Breakfast Special: LeBron With A Little Help From His Friends

This season, LeBron James has been out on an island in Cleveland, putting up one of the better statistical seasons of his career, especially his post-Miami career, while getting nothing from his teammates and having to win games by himself.

Monday night against Detroit, LeBron had his usual mind-blowing game, with 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting and seven each of rebounds and assists, but this time he got some help.

Larry Nance Jr. had 22 points on 9-of-15 to go with 15 rebounds and two steals, while Detroit happily obliged the Cavs by shooting 39.1 percent from the field despite 25 points from Blake Griffin.

Throw in a 53-40 rebounding advantage for Cleveland, itself impressive because Andre Drummond got held to only nine boards despite a perfect shooting night (5-of-5 from the field and, shockingly, 5-of-5 from the line as well to get his 15 points), and what you’ve got is a 112-90 win that was critical because…well, we’re about to get to that.

But for now, here’s your man of the match, the King:

Pacers Win By A Lance

Cleveland is just half a game up in the standings on Indiana for the 3 seed. Plus, the Pacers hold that tiebreaker after winning the regular-season series three games to one.

And with the Pacers winning by three points over the Milwaukee Bucks, 92-89, on Monday night, order was nearly disrupted in a spectacular way in the Eastern Conference.

The impressive part? Victor Oladipo played like complete and utter garbage.

Oladipo had just 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting, turned the ball over ten times, and forced the ball horribly all around the court.

Didn’t matter. Lance Stephenson hit a three that has to be seen to be believed, and even then it stretches credibility:

Jason Terry tried to start something. Then Lance ended it:

And oh yeah, Bojan Bogdanovic had 29 points. There’s also that.

The Surging Utah Jazz

There was a point this season when people asked questions like “when’s the last time a Western Conference team made the playoffs with a losing record?” (1997, and it was the Clippers.)

Nobody’s asking that question anymore. The Utah Jazz are 34-30, four games clear of .500, and with a masterful display of defense that saw both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier each go 4-of-18 from the field and the Magic shoot just 34.1 percent as a team, Utah won 94-80 to stay within a game and a half of Denver for eighth in the West.

Rudy Gobert led the way with 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting, pulling down 17 rebounds and going full beast mode out there.

The stretch drive in the West is looking cutthroat, and Utah’s got a very sharp knife.

Highlights of the man of the match:

Oh, and here’s a reminder to always keep your dribble alive, courtesy of Donovan Mitchell:

Lightning Round!

Miami put another game between themselves and the ninth-place Pistons with a 125-103 win over the tanking Suns.

Hassan Whiteside led the way with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Miami shot 51.1 percent overall and won the turnover battle 17-10:

Boston stayed in Toronto’s neighborhood in the East with a big win at Chicago, taking the game 105-89 despite a DNP-Rest for Kyrie Irving.

Jaylen Brown led the way with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while the Bulls shot under 40 percent from the field and got out-rebounded 53-36:

The Grizzlies have now lost 14 in a row, tanking with authority, the antimatter Houston Rockets in their own way.

San Antonio beat them 100-98, and let’s not think too hard about just how badly that reflects on the Spurs.

Tony Parker led the way with 23 off the bench, as San Antonio was otherwise atrocious, with none of their starters playing well:

And finally, Lonzo Ball is back to his old tricks, hitting just 3-of-9 from the field in the Lakers’ 128-123 loss to the Trail Blazers at Staples Center Monday night.

Damian Lillard had 39 points, and C.J. McCollum added 22. Portland shot 43.5 percent from three-point land, powering the win as the Lakers hit just 29.7 percent of their long-range tries.

Your man of the match, who scored 19 fourth-quarter points to ensure the big win:

Coming very soon to a quality NBA site near you: That Nets backcourt breakdown promised yesterday. Stay tuned for that, and thanks for reading!