NBA: Washington Wizards and Miami Heat face off, Los Angeles Lakers tackle Boston Celtics
There have been some intriguing results over the past week, and the Boston Celtics will have been pleased to get revenge over the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 98-92 victory. This weekend, we will run the rule over three fixtures, including the Washington Wizards v Miami Heat, and the Celtics v Lakers. We will also check to see how the match odds are shaping up.
Phoenix Suns squeeze past spirited Minnesota Timberwolves
It may have been an ugly victory by all accounts, but the Suns’ winning streak continues. In squeezing past the Timberwolves with a 99-96 victory, it was their ninth win on the trot. It was a game packed with intensity, and it swung both ways before the Suns came away with the win. The shot-making on show was also incredible.
Chris Paul, in particular, came alive in the fourth quarter as he drained 19 of his 21 points in this period. Devin Booker contributed 29 points, while Deandre Ayton was impressive once again, as he weighed in with 22 points and 12 rebounds after missing the past five games with a knee injury.
Dallas Mavericks left with Luka Doncic concern after win over Denver Nuggets
The Mavericks looked hot against the Nuggets earlier this week as they ran out 111-101 winners. But the victory was overshadowed by guard Luka Doncic limping off court in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. He then made his way to the locker room. Doncic has a history of ankle sprains, and the Mavericks will be hoping it’s not too serious.
Are the Mavericks starting to come alive?
Of course, the Suns will pose a threat to the Mavericks. But one thing that will please Mavericks fans, is that shooting stats have gone up. In their last four games, they have made 58-of-149 triples. Previously, the Mavericks were around 30% for shooting, but this is much closer to the 40% mark, so it has been an extraordinary turnaround.
Los Angeles Lakers flailing after Chicago Bulls end losing streak
For the Chicago Bulls, their 121-103 win over the Lakers was significant as it ended an eight-match losing streak against LeBron James and co. But the Lakers looked fragile, and they hardly seemed like a team that will contend in the playoffs this season. Currently, the Lakers are ranked 27th out of 30 for points allowed per game (112.3).
Anthony Davis questions Lakers’ NBA title chances
The Lakers have slipped to seventh in the Western Conference, and at the time of writing, their record stands at 8-7. After their dismal showing against the Bulls earlier this week, Anthony Davis thought his side “sucked”, and he questioned how well they will do this campaign. He said: “We got to decide who we want to be.”
“A Championship team? That’s not us right now.” The Lakers will have to go back to the drawing board. They can’t afford to underestimate the Boston Celtics, who are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference. If they fail to get the basics right, then it could be a long, hard season for the Lakers.
Meanwhile, the Celtics will be hoping their victory over the Cavaliers earlier this week will give their campaign lift off. Before they face the Lakers, the Celtics take on the Atlanta Hawks. But the Celtics will be glad to see Jayson Tatum back to his best, and against the Cavs, he capped off a good individual display with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Washington Wizards sitting pretty at top of Eastern Conference
The Wizards may well have been a surprise package to date, but they don’t look like being knocked off their perch anytime soon. A 105-100 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans took their record to 10-3, and spirits will be high in the camp. What was most impressive about the win over the Pelicans, was that they managed to erase a 19-point deficit.
Meanwhile, the Heat have been no slouches either so far this season. Currently, fourth in the Eastern Conference, they ran out 103-90 winners over Oklahoma City Thunder, and they have been electric to watch in the early stages of the season. It could be quite tough picking a winner from the Wizards and the Heat.
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