Breakfast Special: Pacific Powerhouse Pulverizes Pacers

The Indiana Pacers wrapped up an 0-4 West road trip Thursday night with an absolute stinker of a 112-89 loss at Golden State.

The Warriors, meanwhile, continue to hold Denver at bay (more on the Nuggets in a minute) while showing that when they want to engage playoff mode defensively, no team in the league can score consistently on them.

It was 19-19 after one quarter, the Warriors’ defense keeping things tidy until the offense got going.

The next two quarters spanning across the half? Golden State 69, Indiana 43. The game was over by the time the fourth tipped off.

The Pacers did not have Nate McMillan patrolling the sideline; instead, Dan Burke was the guy who held down the fort about as well as leaving your dog in charge of tending to a baby then leaving the house.

Stephen Curry was 5-of-12 from three while missing his three shots from two-point range; Steph, despite this, still managed a .500 eFG% and 15 points.

Klay Thompson, just 1-of-6 from three, still managed 18 points in a game where three starters playing 29 minutes represented the biggest workload anyone had to put in for them.

Meanwhile, Indiana shot just 38.5 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from deep; this was a disaster of a game, a failure on every level, the kind of game that if fans just went to bed early given the 10:30 Eastern start, they didn’t miss much.

Boogie Cousins had 19, and he’s part of the highlight reel:

The Exquisitely Balanced Denver Nuggets

Nine men took the floor and played in the game for Denver against Washington.

Eight of those nine scored at least 10 points and all nine played at least 21 minutes.

Nobody on the team had more than 15 points—but five players had exactly 15 points.

And the Nuggets won 113-108 on the road.

Dear gods, what a beautiful display of depth from the co-occupants of the top spot in the Western Conference.

Speaking of superlatives, Nikola Jokic had 11 assists; nobody else had more than four.

Miles Plumlee had 11 rebounds off the bench; nobody on the team had more than six otherwise.

And oh by the way the Nuggets shot 52.9 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three.

Even in a balanced attack, the Joker stood out:

The Donovan Mitchell Problem

The Utah Jazz went to Atlanta and fell to the Hawks 117-114.

Donovan Mitchell is determined to establish an identity as the new Jerry Stackhouse, a volume shooter who puts up great point counts but does it on terrible shooting efficiency.

To wit, Mitchell had 34…on 15-of-32 shooting.

It’s not that 15-of-32 is bad on its face, it’s just that doing it without getting to the line (2-of-3) or shooting well from three (2-of-6) means you don’t get much bang for your buck.

Trae Young had the same problem on the other side for the Hawks, shooting 8-of-22 and ending up with 23 points, but the rest of the Hawks shot the ball exceptionally well especially given the defense they were facing.

The Hawks shot 47.1 percent from the field and 47.5 percent from long range (19-of-40) for an eFG% of .580.

Seven Atlanta players reached double figures for the Total Team Effort.

Unlike Mitchell, Trae managed a double-double, and that gets him man of the match:

Lightning Round!

The Hornets, their season effectively done for, can get back to what they do best—limping to 36 wins.

Kemba Walker had 31 points, Minnesota wasted another great game from Karl-Anthony Towns (21 points, 16 rebounds), and Charlotte won the ballgame 113-106.

Walker, to no great surprise, is your man of the match as the Hornets sit at 32-39, just a 4-7 clip away from their third straight year at 36-46:

Sometimes all you need to get back on track in the NBA is a game against the Suns.

For the Pistons, it didn’t matter that the game was on the road, they went into Phoenix and beat the tar out of the league laughingstock 118-98.

Wayne Ellington led a seven-man Total Team Effort with 23 points, a seven-point third-quarter lead became a blowout with a 31-18 fourth quarter, and the Pistons get to hold onto the 6 spot.

Andre Drummond had 16 points and 19 rebounds, and we’ve got highlights from the ballgame:

And finally, Sacramento’s playoff hopes may be all but dead at 35-36, but they continue to fight, putting up their first truly hope-for-the-future season since…well, seemingly since Peja Stojakovic and Chris Webber were still on the team.

Buddy Hield had 29 points on 10-of-21 shooting including 7-of-13 from three, De’Aaron Fox had 15 points and a game-high plus-25, and the Kings beat the Mavericks at home 116-100.

Luka Doncic was atrocious, scoring just 13 points on 4-of-19 (!) shooting, while Jalen Brunson got abused to the tune of a minus-29 in his time on the floor.

Everybody’s Buddy is your man of the match, watch this and your spirit shall be Hield:

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Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!