With less than a week left until the end of the season, teams are grinding to be one of the few to make the NBA play-in tournament and the playoffs. Here’s how some former Kentucky players and their teams fared in the chase for the postseason.
JAZZ RECAPTURE #1 SEED, DEFEAT MVP FAVORITE NIKOLA JOKIC AND NUGGETS
Putting up a career-high 48 points along with eight rebounds, Bojan Bogdanovic has taken well to his larger offensive role after Donovan Mitchell’s injury, helping the Utah Jazz defeat the Denver Nuggets 127-120. Over the last week, the 32-year-old Croatian forward has been averaging 30 points on 62 percent from the field and 53 percent from the 3-point line. Jordan Clarkson was second on the team with 21 points, and eight assists while DPOY Rudy Gobert scored 14 and snagged nine rebounds, and managed to lock down Nikola Jokic in crunch time with this block to win at home.
MVP front-runner challenges DPOY front-runner in crunch-time. pic.twitter.com/NxjITfatjJ
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 8, 2021
For Denver, Michael Porter Jr. has taken the scoring lead after Jamal Murray’s ACL tear, leading the Nuggets with 31 points, six rebounds, and three steals. MVP favorite Nikola Jokic added 24 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds, but the five turnovers by him were costly. The Nuggets never lead once the 4th quarter started and the Jazz took a 103-99 lead off back-to-back shots by Georges Niang. With Phoenix now only a game behind the Jazz for the #1 seed, Utah could very easily face the winner of the Warriors/Lakers play-in game in the first round.
Bojan Bogdanovic went OFF for a career-high 48 PTS against the Nuggets ?? pic.twitter.com/DAJ3wqJALx
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 8, 2021
BUTLER AND HEAT COME BACK AGAINST TIMBERWOLVES
Coming off a six-game absence, Tyler Herro scored 27 points, going 6-8 from three in 29 minutes off the bench to defeat the Timberwolves 121-112. Jimmy Butler added 25 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and five steals, while Bam Adebayo scored 15 points to go along with two steals and two blocks on the defensive end. With the win, the Heat are a game ahead of the Celtics and the 7th seed for the play-in tournament. They have a two-game series at TD Garden, with the winner making the playoffs without the play-in game and would jump the 4th seeded Knicks, only one game ahead.
Jimmy Butler tonight:
He is quietly averaging 22/7/7 and leads the NBA in steals this season. pic.twitter.com/zb1RhlPeP0
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 8, 2021
The Timberwolves have now fallen to 20-47 on the season have lost three straight games, with the only highlights being Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. Towns scored 27, going 9-11 from the free-throw line, while ROY candidate Edwards added 25 points, six rebounds, and a block. D’Angelo Russell and Ricky Rubio were the only other players in double digits, Russell with 17, and Rubio adding 16 points along with nine assists and two steals. Minnesota now slides closer to the #1 pick, while having a 25% chance at a top-3 pick already. Towns and the Wolves have only made the playoffs once when Jimmy Butler was there in 2018, and the two had some words for each other after a sour end in Minnesota.
Jimmy and KAT had some words for each other ? pic.twitter.com/CAhN9788d7
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2021
DAVIS UNABLE TO OVERCOME DAME TIME AS LAKERS LOSE 106-101
One day after leaving the Clippers game due to back spasms, Anthony Davis had his best game since February, scoring 36 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 39 minutes. That however was not enough to overcome Damian Lillard and Dame Time, as he added 38 points along with seven assists and two steals, going 5-9 from three, while shooting over 60 percent, including this three over Davis.
Dame three over AD ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2021
Alex Caruso was second in scoring with 18, while the rest of the line-up struggled offensively as LeBron James is still out with the ankle injury. As for the Trail Blazers, C.J. McCollum scored 21 points, combining for almost 60 points with Lillard, while Enes Kanter notched a double-double off the bench with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers have now lost eight of their last 10 games and are in danger of early elimination against the Warriors in the play-in game for the 7th seed.
The Blazers beat the Lakers to take the season series and the tiebreaker.
LA falls to the 7th spot in the West, which would put them in the Play-In Tournament. pic.twitter.com/UtC65dYwlP
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 8, 2021
Here are the full stats from last night:
|Anthony Davis||101-106 L vs Trail Blazers||36||12-23 (2-3)||12||5||0||1||3||-11||39|
|Tyler Herro||121-112 W vs Timberwolves||27||10-13 (6-8)||3||4||0||0||0||+21||29|
|Karl-Anthony Towns||112-121 L vs Heat||27||8-16 (2-6)||6||4||0||0||4||+9||31|
|Julius Randle||105-128 L vs Suns||24||8-16 (1-5)||11||4||0||0||3||-23||33|
|P.J. Washington||122-112 W vs Magic||23||8-14 (4-6)||9||2||1||1||3||+11||38|
|Eric Bledsoe||107-109 L vs 76ers||18||7-20 (1-7)||5||4||2||0||2||-10||40|
|Devin Booker||128-105 W vs Knicks||16||3-12 (1-4)||4||3||0||0||1||+11||35|
|Keldon Johnson||113-104 W vs Kings||16||6-12 (1-3)||5||2||0||0||1||-6||27|
|Bam Adebayo||121-112 W vs Timberwolves||15||6-10 (0-0)||4||4||2||2||2||-4||33|
|Enes Kanter||106-101 W vs Lakers||10||4-8 (0-1)||10||0||0||0||0||+8||17|
|Jarred Vanderbilt||112-121 L vs Heat||8||4-5 (0-0)||11||1||5||2||0||+9||36|
|Nerlens Noel||105-128 L vs Suns||5||2-2 (0-0)||5||1||0||0||2||-29||22|
|Malik Monk||122-112 W vs Magic||1-4 (1-4)||0||0||0||0||0||0||-5||9|
|Kevin Knox||105-128 L vs Suns||0||0-0 (0-0)||0||0||0||0||0||-3||2|
|Nick Richards||122-112 W vs Magic||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
|Tyrese Maxey||109-107 W vs Pelicans||DNP – Coach’s Decision|
TODAY IN THE NBA
7:00 – Wizards at Pacers
7:00 – Pistons (Diallo) at 76ers (Maxey)
7:30 – Grizzlies at Raptors
10:00 – Nets at Nuggets
10:00 – Rockets at Jazz
10:00 – Thunder at Warriors (Mulder)
10:00 – Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) at Trail Blazers (Kanter)