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NBA Scores: Giannis likely headed to Chick-Fil-A after another 50-piece

Jaren Jackson Jr. validated his allegedly-inflated block numbers while Hornets and Cavs also picked up wins

New Orleans Pelicans v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In case you missed it over the weekend, a Reddit user unearthed maybe the biggest off-court storyline of the season in a post detailing Jaren Jackson Jr.’s inflated block numbers, or at least making the case that they were inflated.

The post, from user u/AdMassive6666, has over 65,000 upvotes on Reddit and lays out a pretty believable case that there was indeed foul play involved. Many of the voices in basketball media that I respect the most came out in support of “JJJ,” noting that his Defensive Player of the Year case is very real regardless of what the stats say — or don’t say.

Jackson Jr. backed up the legitimacy of his outrageous block stats — now 3.2 blocks per game — on a four-game Sunday slate that was capped off by Giannis Antetokounmpo earning himself another trip to Chick-Fil-A:

Hornets top Heat 122-117 behind LaMelo’s big fourth quarter

Terry Rozier scored 31 points and PJ Washington added 27 (each on 11-19 FG), but it was the late-game heroics of LaMelo Ball (13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter; shot 2-10 over the first three quarters and 5-7 in the fourth) that lifted Charlotte ahead. He scored eight of the Hornets’ first 11 points in the frame in the midst of a 22-10 run.

Jimmy Butler scored 28 points (11-14 FG) in the losing effort, but because Miami had won their three prior games in a row and seven of the previous nine, so they’re still hanging on to the final spot in the Eastern Conference’s top 6.

Grizzlies beat Pacers 112-100 behind Ja’s triple double

With 27 points (9-21 FG), 10 rebounds, and 15 assists, Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant posted his tenth career triple double. He had a hand in 11 of Memphis’s final 13 points in closing out the game.

Coming off the weekend’s scandal-that-isn’t-really-a-big-deal, Jackson Jr. led the Grizzlies in scoring with 28 on 12-19 FG while adding a staggering — dare I say, suspicious? — five blocks at FedEx Forum in Memphis; don’t worry, I checked each one, they’re legit.

The losing Pacers struggled offensively without Tyrese Haliburton in the lineup for the tenth straight game, and the starters were outscored by the bench 42-48. Bennedict Mathurin, one of the leading candidates for Rookie of the Year, led the charge with 27 (9-20 FG) off the bench with 14 of his points coming in the fourth.

Cavaliers throttle Clippers 122-99

This one was over in a hurry with the Cavs sprinting out to a 64-34 halftime lead. The Clippers were never within 20 after that point as they had no answers defensively, especially for Cedi Osman, who finished the game with 29 points (7-7 3P, including 5-5 in second half) in 22 minutes.

Giannis, Bucks crush Pelicans 135-110

Following a brief recent absence, Giannis Antetokounmpo has really rounded back into form, scoring 41 points on Friday before a monster 50-point, 13-rebound night on Sunday. Antetokounmpo’s scored at least 40 in seven of his last 15 games and is proving again why he’s in the conversation for face of the league. The Bucks got out to a 37-19 lead after the first quarter behind 18 of Antetokounmpo’s 50-piece.

In keeping pace with the Sixers in the East’s standings, the Bucks are just 2.5 games back of Boston. They build upon a four-game win streak that ranks third in the league while the Pelicans can’t halt their league-worst eight-game losing streak. Because of the skid, New Orleans has fallen from grace from contending for the top spot in the West to now being in the middle of the play-in picture.