Baseline-to-Baseline recaps: Nuggets streak, Bulls slide
Welcome to PBT’s roundup of yesterday’s NBA games. Or, what you missed while watching Harvard bust your bracket.
At a certain point, a winning streak takes on a life of its own, to the point where it seemingly can’t be stopped.
That certainly seems to be the case with the Miami Heat right now, but the Nuggets are on a 14-game winning streak of their own now, thanks to a career night from Corey Brewer.
This game was nowhere near as close as the score would indicate, and considering the fact that the Bulls were playing at home and saw both Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson return to the lineup after missing time due to injury, this was a brutal performance from Chicago.
Portland began to do its damage in the second quarter, opening the period on a 14-0 run. Their lead reached as many as 19 points before halftime, and as many as 28 points before the third quarter was through.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard handled the bulk of the offense with 28 and 24 points respectively, and the Bulls actually made a run to close the gap in the fourth, behind eight points from Gibson and 10 from Jimmy Butler as Tom Thibodeau actually rested four of his five starters for the game’s final 12 minutes.
This was Chicago’s fourth loss in its last five games.
Tyreke Evans scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter of this one, yet still tried to give away the game in the closing seconds.
With Sacramento leading by three and having possession of the ball with 34 seconds remaining (and a difference of almost 11 seconds between the shot clock and the game clock), Evans exhibited poor decision-making and even worse fundamental skill, as he got into the lane and turned the ball over before his team could even get a shot off.
Thankfully for Sacramento, the best Minnesota could do was find Dante Cunningham for a wide-open look from three-point distance that careened off the backboard as time expired. For the record, Cunningham has made just one three-pointer in 19 career attempts as he’s now in his fourth NBA season, making the Timberwolves’ final possession somehow worse than that of the Kings.