Breakfast Special: Never the Clippers’ Day

The Los Angeles Clippers have been the whipping boy of the 8 seed in the Western Conference. Fighting for their playoff lives, just when they get a chance to consolidate a position and move forward, they run face-first into Anthony Davis and his 41 points in the Pelicans’ 121-116 win at Staples Center.

The Pelicans, left for dead after DeMarcus Cousins got hurt, have now won nine in a row to go to 37-26, just one game back of Portland (!) for the 3 seed out west.

Davis went 17-of-31 from the field in this one, while Jrue Holiday scored 19 points and racked up 17 assists.

The game itself was played at a breakneck pace; New Orleans shot 46-of-103 from the field and 16-of-18 from the line, an estimated 110 possessions, which made it not just a shocking result from the point of view of Western Conference playoff tomfoolery but a fine NBA game in its own right.

The world needs more games like this. Here’s the highlights from the man of the match:

Meanwhile, in Dallas

Nothing defines a playoff run like marching into Dallas and blowing a game against the Mavericks.

The Mavericks took this one 118-107 behind 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting and 6-of-7 from long range by Yogi Ferrell, while the Nuggets simply couldn’t find their shot, hitting only 30.6 percent of their threes against 15-of-27 (55.6 percent) for Dallas.

Ferell’s six threes and Dirk Nowitzki‘s five make the highlight reel:

No Match for the Best

The Oklahoma City Thunder, as good as they are, fall just short of the contenders.

That much was evident when the Houston Rockets showed up and, behind 25 points from James Harden and 23 from Chris Paul, outpaced the 32 points Russell Westbrook put up in a 122-112 final result.

Houston shot 53.5 percent from the field and 51.5 from long range, 17-of-33 overall.

Like a good neighbor, Houston’s 16th straight victory is there:

Lightning Round!

Vaya con Cornholio, Charlotte. The Hornets are now 28-37 after the Philadelphia 76ers got through with them.

A Total Team Effort that included a plus-26 from Marco Belinelli and 16 points, 13 assists, and eight rebounds from Ben Simmons on 8-of-9 shooting powered Philly to the 128-114 win.

What’s more, the Sixers shot 57.5 percent as a team:

DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 12-of-14 from the line, Atlanta turned the ball over 21 times against just 12 for the Raptors, and Toronto overcame just 38.6 percent shooting from the field to secure the 106-90 win:

The Wizards keep nipping at Indiana’s heels trying to get that Game 7 back to Washington, and a 117-113 overtime win against the Heat went a long way toward that end.

Washington gets a St. Patrick’s Day showdown with the Pacers with the tiebreaker on the line, but on this day, Bradley Beal‘s 30 on 12-of-16 shooting gets the nod as man of the match:

Portland is now third in the West following a 111-87 beatdown of the hapless Knicks.

Damian Lillard scored 37 points, the Blazers shot 20-of-33 (60.6 percent) from three, and this would’ve been even worse if Portland hadn’t turned it over 19 times:

And finally, Stephen Curry had 34 points on 6-of-12 from long range and 12-of-20 overall, leading the Golden State Warriors to a keeping-up-with-the-Rockets win 114-101 against the Nets, who continue to be terrible in ways that defy the comprehension of even the most hardened basketball observer.

Brooklyn’s backcourt garbage pile of Allen Crabbe, D’Angelo Russell, and Spencer Dinwiddie were at least better than usual this time around, hitting 15-of-31 (48.4 percent) from the field and 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) from long range. That’s not good, but it could be worse.

At one point, the Dubs went on a 25-0 run. Steph’s the man of the match:

Pacers “Tuesday” is coming up shortly; sadly, your intrepid writer has not yet perfected a way to be in two places at once. Thanks for staying tuned, and thanks for reading!