Time to get your basketball fix after a full day of football yesterday. Even you, Packers fans. This is a safe space.
Sunday’s NBA scores, comin’ right up.
Sixers handle Pistons, 123-111
76ers head coach Doc Rivers says he has “no idea” whether Joel Embiid, who missed Sunday’s win over the Pistons and has been dealing with left foot soreness, will be able to play against Detroit on Tuesday. But as long as the Sixers keep playing the Pistons, his absence might not matter. Philly handed Detroit its fourth loss in six games with the 12-point victory, led by James Harden’s 20-11-11 triple-double. Rivers said postgame, ‘’I hate to you use this example, but when he’s playing like this, it’s like having a scoring Magic Johnson on the floor... When he runs our team with this kind of pace and he scores and gets assists, we’re really good.’’
What a concept: When James Harden plays well, the Sixers are good. It checks out, given that they’ve won four of their last five.
Blazers continue road skid, fall to Raptors, 117-105
In other news, Toronto snapped its three-game losing streak against Portland on Sunday behind 27 from Pascal Siakam and 22 from Scottie Barnes. Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team while Fred VanVleet and O.G. Anunoby each had 14. I’d like to say this could be seen as a turning point for the Raptors, but given that they’ve only won four out of their last 15, I’m gonna go ahead and hedge on that bet.
T-Wolves win fourth-straight with epic comeback, ground Rockets, 104-96
Hawks hand Clippers sixth-straight loss
The Los Angeles Clippers, ladies and gentlemen.
That sequence serves as a perfect microcosm for the basketball the Clippers have served up over the course of this now-six-game losing streak: lackadaisical, hopeless, lazy, passive, etc. It’s getting to the point where making the “when healthy” and/or “they just need time to gel” excuses are becoming impossibly foolish. We’re probably at that point already. Actually, we’ve probably been there for a while.
Late surge pushes Pacers past Hornets, 116-111
The Pacers are good. They have been for a while. No, a tight win over the paltry Hornets doesn’t inspire tons of confidence, but you can’t blow the doors off of every single team every single night, right? They’ve essentially been doing that anyway. One iffy night doesn’t hurt, especially when you’re 8-2 in your last 10 like Indy is.
One more thing. I’ve said it 1,001 times before, so I’ll say it for the 1,002nd time: Stop floating Myles Turner in trade rumors. He’s thriving in Indiana. 29 points, nine boards, and four blocks-level thriving. Let my guy live.
Ja-less Grizzlies outlast Jazz, 123-118
Memphis doesn’t even need Ja Morant to beat a mostly full-strength Utah team — no Collin Sexton, but all that does is make the team’s collective shooting percentage go up — with relative ease. Desmond Bane led the way with 24 points and nine assists; the best backup point guard in the NBA, Tyus Jones, added 21 and six; and Jaren Jackson Jr. stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks. Plus, Morant was a late scratch with thigh soreness. Seemingly nothing to worry about.
As for the Jazz...
Walker Kessler has 6 blocks in his first 9 minutes of play against Memphis tonight…continues to bolster his case as an elite defensive prospect: elite per/100 stats, elite metrics, matches the eye-test.— NBA University (@NBA_University) January 8, 2023
Rim pro specialist pic.twitter.com/HwPliKwZ1w
I think they’ll be fine.
Thunder thrash Luka-less Mavs, 120-109, behind 33 from SGA
Cavs hand Suns sixth-straight loss with 112-98 drubbing
Darius Garland was the best player on the floor in Phoenix on Sunday, dropping 22 points, seven assists, and two steals as his Cavs dropped the Suns by 14. Donovan Mitchell scored 22 of his own, while Duane Washington Jr. (25) and Deandre Ayton (14 points, 11 boards, and six assists) led the Suns. Phoenix, to put it plainly, sucks right now. Without Devin Booker, the Suns can’t seem to buy a win. They’re 1-9 in their last 10, and have fallen to the eighth spot in the West. Woof.
Nets survive Heat at the buzzer, 102-101, lose KD in the process
Royce O’Neale was the hero...
Make that two heroic final seconds buckets by Royce O’Neale to give the Nets a W.— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) January 9, 2023
... but Kevin Durant will be the story. He exited the game in the fourth after Jimmy Butler stumbled after a missed layup and landed on Durant’s knee. Of course, his status is uncertain, but it didn’t look good.