Breakfast Special: Andre Ingram, This Is Your Time

Wednesday is a day filled with games that will decide the course of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, potentially setting matchups that could determine, especially in the Western Conference, who gets into the Finals.

Tuesday? Tuesday is the day a 10-year veteran of the G-League got a night in Los Angeles to play for the Lakers, a childhood dream realized, a story to tell his grandkids.

Tuesday…belongs to Andre Ingram.

The Lakers lost to the Rockets 105-99. They’re 34-47, another pathetic lost season, a joke of a franchise ever since Kobe Bryant got hurt and limped through the last four years of his career, a team run so badly by the dumbest of Jerry Buss’s offspring that Jeannie had to step in and initiate a coup de Lakers.

But none of that matters. We’re not here to show Chris Paul‘s 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting or James Harden‘s 21-point, 10-assist performance.

No. Tonight belongs to a guy who holds the all-time Letter League record for three-pointers made, a guy playing for peanuts for a decade keeping his basketball dreams alive, a guy who scored 19 points on 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from long range, blocked three shots, grabbed three rebounds, had an assist and a steal and just a single turnover in 29 minutes played…

…in other words, a guy who belonged in a Lakers uniform, not just a guy getting a charity game because the roster’s depleted by injuries and guys shut down for the year.

So yes, Houston won behind 16-of-47 shooting from beyond the arc, overpowering the opposition with long-range bombs like always.

But Andre Ingram, this is your night:

Luke Walton gave him the game ball:

And tell me this story doesn’t give you goose bumps:

Get Ready to Rumble, Portland

Utah was supposed to punt the game with Golden State so they’d be rested for a SEGABABA winner-take-all Northwest Division Championship Game against the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday.

Instead, they beat the Dubs 119-79.

None of Utah’s starters played more than 28 minutes (Rudy Gobert, who had 13 points and a plus-36 plus/minus.)

Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points on 8-of-12 and had a team-best plus-37.

And the Jazz on the whole shot 53.3 percent from the field, held the Warriors to 34.9 percent, and did this in a game Klay Thompson played 35 minutes and Kevin Durant played 29.

This…was a scare-the-pants-off-the-Dubs preview of a glorious second round series to come.

Oh, and did we mention Thompson had 23 points…on 9-of-27 shooting?! Yikes!

Mitchell is your man of the match, but Ben Simmons is still the Rookie of the Year:

Duck Cleveland, But Don’t Play Toronto

The catbird seat for the Wizards is to get a depleted Celtics team in the first round of the playoffs.

To do this, they must finish seventh in the East, but with Milwaukee and Miami still with something to say about that, and each with their own reasons for avoiding the Cavs and Raptors, Wednesday is going to be a car crash.

But the Wizards beat Boston 113-101, held Al Horford, Jayson Tatum, and Terry Rozier to a combined 8-of-33 (24.2 percent) from the field, showed that the potential playoff series will be a rousing barn-burner, and just generally made the Celtics look more like the 7 seed than the 2.

John Wall led the way with 29 points, announcing to the world that he’s ready for the playoffs:

The Pacers Play For Fun, Charlotte Plays To Win

The Pacers had the DNP-Rest Spectacular as they get ready to go on the road to Cleveland or, if the Sixers lose to Milwaukee and the Cavs beat the Knicks, to Philadelphia.

So they lost to the Hornets 119-93 at home, finishing 0-7 in games without Victor Oladipo, one of the DNP-Rest guys in question.

Lance Stephenson started, scored nine points on 3-of-10 shooting, grabbed 13 rebounds, and did Lance things.

But it was Frank Kaminsky, coming off the bench to score 24 points against the Mad Ants, who led the way.

Oh, and can someone check Myles Turner‘s pulse? I think he’s dead. Two points on 1-of-8 with just three rebounds in 21 minutes? Yikes.

Also this happened:

Atlanta Hawks Up A Lung

The Hawks finished their miserable campaign 24-58, losing to the Sixers at home in a game Philly needed to win to keep control of the 3 seed heading into tomorrow’s season finale against Milwaukee.

Ben Simmons was his usual Magic Johnson-like self with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, J.J. Redick swarmed the Hawks with 28 points on 6-of-9 from long range, the Hawks won the turnover battle 18-10 and still got their asses handed to them…

It was a 121-113 win that shouldn’t have been that close. But they all count.

The Sixers have been an NBA franchise since the beginning, way back in the Syracuse Nationals days. This 15-game winning streak is the longest in franchise history. Well done, guys. Philly lost to the Pacers on March 13. They haven’t lost since.

If Philly wins tonight, their 16-game winning streak to close a regular season will be the longest such streak in NBA history and will tie the 2007 New England Patriots (who went 16-0, thus winning “the last 16 games of the season” as the only games of the season) for the longest such streak in all of sports.

And Finally…

The Phoenix Suns ran none of their stars out against the Mavericks. They, in essence, played the Northern Arizona Suns as their roster.

They won 124-97.

And they finished the season 21-61, “winning” the Tank Derby.

Alec Peters had 36 off the bench to lead the Suns, hitting 12-of-20 shots including 8-of-13 from three in 28 minutes:

Tomorrow’s Breakfast Special will sort out the winners and losers on the greatest day of action in the regular season and one of the best slates of games in the history of the league in terms of playoff implications.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!