NBA Breakfast Special: LeBronzo

Lonzo Ball got a chance to showcase his skills in front of someone who, if the rumors are true, will be his teammate next year.

Against LeBron James, Ball had 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, dished 11 assists, and grabbed eight rebounds, but a near-triple-double was no match for an actual triple-double; LeBron had 25 points, 12 boards, and 12 dimes.

Kyle Kuzma continues to stand as the Lakers’ best rookie; he had 20 points off the bench on 8-of-16.

It was a curious game from long range for Cleveland. LeBron was 1-of-7; Jae Crowder was 1-of-6.

The rest of the Cavs? 13-of-23 (56.5 percent.) That’s teamwork, folks.

Cleveland shot 50 percent overall and 41.7 from three, won the turnover battle 18-14, dished 32 assists on their 43 makes, and shot 20-of-25 from the free throw line against 9-of-14 for LA.

Despite the Lakers grabbing 16 offensive boards and taking nine more field goal attempts, the rest of those stats powered Cleveland to a 121-112 national TV victory.

Let the conspiracy theories begin about what LeBron said to Lonzo:

The man of the match, having one of the best statistical seasons of his career:

Easy Money In Oakland

Golden State hosted Dallas in the TNT nightcap, and they were heavily favored, so they went out and won heavily, to the tune of 112-97.

Kevin Durant went for 36, Klay Thompson added 25, and the continued “no Stephen Curry, no problem” eight-game winning streak shows no sign of slowing.

Golden State made a ludicrous 60.3 percent of their shots, half of their threes, and won the rebounding battle 41-31.

Dallas simply couldn’t measure up. They shot more free throws (13-of-17 vs. 7-of-9) and won the turnover battle 18-11, but that didn’t help when they couldn’t defend shooters and let the Dubs have a can’t miss night.

Durant added 11 rebounds and seven assists, making him the man of the match:

Putting the “Tri” in “Tri-Boro Bridge”

Tri, as in three, as in the New York Knicks made half of them against their crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets in a 111-104 win at Barclays Center.

So despite 26 points from Spencer Dinwiddie and 25 from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the Knicks pulled it out. It helps that New York held everyone on the Nets not just named to a combined 18-of-50 (36 percent) shooting. Allen Crabbe in particular was atrocious, hitting 1-of-7 from three and missing his only two-pointers.

Courtney Lee had 27 for the Knicks; no other Knicks player had more than 15. Frank Ntilikina had eight assists; nobody else had more than four.

Yet the Knicks just plain shot better than the other guys as a team, and that was your lot.


Even Detroit Can Beat the Hawks

The Pistons snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 105-91 win. All it took was going to Atlanta to play against the worst team in the entire league.

Andre Drummond had 12 points and 19 rebounds, Langston Galloway had 17 off the bench on 6-of-11 overall and 5-of-9 from three, Tobias Harris was 8-of-11 to get to 19, and Detroit won the rebounding (46-32) and turnover (16-15) battles while making 43.3 percent (13-of-30) three-pointers against 35. 7 percent (11-of-31) for the Hawks.

The downside? HERO OF SERBIA didn’t play a minute. Stan Van Gundy doesn’t seem to realize that Boban Marjanovic has a 25.7 PER and .198 Win Shares per 48 minutes; both figures lead the team. He also leads the team in True Shooting (.655), free throw rate (.733), and he’s third on the team in rebounding percentage.


Oh yeah, and also highlights, for all those Pistons fans who probably hate me by now for reducing everything I’ve written about them this season to a screed for a Serbian benchwarmer. Tobias Harris was the man of the match:

Host Bad Team, Beat Bad Team

The Minnesota Timberwolves hosted the Sacramento Kings. Minnesota then beat the snot out of Sacramento 119-96, powered by a Triple 20 from Karl-Anthony Towns (30), Andrew Wiggins (22), and Jimmy Butler (21).

Minnesota shot 56.1 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from three. Sacramento? 41.4 and 42.4.

Despite 15 offensive boards from the Kings, the Wolves rolled behind superior shooting and winning the turnover battle 14-9.

Weird stat of the night? The ageless Vince Carter was plus-13 in his 15 minutes. Sacramento lost the other 33 minutes by 36 points.

Highlights, as Towns added 14 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks to his monster scoring night to claim man of the match:

And Finally…

“Friday breakfast comes with Shaqtin’.” – Captain Obvious

We keep talking about the turnover battle around here. Guess what we’re talking about Sunday in the weekly Statistical Test? Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!