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NBA Scores: The Mavs continue to fall after Kyrie Irving trade

SB Nation logo SB Nation 3/27/2023 DamonAllred
© Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

Less than two weeks remain in the NBA’s 2022-23 regular season, and the standings battles keep heating up; here’s what to look for down the stretch.

  • Who gets top spot in the East? No. 2 Boston is currently 1.5 games back of No. 1 Milwaukee, and the two will face off on TNT on Thursday.
  • Who’s stuck in the West play-in? The West’s play-in picture has been a mess all season, and continues to still be now; 4.0 games separate No. 4 Phoenix and No. 12 Utah and there’s just 1.5 games between No. 6 Golden State and No. 10 OKC.
  • Does Brooklyn or Miami avoid the East play-in? For the most part, the East has sorted itself out already, but No. 6 Brooklyn and No. 7 Miami find themselves tied at 40-35 with the Nets owning the tiebreaker after sweeping the season series.

Hornets beat Mavs for the second time in a row, 110-104

To say Dallas is dealing with a bit of turmoil is absolutely an understatement. Per StatMuse, since the Luka Doncic—Kyrie Irving combo made its debut a month and a half ago, the Mavs have dropped from 4th to 11th in the West standings, having gone 5-13 over that stretch.

Luka Doncic, who recently cited frustration on and off the court, started cold as ice, shooting 0-6 from the floor. He turned it around and was able to finish with 40 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists, albeit in a loss.

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Unfortunately for the Mavs, Luka also earned his 16th technical foul of the season. If that’s not rescinded by the league offices on Monday, he’ll have to miss the game against Indiana since 16 tech’s means a one-game suspension.

Bulls spoil the King’s return, beat Lakers 118-108

After a weekend of arduous injury updates, LeBron James was finally able to make his return to action after missing the last 13 games (Lakers were 8-5 over that stretch). Coming off the bench for just the second time in his career, the King finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes.

Pat Beverley must’ve been well aware of the added attention on this game, because he made sure to steal the spotlight, giving LeBron a “too small” after hitting a weird spinning floater with absolutely zero contact, completely throwing away the rules of the “too small” celebration:

Grizzlies’ win streak up to six after beating Hawks 123-119

Don’t look now but not only has Memphis won a league-high six games in a row, but they’re also a league-best 9-1 over their last 10 games. They seem to have put all the Ja Morant shenanigans behind them; Morant had 27 points and six assists to lead the Grizzlies in both.

Boston runs away with 137-93 win over Spurs

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Cavs’ defense suffocates Rockets in fourth quarter of 108-91 win

Following a +12 third quarter, Houston was knocking on the door of completing a comeback, down just 80-85 going into the fourth. Cleveland’s defense hit another gear, holding the Rockets to 11 points in the final frame, including a four-minute scoreless stretch and only one made field goal over the final two and a half minutes.

Brooklyn, Bridges fall 106-119 to Orlando

Mikal Bridges left Phoenix with a career high of points at 34. Since arriving in Brooklyn, he’s tied or beat that total five different times, including his first two career 40-point nights. Over the 20 games, he’s shooting 50/41/91 from the floor, some of the best marks of his career.

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It didn’t result in a win though, and Brooklyn has dropped six of their last seven. Orlando was the culprit on Sunday, playing excellent defense in holding the non-Bridges Nets to 2-26 (7.7%) from three and winning the assist battle 30-17. Franz Wagner flirted with a triple double, ending his night with 19/10/6.

Raptors use hot start to go wire-to-wire over Wizards, 114-104

OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet combined for 29 of Toronto’s first quarter points and the Raptors sprinted out to a 37-21 lead. While the Wizards were as close as 79-80 late in the third quarter, they never took a lead throughout the entire game, and Toronto nearly extended the lead out to 20 in the fourth.

Thunder 118, Blazers 112

Every single time that he takes the court, Josh Giddey does something adrenalizing. Sometimes, it’s more than once in a single game. On a night where he finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists, he threaded the needle for an adrenalizing dish for a Jaylin Williams finish:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams combined for 54 of the Thunder’s points, while the premiere scoring on the opposite roster was nowhere to be found. Shams Charania reported over the weekend that Portland was “leaning toward shutting down” Damian Lillard for the final couple weeks of the season, so Portland’s prized lottery rookie Shaedon Sharpe took care of the scoring duties with a career-high 29 points (9-13 FG).

KAT “caaaaash” on clutch three to lift Wolves past Warriors 99-96

This was a shenanigan-filled game. From Rudy Gobert’s flagrant foul on Draymond Green to a Jaden McDaniels technical, the game was off the rails from the start. Minnesota built a double-digit lead midway through the second, but Golden State swung the game back the other way with an 18-1 run.

The Wolves got a couple different leads going in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t separate enough to keep the Warriors off their tails. They traded go-ahead threes late, but Karl-Anthony Towns got the last laugh with this crazy sequence:

Although we can’t leave without acknowledging the crucial contributions of guys like Mike Conley, who had the stop on the ensuing Warriors possession, and Kyle Anderson, who made plays throughout the night including the final steal and assist to KAT’s three.


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