Cavaliers pack it in during loss to Pelicans
LeBron James could not save the Cleveland Cavaliers from the wrath of the New Orleans Pelicans' twin towers on Saturday.
Anthony Davis made his triumphant return, dropping 30 points and 14 rebounds, while DeMarcus Cousins continued his torrid streak by registering a triple-double in the Pelicans' 123-101 win over Cleveland.
This was a game New Orleans led early and often. The Pelicans never trailed by more than three points, and after they took the 9-7 lead in the first quarter, they would never trail again.
Down by 17 in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers took out all of their rotation players and played only their deepest reserves.
Kevin Love was a bright spot, scoring 26 points on seven-of-12 shooting, five of six from beyond the arc, and added 11 rebounds, but no other Cavalier scored 20 points.
Not even King James could cross the 20-point pinnacle as he finished with 18 points on six-of-11 shooting. The team were minus-10 with him on the floor.
In the meantime, Cousins tallied 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists and has led the Pelicans to big wins in each of their last two games.
"We're locked in as a unit. We feel like we can battle with the best of them. We're starting to understand what it takes to win games," Cousins said. "We're still learning how to play with one another, but the ball movement's been good lately. Defensively, we've been good."
Jazz guard Ricky Rubio hit four three-pointers for just the third time in the last two years, as he led Utah with 21 points on six-of-13 shooting, four of seven from beyond the arc. He also added seven rebounds and four assists in the Jazz's win over the Lakers, 96-81.
Russell Westbrook has now tallied a triple-double against every NBA team but the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 2016-17 MVP had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in the Thunder's 101-69 win over the Bulls.
Grizzlies guard Chandler Parsons was getting booed by his own fans earlier this season, but in Memphis' 103-89 win over the Rockets they did not want him to leave the court. Parsons scored 24 points on nine-of-11 shooting, six of eight from beyond the arc, in just 14 minutes of play.
Heat guard Dion Waiters got paid this offseason by Miami, but he was not worth it Saturday. He scored five points on two-of-eight shooting in 24 minutes of play. He also turned the ball over twice in Miami's 96-90 loss to the Celtics.
Sixers rookie Ben Simmons does not need to look where he is passing.
New Orleans Pelicans 123-101 Cleveland Cavaliers
Oklahoma City Thunder 101-69 Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies 103-89 Houston Rockets
Boston Celtics 96-90 Miami Heat
Utah Jazz 96-81 Los Angeles Lakers
Philadelphia 76ers 112-110 Dallas Mavericks
Portland Trail Blazers 114-107 Phoenix Suns
Detroit Pistons 95-87 Los Angeles Clippers
WIZARDS AT KINGS
It is John Wall against the next John Wall. Lauded coming out of Kentucky for his speed and basketball IQ, De'Aaron Fox is often compared to Wall, who was taken number one overall by the Wizards in 2010. Fox has a ways to go before he can match what his elder has done in his NBA career, but the two of them on the court at the same time will be something to watch. The Kings have played well in several games this season even though they have won just one, so they are becoming more fun to watch as a team as well.