NEW ORLEANS (AP) â Zach LaVine capped a 36-point performance with a driving layup and four free throws during the final minute, and the Chicago Bulls held off a late rally to beat the mercurial New Orleans Pelicans 128-124 on Wednesday night.
âIâve got to stay aggressive,” LaVine said, noting that he might have been too eager to pass when the Pelicans tightened the game up in the final five minutes. âIt makes the play a little bit easier, because if they donât stop me, then obviously Iâm at the rim or have an open shot.
âI feel comfortable taking those free throws at the end of the game,â LaVine added.
Coby White scored 25 for the Bulls, who led by as many as 19 and were still up 18 in the fourth quarter before the Pelicans’ late surge pulled them as close as 117-113 on Jaxson Hayes alley-oop dunk as he was fouled with 1:49 left.
Hayes missed the free throw, however, and Zion Williamson, who scored 28 points, missed two free throws with a chance to cut it to two with 1:23 left.
âI really feel like I let my team down, man,â said Williamson, who missed eight of 16 free throws in the game and returned to the empty court afterward to work on his foul shots. âIâve got to be better in that situation. If I want to be one of those great players and I take a lot of responsibility, Iâve got to be ready for those moments.â
The Golden State Warriors are wrapping up their first half schedule, but theyâre suddenly without the services of one of their hottest offensive players. Kelly Oubre Jr. sprained his left wrist during Tuesdayâs practice, and will miss Wednesdayâs game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to coach Steve Kerr, Oubre suffered the injury on a dunk attempt with a bad landing. It sounds like it could have been a lot worse.
Kent Bazemore will start in Oubreâs place, and it seems likely that Jordan Poole â who just rejoined the team after a scorching hot stint with the G Leagueâs Santa Cruz Warriors â will see some significant minutes off the bench.
Thereâs never a good time to lose a player to injury, especially since Oubre had a sensational February in which he averaged 20.1 points per game and shot 43.0% from three-point range. With that said, suffering an injury right before the start of the All-Star break is about as good of timing as possible.
The Warriors play again on Thursday night against the Phoenix Suns, a game in which Oubre has not yet been ruled out for. Then theyâre off for a week before returning next Thursday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
McConnell was one steal shy of tying the NBAâs single-game record but notched a triple-double that broke the main slate on DraftKings. He tallied 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting to go along with 10 steals and 13 assists. McConnell tallied 66 DKFP and helped power the Pacers to a comeback win. Indiana claimed a 114-111 victory.
Indiana Pacers guard TJ McConnell is the ultimate glue guy, and he could etch his name in the NBAâs record books on Wednesday in his teamâs matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. McConnell is known for making hustle plays, but his spectacular defense is whatâs turning heads against Cleveland.
McConnell racked up a ridiculous nine steals in the first half. The record for most steals by a player in an NBA game is 11, and thereâs plenty of time for McConnell to catch up. The undersized guard is a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with 8 points and has dished out 6 dimes as well in a well-rounded performance. Despite all his ball-hawking, the Pacers trial 61-51.
The Cavs have been careless with the ball and amassed 17 turnovers in the first half. However, theyâre shooting a blistering 59.5% from the field and 46.2% from deep. Four Cavs scored at least 10 points in the first half. Cleveland will have to protect the ball a lot better in the second half to hold onto its lead.