NBA wrap: NBA sees win-win situation in rare match-ups between winning teams

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Anthony Davis (Getty Photographs)

Sunday’s NBA schedule introduced an prevalence rarer than a quadruple-double (that is occurred solely 5 occasions in NBA historical past, by the best way).

The 4 video games on the slate all featured teams with winning data. In line with the Elias Sports activities Bureau, that is solely the second day in NBA historical past each group on a schedule of at the very least 4 video games had a winning report getting into the day. The one earlier date got here on March 23, 2008.

That is a refreshing change from a late-season schedule that often appears to function two or three video games pitting one of many NBA’s half-dozen or so elite teams towards a workforce wanting to finish up with the No. 1 draft selection.

However on a day the place everybody entered a winner, 4 teams needed to go house losers. Listed here are a couple of classes we discovered:

— The Thunder snapped the Raptors’ eleven-recreation winning streak, 132-one hundred twenty five, as Russell Westbrook notched his fifth-consecutive triple-double. However hassle broke out in the sport’s remaining minute, because the strained relations between NBA gamers, coaches and referees as soon as once more turned a problem. Raptors DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and coach Dwane Casey have been ejected for complaining to the refs. That led to the referees needing a safety escort as they left the ground.

— Path Blazers star Damian Lillard had stated he anticipated he would play your complete recreation towards the Clippers Sunday, even when his girlfriend went in to labor (their son is due March 19). Lillard’s child boy held off his arrival lengthy sufficient for the Portland guard to attain 23 factors to key a 122-109 victory. In case you missed this statistical nugget from a few days in the past, Lillard is one among solely 4 gamers in NBA historical past with at the very least 10,000 factors and a couple of,800 assists in their first six seasons. The opposite three are Oscar Robertson, Nate Archibald, and LeBron James. Lillard, to not point out backcourt mate C.J. McCollum, will make the Path Blazers (forty four-26) a troublesome out in the playoffs.

— The Pelicans whipped the visiting Celtics, 108-89. Anthony Davis had an enormous recreation for the Pelicans (forty-30), with 34 factors and eleven rebounds. Everybody is aware of James Harden is the prohibitive favourite to win the MVP award this season, and the standard suspects (LeBron, Steph, KD) will get their share of votes. Nevertheless it’s exhausting to argue any of these gamers are extra helpful to their workforce than AD is to the Pelicans. This was an enormous win for the Pelicans, shifting them two video games forward of the Nuggets in the race for the ultimate playoff spot in the West. The Celtics (forty seven-23) are nearly locked into the No. 2 seed in the East, 5 video games behind the Raptors, and 6 1/2 forward of the Cavaliers.

— The Rockets beat a troublesome Timberwolves workforce in Minnesota, 129-one hundred twenty. After seeing their 17-recreation win streak snapped March 9, the Rockets (fifty six-14) have now gained 5 in a row. Harden had his typical massive recreation (34 factors, 12 assists), however Houston had seven gamers in double figures. Even when somebody figures out a strategy to cease Harden — which hasn’t occurred but — the Rockets have loads of offensive weapons. On the opposite aspect, each recreation counts now for the Timberwolves (forty-31), who’re preventing for a playoff spot.

Stud of the Night time

Russell Westbrook might occupy this spot a few occasions every week, so in equity to different NBA gamers, we frequently overlook some nice Westbrook stat strains to say different gamers right here. However actually, Westbrook’s numbers Sunday (37 factors, 14 assists, thirteen rebounds) have been ridiculous.

Dud of the Night time

Raptors ahead Serge Ibaka made solely two area objectives, had three turnovers and was ejected in the Raptors loss to the Thunder.

Spotlight

Ultimate seconds of an in depth recreation, Thunder have the ball … say, Russell Westbrook is perhaps a superb choice!

What’s Subsequent 

Warriors (fifty three-17) at Spurs (forty-30) 9:30 p.m. ET — The Spurs have turned issues across the previous week, winning three in a row in their six-recreation homestand. The Warriors are stil simply three video games behind the Rockets in the chase for the No. 1 seed in the West.