NBA results February 8, 2018
Indiana Pacers – New Orleans Pelicans (Postponed due to leak in the Smoothie King Center)
Detroit Pistons 115 – Brooklyn Nets 106
Houston Rockets 109 – Miami Heat 101
Cleveland Cavaliers 140 – Minnesota Timberwolves 138
Utah Jazz 92 – Memphis Grizzlies 88
San Antonio Spurs 129 – Phoenix Suns 81
Three things that happened in the NBA today
1. LeBron James delivers a much-needed win
All’s not well in The Land.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been in turmoil since the season began. Things started to escalate in the past few weeks with key players taking part in a lot of finger-pointing and blaming. In their last game, the Cavs totally collapsed and mustered only nine points in the fourth quarter against a lottery-bound team.
They needed a win. Any win. They got a big one today over a Western Conference Playoff team in the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Cavaliers were able to goad the defensive-minded Wolves into an epic shootout in the Q. Both teams combined for a record 40 three-pointers made. The Cavs hit 21 three-pointers while the Timberwolves nailed 19.
The game went down to the wire as neither team could shake the other off. Karl-Anthony Towns hit 6/6 from beyond the arc. His last trey gave Minnesota a three-point lead with less than a minute left in regulation. LeBron James answered right back with a pull-up three-pointer of his own to tie the game and send it into OT.
With the scored knotted up at 138 and only eight seconds left in the game, Minnesota got the ball to their closer, Jimmy Butler. Butler drove into the lane with Cedi Osman attached to his hip. He tried to score over Osman but James swooped in and blocked the shot. The Cavs recovered the ball with only one second left in the game.
Jeff Green was inbounding from three-fourths court. He lofted a pass towards their free throw line to James. James caught the pass, pivoted and launched a one-footed fadeaway jumper over Butler.
James did almost everything he could to deliver a win. He finished with a triple-double scoring 37 points. grabbing 10 boards and dishing out 15 assists. He hit 5/7 from beyond the arc.
The Cavs still have a lot of problems to solve as they near the end of the season. But this win keeps them afloat and above the Washington Wizards who are breathing down their necks for the third seed.
2. James Harden with another 40-piece
The focus in the past few weeks has been on the drama of the Cavaliers, season-ending injuries to several All-Stars and the looming trade deadline.
Getting lost in the shuffle is James Harden to continues to put up an unbeatable MVP resume. Since his return from injury, Harden has put up the highest scoring triple-double in NBA history and more recently, back-to-back games where he scored 36 and 41.
His latest 40-point game was another offensive display, this time against the Miami Heat.
Harden is averaging 28 points, nine assists and five rebounds in January. That includes a 10-point dud in his first game back from injury. he’s not only bringing the stats, but the Rockets continue to win. They’re riding a six-game win streak and have won 10 of their last 11 games. They’re a hair away from the top seed in the West and the best record in the league.
A lot of other players can come close but Harden’s MVP resume is too stacked right now.
3. Lou Williams chooses stays in LA
Lou Williams’ name has popped up in several trade rumors in the past weeks. The Clippers are overhauling their team and Williams is one of their tradeable assets.
Williams is a born scorer that can boost the bench of Playoff teams in need of some production. But in the end, the Clippers decided to keep the spitfire guard who has been playing like an All-Star this season.
Sources: Clippers’ Lou Williams signed a three-year, $24 million extension, with $1.5M partial guarantee in year three. With this season included: four years, $31M. https://t.co/aWWHnAluQV
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 7, 2018
This move ensures stability on Williams’ end. The 2018 free agency market remains murky at this point so Williams opted to stay in LA rather than risk it all again and move to another team.
Talked to someone close to Lou Williams. At the end of the day he loved playing for the Clippers and didn't want to go thru the hassle of FA and moving even if it meant a little bit more of pay increase. 4 teams in 4 years will do that.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 7, 2018
Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?
No. But Willy Hernangomez is finally out of New York.
Last year, Willie Hernangomez was a key player in the New York Knicks’ rotation. He played his way from the end of the bench all the way to the top of the rotation as the starting center. He finished last season with averages of eight points and seven rebounds per game.
This season he’s completely fallen out of favor with Coach Jeff Hornacek. Hernangomez reportedly requested the Knicks to trade him before the deadline.
Looks like he got his request.
Charlotte is acquiring New York's Willy Hernangomez for Johnny O'Bryant and two future second-round picks, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2018
Hernangomez will be moving from one stacked front court to another. He will be playing behind Dwight Howard, Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky in Charlotte.
Photo from Getty Images