March 3,2019 at 8:00 PM
3/27/2019 8:00 PM
Bulls Host Blazers on Wednesday
The Chicago Bulls play host to the Portland Trail Blazers at United Center on Wednesday. The Trail Blazers (46-27) had an incredible win in their most recent game but they also suffered one of their worst losses of the season. While they got a victory in the standings sheet, Portland lost Jusuf Nurkic for the season. That injury was downright hard to watch, as Nurkic suffered a compound fracture of his fibula and tibia. While they did grab that double-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets, the loss of Nurkic is way more valuable. Making up the presence of Nurkic will nearly be impossible, as he's averaging 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 blocks per game this season. What he really gives them is a presence down low on both ends of the floor though and that's something that simply can't be filled. What makes it even worse is the fact that C.J. McCollum is expected to miss at least another week, as he continues to recover from a knee injury of his own. Portland has catapulted themselves up to the four-seed in the west but it's hard to see them getting far with all of these injuries dismantling their roster. The only bit of good news is the Trail Blazers comes into this matchup rolling, winning seven of their last eight games in total. The Bulls (21-54) have one of the most promising young cores in the NBA but it simply hasn't led to many wins. The injury bug is really hitting them too, as they played Tuesday night without Kris Dunn, Otto Porter and Zach LaVine. That's the core-three headed forward and Chicago was forced to start players like Ryan Arcidiacono, Wayne Selden Jr. and Shaq Harrison. While those are all fine role players, it's simply not good enough to compete in the NBA. It may be time to just rest those aforementioned young studs and let these role players fight for jobs for next season. Losses wouldn't be the worst thing for this franchise either, as adding a top pick in next year's draft could make this a dangerous team in the future. This is the second and final meeting between these teams, with Portland winning the first matchup, 124-112.
March 3,2019 at 8:00 PM
3/27/2019 8:00 PM
Pacers and Thunder Face Off in Interconference Showdown
The Indiana Pacers take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night. The Pacers (45-29) had been trending in the wrong direction heading into their last contest, but they managed to snap a four-game losing streak with a 124-88 shellacking of the Denver Nuggets. Indiana does come into Thursday's game with an eight-game losing streak, however. Against Denver, Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 35 points, adding six rebounds, three assists and one steal. Myles Turner turned in a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double that also included two assists, two blocks and one steal. Domantas Sabonis contributed a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double off the bench and also dished out four assists. Aaron Holiday and Tyreke Evans contributed matching 11-point tallies while posting five assists and five rebounds, respectively. The Pacers are expected to list Darren Collison (quadriceps) as probable for Wednesday's game. The Thunder (43-31) haven't been in the best form lately themselves, dropping five of their last six games coming into Wednesday's contest. OKC's most recent stumble came against the Memphis Grizzlies, which upended them by a 115-103 score Monday night. Paul George led the way with 30 points, adding 12 rebounds, three assists and one steal. Dennis Schroder furnished 25 points, three rebounds and three assists. Russell Westbrook provided 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Terrance Ferguson turned in 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Thunder come into Wednesday's game without any short-term injuries to report. Wednesday's game marks the second and final meeting between the teams this season. The Pacers hold a 1-0 series lead, having notched a 108-106 win on March 14.
March 3,2019 at 8:00 PM
3/27/2019 8:00 PM
FedExForum Hosts Warriors and Grizzlies
The Golden State Warriors (50-23) have won three of their last four games, taking care of the visiting Detroit Pistons on Sunday, 121-114. The Warriors were red hot from both field goal range and deep, where they shot 62 percent and 52 percent, respectively, and were led offensively by Stephen Curry, who pulled up just shy of a triple double on the back of 26 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Curry went 9-of-19 from the field and 5-of-10 from behind the arc in the affair, while Klay Thompson recorded 24 points, nailing four threes from distance. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant logged 14 points apiece, with Green facilitating eight assists and Durant dishing out 11 dimes en route to a double-double, while Andrew Bogut came away with eight points and five boards. Golden State will travel to Memphis again on April 10 for their final game of the regular season. The Warriors remains a half game ahead of the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference. Destined as a Draft Lottery contestant, the Memphis Grizzlies (30-44) are playing for respect down the stretch, and on Monday night managed to snap a two-game skid by besting the Oklahoma City Thunder on home court, 115-103. All five starters finished the game with double digit scoring, lifted by Bruno Caboclo's team-high 24 points. Caboclo added 11 rebounds for the double-double, shooting 8-of-13 from the paint, 4-of-7 from downtown and hitting all four of his attempts from the foul line. Jonas Valanciunas, who has been posting some career numbers since landing in Memphis from the Toronto Raptors prior to the trade deadline, scored 18 points and hauled in 14 boards, while Delon Wright had 18 points of his own and 13 assist on 8-of-13 shooting from field goal range. Tyler Dorsey posted 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three triples for a Grizzlies franchise that has a 29 percent change of securing a top-four pick in the Draft Lottery in May.
March 3,2019 at 10:00 PM
3/27/2019 10:00 PM
Wizards Continue Road Trip With Visit to Phoenix
The Phoenix Suns will host the Washington Wizards at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Wednesday evening. Both teams find themselves in unenviable positions with the season winding down. Washington (30-45) is sitting on a five-game losing streak, including an 18-point blowout in LA on Tuesday. The Wizards have struggled to find offense outside of Bradley Beal since John Wall went down with a season-ending injury, and Tuesday's loss exemplified those struggles. While Beal scored a game-high 32 points, the rest of Washington's starting five combined to score only 27. The team shot just 6-of-32 from three-point range in the tough loss. Defensively, things have not gone much better for the 11th-place Wizards. Washington ranks just 27th league-wide in defensive rating this season (113.8). Phoenix (17-58) is on its own four-game losing streak, with its most recent defeat coming in crushing fashion. The Suns were blown out, 92-125, on Monday despite a 59-point scoring effort from Devin Booker. Booker logged 41 minutes in the win, and the team was outscored 22-2 during his seven minutes on the bench. Even with Booker's strong effort, though, the Suns could barely reach 40 percent shooting from the field. No other Phoenix player scored in double figures. Games like that have been all too common for the last-place Suns this season, as the team ranks 28th league-wide in offensive rating (105.2). They will look to snap their cold streak with a win over Washington on Wednesday.
March 3,2019 at 10:30 PM
3/27/2019 10:30 PM
Lakers Visit Utah After Back-to-Back Wins
The Utah Jazz will host the Los Angeles Lakers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Wednesday. Utah (44-30) is fifth in the Western Conference after winning seven of its last eight games. All seven of those wins have been by a margin of at least 16 points, as Utah has been one of the hottest teams in the league of late. On Monday, the Jazz continued rolling with a 125-92 rout of the Phoenix Suns. All five Jazz starters scored in double figures in the win, including Rudy Gobert, who tallied a team-high 27. Utah poses an even tougher challenge at home, where it has gone 24-12 this season. Los Angeles (33-41), meanwhile, is fresh off two consecutive wins. It is the first set of consecutive victories the Lakers have seen since the All-Star Break. Part of LA's turnaround has been the terrific play of JaVale McGee, who is averaging five blocks and over 16 rebounds in LA's last three games. The veteran scored 20 points to go with 15 rebounds and four blocks in Tuesday's win over the Wizards. The Lakers seemed to be firing on all cylinders in that win, though, as the team shot over 53 percent from the field and saw three players score 20 or more. LA will hope to keep the ball rolling with a win in Utah on Wednesday.