NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: Pacers and Pelicans move into the fourth spots

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards

NBA results, March 5, 2018

Atlanta Hawks 113 – Phoenix Suns 112

Toronto Raptors 103 – Charlotte Hornets 99

Indiana Pacers 98 – Washington Wizards 95

New Orleans Pelicans 126 – Dallas Mavericks 109

Milwaukee Bucks 118 – Philadelphia 76ers 110

LA Clippers 123 – Brooklyn Nets 120

Sacramento Kings 102 – New York Knicks 99

Three things that happened in the NBA today

1. Pacers get a key win over Wizards

The last time the Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards met, Victor Oladipo missed the game. The Wizards won the game and they were able to keep the Pacers at bay. Washington was able to hold off the Pacers and stay in fourth place, continuing their hot pursuit of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the third seed in the East. A month after that loss, the Pacers have gone on to win seven of their next nine games to zoom up the standings.

Oladipo made up for missing the last match-up by putting up All-Star numbers in this game against the Wizards. He dropped 33 points, grabbed seven boards, dished out three assists and stole the ball thrice. He nailed a dagger from the top of the key with less than two minutes left in the game to give the Pacers a six-point lead, enough cushion to pull out the win.

The Wizards have lost three straight games to crash down the standings. Indiana is now a half game above Washington and a half game behind the Cavaliers for the third seed. With how they’ve been playing the past few weeks, they might be the newest team to crash the top three in the East.

2. Pelicans fly into home court position

The Western conference is insanely competitive. The third seed all the way to the 10th seed is only separated by four games. New Orleans wasn’t supposed to be this competitive after the loss of DeMarcus Cousins. Many actually ruled them out of the Playoffs. But a monster February by Anthony Davis has them streaking. New Orleans has now won eight straight games. They’re the second-hottest team in the West behind the Houston Rockets.

Lately, Davis hasn’t been alone. Today, against the Dallas Mavericks Davis put up solid numbers, 23 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and three blocks. But he got a lot of help from the rest of the team. Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points, Rajon Rondo nearly had a triple-double and Cheick Diallo has a monster double-double.

The biggest contributor was Jrue Holiday. Holiday has assumed the shooting guard position and has put up points in bunches since then. He led the Pelicans in scoring today with 30 points and seven assists.

The Pelicans are at 36-26 officially at the fourth spot above the Minnesota Timberwolves. But they can’t rest on their laurels anytime soon. The Timberwolves, Spurs and Thunder are all breathing down their necks.

3. Skal Labissiere hits a game-winner

The New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings were fighting for either more lottery balls or the win. That wasn’t sure. But to end the game, Sacramento relied on Skal Labissiere of all players, to deliver the win. He faked the hand off and delivered the game-winning three-pointer.

With that shot, the Kings win the game. But in a way, the Knicks win too. They win more ping-pong balls this June.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?

No. But Joel Embiid almost got ejected for this careless block attempt on Tyler Zeller. Zeller crashed hard on the floor as Embiid collided with him mid-air.

Zeller got the last laugh as Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to a big win over the Sixers.

Phot from USA Today Sports

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