Bucks Fall to T-Wolves Without Giannis, Hornets Drub Mavs for 4th Consecutive Victory
There were only 4 NBA games last night, but they did provide basketball fans with something. The Bucks marched into Minnesota without star PF Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Luka-led Mavericks were tasked with a tough Charlotte matchup. I didn’t pay too much attention to the NBA yesterday because of the NCAA Tournament, but saw enough to stay in the know. Let’s get into the recap.
Minnesota Rises Over Bucks in 138–119 Rout
The Bucks came into this matchup without Giannis, but still closed as 3-point favorites. Man was Vegas wrong. The Timberwolves opened the contest a bit slow, but after the first 6 minutes of the game, they took a lead and never looked back. They held a 6-point advantage at the end of the 1st quarter and expanded the lead to 12 at the half. The Bucks looked to turn their fortune around in the 2nd half, but found no luck, finding themselves outscored 70–63 to end the contest. Karl-Anthony Towns continued to have a great season, posting a 25 point, 11 rebound double-double. 2nd-year SF Anthony Edwards also scored 25 points, going 5–10 from downtown. PG D’Angelo Russell led the T-Wolves in helpers, dishing 9 of them with 5 TOs. Milwaukee just couldn’t keep up with Minnesota’s high octane offense tonight, with Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez leading the way with just 15 points a piece. Minnesota swiped 12 steals in the game, double of Milwaukee’s 6 steals. The Bucks now stand in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, while the Wolves are the 7 seed in the West. The Timberwolves are eyeing a chance to escape the play-in game, sitting just a half game behind the 6th place Nuggets. The Timberwolves are a great team with young talent and could definitely make some noise come playoff time. If KAT can continue his amazing production and get some help from a young Anthony Edwards averaging 21.1 PPG, I can see them pulling of an upset over a team like Utah or Dallas. The T-Wolves will look for their 5th straight win tomorrow against the Mavericks, while the Bucks will hope to get back on track in a home matchup against a Bulls team on a 3 game slide.
Mavs Fall Short Against Hornets Despite Luka’s 37 Point Performance
Luka and the Mavericks landed into Charlotte having won 3 of their past 4 contests, but could not extend their success as they fell to the Hornets 108–129. They kept the game within reach, only facing a 9 point deficit at the half, but couldn’t turn it around. The game was blown open in the 3rd quarter, as they were outscored 41–28 in the period. Miles Bridges paced the Hornets in scoring with 23 points while also leading the squad in rebounds with 8 boards. Rising Star LaMelo Ball dished 7 dimes last night without committing a single turnover. Ball is currently 10th in the league in APG, averaging 7.4 helpers per contest. The stellar Luka Doncic had another great scoring night, posting 37 for the Mavs while tacking 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He was on fire from deep, sinking 8 of his 12 3-point attempts. Not the assist and rebound numbers we’re used to seeing from Doncic, but we all know what talent he possesses. Last night was probably just your typical bad day here and there. SF Marquese Chriss paced Dallas in the rebounding department with 9 rebounds, and Frank Ntilikina posted 4 assists with no turnovers. The Hornets’ defense is what allowed for them to pull away and take the victory last night, as Charlotte tallied 8 blocks and 8 steals, double of Dallas’ numbers in those categories. The Hornets also played cleaner basketball, only accumulating 18 fouls compared to the Mavs’ 26. The Hornets picked up a much needed win to keep them afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff picture; they stand at the 9 seed right now, barely holding a half game advantage over the 10th place Atlanta Hawks. The Hornets have loads of young talent, but I don’t think they are ready to make a deep run in the playoffs this year. Give Charlotte a couple years to give these young studs some development, and they will be one of the giants in the East. Dallas is slotted as the 5 seed in the West right now, and will hope to stay out of the play-in game as the playoff race tightens. Will the Mavs be able to provide support for Doncic? Can they prove that Luka is not the only threat in Dallas? These are questions that will need to be answered in order to see if Dallas can hang in the postseason with teams like Phoenix and Golden State.
There’s today’s recap of some notable NBA games last night. I love March as it is the time where basketball really gets to shine on the sports stage. You’ve got the NCAA basketball tournament and the regular season of the NBA nearing its end, which means fans get treated to a lot of fun, competitive contests. Thanks for reading everyone, and have a blessed rest of your Sunday.
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