledsoe chipped in with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Khris Middleton added 21 points, six assists, and four boards. John Henson had 12 points, while Jason Terry (14 points) and Thon Maker (12 points) contributed steadily off the bench. DeMar DeRozan was the top scorer for the Raptors with 33 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Serge Ibaka contributed with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Kyle Lowry added 17 points and seven assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points with eight boards. Pascal Siakam had a strong performance off the bench and finished with 17 points and seven boards.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:51 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 11:02 PM ET

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

As it has been the trend through most of the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for Milwaukee with 26 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Eric Bledsoe chipped in with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Khris Middleton added 21 points, six assists, and four boards. John Henson had 12 points, while Jason Terry (14 points) and Thon Maker (12 points) contributed steadily off the bench. DeMar DeRozan was the top scorer for the Raptors with 33 points (on 13-27 from the field), eight rebounds and four assists. Serge Ibaka contributed with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Kyle Lowry added 17 points and seven assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points with eight boards. Pascal Siakam had a strong performance off the bench and finished with 17 points and seven boards.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:52 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 11:02 PM ET

102
Minnesota Timberwolves  at  Houston Rockets
Final  – February 23, 2018
120

Rockets Topple Timberwolves, 120-102

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Houston Rockets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 120-102, at Toyota Center on Friday evening. The Rockets (45-13) were likely itching to get back on the floor following the All-Star break, as they'd ridden a blistering-hot 10-game winning streak into the extended layoff. Moreover, with 23 wins in 29 home dates, they were poised to resume play on a positive note, even against a quality opponent like the Timberwolves (36-26). However, the visitors turned the tables early, establishing a 32-26 first-quarter lead. It was all downhill from there, though, as the hosts outscored them 94-70 the rest of the way. Despite the double-digit loss, the most worrisome aspect of the night for Minnesota had nothing to do with the scoreboard, as star guard Jimmy Butler appeared to suffer a serious knee injury in a non-contact situation late in the third quarter and had to be helped off the court. The exact severity is still to be determined, but the entire development naturally cast a pall on the proceedings for the Timberwolves. Andrew Wiggins led the way for Minnesota with 21 points, a total he supplemented with four rebounds and two assists. Karl-Anthony Towns generated an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double that also included three assists and one block. Jeff Teague matched Towns' scoring total and added four boards, four assists and two steals. Jamal Crawford produced a bench-leading 14 points and complemented them with three rebounds. Butler supplied 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes before exiting. Taj Gibson registered a modest nine points, three rebounds, one assist and one block. James Harden paced the Rockets with 31 points, nine assists, two rebounds and two steals. Clint Capela followed with 25 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Chris Paul contributed a near triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and one steal. P.J. Tucker delivered 11 points, five boards and one assist. Trevor Ariza returned from his hamstring injury to tally 11 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. Joe Johnson produced a bench-leading 10 points and also turned in three rebounds and one assist. The Timberwolves head back home to face off with the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening, while the Rockets head a bit further west and tangle with the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:43 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 11:02 PM ET

By Juan Carlos Blanco

Despite the Rockets' superior record, the Timberwolves established a quick 32-26 first-quarter lead. It was all downhill from there, though, as the hosts outscored them 94-70 the rest of the way. In addition to the double-digit loss, Minnesota lost star guard Jimmy Butler to a potentially serious knee injury in a non-contact situation late in the third quarter, and he had to be helped off the court. Andrew Wiggins' 21 points, a total he supplemented with four rebounds and two assists, led the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns generated an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double that also included three assists and one block. Jeff Teague matched Towns' scoring total and added four boards, four assists and two steals. Jamal Crawford produced a bench-leading 14 points. Butler supplied 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal in 25 minutes before exiting. Taj Gibson's line included nine points and three rebounds. James Harden paced the Rockets with 31 points, nine assists, two rebounds and two steals. Clint Capela followed with 25 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Chris Paul contributed a near triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists. P.J. Tucker's line included 11 points and five boards. Trevor Ariza returned from his hamstring injury to tally 11 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. Joe Johnson produced a bench-leading 10 points.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 11:01 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 11:32 PM ET

123
Miami Heat  at  New Orleans Pelicans
Final  – February 23, 2018
124

Pelicans Come Through in OT

By Dan Bruno  

The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the visiting Miami Heat, 124-123, in overtime, at Smoothie King Center on Friday evening. The Heat got out to a great start on the road with a 10-2 run just two minutes into the game, and held on to a 27-22 lead heading into the second. The teams went back and forth through a high scoring second quarter, where the Pelicans outscored the Heat, 35-32, to cut the deficit to two by halftime. The Heat managed to stay a couple steps ahead through a hard-fought third quarter and took an 89-84 lead into the fourth. The Pelicans came back to tie it up at 92 just four minutes into the fourth quarter. It remained a one or two possession game the rest of the way, with the Pelicans holding a two-point lead with 17 seconds left. However, Goran Dragic came up with a huge rebound and put-back shot to tie it up at 108 with 14 seconds left, which would send the game to overtime. The overtime period was more back and forth action, with the teams staying within one possession of each other. The Heat held a one-point advantage with 21 seconds left thanks to a jumper by Dwyane Wade. However, the Pelicans got the last laugh as Jrue Holiday knocked down the game-winning floater with seven seconds left. Anthony Davis led the way for New Orleans with 45 points on 17-of-34 shooting, 17 rebounds, five steals, five blocks and two assists. Jrue Holiday followed up with 29 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and a steal, while Ian Clark chipped in 21 points off the bench. The Pelicans shot 44 percent from the field, including 8-of-31 from long range. Meanwhile, Goran Dragic led the Heat with 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Hassan Whiteside tallied 19 points and 16 rebounds, while Tyler Johnson chipped in 15 points. The Heat shot 47 percent from the field, including 6-of-19 from long range. The Heat (30-29) will be right back in action as they play host to the Grizzlies on Saturday. The Pelicans (32-26) take on the Bucks in Milwaukee on Sunday.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 11:15 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 11:33 PM ET

By Dan Bruno  

Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 45 points on 17-of-34 shooting, 17 rebounds, five steals, five blocks and two assists, in 36 minutes. Jrue Holiday followed up with 29 points on 11-of-20 shooting, nine assists, seven rebounds and a steal, in 38 minutes. Ian Clark chipped in 21 points off the bench, while Nikola Mirotic finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one block, in 34 minutes off the bench. Meanwhile, Goran Dragic led the Heat with 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting, nine rebounds, eight assists and one steal, in 37 minutes. Hassan Whiteside tallied 19 points and 16 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block, in 33 minutes. Tyler Johnson chipped in 15 points, while Dwyane Wade added 16 points, five rebounds and one assist, in 26 minutes off the bench.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 11:21 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 11:38 PM ET

112
Cleveland Cavaliers  at  Memphis Grizzlies
Final  – February 23, 2018
89

Cavaliers Destroy Grizzlies, 112-89

By Joel Bartilotta

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the host Memphis Grizzlies, 112-89, at FedEx Forum on Friday. Despite the fact that Memphis led by seven points after the first quarter, Cleveland dominated from there. In fact, the Cavaliers won the other three quarters by at least eight points apiece, as the Grizzlies were never within single-digits in the fourth quarter. Defense was key for Cleveland, as they held Memphis to under 40 percent shooting while forcing 21 turnovers from them. Rebounding was also a huge factor, with Cleveland outrebounding Memphis, 46-37. They also hit 21-of-22 free-throws while Memphis connected on just 14-of-18. A 50-36 points in the paint advantage was big for the Cavaliers as well. The Cavaliers (35-23) got another triple-double out of LeBron James, as he collected 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. George Hill totaled 18 points, two rebounds and three blocks. Larry Nance Jr. led the bench with 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists, four steals and two blocks. The Grizzlies (18-39) had no player surpass 15 points scored, as Tyreke Evans led them with 15 points, four rebounds, 10 assists and four steals. JaMychal Green totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds. Marc Gasol accumulated 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists. On deck for Memphis is a road matchup versus the Miami Heat on Saturday. As for Cleveland, they play host to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday for their next fixture.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:26 PM ET      Updated on February 23, 2018 at 10:36 PM ET

By Joel Bartilotta

Cleveland looks like a different team since the trade deadline, as this marks their fourth win in their last five games. Despite the fact that they trailed by seven points after the first quarter, they won each of the other three quarters by at least nine points apiece, with Memphis never getting within single-digits in the fourth quarter. Defense was key for the Cavaliers, as they held the Grizzlies to 39 percent shooting while forcing 21 turnovers. LeBron James was the player of the game, collecting 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. George Hill finished with 18 points, two rebounds and three blocks. Larry Nance Jr. led the bench with 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Tyreke Evans was the Grizzlies best player, as he tallied 15 points, four rebounds, 10 assists and four steals. JaMycal Green accrued 15 points and 10 rebounds while Marc Gasol amassed 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:41 PM ET

128
Los Angeles Clippers  at  Phoenix Suns
Final  – February 23, 2018
117

Clippers Roll Suns, 128-117

By Joel Bartilotta

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the host Phoenix Suns, 128-117, at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Friday. The final scoreline makes this game look much closer than it actually was, as Los Angeles won in wire-to-wire fashion. In fact, they led 40-18 after the first quarter, as the final scoreline was the closest margin since the middle of the first quarter. The shooting was the true difference, with the Clippers hitting 52 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free-throw line. The Suns finished 44 percent from the field, 29 percent from long range and 58 percent from the charity stripe. The Clippers (31-27) were once again led by Lou Williams off their bench, as he provided 35 points, three rebounds and four assists. Tobias Harris finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Austin Rivers accrued 17 points, two rebounds and six assists. DeAndre Jordan amassed 11 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. The Suns (18-42) were led by T.J. Warren, as he tallied 27 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Devin Booker totaled 27 points and four assists. Alex Len accumulated 14 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Jackson led the bench with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists. On deck for Phoenix is a home matchup versus the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. As for Los Angeles, they're off until Tuesday when they travel to face the Denver Nuggets.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 11:35 PM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 12:21 AM ET

By Joel Bartilotta

This was as dominating of a victory as you'll see, as Los Angeles held a double-digit lead for the final 40 minutes of this game. In fact, they led 40-18 after the first quarter, as the final 11-point margin was the closest the game got since the opening five minutes. The Clippers ended up shooting 52 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range while the Suns connected on just 44 percent from the field and 29 percent from long range. Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 35 points, three rebounds and four assists off their bench. Tobias Harris led the starters with 30 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Austin Rivers accrued 17 points, two rebounds and six assists. DeAndre Jordan tallied 11 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. T.J. Warren led the Suns with 27 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Devin Booker matched those 27 points, adding four assists to his tally. Alex Len finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 11:41 PM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 12:22 AM ET

119
San Antonio Spurs  at  Denver Nuggets
Final  – February 23, 2018
122

Nuggets Notch Fourth Straight Win

By Dan Bruno  

The Denver Nuggets defeated the visiting San Antonio Spurs, 122-119, at Pepsi Center on Friday evening. The Spurs got out to a quick 8-2 lead, but from there the first quarter tightened up as the teams the Nuggets quickly came back and ended up with a 32-30 lead heading into the second. It remained a one-possession game through most of the second quarter as the Nuggets and Spurs played to a tie, with the Nuggets holding a 63-61 lead at the half. The Spurs came out strong in the third and pulled ahead to hold a lead for most of the quarter. However, the Nuggets went on a 13-6 run to close the quarter and take a 96-89 lead into the final frame. The Nuggets held strong for most of the fourth quarter, but the Spurs battled hard to finally tie it up at 112, with 4:27 to go. Nonetheless, the Nuggets managed to come up big down the stretch, especially thanks to a couple big plays by Gary Harris that helped them seal their fourth straight win. This marks the fourth straight loss for San Antonio. Harris finished with 23 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with yet another triple-double, including 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, in 34 minutes. Wilson Chandler had a big night as well, with 18 points, 16 rebounds and three assists, in 37 minutes. The Nuggets shot 50 percent from the field, including 12-of-32 from long range. Meanwhile, LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with 38 points on 13-of-23 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and one steal, in 35 minutes. Patty Mills followed up with 21 points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal, while Pau Gasol finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, in 30 minutes. The Spurs shot 51 percent from the field, including 5-of-16 from long range. The Spurs (35-25) will look to bounce back as they take on the Cavs in Cleveland on Sunday. The Nuggets (33-26) play host to the Rockets on Sunday.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 12:31 AM ET

By Dan Bruno  

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, in 34 minutes. Gary Harris followed up with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, in 36 minutes. Wilson Chandler tallied 18 points, 16 rebounds and three assists, in 37 minutes, while Will Barton added 15 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks, in 31 minutes. Meanwhile, LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with 38 points on 13-of-23 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and one steal, in 35 minutes. Patty Mills followed up with 21 points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal, while Pau Gasol finished with 12 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, in 30 minutes. Dejounte Murray and Tony Parker each chipped in 12 points, four rebounds and five assists.

Posted on February 24, 2018 at 12:03 AM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 12:32 AM ET

100
Portland Trail Blazers  at  Utah Jazz
Final  – February 23, 2018
81

Trail Blazers Beat Jazz, 100-81

By Oscar Heanue

The visiting Portland Trail Blazers took down the Utah Jazz on Friday, 100-81, at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The game brought Utah's league-best 11-game win streak to an end. Throughout its win streak, Utah (30-29) had been solid defensively, holding opponents to an average of just 98 points per game. While their defense remained as strong as ever, cold shooting caused the Jazz to founder, especially in the second half. After a blazing-hot 30 point first quarter, the Jazz slowed down for the remainder of the game. The team hit only six three-pointers on the night and scored only 34 points in the second half. Portland (33-26), on the other hand, maintained a solid perimeter attack thanks to a combined 50 points from its backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers were led by an electric performance from star guard C.J. McCollum. McCollum led the team with 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting. Portland held the edge in almost every shooting area, shooting 2.5 percent better from the field than Utah and hitting three more three-pointers. The team was also helped by a stellar defensive effort from veteran Moe Harkless, who came away with six steals. Utah, meanwhile, was led once again by rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell scored a team-high 21 points and hit four of the team's six three-pointers. As a whole, though the team struggled immensely. They reached the free-throw line only 11 times and shot a brutal 24 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Portland will visit Phoenix on Saturday, while Utah will host the Dallas Mavericks.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 11:55 PM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 12:24 AM ET

By Oscar Heanue

The Portland Trail Blazers relied heavily on their backcourt in Friday's win. Guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum scored 50 of the team's 100 points and hit six of its nine three-pointers. McCollum shot a stellar 11-of-21 from the field and had a game-high 26 points. It was overall not a great offensive night for the team, as they hit only nine three-pointers and shot just 44.8 percent from the field. Utah, however, struggled much more. The team reached the free-throw line only 11 times, and shot just 6-of-25 from beyond the three-point arc. Two of Utah's standouts, though, still made a big impact. Rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell led the team with 21 points to go with three assists and a steal, while forward Joe Ingles pitched in 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting.

Posted on February 24, 2018 at 12:00 AM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 12:25 AM ET

102
Dallas Mavericks  at  Los Angeles Lakers
Final  – February 23, 2018
124

Lakers Blow Out Mavericks, 124-102

By Oscar Heanue

The host Los Angeles Lakers took down the Dallas Mavericks, 124-102, at Staples Center on Friday. It was a wire-to-wire win for the Lakers (24-34), who never trailed in the game. LA got off to a blistering start, outscoring Dallas (18-41) by 15 points in the first quarter. The team never took its foot off the gas, as it scored at least 29 points in all four quarters. The Lakers shot a phenomenal 52.5 percent from the field and hit 13 three-pointers in the win. It was a stellar game from recently-acquired point guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas, whose tenure in LA got off to a shaky start before the All-Star Break, scored 17 points off the bench in the win. Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball made his return to action as well, scoring nine points off the bench in 17 minutes of play. It was forward Julius Randle who stole the show, though. Randle scored 18 points to go with 12 rebounds and 10 assists, good for his fourth career triple-double. Dallas was unable to bounce back from its numerous off-the-court scandals with a win on Friday. The team shot remarkably well from three-point range, hitting 19 three-pointers on over 45 percent shooting. Still, the team was weighed down by shooting just 40.7 percent overall. The Mavericks had seven double-digit scorers, but the team shot only 37-of-91 from the floor in the game. The Mavericks will visit Utah on Saturday, while the Lakers will travel to Sacramento.

Posted on February 24, 2018 at 1:11 AM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 1:46 AM ET

By Oscar Heanue

The Los Angeles Lakers had a brilliant offensive night on Friday, shooting 52.5 percent from the field and knocking down 13 three-pointers. Seven Lakers players scored in double digits, including a team-high 18 points from Julius Randle. Randle added 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth career triple-double. Recently-acquired point guard Isaiah Thomas scored 17 points off the bench on 5-of-12 shooting. LA also excelled on the glass, recording 12 offensive rebounds. In an unusual turn of events, the Mavericks knocked down 19 three-pointers on over 45 percent shooting but were still blown out. The team also saw seven double-digit scorers, but overall Dallas hit only 40.7 percent of its shots from the field. Rebounding proved a major issue for the Mavericks, as they allowed LA to hold a 61-29 advantage on the glass.

Posted on February 24, 2018 at 1:18 AM ET      Updated on February 24, 2018 at 1:46 AM ET