There are two games airing on BT Sport on opening night with last season’s NBA Champions welcoming a new look, New York to Cleveland at 1am. Oakland’s 73 game winning Warriors welcome Kawhi Leornard’s Spurs to the Oracle Arena for game one of 82. Read more
The Brooklyn Nets had a double reason to celebrate on Tuesday night, securing a spot in the NBA playoffs, and doing it in style landing a franchise-record 14th-straight game at home with a 105-96 victory over the Houston Rockets.
Joe Johnson scored 32 points for the Nets scoring 32 points, along with three assists and four rebounds.
Four wins on the bounce now for the Portland Trail Blazers, as they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 124-112 – Damian Lillard top-scoring for Portland with 34 points and eight assists.
Also on Tuesday night, the Golden State Warriors got back to winning ways, but only just, with a 122-120 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Monday’s action saw Miami Heat extended their winning streak to three games with a 93-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors, and moved ahead of the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings for the first time.
That was compounded by the San Antonio Spurs extended their own winning run to 18 games with a 103-77 victory over the Pacers.
The Los Angeles Clippers are building great momentum ahead of the playoffs, as they held on for a 114-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves to move two behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second spot in the West.
Charlotte Bobcats took the spoils over the Washington Wizards 100-94, but the Wizards remain two wins ahead of the Bobcats in the Eastern Conference, whilst the Philadelphia 76ers lost 103-94 against the Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 116-111.
The Chicago Bulls turned around a nine-point deficit to see off the Boston Celtics 94-80, the Sacramento Kings beat the New Orleans Pelicans 102-97, the New York Knicks claimed a 92-83 win over the Utah Jazz, and the Memphis Grizzlies condemned the Denver Nuggets to a fourth successive defeat, 94-92.
Eastern Conference leaders, the Indiana Pacers slipped to a 90-76 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, giving Mike Brown’s side a glimmer of hope for a play-off spot.
Six Cavs made double figures on the night, Dion Waiters top-scoring with 19 points, as they ended a nine-game losing streak against the Pacers. However, the Pacers have now lost five of their last seven – all those defeats have come on the road, but getting back to winning ways ahead of the playoffs will be difficult with the visit of 17-game streakers San Antonio coming to town on Monday night.
With seven games left in the season, the clock is ticking for the Cavs but six of their remaining fixtures are against teams with losing records, including showdowns with the Bobcats and the Hawks who occupy seventh and eighth spot in the East.
Chris Kaman’s career-best double-double of 28 points and 17 rebounds proved plenty for the Los Angeles Lakers in a comfortable 115-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix came in off the back of six straight wins, but the Lakers dominated the first half and although the contest was much closer in the final two quarters, LA hung on to put a dent in to the Suns’ playoff spot chase.
Kevin Durant took one more step towards breaking a record that has lasted almost a generation as the Oklahoma City Thunder brushed aside the Utah Jazz 116-96.
Durant led the way with 31 points and nine assists, the 38th consecutive match in which he has scored over 25 points, and is now just two games away from equalling Michael Jordan’s 1986/87 season record.
The Portland Trail Blazers made it a third straight win after beating the Memphis Grizzlies 105-98, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge’s tally of 26 points.
Despite letting slip a 19-point lead at half-time, the Toronto Raptors also produced a third win in a row with a 98-93 win over the Orlando Magic, as the Boston Celtics went down 107-102 to the Chicago Bulls, with DJ Augustin posting a career-best 33 points.
The New York Knicks momentum towards a play-off spot also continued as they overcame the Golden State Warriors 89-84 and the Brooklyn Nets earned their 13th consecutive home victory with a 114-99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sometimes you find that sports stars have a knack of transferring their skills, but when it comes to hitting the halfcourt shot, perhaps don’t call on any Chelsea FC players (unless you give them a few practice attempts beforehand)
In a break from chasing the Premier League title, Eden Hazard, Demba Ba, Petr Čech, David Luiz and André Schürrle took part in the challenge set up by NBA UK – and whilst some may have their own individual styles when it comes to shooting the ball (with their hands – not their feet), they still have work to do to hone their skills on the court.
Take a look for yourselves and see what you think!
Two NBA sides celebrated their Irish heritage last night with their St. Patrick’s Day limited edition green jerseys.
The Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls both were kitted out for the NBA’s ninth annual St. Patrick’s Day program, but unfortunately neither side benefited from the luck of the Irish.
The Celtics’ St. Patrick’s Day uniforms feature green jerseys and shorts with the lettering and numbers bordered in white and gold, the shamrock makes another appearance within the gold design. The sleeves pay homage to the original Celtics, who wore sleeved jerseys during their inaugural 1946-47 season.
Avery Bradley, above, and his Celtic team-mates suffered a 94-89 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks.
Whilst the Bulls, in their own celebratory jerseys, as seen with Joakim Noah below, went down 97-85 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The adidas St. Patrick’s Day Collection is available at www.nbastore.eu and jersey prices start at £75.
Images: NBAE/Getty Images