If gamblers chose the underdog in last night’s NBA game between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans, they walked away with a nice win. That game was just one of several that had basketball fans glued to their TVs last night, and the season continues to impress with more surprises. The second half of the year is upon us, following the All-Star break, and the league is closing in on completing a successful run.
Jazz Have Difficulty In The Big Easy
The Jazz met the Pels in New Orleans last night as clear favorites to win. They lead the league right now, but this didn’t stop Zion Williamson and the rest of the crew from surging. The big man had 26 points and ten rebounds as the Pels beat the Jazz 129-124, upsetting Utah’s run. New Orleans started strong from the first tip-off and didn’t back down, even though they trailed 64-59 at the end of the second quarter.
Utah tried to mount a late-game comeback as the back-and-forth continued, but New Orleans wasn’t having it. Williamson had his 26 points matched by Brandon Ingram, with Lonzo Ball adding 23 and eight assists to make this a Pelicans game. Bojan Bogdanovich did his best for the Jazz, but his seven three-pointers and 31 points total weren’t enough. The Jazz will now take on the Philadelphia 76ers and the Pels host the Chicago Bulls tomorrow.
Sixers Find Hidden Energy
The Sixers faced the Indiana Pacers last night on their home court and showed that oddsmakers got this one right. They were favored by 5.5 points, ultimately crushing it with a 130-114 win. Philadelphia was in sync and organized, with Shake Milton putting up 26 and Furkan Korkmaz adding 19. Both are reserves who had to be brought in, but they were able to run alongside both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The starters had been questionable before the game; however, they put up 24 and 18 points, respectively, showing that they were ready for the action.
Milton and Korkmaz deserve a lot of credit for last night’s win after they helped the Sixers get a 20-point lead in the second quarter. After Milton hit a 21-footer from beyond the paint, Philadelphia found more juice and continued to overwhelm the Pacers, who have now lost four straight. The 76ers now host Utah and the Pacers are off to face the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow.
Mavs Take The Magic
Yesterday’s matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the Orlando Magic was bittersweet for some sports gamblers. The Mavs blew past the 224 Over/Under as they took a 130-124 victory; however, they had been given 7 points on Unibet – they missed by a point. Still, it was an awesome game for Dallas as both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were on fire.
The game was close in the first half and it wasn’t clear which way it would go. Doncic, before the night was through, put up 33 points and grabbed ten rebounds, but it was Jalen Brunson who helped Dallas capture the win. He scored 24 points in the game, 17 of which came in the second half. Dallas has now taken four of its last five and Orland has dropped four straight. Next up, the Mavericks host the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Magic host the Atlanta Hawks, both tomorrow.
Nuggets Win A Close Game
The Denver Nuggets traveled to Chicago yesterday to take on the Bulls and were ready for almost anything. They weren’t, however, ready to fall 15 points behind, yet that’s exactly what happened. Nikola Jokic then turned things up a notch and scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter to push Denver ahead. The Nuggets held on and took a 118-112 win.
The Nuggets were given 5.5 points by oddsmakers and were able to cover the spread, although it almost didn’t happen. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter, Jr. can be thanked for that, as they put up, respectively, 24 and 17 points. Jokic knows that, despite the win, the Nuggets played a sloppy game, and they’ll have a chance to redeem themselves when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks today.
Nets Pick Up OT Win Against The Spurs
The Brooklyn Nets had a little bit of difficulty when they met the San Antonio Spurs last night. They were favored going into the game, but only given three points, and oddsmakers had seen something odd about this matchup. The Nets fell apart in the waning seconds of regulation to allow the Spurs a chance to tie, but would ultimately come back together in OT for the 124-113 win.
James Harden helped save the Nets from an embarrassing loss. He had 30 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds on the night and picked up his seventh triple-double in 22 games with the Nets. This was the first win for the Nets in San Antonio across the last 18 meetings and will give Brooklyn new energy in the second half of the season.
Elsewhere in the league, the Portland Trail Blazers took down the Charlotte Hornets 123-111 in a game that ended as expected. LaMelo Ball continues to show off for Charlotte, picking up 30 points on the night. The Houston Rockets now have 12 straight losses after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night, 101-90. That gave the Cavs their fourth consecutive win.