Pacers vs. Bulls – Game Recap – November 22, 2021


CHICAGO — — Domantas Sabonis scored 21 points, Malcolm Brogdon added 16 more, and the Indiana Pacers routed the Chicago Bulls 109-77 on Monday night.

Myles Turner also scored 12 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in Indiana’s second straight win.

“It feels like we’re getting our footing,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’re a team that’s not going to get any free lunch from anybody. We’ve got to embrace that fact, and it’s got to be something that brings us closer and closer together.”

DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 18 points, while Zach LaVine scored 17 — just the second time this season he was held to fewer than 20 points.

It was a one-sided affair for much of the night, with Indiana stretching its lead to as many as 35 points in the fourth. Chicago had a few offensive spurts, but ended up with 36.5% shooting for the game. The Bulls played their reserves for the entire final frame.

The Pacers came out of the gate firing on all cylinders offensively, opening with a 26-9 run. Justin Holiday and Caris LeVert scored six points apiece within the first four minutes.

“Beating a team that’s high-powered and doing well is big for us,” Holiday said. “We’ve been trying to figure out how we can play a full 48 minutes. Our main goal coming in is to play together and play hard. Being able to do that tonight and win it the way we did, it’s good for our team to see that, when we play that way, it works.”

Indiana led 67-46 at halftime thanks to a strong effort on the glass, outrebounding the Bulls 28-16 in the first two quarters. DeRozan helped fuel a 10-3 run for Chicago to cut the second-quarter deficit to eight, but key baskets from Brogdon and Kelan Martin down the stretch pushed the Pacers’ advantage to 21 points at the break.

Chicago, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, looked sluggish early, going 7 of 22 from the floor in the first quarter, including just 1 of 7 3-pointers.

“We missed some good looks,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “As the game started to get into double figures, we got very, very stagnant. The ball didn’t move well enough, and we didn’t generate enough for each other.”

HELP NEEDED

DeRozan and LaVine entered the game as the NBA’s fourth and fifth leading scorers, respectively. But the two stars received little help on offense Monday, with the Bulls’ three other starters combining for 10 points total. Lonzo Ball missed all seven shots.

TIP-INS:

Pacers: All five of Indiana’s starters finished the night scoring in double figures. … Indiana’s defensive rebounding efforts created numerous quick-scoring opportunities early on. The Pacers hauled in 21 defensive boards in the first half, which helped them outscore Chicago 14-2 in fast-break points.

Bulls: C Nikola Vucevic remains in the cardiovascular testing phase of the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Vucevic emerged from isolation Sunday after being sidelined on Nov. 11. The Bulls have not yet determined if he will travel for Wednesday’s game in Houston. …G Alex Caruso (bruised wrist) was a last-minute injury scratch. He hurt his wrist during Chicago’s recent West Coast road trip and reaggravated it when taking a charge during Sunday’s game against New York.

UP NEXT:

Pacers: Host Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

Bulls: At Houston on Wednesday night.

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Mavericks vs. Bulls – Game Recap – November 10, 2021


CHICAGO — — There is no secret to Lonzo Ball‘s improved 3-point shooting. He put the work in, and it’s paying off.

He has come a long way from long distance.

“It’s night and day now,” he said.

Ball made seven of Chicago’s 15 3-pointers and Zach LaVine scored 23 points, powering the Bulls to a 117-107 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Ball went 7 for 10 from deep and finished with 21 points. He is shooting 44.7% from beyond the arc in his first year with the Bulls, continuing his steady rise from shooting 30.5% from 3 during his rookie season in 2017-18 with the Lakers.

“He deserves a lot of credit,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s put in an incredible amount of work to get himself to that level.”

Five players scored in double figures for Chicago during its second consecutive victory. Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan finished with 17 points.

Dallas had won three straight and four of five overall, but couldn’t keep up with LaVine and Chicago in the second half. Kristaps Porzingis had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, and Luka Doncic finished with 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

“I should take better shots,” said Doncic, who was 6 for 18 from the field. “I know I always say this, but honestly, I’ve got to do it, not just say it. I’ve got to be better.”

Dallas trailed by seven in the third quarter before Doncic wrapped the ball around his back and then lobbed to Dwight Powell for a jam over Vucevic with 3:29 left. The play drew an “ooohhh” from the United Center crowd of 20,910, but the rest of the period belonged to Chicago.

Alex Caruso converted a three-point play and made a jumper to give the Bulls a 95-80 lead after three. The reserve guard finished with 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting.

“I just tried to be aggressive when I had the ball and shots went in,” Caruso said.

Chicago was never seriously threatened in the fourth, and LaVine punctuated the win when he got an overhead pass from Ball and finished a 360-degree dunk with 1:50 remaining.

“The Bulls are back, man. That’s all I can say,” said Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 21 points for Dallas.

Doncic’s free throw gave the Mavericks a 51-48 lead with 4:46 left in the second quarter, but the Bulls closed the first half with a 13-3 run. LaVine opened the spurt with a 3-pointer and a dunk.

“Right there before half, with two minutes left, they went on a run, and we just couldn’t recover from that,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: F Maxi Kleber (left oblique strain) missed his fifth straight game. Kidd said Kleber is doing better. “I don’t think we’ve got to the seven- or 10-day mark yet,” Kidd said. “But once we get there, I think I can give you a better update.”

Bulls: G Coby White (offseason left shoulder surgery) practiced with the team’s G League affiliate Tuesday. Donovan said White will have another workout on Thursday. “If things progress we’re hopeful at some point maybe on that West Coast swing that he’d be available to play,” Donovan said. The Bulls open a five-game trip at Golden State on Friday night. … F Patrick Williams (left wrist) will not travel with the team on its upcoming road trip, Donovan said.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: At the San Antonio Spurs on Friday for their third meeting already this season. The Mavericks took the first two, winning 104-99 on Oct. 28 and 109-108 last week.

Bulls: At Golden State on Friday night. The Bulls have dropped eight in a row against the Warriors.

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Trail Blazers vs. Clippers – Game Recap – November 9, 2021


LOS ANGELES — — Paul George scored 24 points, Reggie Jackson added 23 and the Los Angeles Clippers extended their winning streak to five Tuesday night, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 117-109.

Nicolas Batum added a season-high 22 points for the Clippers, who are 6-4 after losing four of their first five to start the season.

George, the reigning Western Conference player of the week, played only 33 minutes after getting into foul trouble midway through the third quarter. Despite the decreased playing time, he was near a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 27 points and Norman Powell scored 23. Jusuf Nurkic had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who are winless in their first five road games.

The Clippers had an 83-79 lead going into the fourth quarter before going on a 13-6 run to take control. They would extend the lead to 12 in the final minute.

The third meeting between the teams was close compared to the first two. The Clippers won by 30 (116-86) on Oct. 25 before the Trail Blazers countered with a 111-92 victory four nights later.

ROLLERCOASTER FIRST

The Clippers jumped out to a 13-3 lead less than three minutes into the game on the strength of three 3-pointers. The Trail Blazers would rally though and go up by 26-20 on Cody Zeller‘s dunk with 3:44 remaining in the period.

LA would score the last 13 points in the period to have a 33-26 advantage after 12 minutes.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: The 33 points by LA in the first quarter is the most Portland has allowed in the first 12 minutes this season.

Clippers: Isaiah Hartenstein came off the bench and scored a season-high 14 points in 17 minutes.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Travel to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Portland won the first meeting 134-105 on Oct. 23.

Clippers: Host the Miami Heat on Thursday. LA has won the last five meetings.

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Heat vs. Mavericks – Game Recap – November 2, 2021


DALLAS — — Four Miami Heat players had 22 or more points for the first time in franchise history to hold off a late Dallas rally and beat the Mavericks 125-110 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Tyler Herro scored 25 points off the bench, 15 alone in the second quarter when the Heat outscored the Mavericks 46-32 to take a 70-62 halftime lead. Jimmy Butler added 23 points, Kyle Lowry had 22 and Bam Adebayo scored 22 and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Miami’s top scorers did so from all over the court. Butler sank 15 of 17 free throws while Lowry hit six of nine 3-pointers. The Heat shot 52% behind the arc.

“You want to be able to maximize your offense in all the different ways in your menu without feeling like you’re taking turns,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Luka Doncic scored a season-high 33 points for the Mavericks, who lost for the first time in four home games.

Miami is off to its first 6-1 start since the 2012-13 season, when it won the second of its three NBA championships.

“The Heat, I would consider them the best team in the league right now,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Dallas’ Jalen Brunson had a season-high 25 points in his first start of the season, necessitated by injuries that have sidelined big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber.

Porzingis missed his fourth straight game with lower back tightness. Kleber, who started Sunday’s win over Sacramento in Porzingis’ place, left that game late in the first period and will be out 7-10 days with a left oblique strain.

The Mavericks got out to a 20-9 lead seven minutes into the game, hitting four of their first six 3-pointers before the Heat pushed back, led by Herro’s second-quarter scoring.

Miami led 97-81 with 2:12 to play in the third quarter when Dallas began its run. The Mavericks pulled within 101-95 two minutes into the fourth period before the Heat held them off down the stretch.

Spoelstra said Herro made his largest improvements over the summer.

“People are noticing now from a lot of work that happened behind the scenes,” Spoelstra said.

TESTING ISSUES

Veteran Mavericks guard Trey Burke, who is unvaccinated, missed the COVID-19 testing window for the second time in four games and was unavailable, forfeiting another game check. Kidd said Burke will travel with the team for Wednesday night’s game at San Antonio.

“For us as the Mavs, we can only talk (to him) about it,” Kidd said. “He has the responsibility to show up on time.”

HERRO MARK

Herro has 157 points off the bench in the season’s first seven games. That’s more than any player has scored coming off the bench since 1975, when the NBA began charting stats by whether a player started a game or was a reserve. The previous mark through a team’s first seven games was 156 by Jason Terry (2007-08) and Michael Brooks (1980-81).

TIP-INS

Heat: Spoelstra’s 613rd career win tied him for 26th most in NBA history. … Duncan Robinson has hit 3-pointers in 55 consecutive games, beginning last Feb. 11. It’s the second-longest streak in franchise history to Robinson’s 57 straight from Nov. 25, 2019, to Aug. 12, 2020.

Mavericks: Doncic shot 3 for 9 behind the line and is hitting 25.5% this season coming into the season at 32.9% during his first three seasons. He passed his coach and moved into 14th place on the franchise points list with 5,283 to Kidd’s 5,258.

UP NEXT

Heat: Host Boston on Thursday in the first of two consecutive games at home, where they are 3-0 this season.

Mavericks: At San Antonio on Wednesday night to close second back-to-back in the season’s first eight games.

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Heat vs. Mavericks – Game Recap – November 2, 2021


DALLAS — — Four Miami Heat players had 22 or more points for the first time in franchise history to hold off a late Dallas rally and beat the Mavericks 125-110 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Tyler Herro scored 25 points off the bench, 15 alone in the second quarter when the Heat outscored the Mavericks 46-32 to take a 70-62 halftime lead. Jimmy Butler added 23 points, Kyle Lowry had 22 and Bam Adebayo scored 22 and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Miami’s top scorers did so from all over the court. Butler sank 15 of 17 free throws while Lowry hit six of nine 3-pointers. The Heat shot 52% behind the arc.

“You want to be able to maximize your offense in all the different ways in your menu without feeling like you’re taking turns,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Luka Doncic scored a season-high 33 points for the Mavericks, who lost for the first time in four home games.

Miami is off to its first 6-1 start since the 2012-13 season, when it won the second of its three NBA championships.

“The Heat, I would consider them the best team in the league right now,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Dallas’ Jalen Brunson had a season-high 25 points in his first start of the season, necessitated by injuries that have sidelined big men Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber.

Porzingis missed his fourth straight game with lower back tightness. Kleber, who started Sunday’s win over Sacramento in Porzingis’ place, left that game late in the first period and will be out 7-10 days with a left oblique strain.

The Mavericks got out to a 20-9 lead seven minutes into the game, hitting four of their first six 3-pointers before the Heat pushed back, led by Herro’s second-quarter scoring.

Miami led 97-81 with 2:12 to play in the third quarter when Dallas began its run. The Mavericks pulled within 101-95 two minutes into the fourth period before the Heat held them off down the stretch.

Spoelstra said Herro made his largest improvements over the summer.

“People are noticing now from a lot of work that happened behind the scenes,” Spoelstra said.

TESTING ISSUES

Veteran Mavericks guard Trey Burke, who is unvaccinated, missed the COVID-19 testing window for the second time in four games and was unavailable, forfeiting another game check. Kidd said Burke will travel with the team for Wednesday night’s game at San Antonio.

“For us as the Mavs, we can only talk (to him) about it,” Kidd said. “He has the responsibility to show up on time.”

HERRO MARK

Herro has 157 points off the bench in the season’s first seven games. That’s more than any player has scored coming off the bench since 1975, when the NBA began charting stats by whether a player started a game or was a reserve. The previous mark through a team’s first seven games was 156 by Jason Terry (2007-08) and Michael Brooks (1980-81).

TIP-INS

Heat: Spoelstra’s 613rd career win tied him for 26th most in NBA history. … Duncan Robinson has hit 3-pointers in 55 consecutive games, beginning last Feb. 11. It’s the second-longest streak in franchise history to Robinson’s 57 straight from Nov. 25, 2019, to Aug. 12, 2020.

Mavericks: Doncic shot 3 for 9 behind the line and is hitting 25.5% this season coming into the season at 32.9% during his first three seasons. He passed his coach and moved into 14th place on the franchise points list with 5,283 to Kidd’s 5,258.

UP NEXT

Heat: Host Boston on Thursday in the first of two consecutive games at home, where they are 3-0 this season.

Mavericks: At San Antonio on Wednesday night to close second back-to-back in the season’s first eight games.

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Cavaliers vs. Hornets – Game Recap – November 1, 2021


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — — Jarrett Allen said the Cleveland Cavaliers are out to change how they’re perceived around the NBA.

He wants them to be known as a “scrappy” team.

“We want to go into these games with people knowing they’re going to have a fight on their hands,” Allen said. “Over the past few years it’s been like, ‘Oh, it’s the Cavs, it’s an off night.’ I’m just being honest, that’s how people looked at us. But know we want people to look at us and say, ‘We need to bring our A game.’”

Allen brought his “A game,” finishing with 24 points and 16 rebounds as the Cavaliers held off a frantic fourth-quarter rally by the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night for a 113-110 win and a positive ending to a five-game trip.

Lauri Markkanen scored 21 points, Evan Mobley added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Darius Garland had 16 points — including two clutch free throws with 14.9 seconds left — as the Cavaliers went 3-2 on the road.

“Bouncing back, we showed the fight we have,” Markannen said of the Cavs snapping a two-game skid to improve to 4-4 on the season. “We knew it was a tough trip and we just tried to stay in the moment. I thought we should have won one more, but I think 3-2 was still a pretty good trip.”

LaMelo Ball finished with 30 points and Terry Rozier added 23 for Charlotte, which overcame a sloppy first half to cut a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to two before falling short.

The Cavaliers took advantage of eight Charlotte turnovers in the first quarter to jump out to a 40-21 lead. By halftime, the Hornets had turned it over 13 times, leading to 22 Cleveland points and trailed by 16.

But Charlotte didn’t quit.

The Hornets trailed 101-84 with seven minutes remaining before Rozier and Ball ignited a 10-0 run. Ball then knocked down a pull-up 3-pointer off a fastbreak with 1:01 to play to trim Cleveland’s lead 3 and Rozier had a chance to tie the game on the next possession, but his 3-pointer from the right wing just grazed the front rim.

Charlotte would get as close as two on a drive by Rozier with 20 seconds left, but Garland’s two free throws helped seal the win.

“They smelled blood,” Markkanen said of the Hornets. “But I think we were able to do a good job of staying calm and going on to the next possession.”

Charlotte coach James Borrego said he knew Cleveland’s length would give his team problems, but said the game came down to too many “careless turnovers.”

“We had eight turnovers in the first quarter and last night we had nine for the whole game,” Borrego said. “That is what created all the offense for them in the first quarter.”

The Hornets (5-3) have trailed by at least 10 points in all but one of their eight games.

“We have been able to dig ourselves out of holes so far this season, but we can’t rely on doing that every night,” Borrego said. “It was a frustrating start to the game, but we won the second, third, and fourth quarters.”

LOVE OUT

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love did not play after he was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols just hours before Monday night’s game. Love is averaging 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds for Cleveland this season in a reserve role.

“It’s a huge impact,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Not only Kevin as a player, but him as a person around the locker room and on the floor with the guys helping the young guys through a lot of the things that they are seeing. He makes their job easier as a basketball player. When the ball is in his hands, he is a threat.”

HITTING THE WEIGHTS

Immediately after the game, Allen hit the weight room before meeting with reporters. “If I don’t get something in like that after a game my body is going to go downhill,” Allen said.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Collin Sexton had 17 points and seven rebounds.

Hornets: Charlotte came in leading the league in 3-point field percentage at 41.5% but shot 15 of 39 (38.5%) against the Cavaliers.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host Portland on Wednesday night.

Hornets: Begin a five-game West Coast swing at Golden State on Wednesday night.

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Pacers vs. Raptors – Game Recap – October 27, 2021


TORONTO — — Fred VanVleet and the Raptors pushed around the Indiana Pacers to pick up a long-awaited home win.

VanVleet had a season-high 26 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, OG Anunoby scored a season-high 25 points, and the Raptors won at home for the first time in 20 months, beating the Pacers 118-100 on Wednesday night.

“I thought we were definitely very physical tonight,” VanVleet said. “OG set the tone in the paint offensively. I thought all five guys were on the same page defensively to start the game.”

Indiana was the opponent the last time Toronto won at Scotiabank Arena, a 127-81 victory on Feb. 23, 2020. Since-departed Raptors stars Serge Ibaka (15 rebounds) and Kyle Lowry (11 assists) were among Toronto’s statistical leaders in that game, the most lopsided win in team history.

The Raptors lost their first three home games this season. In the three seasons prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto went 89-25 at home. Travel restrictions related to the pandemic forced the Raptors to play home games in Florida at the end of the 2019-20 season and throughout 2020-21. They went 16-20 at their temporary home in Tampa last season.

On Wednesday, first-year forward Scottie Barnes had 18 points and seven assists, and fellow rookie Dalano Banton came off the bench to score 10 points.

“I think it’s good to build a foundation for a young team,” VanVleet said. “The team certainly looks different than a lot of the teams we’ve had since I’ve been here, but it’s good just to build that foundation.”

VanVleet shot 6 for 7 from 3-point range and had six assists.

Banton made 4 of 7 field-goal attempts, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, and added three assists.

“When he’s out there moving, it’s hard to guard,” VanVleet said. “He was great for us tonight.”

Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon scored 18 points in 22 minutes but injured his left hamstring early in the third quarter and did not return. The Pacers also lost forward Isaiah Jackson to a left knee injury in the fourth. Jackson needed assistance to walk to the locker room after being injured.

“I do not know the severity or the description of what exactly happened,” coach Rick Carlsisle said of Jackson’s injury. “Obviously, it didn’t look good.”

Chris Duarte scored 14 points, Jeremy Lamb had 12 and Myles Turner had 10 for the Pacers, who are 0-3 on the road.

Indiana went 21-15 away from home last season, the best road record in the Eastern Conference.

Domantas Sabonis had nine points and eight rebounds but had four of the Pacers’ 23 turnovers. The Raptors scored 31 points off Indiana miscues.

“They’ve got quick, angular guys,” Carlisle said of the Raptors. “They were ripping at the ball all night and they knocked a lot of balls loose. Give them credit, they executed well.”

Toronto led 57-48 at halftime. VanVleet made all three of his 3-point attempts in the third quarter and Banton scored seven points as the Raptors took an 87-71 lead to the fourth.

Anunoby had 16 points in the first quarter.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Indiana has scored at least 100 points in all four games so far. … G Caris LeVert (sore lower back) missed his fifth straight game. … Indiana had won its previous two meetings with Toronto. … T.J. McConnell had four turnovers.

Raptors: Toronto’s 14 3-pointers were a season high. … F Yuta Watanabe (left calf) is practicing with Toronto’s G League team this week and is expected to join the Raptors on their upcoming trip. … VanVleet set career-highs in assists (17) and turnovers (8) in Monday’s home loss to Chicago.

ON THE LEVEL

VanVleet, listed at 6 feet, said he doesn’t expect to compete with taller players for rebounds.

“My rule is if it gets below head level, it’s mine,” he said. “Anything up there by the rim, somebody else has got to get that one.”

TAKE CARE

The Raptors matched a season low with 12 turnovers. Toronto also had 12 in last Saturday’s loss to Dallas.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit Brooklyn on Friday night.

Raptors: Host Orlando on Friday night.

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Pelicans vs. Timberwolves – Game Recap – October 25, 2021


MINNEAPOLIS — — Brandon Ingram scored 27 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 22 points and a career-high 23 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans snapped a season-opening three-game losing streak with a 107-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Devonte’ Graham added 21 points for New Orleans, which was again without injured star Zion Williamson. Nickeil Alexander-Walker had 17 points for the Pelicans, who had a 21-point lead trimmed to four points late in the third quarter.

“To finally get one win, it’s refreshing,” said New Orleans coach Willie Green, who earned his first win as an NBA head coach. “You understand really quick how hard it is to win in this league.”

Minnesota had its two-game win streak halted as its offense failed to find a rhythm until Anthony Edwards got the offense and the crowd going by scoring 21 of his 28 points in the third.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 32 points and 14 rebounds, and Patrick Beverly added 13 points off the bench.

“I felt like, for the most part, that our preparation, we kind of disrespected the game,” Beverly said. “That comes with time. You disrespect the game and the game will come back and get you, and it did tonight.”

A game after tying a franchise record with 30 turnovers, New Orleans was in sync early, using the extra pass to get its offense going. The Pelicans had eight assists as a team on their first nine baskets.

The Pelicans ended the first quarter on a 10-2 run to take control, and extended the run to 22-5 early in the second. The lead ballooned to 21 points before Edwards got involved.

“When you have 30 turnovers in a game, it’s going to be hard to beat anybody,” Graham said. “Take care of the ball. Seventeen (turnovers) is still a lot, but that’s a good defensive team. We just stuck with it.”

Much of New Orleans’ lead was built with Towns on the bench.

After fouling out in the first game between the teams on Saturday, Towns was called for an early technical foul. Shortly after, he was called for an illegal screen that sent him to the bench with two fouls. Coach Chris Finch picked up a technical foul in support of his center.

Even with Towns on the court, Minnesota’s offense was largely reduced to quick 3-pointers and one-and-done possessions with the Pelicans controlling the boards.

New Orleans outrebounded the Wolves 60-41.

Edwards, the electrifying second-year guard, was held to two points in the first half on two free throws. Edwards and D’Angelo Russell were a combined 1 for 14 in the half, while Minnesota shot 6 of 24 (25%) from long distance.

“I think we take a lot of possessions that didn’t need a shot, including myself,” Towns said. “Forced. It’s disappointing. We understand the magnitude of this game. We understood what the opponent was going to bring. But we just didn’t bring it.”

Ingram closed out the game with 18 points in the second half, including a big dunk in transition that helped halt Minnesota’s momentum.

TAKING SOME TIME

Part of his career-best rebounding performance, Valanciunas also had nine offensive rebounds. He played 39:19 and ended up taking a timeout in the fourth to get a rest.

“I’ve had several talks with him and I told him, ‘We just going to ride you, big fella.’,” Green said. “He actually called a timeout on his own because he was so tired. I just looked at him, I said, ‘Just sit down the whole three minutes and get back on the floor, we got to finish the game.’ But he’s a warrior.”

DUG TOO DEEP

Edwards’ run helped Minnesota get back in the game, but the early deficit was too large.

Edwards hit a 3 with 8:33 left in the third for his first field goal and quickly added a layup in transition to provide a much-needed jolt for the Wolves. His thunderous dunk over New Orleans forward Trey Murphy III brought the crowd to its feet.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Josh Hart missed his second straight game with right quadriceps tendinosis. Second-round rookie Herbert Jones made his second straight start and was scoreless. … Williamson remains out with a right foot fracture, and Daulton Hommes was inactive with right peroneal soreness. … New Orleans finished with 20 turnovers, leading to 23 points for Minnesota.

Timberwolves: With Russell going 1 of 8 from 3-point range, Minnesota finished 15 of 50 (30%) from beyond the arc. Russell finished with nine points on 3-of-14 shooting. … The Wolves shot 34.4% (31 for 90) from the field.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Return home following a three-game road trip to face Atlanta on Wednesday.

Timberwolves: Travel to Milwaukee for their first road game of the season on Wednesday.

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Quick Recap: Grizzlies Fall in the City of Angels


The Memphis Grizzlies returned to the same arena on Sunday night, following a huge win on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. A back-to-back with the city of angels teams, could Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers slow down the streaking Grizzlies? Or, could Memphis continue their quick start to the season?

First Quarter:

The Memphis Grizzlies jumped on the Lakers right off the tip at Staples Center. Memphis jumped out to a 10-4 lead on Los Angeles early in the first quarter. For Memphis, their frantic pace in some cases led to missed opportunities as the first quarter went on. The Lakers rallied towards the end of the first quarter. Carmelo Anthony came in for Los Angeles off the bench providing a spark, and boosting the Lakers to a 29-24 lead over Memphis at the end of one quarter.

Second Quarter:

The Grizzlies energy as a whole was low throughout most of the second quarter. At one point, you could see Head Coach Taylor Jenkins yelling and clapping at his guys. Memphis was just being out hustled. Sloppy defense was leading to stagnant offensive possessions for the Grizzlies. Fortunately for the Grizzlies, Ja Morant and Desmond Bane shot the ball really well from beyond the arc in the first half. The Grizzlies only trailed 62-56 heading to the half at Staples.

Third Quarter:

The third quarter Memphis came out of the locker rooms with great energy. Specifically, Ja Morant, who is without a doubt the Grizzlies engine. Morant scored 10 points in the third quarter alone, and captivated the opposing crowd at Staples Center — finishing around the rim, with circus shots, and oozing with energy. Following a halftime deficit, the Grizzlies rallied to retake the lead heading to the fourth quarter at 90-87.

Fourth Quarter:

The Grizzlies dug their feet into the mud throughout the fourth quarter. Despite certain things not going the Grizzlies way, they continued to fight. Every Grizzly that took the floor in the second half fought until the final buzzer. The Grizzlies would fall to the Lakers in the final seconds at Staples Center in Los Angeles 121-118.

Final Stats:

  • Ja Morant – 40 points, 10 assists, 13-21 FG
  • Desmond Bane – 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists
  • Steven Adams – 14 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 assists

The Grizzlies will be back in action on Wednesday night as they travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers at 9:00 P.M.

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Hawks vs. Cavaliers – Game Recap – October 23, 2021


CLEVELAND — — Rookie Evan Mobley collected 17 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, helping the Cleveland Cavaliers rally for their first win of the season, 101-95 over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

Ricky Rubio had 23 points and eight assists, and Jarrett Allen added 11 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland, which trailed by 13 points in the second quarter. The Cavaliers had lost their first two games, both by 11.

“We’re definitely really happy about our first win, it felt great,” Mobley said. “But we don’t want to just settle on it. We want to keep winning and growing from here.”

Mobley, the No. 3 overall selection from USC, scored seven points during a 21-0 run that put Cleveland ahead 67-58 in the third. Atlanta went scoreless for 4:28 after Trae Young made a layup with 46 seconds left in the second quarter.

“As Evan kept making plays, we kept giving him the ball,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He’s got that straight face, but his skill set is diverse and versatile. Evan has earned our trust because of how quickly he’s picked things up.”

Young paced the Hawks with 24 points and seven assists, while Cam Reddish scored 19 points off the bench and Clint Capela had 10 points and 14 rebounds. Atlanta was not credited with a fast-break point in the second half.

The Hawks, who lost to NBA champion Milwaukee in the East finals last season, won their opener 113-87 over Dallas two days earlier.

“They outworked us and were the aggressive team throughout the second half,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said. “We weren’t getting stops, so we couldn’t get out in transition like we have to.”

The Hawks pulled within 99-95 in the final minute, but missed a pair of shots before Lauri Markkanen sealed the win by making two free throws with 15 seconds remaining. Young finished 8 of 22 shooting and didn’t make a 3-pointer after the first quarter.

“I’ve got to do better,” Young said. “I will do better. I’ve just got to find the rhythm.”

Collin Sexton, Markkanen and Kevin Love each scored 12 points for Cleveland, which committed a season-low 10 turnovers. The Cavaliers’ 21-point run was their longest since Dec. 11, 2019 against Houston, when they scored 24 in a row.

Mobley played 35 minutes in his third straight start. The 7-foot power forward is averaging 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds with a .563 field goal percentage.

“Evan is going to be a guy who can get a double-double every night,” Love said. “He’s got a huge future and he’s going to make a number of All-Defensive teams in his career.”

A 3-pointer by Bogdan Bogdanovic gave Atlanta its largest lead at 43-30, but Rubio answered with six points in the final 3:03 of the second quarter to pull the Cavaliers within 55-53 at intermission.

Young scored nine points in the first quarter and Reddish had five off the bench as Atlanta held a 27-24 lead after the first.

LOVE IN THE AIR

Love looked comfortable for the first time in his new role coming off the bench. The five-time All-Star had 12 points, six rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes. “Kevin knows who he is and what is important to us,” Bickerstaff said. “He played to win.” In Cleveland’s first two games, Love had 10 total points and missed 11 of his 14 field goal attempts.

TIP-INS

Hawks: G Lou Williams (left hip soreness) was active and available, but the 17th-year pro did not play. … F Danilo Gallinari (left shoulder soreness) and F Onyeka Okongwu (right shoulder recovery) remain out and have not made their regular season debuts.

Cavaliers: Starting G Darius Garland (left ankle sprain) missed his second straight game after being hurt in the opener at Memphis. … G Dylan Windler (right hip strain) has been inactive for each game. He will travel with the team on its five-game road trip.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Host Detroit on Monday. Atlanta is in the midst of four road games in a five-game stretch that ends Oct. 30.

Cavaliers: Visit Denver on Monday. Cleveland will not return home again until Nov. 3 against Portland.

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