Quick Recap: Grizzlies fall to Knicks 118-104

The Memphis Grizzlies came into this game against the New York Knicks (one of the hottest teams in the league since April Fools Day), looking to avenge a bummer loss against the Orlando Magic. The Grizzlies entered this contest losing 3 of their past 4 games, something that’s not encouraging in the midst of a playoff push. However, could they turn their fortunes around against a Knicks team playing Thibs minutes off a back-to-back?

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The Grizzlies fell victim to a hot game from Julius Randle and Derrick Rose, as they combined for 53 points on 8-13 shooting from deep.

The Grizzlies also got hit with a parade of technicals, as Taylor Jenkins and Ja Morant got 2 and the ejection — while Dillon Brooks got one too.

Here are takeaways.

The flashes of Jaren Jackson Jr.

If there was any bright spot in this game to take away, it is Jaren Jackson Jr.’s path back to normalcy. In the first half, he flashed the skillset that makes him such a tantalizing prospect — perhaps a unicorn.

He found his rhythm from outside, and he was taking Julius Randle off the dribble. Jackson was even doing a solid job of defending without fouling the probable All-NBA big man.

Granted, was there times he showed his youth? Sure, but for a young player that hasn’t played basketball in 9 months, you take the flashes.

New York Knicks v Memphis Grizzlies

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

More flashes? Yup, with Desmond Bane.

Desmond Bane came into this game in a mini-slump from downtown. However, he came out and flashed the upside that made him such a draft darling with NBA Draft Twitter. He put the ball on the floor to make plays for himself and others. He also connected on 2 in-rhythm 3’s to bring some energy into a lifeless FedEx Forum.

When looking to achieve sustainable success, you take the flashes you get from your young players, especially ones of Bane’s skillset. It’s tough to find players of his skillset. The more comfortable he looks, the better for the team’s short-term and long-term success.

Quick Hitters

  • Dillon Brooks is unbothered. Dillon Brooks does not care what’s going on in the game — slump, run, big leads or deficits, whatever. He’s going to play his tail off from tip-off to the time the final buzzer hits. He was really the only starter to have any sort of offensive flow, using a big 3rd quarter to keep the Grizzlies in the mix. Put some respect on his name.
  • Smaller rotation? Xavier Tillman, Tyus Jones, and De’Anthony Melton all totaled 9 minutes — barely getting any run in the 2nd half. None of them lit the world on fire in the 1st half, but the shorter 2nd half rotation is a development to monitor down the playoff push.
  • Fatigue. Their defensive attention and the offensive struggles could be credited to fatigue. You can see it.They’re in a stretch of 40 games in 68 days, coming off a long road trip, and they’re working pieces together. It’s a grueling schedule, especially for the youngest team in the league.

The Grizzlies will travel to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves Wednesday.

For more Grizzlies talk, subscribe to the Grizzly Bear Blues podcast network on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and IHeart. Follow Grizzly Bear Blues on Twitter and Instagram.

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Wizards vs. Cavaliers – Game Recap – April 30, 2021

CLEVELAND — — Russell Westbrook posted his 31st triple-double of the season with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Washington Wizards continued their postseason push with a 122-93 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

It was Westbrook’s 177th career triple-double, moving him within four of Oscar Robertson’s NBA record. He also tied Wilt Chamberlain (1967-1968) for the fourth-most triple-doubles in a season, a list that Westbrook leads with 42 in 2016-2017.

“When you get mentioned with great names like Oscar and you get complimented by him like I’ve been, it’s truly an honor and something you don’t take for granted,” Westbrook said. “I’m just grateful to be in a conversation with my name connected to his.”

Westbrook is on pace to average a triple-double for the fourth time, currently at 21.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 11.0 assists per game. He accomplished the feat three times with Oklahoma City, most recently two seasons ago.

“I’m hoping Russell gets the record because it’s something that you wouldn’t think would be possible for a 6-foot-3 guard,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “He has a tenacity to compete that doesn’t change from day to day.

“It’s been awesome to see how he leads us on the court, off the court, in the hotel and on the bus. He has just been terrific.”

Bradley Beal scored 19 points on 8-for-24 shooting, and Raul Neto had 17 points for Washington, which strengthened its hold on the final play-in tournament spot in the East. The Wizards are 12-2 since falling a season-low 15 games below .500 on April 5.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry, whose team did not play, reclaimed the league scoring lead over Beal 31.3 points per game to 31.1.

Collin Sexton scored 22 points but had a career-high eight turnovers for Cleveland in his return from a three-game absence with a concussion. Cedi Osman had 14 points and Darius Garland added 12 before leaving with a left ankle injury in the third quarter.

Kevin Love did not attempt a shot and went scoreless in 22 minutes for the Cavaliers, who have lost five straight overall and seven of their last eight at home. Love threw an on-court tantrum Monday against the Raptors in Tampa, Florida, and publicly apologized for it two days later.

“Tonight was different, and we need Kevin to take shots because he’s a big part of our offense,” Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Of course, we’d like to find a way to get him in the game offensively. We need to get him involved early.”

Washington blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Cleveland 33-16 to extend its lead to 89-77. A 3-pointer by Garrison Mathews late in the fourth gave them their largest advantage at 117-84.

The Wizards outscored the Cavaliers by 34 points in the 25 minutes played by Ish Smith, who had 11 points and four assists. Daniel Gafford chipped in 13 points and seven boards.

Westbrook became the third player in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse history with multiple triple-doubles, joining former Cavaliers LeBron James (35) and Andre Miller (3). Westbrook joined James as only visiting players with two in the 27-year old building.

“Russ is made different, he really is because he gives you 120, 130, 150, 200% percent every night in every aspect of the game,” Smith said. “It’s like a game of wills and he’s going to outlast you.”


Wizards: Brooks won his 178th game with Washington, tying Randy Wittman for fifth place in franchise history. Dick Motta is fourth with 185 victories … C Robin Lopez appeared in his team-high 62nd game, only sitting out one. He did not play against San Antonio on April 26 because of a sprained left ankle. … C Thomas Bryant (left ACL tear) and F Deni Avdija (right ankle fracture) will miss the rest of the season.

Cavaliers: F Mfiondu Kabengele had his second 10-day contract expire after the game, but coach Bickerstaff said he will be signed for the remainder of the season. … F Taurean Prince (left ankle surgery), G Matthew Dellavedova (neck strain), C Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion), F Larry Nance Jr. (right thumb fracture), F Lamar Stevens (concussion) and F Dylan Windler (left knee surgery) remain unavailable.


The Wizards’ path to the playoffs includes six road games in their next seven contests. Their second-half schedule is compressed tighter than most as a result of their Jan. 13-22 shutdown for COVID-19. “Everyone in the NBA is tired at this point of the season, so that’s not an excuse,” Brooks said. “But making up those six games has led to extra travel and fewer days off, so it’s something we’ve had to adjust to.”


Wizards: Visit Dallas on Saturday. Washington is 18-11 against the West, but lost to the Mavericks 109-87 on April 3 at Capital One Arena.

Cavaliers: Host Miami on Saturday. The Heat have claimed both matchups this season, winning 113-98 on March 16 and 115-101 on April 3.


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Jazz vs. Timberwolves – Game Recap – April 26, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — — D’Angelo Russell had a season-high seven 3-pointers and scored 27 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns had 21 points and 11 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 105-104 on Monday night.

Mike Conley gave Utah a 104-103 lead with 6.4 seconds left, but Ricky Rubio found Russell for a layup on the ensuing possession. Conley then lost the ball in a scramble on the Jazz’s final possession as time expired.

“We got the job done,” Towns said. “Our physicality was there. The discipline was there. Execution was there. The defensive effort keeping them to 104 points tonight. I think last game it was 98, I believe. You can’t ask for much more on the defensive end.”

Minnesota, which started the day tied for the second-fewest wins in the NBA, handed the league-leading Jazz another loss. The Timberwolves (18-44) went 3-0 against Utah (44-17) this season.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time in NBA history a team with a win percentage below .300 swept a series of at least three games against a team with a win percentage of at least .700.

Anthony Edwards added 14 points for Minnesota, which has won four of its last six games.

“We’re building, gives us something to build on,” Russell said. “We got all the excuses in the world to say why we’re not what we’re supposed to be. But just the taste of us winning here and there, us executing down the stretch, something to build on, just taking those small positives out of each game, especially when we win.”

Conley had 26 points and Rudy Gobert added 18 points for Utah. The Jazz, playing their fifth straight game without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell, have lost three of five.

Utah shot 38.9% from the field and 16 of 57 (28.1%) from 3-point range against Minnesota.

“I don’t know if concern would be the word that I would choose to use, but certainly you want to win,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “I’d be concerned if we didn’t compete. I’d like to have executed better on the two possessions. But again, that’s something we have to do the same way I mentioned the other night; we have to rebound and we have to take care of the ball.”

The Jazz looked set to avenge a 101-96 loss to the Wolves in Utah on Saturday. They closed the first quarter on a 30-12 run and led by 18 points early in the second period.

Then, just like it did Saturday, Minnesota came back in the second.

Russell got the cold-shooting Wolves started. He scored 15 points in the second and hit six 3s in the first half. He connected on three straight from beyond the arc to finish off a 32-9 run that gave Minnesota the lead.

The Wolves led by as many as 13 in the fourth before the Jazz closed strong.

“It’s never going to be all good and all bad,” Gobert said. “We just got to find ways to put ourself in position to win every night. I thought we did that tonight. I thought we did that last game.”


Jazz: Mitchell missed his fifth straight game with a right ankle sprain. Utah is 5-3 without Mitchell this season. … Joe Ingles started the day with a league-best 48.7% shooting percentage from 3. He finished 3 of 13 from beyond the arc on Monday.

Timberwolves: Russell’s six 3s tied a franchise record for most 3s in a half. The franchise record for made 3-pointers in a game is eight, last done by Kevin Love in 2013. … Minnesota came back from down 17 points on Saturday in Utah, its third-largest comeback of the season. The Wolves have come back from at least 15 points five times since the All-Star break.


Russell missed two months as he recovered from knee surgery and he’s come off the bench since his return. In the 12 games since returning, Russell is scoring 20 points per game. He’s shooting 48.5% from the field and 44.7% from 3.

His 20 points and 11 assists on Monday make him the third Wolves player to have a 20-point, 10-assist game off the bench.


Jazz: Continue their three-game trip on Wednesday at Sacramento.

Timberwolves: Travel to Houston to finish a back-to-back on Tuesday.


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Magic vs. Hawks – Game Recap – April 20, 2021

ATLANTA — — Trae Young scored 25 points, Lou Williams added 22 in his best game since returning to Atlanta and the surging Hawks pulled away in the final period for a 112-96 victory over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

The Hawks began the day clinging to the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, which would mean home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Atlanta won for the fifth time in six games to move a step closer to locking up its first postseason berth since 2017.

The Hawks took command in the second quarter, outscoring the Magic 28-13 over the final 7 minutes to build a 65-48 lead at halftime.

Clint Capela scored 12 of his 14 points during the run, Young added seven and Bogdan Bogdanovic knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

Capela had another dominating game on the boards, finishing with 19 rebounds.

Orlando got as close as six in the third quarter before Atlanta iced the victory in the final period.

Williams was stunned by the trade-deadline deal that brought him to Atlanta from the Los Angeles Clippers. He even considered retirement, despite coming back to a team he once played for and the city where he grew up.

After sitting out four games to ponder his options, Williams finally joined the Hawks to provide some scoring punch off the bench. His performance against the Magic was what injury-plagued Atlanta had in mind.

Wendell Carter Jr. and Cole Anthony had 17 points apiece for Orlando, which has lost nine of 10.


Magic: Dropped to 3-11 since trading longtime franchise stalwarts Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon at the deadline. … Was outrebounded by the Hawks 65-40.

Hawks: F Danilo Gallinari missed his fifth straight game with a sore right foot. … Improved to 18-6 since Nate McMillan took over as interim coach after the firing of Lloyd Pierce. … John Collins had 11 points and 15 rebounds. … All five starters scored in double figures.


Magic: Return home to take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.

Hawks: Travel to New York on Wednesday to face the Knicks.


Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry


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Bulls vs. Celtics – Game Recap – April 19, 2021

BOSTON — — The Bulls have a difficult road to travel if they want to secure a spot in the playoffs.

But they feel like replicating their defensive effort from the past two games might be the thing that helps them get there.

Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and nine rebounds, and the Chicago held off the Boston Celtics 102-96 on Monday night.

Coby White added 19 points and seven assists to help the Bulls snap Boston’s season-high six-game winning streak. Chicago has won its last two since a five-game skid to nudge in front of Toronto for 10th place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both wins have come without guard Zach LaVine, who remained in the health and safety protocols for the third straight game.

“We’re in a fight for our lives,” said Bulls guard Garrett Temple. “Every detail, every play matters. Guys are playing really hard, and I like that.”

What coach Billy Donovan liked best is how his team is competing on the defensive end, holding each of its last two opponents under 100 points.

“We shot the ball really poorly in the first half. But of defense kept us in it,” Donovan said. “Once the ball started going in the basket, it was nice to see us maintain that defensive intensity, really the entire game.”

Boston led by 12 in second quarter but struggled to execute down the stretch and finished with 17 turnovers.

“It was pretty consistent, the turnovers,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “I go back to their length, their physicality. We tried to draw some fouls in there, but to their credit they played physical. They played solid.”

Jaylen Brown had 23 points. Jayson Tatum posted the first triple-double of his career with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. But he was just 3-of-17 from field.

“It was a tough night,” Tatum said.

The Celtics played without Kemba Walker (non-COVID-19-related illness), Marcus Smart (non-COVID-19-related illness), Evan Fournier (health and safety protocols) and Robert Williams (sore left knee).

The Bulls missed their first five shots of the game and fell into an early hole.

They got back in the game in the third quarter, closing the period a 24-10 run and taking a 74-66 lead to the fourth.

Boston didn’t go away, and Brown tied the game at 90 with a 3-pointer with 3:25 remaining.

But Chicago then pushed back in front 96-90, taking advantage of a pair of Celtics’ empty possessions.

Tremont Waters got Boston within 96-94 on a layup with 16.5 seconds left. The Celtics fouled and White pushed the lead back up to 98-94 with a pair of free throws.

Two free throws by Tatum but it to 98-96. But after White was fouled again, he calmly sank two more free throws.

Boston shot 20-of-39 from the field in the opening 24 minutes and led 48-42 lead at halftime.

Vucevic scored 17 in the first half to keep the Bulls within striking distance.

White said it was easy to run the offense through the All-Star once he got going.

“Vooch is a bucket getter,” White said. “You gotta play off a guy that talented.”


Bulls: Daniel Theis, who was dealt by Boston at the trade deadline, finished with six points, six rebounds and four assists in his first matchup against his former team. … Chicago scored 16 points of Boston turnovers.

Celtics: Celtics hit their first four shots, taking a 9-0 lead. … Brown scored 13 of Boston’s first 21 points. … Stevens said Williams, who also sat out Saturday, could be available for their matchup with Phoenix on Thursday. Fournier is expected to have a final test before being removed from health and safety protocols list sometime this week.


According to Elias Sports Bureau, Tatum (23 years, 47 days) is the second-youngest Celtics player in franchise history to record a triple-double,. The youngest was Marcus Smart (21 years, 315 days) on Jan. 15, 2016 against Phoenix.


Bulls: At Cleveland Wednesday.

Celtics: Host Suns Thursday.


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Heat vs. Timberwolves – Game Recap – April 16, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — — Karl-Anthony Towns scored 24 points, including eight in the fourth quarter before fouling out, to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 119-111 win against the Miami Heat on Friday night.

Ricky Rubio added 17 points and Naz Reid scored 16 off the bench as Minnesota had seven players score in double-figures to overcome 21 turnovers. Towns keyed a 22-6 run midway through the fourth as the Timberwolves pulled away.

Towns missed the past two games due to personal reasons on the one-year anniversary of his mother’s death. Minnesota lost both games by at least 25 points to Brooklyn and Milwaukee. Against another Eastern Conference playoff contender, the Timberwolves finished strong to win for just the second time in six games, a stretch against all East teams.

“This win meant a lot to me, just being able to do what I love and be able to be on the court with these guys,” Towns said.

Jimmy Butler had 30 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, but Miami lost its third straight game, all coming on the road. Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 21 points for the Heat, who started the night seventh in the East and a half-game ahead of Charlotte.

“We don’t deserve to win,” Butler said. “Whenever we take these teams lightly, we don’t do what we’re supposed to do on the defensive end, we just look bad as a whole, as a group, as a unit. It’s not good basketball.”

Miami appeared ready to put away the Wolves, the West’s worst team at the start of the day. The Heat finished the third quarter on a 15-5 and led by five points with Goran Dragic hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Towns didn’t let Minnesota fade away. He finished the pivotal fourth-quarter run with a deep 3 and walked back up the court holding out three fingers to the hometown crowd.

“Tough couple games this week for us, but we responded tonight,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “Total team effort; what I love about it is it was probably our best team effort of the season.”


Heat: G Victor Oladipo missed his fourth straight game with right knee soreness. … Butler, the former Timberwolves star who forced his way out with a trade, was booed loudly the first time he touched the ball by the limited fans in attendance. … Butler recorded multiple steals for the ninth straight game, setting a franchise record and extending the longest streak of his career. Sherman Douglas had eight consecutive such games in 1990.

Timberwolves: G Jaylen Nowell missed the game with a right tibia contusion. … Towns extended his streak of games with a 3 to 70 games, the longest stretch by a player in franchise history. … Edwards had a steal for the 25th straight game, the longest active streak in the NBA, and longest by a rookie in team history. The NBA record for a rookie is 31 straight games by Chris Paul in 2005-06.


Heat coach Erik Spoelstra highlighted an important factor in the win: second-chance points. Minnesota had 10 offensive rebounds leading to 23 second-chance points. Miami only had five second-chance points.

“That’s tough to overcome,” Spoelstra said. “That’s a problem right now, us being able to finish our defense. At least the last three games, that has not been good enough.”


The Timberwolves and Heat agreed to auction their pregame “With Liberty and Justice FOR ALL” warmup shirts to raise money for The Daunte Wright Memorial Fund. Wright was the Black man fatally shot by a police officer on April 11 in a nearby suburb.

The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks – the previous two teams to play in Minnesota – along with the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx joined the cause. Each shirt will be autographed by players. The auction ran concurrently on the Timberwolves’ website during Friday’s game.


Heat: Host the Nets on Sunday.

Timberwolves: Travel to Los Angeles to play the Clippers on Sunday.


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Kings vs. Suns – Game Recap – April 15, 2021

PHOENIX — — Deandre Ayton had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Devin Booker added 23 points and the Phoenix Suns won their 10th straight home game by beating the Sacramento Kings 122-114 on Thursday night.

The Suns haven’t lost in their home arena for nearly a month, but struggled to put away the Kings for much of the night, taking a 95-94 lead into the fourth quarter. Sacramento took its first lead of the second half when Delon Wright made a layup to make it 96-95.

The game remained close throughout the fourth but the Suns slowly pushed ahead and Booker threw a long alley-oop pass to Ayton for a dunk with 4:38 left that made it 110-104. Ayton muscled his way to another bucket a few possessions later to push the Phoenix up 112-104.

It was another good game for Ayton, who has found his niche playing alongside the All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Booker. Paul finished with 13 points and 11 assists.

The Suns improved to 40-15 for the season, hitting 40 wins for the first time since 2014. The Kings have lost nine straight.

Sacramento was led by De’Aaron Fox, who scored 27. Buddy Hield added 24 and Wright had 16 off the bench.

Jevon Carter made his first three shots off the bench, including two 3-pointers, to give the Suns a lift early in the second quarter. His second 3 gave Phoenix a 45-33 advantage with 9:30 left before halftime.

But the Kings cut into the deficit quickly and Wright made a 3 with 1:15 left that tied the game at 65. The Suns took a 67-65 lead into halftime after Booker made a 17-foot jumper.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first half. Phoenix was 25 of 40 (63%) from the field, including 11 of 21 from 3-point range (52%). The Kings weren’t far behind, shooting 24 of 42 (57%) and 10 of 18 (56%) from long range.


Kings: F Marvin Bagley III (hand fracture) and F Richaun Holmes (right hamstring strain) didn’t play.

Suns: Paul needs 16 assists to pass Magic Johnson (10,141) for No. 4 on the all-time list. … F Abdel Nader missed his 14th straight game because of right knee soreness. … Carter finished with 13 points in 17 minutes, leading a bench that scored 42.


Kings: Travel to face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Suns: Wrap up a five-game homestand vs. the Spurs on Saturday.


Follow David Brandt at www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP


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Cavaliers vs. Hornets – Game Recap – April 14, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — — Jarrett Allen felt better than he expected in his first game since March 26.

“I thought I’d be sluggish and a step behind everybody,” Allen said. “But I scored the first basket on a dunk and it just went from there.”

Taurean Prince scored a season-high 25 points with six 3-pointers, Allen had 15 points and eight rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Charlotte Hornets their third straight loss at home Wednesday night, 103-90.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 11 rebounds as Cleveland (20-34) snapped a two-game skid and walked away with a renewed level of confidence.

Things went so well, players talked after the game about the playoffs being a possibility with the roster getting back to full strength. Collin Sexton, who missed his second straight game with a strained groin, is the other key piece still out, but is expected to return soon.

“We have 18 games to go and we’re going to fight to get into that play-in game,” Allen said.

“This is just a little glimpse” of our potential, said Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, who finished with 17 points and seven assists. “We are just getting started. … I think you will see the best basketball from us as we try to make a playoff push.”

It was Allen’s first action since suffering a concussion against the Los Angeles Lakers, forcing him to miss eight games. He opened strong with two dunks on Cleveland’s first three possessions and had four for the game. He finished 5 of 9 from the field and played 30 minutes.

Larry Nance Jr. also returned for Cleveland after missing seven games with an illness, but struggled to find his rhythm. He had five points on 1-of-7 shooting in 20 minutes and looked out sync.

Prior to the game, the frontcourt tandem of Love and Allen had played just seven minutes together. Allen joked that “other than Kevin stealing a few of my rebounds, I thought we shared the court well.”

“I think our chemistry is better than I could have imagined,” Allen said.

Terry Rozier had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the short-handed Hornets. Miles Bridges added 20 points.

Rozier returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Tuesday night against the Lakers, but the Hornets (20-20) were still without four of their top six scorers in LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, P.J. Washington and Malik Monk — and it showed.

Charlotte shot 40.5% from the field and 50% from the line.

“We’re limited offensively right now,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “We’ll try to get to 100 points as much as we can. It’s going to be a challenge. No excuses, this is our group.”

Cleveland led by nine entering the fourth quarter and held the Hornets at bay behind a series of 3-pointers, including three by Prince in the final four minutes. Prince finished 9 of 13 from the field and 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

“He’s been able to be a really consistent punch off the bench, not only on the offensive end, but he gets a ton of deflections, he comes up with steals,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Prince. “He provides you with opportunities in transition where he runs. He can attack off the dribble and make 3s.”


Cavaliers: This was the 25th different starting lineup this season. … Had 27 assists with all 10 players recording at least one. … Bench outscored Charlotte 41-19.

Hornets: Were outrebounded 47-38.


The Cavaliers have signed forward Lamar Stevens from the Cleveland Clinic Courts to a multi-year contract before the game.

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Stevens signed a two-way contract with Cleveland on Nov. 28 and has appeared in 37 games with averages of 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13.1 minutes.


Borrego suggested he may give rookie big men Vernon Carey Jr. and Nick Richards some playing time coming up to spell centers Bismack Biyombo and Cody Zeller.


Cavaliers: Host the Warriors on Thursday night on the second of a back-to-back.

Hornets: Travel to face the Nets on Friday night.


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Wizards vs. Kings – Game Recap – April 14, 2021

SACRAMENTO — — Russell Westbrook recorded his 170th career triple-double, Bradley Beal scored 31 points, and the Washington Wizards ended their longest road trip of the season by beating the Sacramento Kings 123-111 on Wednesday night.

Westbrook had 25 points, 11 assists and 15 rebounds for his sixth consecutive triple-double and the 24th of the season. Oscar Robertson holds the NBA record for career triple-doubles with 181.

“He’s the elite at attacking,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “It’s extraordinary and he brings it every night. The people that criticize him, the analytics guys, they obviously don’t play the game or understand the game. I love how he plays.”

Beal shot 10 of 22 and had his 25th 30-point game this season.

Davis Bertans added 16 points as Washington finished 4-2 on its road trip.

“We just know each other better,” said Deni Avdija, who had 11 points. “Our chemistry is better from the beginning of the season. Everybody knows his role. We’re in a good position right now.”

De’Aaron Fox scored 33 points for the Kings, who have lost eight straight.

The Wizards had fun with this one.

Washington scored 42 points in the first quarter, including an early 3-pointer by Beal, who smiled and playfully wagged his tongue at the Wizards’ bench as he ran down the court.

“It was a tough travel trip,” Brooks said. “Started off in Florida and ended up in California with a few other states in between. I thought we played pretty solid.”

Fox scored six points in 30 seconds to pull Sacramento within 82-76 midway through the third, but the Kings stalled after that.

Westbrook got his triple-double early in the fourth, when he dished to Bertans for a 3-pointer that made it 107-91.

The Wizards got some help from the Kings in the fourth quarter. Sacramento was called for four technical fouls in the period, including two for delay of game. Coach Luke Walton was hit with one in the final two minutes.

“It gets frustrating sometimes,” Walton said. “It’s probably more frustrating because of how we’re playing right now. That’s what we can control. We can’t control the other stuff. We have to clean up our own side of the street before we start complaining about others.”


Washington dominated Sacramento on the boards and in shooting. But the Wizards committed a season-high 26 turnovers that led to 38 points for the Kings. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before, and you’re losing by 15 all game,” Walton said. “It’s tough right now. It’s really tough.”


With Richaun Holmes sitting out with a sore hamstring, the Kings turned to a pair of reserves. Damian Jones, who signed a 10-day contract on April 7, started and had five points and four rebounds. Chimezie Metu also played in the post and had two points and one rebound.


Wizards: Washington scored 42 points in the first quarter. … Jordan Bell was signed to a 10-day contract. Bell played in three games with Washington in January. … The Wizards had not won in Sacramento since October 29, 2017.

Kings: Marvin Bagley III, who has been rehabbing from a broken bone in his left hand at his home in Arizona, is expected to rejoin the team when it plays Phoenix on Friday. The second overall pick in 2018, Bagley has missed 15 games.


Wizards: Return to Washington to play New Orleans on Saturday, beginning a four-game homestand.

Kings: Face the Suns in Phoenix on Friday. The teams split a back-to-back at Golden 1 Center in December.


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Heat vs. Suns – Game Recap – April 13, 2021

PHOENIX — — Cam Payne was the man who got the curtain call on Tuesday night. The backup guard sheepishly grinned and waved to the screaming Phoenix Suns‘ fans as he trotted off the court postgame.

Usually, those cheers are reserved for All-Stars like Devin Booker or Chris Paul. On this night, the praise belonged to the backups.

Payne scored 14 points and dished seven assists to lead a Phoenix bench that poured in 65 points, and the Suns rolled to a 106-86 victory over the Miami Heat.

Payne banked a layup high off the glass with less than a second left to give the Suns an 83-72 lead heading into the fourth. It was part of a big game for several Suns’ reserves, which was the biggest reason they were able to slowly pull away from the Heat in the second half.

Four backups scored in double figures, including Cam Johnson (15 points), Payne (14), Torrey Craig (14) and Dario Saric (13). Jevon Carter added nine points on three 3-pointers. That offset a fairly quiet night for Booker and Paul.

Booker finished with 12 points and Paul had five points and nine assists. Paul said he wasn’t surprised the bench was able to pick up the slack.

“We have a team. Like a real team,” Paul said. “We lean on each other and trust each other.”

The Suns have won 10 of their last 11 games, including three in a row. They improved to 39-15. The Heat fell to 28-26.

Phoenix was 13 of 42 from 3-point range (31%), one night after setting a franchise record with 25 long balls.

Miami had an even worse night from beyond the arc, making just 9 of 44 (20.5%). Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 18 points and Duncan Robinson added 15.

“They’re a very good defense,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They did that similarly to us in Miami. Got us out of our normal flow, flattened us out a little bit. Things started to slow down and we held on to the ball too much.”

The Heat jumped out to a 34-26 lead at the end of the first quarter after leading by as many as 13. The Suns fought back quickly and Paul hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 42-all with 8:18 left in the second. Phoenix pushed ahead 56-50 by halftime.

Ayton led the Suns with 11 points and six rebounds before the break. Ariza and Dragic each scored 10 for the Heat.


Paul had three steals against the Heat, including two in the fourth quarter that pushed him to 2,311 for his career. That puts him fifth all-time. He passed Maurice Cheeks, who was fifth with 2,310.

Paul still has a way to go for the top spot. That’s held by John Stockton who had 3,265, which is nearly 600 more than anyone else in NBA history.


Butler was down for a couple minutes early in the fourth quarter when he landed on Carter’s foot after taking a jumper and twisted his right ankle. He eventually returned to the game and finished 6 of 16 from the field. He also had eight assists.


Heat: F KZ Okpala (health and safety protocols) and G Victor Oladipo (right knee soreness) didn’t play.

Suns: F Abdel Nader missed his 13th straight game with right knee soreness. … Jae Crowder scored five points one night after pouring in a season-high 26 points on a career-high eight 3-pointers.


Heat: Travel to face the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

Suns: Host the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.


Follow David Brandt at www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP


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