Recapping Week 20 in NBA: Clutch performances as playoff chase tightens

Have a look again on the week that was within the NBA with a set of among the finest video games, movies, pictures, options and extra from across the NBA world.

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Video games of the Week


The Jazz topped the Bucks in an exhilarating showdown Saturday evening.

Pistons 113, Pacers 109 — Like each different group within the decrease portion of the Jap Convention playoff chase, the Detroit Pistons are scrapping for wins the place they will get them. The victory they earned on Monday not solely stored the Pistons excellent for the reason that All-Star break, however was a win towards a top-seeded squad they may face come the precise postseason.

Raptors 118, Celtics 95 — The Raptors entered Tuesday’s showdown needing a win to tie the season sequence with the Celtics. Within the course of, they despatched a determined message to a fellow East favourite, too. Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry received the starters rolling, whereas Marc Gasol got here by way of with some crucial factors off the bench to gasoline a blowout victory.


The Raptors had no drawback topping the Celtics in Week 20.

Nuggets 121, Thunder 112 — That is the time of 12 months when division matchups matter most. Because of Nikola Jokic, Denver as soon as once more proved its may within the Northwest Division chase. Denver improved to Three-Zero towards OKC to clinch the season sequence in addition to construct a four-game lead within the division chase. 

Hawks 131, Wolves 123 — Atlanta, within the opinion of many, has little to no cause to intention for fulfillment this season. Do not inform that to kids Trae Younger and John Collins, although. They each put up 30-point video games on Wednesday, serving to each spoil a few of Minnesota’s playoff hopes and likewise present a have a look at a doubtlessly vivid mixture within the Hawks’ future.

Warmth 126, Warriors 125 — It had been greater than two months since Dwyane Wade went bananas from Three-point vary in a win. Fittingly, he did so towards the defending champions on Wednesday evening, with Three-pointer No. 5 coming in probably the most astounding approach doable. His one-legged, off-the-glass, straightaway Three-point heave dropped the Warriors in what may need been one of the best shot of 2018-19.


Dwyane Wade saved the day for Miami on Wednesday evening.

Bucks 141, Kings 140 (OT) — Milwaukee is a group that’s rather more than Kia MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo, and it proved that in spades towards Sacramento. With Antetokounmpo resting beneath a minutes restriction and fellow All-Star Khris Middleton hobbled, guards Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon saved the day in an exhilarating win vs. the Kings.

Rockets 121, Warmth 118 — Three days after his 30-point scoring streak ended, James Harden received his latest such streak to 2 in grand trend. He dropped 58 factors and 10 assists on the Warmth in a comeback win, the seventh such recreation in his storied profession. He nailed eight Three-pointers and general was unstoppable irrespective of who guarded him on Thursday evening.


The Rockets rallied from a 21-point deficit behind James Harden.

Sixers 108, Thunder 104 — Earlier than this one started on Thursday, it appeared like considerably of a good recreation based mostly on who would not be enjoying (Paul George and Joel Embiid). Nobody instructed that to Tobias Harris, who put the Sixers on his again with 32 factors and a number of other clutch buckets late within the fourth quarter to assist Philly to its first-ever win in Oklahoma Metropolis.

Bulls 168, Hawks 161 (Four OT) — Do not inform Atlanta and Chicago they’re solely enjoying for Draft lottery positioning. Given the hassle and scoring performances from each groups on Friday, it seemed like rather more was on the road for each squads. Trae Younger set a Hawks rookie report with 49 factors, making 17 of 33 pictures (together with six Three-pointers). To not be outdone, the Bulls’ Zach LaVine had a career-high 47 on 17-for-35 taking pictures with six Three-pointers.


The Hawks and Bulls waged a four-overtime thriller on Friday evening.

Raptors 119, Blazers 117 — Final week, Kawhi Leonard got here up with a giant steal and bucket, clinching a Raptors’ win towards San Antonio (and on DeMar DeRozan’s return evening). This week, Leonard was as much as these tips once more, this time vanquishing Portland with a game-winning bucket with 1.5 seconds left on Friday evening.


Kawhi Leonard saved the day for Toronto on Friday.

Warriors 120, Sixers 117 — Do not ever sleep on Stephen Curry. That was a worthwhile lesson Philly realized on Saturday, because it watched its fourth-quarter lead fizzle and fade due to Curry’s exploits. After a largely quiet recreation, the Warriors’ star scored 11 of his 28 factors within the remaining body — together with a crucial Three-pointer — that sank the Sixers’ hopes of scoring an upset win.


The Warriors rallied for a 120-117 win towards the Sixers on Saturday.

Jazz 115, Bucks 111 — A Kia MVP contender doing all he can to protect a win. A younger famous person (and, maybe, future Kia MVP sort) refusing to let up. And among the finest finishes of 2018-19, too. This Saturday evening showdown had all of it from Salt Lake Metropolis, with Giannis Antetokounmpo going for 43 factors — solely to be bested by the Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell dropping 46 factors to elevate the Jazz from a 17-point, fourth-quarter gap. 

Pistons 112, Raptors 107 (OT) — Earlier than this Sunday showdown, the final time Detroit was .500 or higher was the day after Christmas. Though Leonard sat this one out for Toronto, give the Pistons loads of props for clamping down on the Raptors to get again to the break-even mark. 

Hawks 123, Bulls 118 — When you can work out what received into the Hawks and Bulls this week, tell us. Two days after waging a four-overtime thriller in Atlanta, the groups met once more in Chicago. Whereas it wasn’t marked by that very same back-and-forth goodness, this one will get a nod right here for the odd circumstances that led to Younger getting ejected. After he made a Three-pointer within the third quarter, he stared in the back of Bulls guard Kris Dunn — and was promptly ejected. Unusual stuff, certainly.


The Hawks beat the Bulls in a recreation marked by an odd ejection.


Stat Traces of the Week


James Harden dropped 58 factors on the Warmth to energy a giant Rockets win.

Nikola Jokic (36 factors, Four-7 3pt FG, 9 reb, 10 ast in 34 minutes) — The Nuggets’ go-to man was precisely that each one evening lengthy in a crucial win towards the Thunder. Down the stretch Tuesday, Jokic got here up with 5 free throws within the remaining moments and was trying to paved the way in crunch time for Denver. He scored a giant layup with 1:36 left to offer Denver a six-point lead after which nailed a bunch of clutch free throws to seal up the win. | Watch | Video field rating

James Harden (58 factors, 16-32 FG, Eight-18 3pt FG, 7 reb, 10 ast, Four stl in 43 minutes) — One other a type of stat strains from the reigning Kia MVP that makes you shake your head. Choose a side and surprise: the 50 % taking pictures (regardless of being the protection’s No. 1 focus), the 10 assists (that showcase his excessive court docket imaginative and prescient) or the very fact he put the Rockets on his again — once more — to save lots of them from a would-be defeat. | Watch | Video field rating

Trae Younger (36 factors, 9-22 FG, Eight reb, 10 ast in 43 minutes) & John Collins (34 factors, 13-21 FG, Eight reb in 33 minutes) — We will not deny the Hawks’ younger combo a spot this week, not after the mixed work they put in towards the Wolves on Wednesday. From tasty alley-oops to each gamers exhibiting off their Three-point vary (they have been a mixed Four-for-9 on Three-pointers), this little question whet Hawks followers’ appetites concerning the future. | Watch | Video field rating 


John Collins and Trae Younger received it performed on Wednesday vs. Minnesota.

Rudy Gobert (20 factors, 6-9 FG, Eight-10 FT, 13 reb, 2 ast, Four blk in 33 minutes) — This one will get a not merely due to the load of the sport. Utah had three playoff-caliber opponents this week and went Three-Zero towards the LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks. This line Gobert put up began issues off on Wednesday towards the Clippers and helped flip heads in Utah’s path by week’s finish. Watch | Video field rating

Eric Bledsoe (26 factors, 11-20 FG, 12 reb, 13 ast in 35 minutes) — Finals groups — because the Bucks hope to be come June — have a energy in numbers that exhibits up when issues look bleak. Bledsoe personified that notion on Wednesday in Sacramento, as his big triple-double staved off the Kings on an evening when Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton performed lower than traditional. | Watch | Video field rating

Trae Younger (49 factors, 17-33 FG, 6-13 3pt FG, Eight reb, 16 ast in 56 minutes) — This effort in the end got here in a loss, however you’ll be able to’t fault Younger for a lot of it. In actual fact, this recreation on Friday would have ended rather a lot sooner have been it not for Younger’s step-back Three-pointer with Three.Three seconds left that despatched the sport into its first of 4 overtimes. He additionally nailed a layup to ship the sport to OT No. 2 as effectively. WatchVideo field rating


Trae Younger practically dropped 50 factors on the Bulls.

Zach LaVine (47 factors, 17-35 FG, 6-14 3pt FG, 9 reb, 9 ast, 2 stl in 55 minutes) — When the Bulls look again on 2018-19, it possible will not be full of many nice recollections. This Friday evening basic, nevertheless, will resound if for no different cause than to assist present LaVine may be able to be the No. 1 man in Chicago. | Watch | Video field rating


Zach LaVine powered the Bulls previous the Hawks in a 4OT thriller.

Donovan Mitchell (46 factors, 15-32 FG, 5-10 3pt FG, Three reb, 6 ast, 2 stl in 39 minutes) — Permit us to recap this efficiency with only one quantity: 17. That is the deficit the Jazz discovered themselves dealing with within the fourth quarter at dwelling and the variety of factors Mitchell scored in that body to energy an incredible Utah comeback win. Which, for the report, gave Utah its 17th straight dwelling win towards Milwaukee. | Watch | Video field rating


Donovan Mitchell roasted the Bucks for 46 factors on Saturday evening.


Greatest performs from Week 20


Relive one of the best performs from Week 20 of the NBA season!


Relive the Prime 10 dunks from Week 20 of the NBA season!


Relive the Prime 10 assists from Week 20 of the NBA season!


Quotes of the Week

“I have been on this place so many instances and so many instances you do not make the shot. And the one I make is a one-legged flick from my chest. It is loopy. Nice to do it in entrance of followers.” — Warmth guard Dwyane Wade, after making his wild, game-winning Three-pointer on Wednesday

”Even when I do not rating, I believe I can deliver one thing. I could make a great go. I believe the coaches are snug to name performs for me and I believe the group trusts me.” — Nuggets heart Nikola Jokic

We have one of the best report within the league for a cause. Though these are our two finest gamers we nonetheless have a full, full group on the market enjoying.” — Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe, after they beat Sacramento with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton resting late

“Each single day he continues to develop and get higher. His influence on the defensive finish is particular. The man is obstructing jumpers. He is guarding guards.” — Knicks coach David Fizdale, on rookie heart Mitchell Robinson

“I had about 60-100 individuals right here. They spent some huge cash on tickets and drove in for the sport, so I figured I needed to give them one thing tonight.” — Blazers guard CJ McCollum, an Ohio native, after his huge recreation in Cleveland

“Trae Younger is an unbelievable expertise. You possibly can already see. He has the `it’ issue.” — Bulls guard Zach LaVine, on Trae Younger

“It looks like we’re out. It looks like we have been in jail.” — Suns guard Devin Booker, after Phoenix ended its 17-game dropping streak

“It is a unhealthy loss, man. We really feel like we have been too informal. We have to develop. [Coach Steve] Cliff[ord] mentioned numerous stuff after the sport. He mentioned numerous issues.” — Magic guard Evan Fournier, after Sunday’s loss to the Cavaliers

“We have had some good moments. However proper now, sadly, we’re going by way of a very unhealthy stretch. That is when our group must ensure that we keep collectively.” — Celtics heart Al Horford


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