NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: The Warriors finally get one over the Thunder

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NBA results, February 25, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers 116 – Orlando Magic 105

Miami Heat 115 – Memphis Grizzlies 89

Boston Celtics 121 – New York Knicks 112

Golden State Warriors 112 – OKC Thunder 80

Minnesota Timberwolves 122 – Chicago Bulls 104

Portland Trail Blazers 106 – Phoenix Suns 104

Utah Jazz 97 – Dallas Mavericks 90

LA Lakers 113 – Sacramento Kings 108

Three things that happened in the NBA today

1. Warriors put on a show against OKC

Believe it or not, before today’s game, the Golden State Warriors have not beaten the OKC Thunder yet this season. In fact, the games between the two teams haven’t been close. the Warriors have been blown out by 17 and 20 points in the first two games. Well, this time around, it was Golden State’s turn to hand out the beating.

The Warriors put on an offensive and defensive clinic against the Thunder to win by 32 points, finally getting on the board in the season series. Golden state closed the third quarter with a 14-0 to pull away from the Thunder for good. The Warriors had 36 assists this game and were selflessly sharing the ball on offense.

This led to an efficient 47% shooting from the field and 44% from beyond the arc. The Warriors also shut down the OKC offense. They limited OKC to only 80 points on 33% shooting and 26% from three-point land.

The game wasn’t without drama though. In the third quarter as Golden State was pulling away Zaza Pachulia and Russell Westbrook figured in an incident. Westbrook missed a fast break attempt and fell to the ground. Pachulia who was behind him, fell too. But in the replays, it seemed like Pachula fell on purpose onto Westbrook’s knee.

The incident looked eerily similar to Pachulia sticking his leg out on a Kawhi Leonard in last year’s Playoffs. This raised the question whether Pachulia is dirty or just clumsy. Westbrook was having none of Pachulia’s antics though.

2. Dame Time puts on a show against Phoenix

In the weeks leading up to the All-Star Break, Damian Lillard put up games of 50 points and 44 points. During an interview with Rachel Nichols, Lillard said he feels he’s as good as any point guard in the league right now.

In his second game after the All-Star break, he backed up his talk. Lillard dropped 40 points to lead the Trail Blazers on a comeback win over the Phoenix Suns. He exploded for 40 points continuing his hot streak from before the break.

The Blazers needed every point he could offer as they had to come back from 15 points down in the final eight minutes of the game. Lillard caught fire in the final three minutes of the game where he scored 10 points, including the game-winning layup.

It’s hard to argue against Lillard’s confidence when he’s playing this good.

3. Kyrie Irving puts on a show in MSG

There’s something about Madison Squarer Garden that brings out the best in superstars that play in the building. Kyrie Irving is just the latest star to explode in the Mecca of Basketball.

Irving puts up a near triple-double with 31 points (on six treys) nine rebounds and eight assists as the Boston Celtics take down the New York Knicks.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?

No. But here’s an update on the injury situation of Jimmy Butler. The Minnesota Timberwolves announced that MRI results showed that Butler has an injury to the right mensicus.

While the team didn’t issue a timeline of Butler’s return from injury, Nick Friedell of ESPN reported that Butler is telling his close confidants that he’ll be back in time for the Playoffs.

Photo from Getty Images

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