It was a wild night in the NBA featuring comebacks and big scoring performances. BUT, the most interesting part of the night was that we saw three different games go into overtime. We’re going to recap all three of them for you.
We start with the Bulls vs. Wizards contest, which saw a few players returning to face the teams that had traded them at the deadline. The game was tied at the half after each team had a strong quarter in the opening half. It was close for the entire second half, with both teams “struggling” to take hold of the game. Ultimately, it was the Bulls, despite being extremely short-handed without Porter and LaVine (Wendell Carter is still hurt) who were able to come away with a win.
In the losing effort, Jabari Parker continued to impress, leading the Wizards with 28 points on the night. Bradley Beal had 27-7-7, while Tomas Satoransky chipped in 16. Lauri Markkanen had yet another big performance with his 32-13-5 line. Kris Dunn had the game of his life with 26-6-13, while Shaquille Harrison contributed 18 points. It was great to see the Bulls fight hard in front of the home fans to get the win.
Next we head to OKC, where we had a very unlikely overtime contest. OKC trailed by double-figures for the majority of the fourth quarter, and nobody but Russell Westbrook was on their game last night. But they continued to chip away at Toronto’s lead, and eventually PG scored 9 straight and Westbrook went full-court for a layup to tie the game with four seconds. They even had the last shot of the fourth quarter, a 32-foot fadeaway from Westbrook which was not a smart shot.
Paul George fouled out late in the fourth, which cost OKC in OT. Pascal Siakam (33-13-6) had a masterful performance to lift the Raptors in OT, as they held the Thunder to just four points in the five-minute frame. Kawhi had 22-10-6, while Fred Van Vleet had 23 points and six assists in the start. Westbrook had 42-11-6 to pace the Thunder while George (19) and Schroder (12) were the only other ones in double-figures. OKC has lost eight of their last 11 games.
We have yet to get to the most exciting OT game of the night. The Rockets, despite trailing Memphis by 19 points at the start of the fourth quarter, absolutely went off in the final 12:00 to extend the game. The game went back and forth in OT, before being decided with just 0.1 seconds to play. Off a Mike Conley miss, Jonas Valanciunas picked up the offensive rebound and threw it at the rim. He made the first foul shot and missed the second on purpose to tick the last tenth of a second off the clock. It is worth noting that Harden hit a three and then stole the ball, going in for a lay-up for a quick 5-0 run before the JV foul shot.
Harden scored 57 against the Grizzlies in January and matched that total again. It is a very Kobe-like trait to come out of nowhere with these 50+ games, this latest one being his SEVENTH of the year. CP3 scored 18 while Capela added 14, rounding out the Rockets in double-figures. Mike Conley had 35 points and eight assists for Memphis, while Jonas Valanciunas added 33 and 15. The most impressive things about Memphis’ win? 1) They had only eight players available, two of who started the year with the team. 2) Chandler Parsons hit two huge threes down the stretch. His first big moments as a Grizzly. Finally.