By Drew Franklin on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Kentucky escaped a rowdy Auburn Arena with arguably its biggest win of the season on Saturday. The entire starting five played well and the Cats controlled the scoreboard for most of the entire game, holding off multiple Auburn comeback attempts, to earn the 82-80 victory over sweaty Bruce Pearl and his Tigers. If there were any fans out there who still needed a reason to get excited about Kentucky this year, the win should have us all on the same page.
Let’s talk about it.
Keldon Johnson and Reid Travis bounced back with big games.
Considered to be two of Kentucky’s best and most consistent players throughout the better part of the season, Johnson and Travis were struggling entering Saturday’s game. Johnson had just hung a goose egg in the scoring column at Georgia, and Travis appeared to be having trouble against the length and athleticism of the SEC. They were each in a small slump by their standards, but they each bounced back at Auburn with two very good performances.
Johnson shared high-scorer honors with Tyler Herro at 20 points apiece, while Travis got back into double figures for the first time in four games with 17 points in addition to seven rebounds. John Calipari said, “I thought Reid Travis was really good today,” in his postgame comments.
Johnson also looked like he found his swagger after it appeared he was mentally checked out in Athens. He played with the confidence and attitude that has always been a big part of his game.
It’s great to have both back.
The Cats dodged a slow start.
My biggest concern before the game was how Kentucky would handle the first three or four minutes. Auburn Arena is a very dangerous environment and I worried a couple of early three-pointers by Jared Harper or Bryce Brown could put UK in a hole it couldn’t climb out of. But Kentucky avoided early trouble and even held the lead after the three or four minute stretch I worried about, and then after a little back and forth, went on a 19-2 run to extend its lead, a lead it would never lose. In fact, Kentucky led for over 32 minutes. It was a great end-to-end performance, even when Auburn did all it could to come back. Speaking of that….
Kentucky hit so many “shut the %*&!” up” shots.
So many times, Auburn hit a huge shot to cut the deficit, only for Kentucky to hit one right back on the other end. The crowd would erupt and the Auburn guards would get that confident smile as if they knew they were back in the game, but Kentucky would drain what I like to call the “shut the %*&! up” shot on the other end to silence the crowd and keep a comfortable lead. Two that come to mind are the Keldon Johnson three-pointer to counter Bryce Brown’s three-pointer, and Tyler Herro hitting a three-pointer to erase another Brown three. Both shots put the fans’ butts back in their seats and it happened time and time again. Those responses showed the Kentucky players weren’t bothered by the pressure and that’s a quality of a great team.
Auburn really missed Austin Wiley.
Not to take away from Kentucky’s big win, but it is worth noting Auburn was without its star big man, Austin Wiley. Wiley is a projected first-round NBA draft pick next summer and the Tigers’ leading rebounder and shot blocker. It’s hard to say if he would’ve changed the outcome of the game, but it certainly didn’t hurt the Cats’ chances having him on the bench, especially given the foul trouble Auburn faced inside. Wiley could’ve been a difference-maker, but that’s a big Auburn problem, not a me or you or Kentucky problem. Sorry about your luck, Bruce.
I’ll say it: Jared Harper and Bryce Brown are fun to watch.
Now that they’ve taken their L, I have no problem admitting Auburn’s two veteran guards are a lot of fun. That three Harper hit with 30 seconds left in the game, I feel like I’ve seen him hit it 20 times over the course of his career. He’s so clutch and I’m so glad he didn’t get the last look because I would’ve bet my entire bank account that he’d make it. I think Immanuel Quickley’s missed free throw was a blessing.
Then there’s Brown going 6-for-7 from outside, many of them contested and off-balance, to finish with 28 points. They’re a dangerous duo and Kentucky still managed to fly home with a win. Whew.
I’m going to break KSR company police and make a comment about the officiating.
That flagrant foul call was horrendous. I’m sorry the guy lost a little bit of blood on the fall but there is no way anyone can say PJ Washington wasn’t making a play on the ball. That’s a terrible call. Horrible call. Inexplicable call.
Luckily, Auburn wasn’t able to capitalize on the extra possession.
Ashton Hagans with a quiet but good game running the show.
Hagans had his hands full with the assignment of trying to contain Jared Harper and he didn’t match his 16 points per game output of the last five games, but he still made a huge impact with six assists and a career-high seven rebounds.
His best play of the game, though, was telling Keldon Johnson to, “Wake the f— up.”
It’s his team to run and he knows it. Cal has his next great point guard.
Kentucky is looking like a dangerous team as March gets closer.
The version of Kentucky we saw at Auburn on Saturday is as good as any team in the country. The entire starting five played well and the guys off the bench made big contributions, while playing in one of the toughest environments they’ll face all season against a hot-shooting team that wouldn’t go away. I’m not sure I’d trade rosters with any other team in the country right now because the Cats are gradually putting it all together and looking better and better as the season rolls on. Come March, they’re going to be very dangerous if they continue to come together and push forward.
This was a big statement win for their resume and for their confidence.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 7:43pm
Early on, it looked like Keldon Johnson might be on his way to another bad game. After going scoreless vs. Georgia, the freshmen let a pass from Ashton Hagans sail through his hands out of bounds, prompting Hagans to yell at him, “Wake the f— up!”
— Just-in (@Justin_BBN) January 19, 2019
Thankfully, Keldon did wake up, finishing with 20 points off 7-11 from the floor, 2-5 from behind the three-point line, his best offensive outing since the North Carolina game. When asked about it after the game, Keldon said he appreciated Ashton’s tough love.
“He just told me, you’ve got to wake up, man. It’s not acceptable. If we’re going to be the team we’re gonna be, you’ve got to wake up. We need you to play. I did it for my teammates. They had my back and I had theirs. I just went out there and played.”
Not everyone would accept Ashton’s call-out in such a mature manner, especially a freshman used to leading his team in scoring; however, Keldon said he knew it came from a good place.
“Definitely. In a positive way. I know he always wants what’s best for me. We might argue sometimes on the court, but I know my teammates always want what’s best for me.”
“We all know that we have each other’s back, regardless of if it’s now, beginning of the season, or later down the road. You’ve just got to accept it because if they’re telling you something, they’re not just doing it just because. They’re doing it because they want what’s best for you and what’s best for the team.”
Once Keldon did get going, Ashton kept encouraging him.
“He was just like, you’ve got to just keep playing. Just keep going, keep going. We need you. We need you. Same thing for him. We need him the whole game. We need everybody. Tyler, Reid, PJ, Jemarl, everybody that played tonight.”
Tyler Herro said it wasn’t just Ashton holding people accountable; early in the game, he said something similar to PJ Washington.
“Really all the way from the beginning of the game to the end. When Ashton said that Keldon, I was saying it to PJ. Just sticking together. Keldon, he took it the right way and when guys are taking it the right way, the sky’s the limit because we all have each other’s back. As long as we’re holding each other accountable, we’ll be fine.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 7:20pm
John Calipari and Charles Barkley have been buddies for quite some time, going on record at one point to say they were “friends for life” on Calipari’s podcast back in 2016.
Tonight, they proved just that by participating in some friendly banter following Kentucky’s 82-80 victory on the road at Auburn.
During Calipari’s postgame press conference, Charles Barkley walked in while the Kentucky head coach was breaking down the victory, causing Coach Cal to go off script a bit.
“I’m telling EJ (Montgomery) when I’m walking by him, he should be yelling at me, “I’m better than Charles Barkley,”‘ he said.
Barkley was quick to throw his own jab back.
“I was yelling at you too, I was yelling, “F— John Calipari,” he said.
After some laughs and a hug between the Kentucky head coach and NBA legend, Coach Cal jumped right back in with the banter.
“Where is that statue? I tore it down, did you know?”
“It’s big over here,” Barkley responded. “(They made me) skinny too.”
Here was the entire exchange:
— Menser (@bballmenser) January 20, 2019
Earlier in the game, the former Tiger forward joined the broadcast to talk about the game and the status of the Auburn program under coach Bruce Pearl. Barkley said that Pearl would have to recruit lower-end talent and develop them at an elite level because McDonald’s All-Americans won’t be flocking to play at Auburn.
Dick Vitale then asked Barkley if he was a McDonald’s All-American when he came out of high school, to which Barkley replied that he wasn’t, but he sure eats a lot of McDonald’s.
Look at the exchange below:
Dickie V: Were you a McDonald's All-American?
Charles Barkley: No, I ate at McDonald's
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 19, 2019
Never a dull moment with Charles Barkley.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 7:14pm
By Nick Roush on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 7:11pm
By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 6:40pm
By Nick Roush on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 6:17pm
For the first in the Calipari era, Kentucky defeated a Top 15 SEC team on the road. The Cats withstood a late flurry of threes from Bryce Brown to hold on for an 82-80 victory over the fourteenth-ranked Auburn Tigers.
Auburn’s sharp-shooter scored just three points on two shots in the first half, but in the second half Brown was on fire. He made all five threes to finish with 28 points and erase a 17-point Kentucky lead. Luckily, Tyler Herro was prepared to answer.
Herro scored ten points in the final six minutes to help the Cats overcome an absurd late flagrant foul on P.J. Washington. Jared Harper’s three-pointer gave Auburn a one-point lead with 30 seconds to go. Herro answered with a pair of made free throws to give Kentucky the lead. Harper’s contested two rimmed out to secure the UK win.
Kentucky put all of the pieces together to win a hard-fought, nail-biter on The Plains. The future is bright for the Wildcats.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 5:02pm
After what felt like one of the longest halves of college basketball ever, Kentucky leads Auburn 35-27. The Cats ended the half on a 9-0 run, which included huge threes by Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson.
After not scoring vs. Georgia on Tuesday, Keldon leads the Cats with 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-3 3PT FG), followed by Reid Travis with 7 and Ashton Hagans with 6. Kentucky’s holding Auburn, one of the best offenses in the country, to 33.3 percent from the floor (9-27), 31.3 percent from behind the arc (5-16). That’s really, really good.
Nineteen fouls were called in the first half, at least four of which were reviewed by officials. Hopefully the refs left both sides play in the second half. Keep it up, Cats…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 3:45pm
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By Nick Roush on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 3:25pm
Auburn will not have its top post player against Kentucky.
Austin Wiley has been sidelined by a lower leg injury. The Auburn center averages 11.8 points and leads the team with 6.1 rebounds per game.
Without the seven-foot center, Auburn’s tallest post player is 6’9; music to Reid Travis’ ears. A team that relies heavily on the three-point shot will lean on perimeter scoring even more without Wiley in the paint.
By Adam Luckett on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
After an impressive win in Athens, UK’s road trip will continue with a clash against Bruce Pearl’s Auburn squad on The Plains. Both teams enter this weekend with one SEC road loss and to keep pace with Tennessee (plus LSU and South Carolina at the moment) they will need a victory today.
In Pearl’s fifth season, the Tigers entered this year with very high expectations. They haven’t disappointed to this point. Auburn has been in the top-15 all season and took Duke to the wire in the Maui Invitational. However, they are still looking for a marquee win and could secure one today.
Get ready for a January college basketball game with some stakes on a Saturday afternoon at Auburn Arena.
Nuts and Bolts
Through their history, Auburn has been one of the least successful basketball programs in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers have only made the NCAA Tournament nine times and their first appearance didn’t come until 1984 when Charles Barkley was on campus. After going to the Big Dance for five straight years under Sonny Smith in the 80s, the Tigers have only made four appearances in the 29 years since.
After parting with Cliff Ellis following 186 wins, five NCAA Tournament victories, and a SEC championship the Tigers hit a rough patch. It was a real ugly decade under Jeff Lebo and Tony Barbee. Following that run, Auburn’s decision makers made a swing for the fence and hired Bruce Pearl.
The former Tennessee head coach was doing television work for ESPN following his firing and he jumped at the chance to get back on the sidelines in the SEC. After a long rebuilding job that included two losing seasons, Pearl now has the Tigers competing for league crowns.
Auburn won the SEC regular season title last season and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. This season Pearl has the Tigers back in the hunt. They’re doing it just like you think they would.
The Tigers play at a fast pace and love the three-point shot. As a team, Auburn is shooting 36.7 percent from deep this season and this ranks in the top-70 in the country. On defense, Auburn will use a press and is constantly putting pressure on the ball. Their defense ranks first in the country in turnover percentage. Opponents are coughing up the rock on 27.8 percent of their possessions. This is a very good basketball team.
Today will be the 112th meeting between the two SEC schools with Kentucky owning a 92-19 series lead. The Tigers have won two of the last three after the Wildcats won 18 in a row running from February 2001 until March 2015. Since Auburn Arena opened in 2010, UK owns a 3-2 advantage in games played this beautiful new facility.
Out in the desert, Auburn is a 4.5 point favorite with a total of of 144.5. That’s a projected final score of 74.5-70. On the season, UK is 7-9 against the spread while Auburn is 8-6-1. Kentucky is 1-3 against the number in SEC play.
Ashton Hagans has been on a tear lately and he’s currently making a run at first-team All-SEC honors. To get there, however, he is going to have to beat out Jared Harper.
The sub six-foot point guard leads the team in minutes and is putting up 15.1 points per game to go along with 6.7 assists. He’s shooting over 40 percent from three and is second on the team in free throw attempts. He’s a maestro in ball screen actions and is this team’s most important player. However, he does have a weakness. The junior from Mableton, Georgia is only shooting 34.2 percent on two-point shots.
Next to Harper is a senior who has played a lot of basketball. Bryce Brown has been starting games since his freshman season and the veteran from Georgia is one of the best two-guards in the SEC. Brown is shooting 37.7 percent from three and leads the team in scoring at 16.2 points per game. He’s a high volume three-point shooter with 72.5 percent of his 191 shot attempts coming from behind the arc.
To no one’s surprise, Bruce Pearl rolls with a version of small ball and an important piece in doing that is the three. After losing Mustapha Heron to an unexpected transfer, the Tigers plugged in their own transfer.
Samir Doughty sat out last season after moving over from VCU and the junior wing from Philadelphia has been outstanding. The 6-foot-4 perimeter player is shooting 44.4 percent from three and his been this offense’s most efficient player. He’s also Auburn’s best perimeter defender and don’t be surprise he guards multiple players for Kentucky today.
Auburn’s top backcourt option off the bench is senior wing Malik Dunbar. The 6-foot-6 combo guard/forward is another solid three-point shooter and a excellent defender. Backing up Jared Harper at the point is junior college transfer J’Von McCormick. The small guard from Texas barely plays 10 minutes per outing, but he is another excellent three-point shooter.
Due to the FBI investigation that shocked that college basketball world last season, Auburn was forced to play 2017-2018 without one of its best players. Boy, are they happy to have Austin Wiley back in the lineup this season.
The former top-40 recruit was a major recruiting win for Bruce Pearl out of Hoover, Alabama and he’s now showing why after playing sparingly as a freshman. The 6-foot-11 and 260-pound man is just playing 17.4 minutes per game, but is putting up over 10 points and 6 rebounds while he is on the floor. He is shooting 58.1 percent from the floor and has attempted 65 free throws despite the limited minutes. He’s had issues with foul trouble, but he’s bear to deal with when he’s in the paint.
Wiley gets all of the attention, but Chuma Okeke is this frontcourt’s most impactful player. The 6-foot-8 sophomore was a top-50 prospect out of high school who has been outstanding in doing the dirty work. The Atlanta native is the team’s top offensive rebounder, is second on the team in blocks and steals, and is shooting a fiery 63.1 percent from two-point range. He is third on the team in minutes and will be a key factor is slowing down UK’s bigs.
Auburn’s season changed for the worse when Anfernee McLemore was knocked out last February. In those eight games without him to end the season, Auburn went 3-5 and limped to the finish with embarrassing blowout losses to Alabama and Clemson in postseason play. To put it lightly, Bruce Pearl is very happy to see the the 6-foot-7 undersized five-man back out on the hardwood.
McLemore has played every game this season with 11 starts and paces the team in blocks after leading the SEC last season. He is the ultimate glue guy who is very important to this team’s chemistry. The fourth big off the bench is 6-foot-8 senior Horace Spencer who is the least efficient of all the rotation players.
The Tigers are deep up front, but outside of Wiley they are undersized. On paper, Kentucky’s size advantage could allow the Wildcats to impose their will in the paint. However, the game is not played on paper.
Keys to Victory
- Start fast, start fast, start fast. Since SEC play started, the starts have been pretty ugly for Kentucky but it has yet to hurt them. The Alabama game was lost in the middle of the second half while UK came back to win comfortably against Georgia, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt. However, not many teams have a knockout punch like Auburn. If UK comes out slow, the Tigers could deliver a haymaker that could end the game before the first media timeout. UK must be ready for the early storm.
- Everyone knows that Auburn is going to attempt over 30 three-point shots in the game. That’s not news. It’s their DNA. But what they also do well is rebound their misses. The Tigers rank third in the country in offensive rebounding percentage (39.5%). They know how to gobble up the long misses. Kentucky has been giving way too many offensive rebounds of late. They must limit possessions as much as possible.
- Three-point defense. Three-point defense. Three-point defense. But you already know this. Cats must be ready to challenge on the perimeter.
- Auburn’s defense forces turnovers on 27.8 percent of possessions. This is the top rate in the country. This will be the biggest challenge Ashton Hagans has faced this season. He must handle Auburn’s pressure, play great perimeter defense, and control the tempo to get Kentucky playing at a comfortable pace. Do all that and UK has something really special at point.
- Jared Harper is one of the best point guards in the country, but he has one glaring weakness. The junior is shooting just 34.2 percent from two-point range. He is excellent in ball screens, but UK must play him smart. Don’t leave shooters. Make Harper make shots in the paint over length.
By Nick Roush on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 2:39pm
The No. 1 player in America will be on Kentucky’s campus in just a few days.
Evan Daniels reports Anthony Edwards has scheduled an official visit to UK that will begin Monday, January 21. That means the top-ranked player in America will be at Rupp Arena Tuesday night to watch the Cats take on Mississippi State.
Following his trip to Kentucky, Edwards will officially visit Kansas February 9. His only prior official visit was to Georgia. His other finalists are North Carolina and Florida State, the perceived favorite.
The 6’5″ swingman was originally a member of the 2020 recruiting class. Upon reclassifying, he stole James Wiseman’s spot atop the recruiting class. You can understand why after watching the highlights below:
By Brett Bibbins on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
1. The two-headed monster in the backcourt for Auburn are returning starters Bryce Brown and Jared Harper. Starting at the point, Harper is just 5’11”, but is one of the most difficult players to defend in the conference. Ashton Hagans will have his hands full and his reputation of an elite perimeter defender on the line, as Harper is averaging 15.1 points per game, which is 8th in the SEC. On top of that, the junior is leading the SEC in assists at 6.7, grabbing 3.1 rebounds, and swiping 1.1 steals per game, while hitting almost 84% of his free throws. Harper’s 45 made threes on the season are good for 4th in the SEC. Starting at the two guard is senior Bryce Brown, who’s putting up 16.2 points per game, good for 6th in SEC, 2.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game, hitting 79% of his free throws. Brown has made 56 three point attempts this year which is the second most made threes in the conference. The two starting guards put up 18 points a piece in Auburn’s win over Kentucky last season.
2. If you didn’t notice from the shooting numbers from the first two players mentioned above, shooting the three ball is what Auburn centers their offense around. Modeling a bit after the current NBA game, the Tigers want to take and make as many three point shots as possible, emphasis on taking as many as possible. At 84.5 points per game, Bruce Pearl’s squad is second in the Southeastern Conference in scoring and 18th in the country. On top of that, the Tigers are attempting the 4th most threes per game in the entire country at 31 attempts, hitting 35.9% of them as a team. For comparison, Kentucky is 344th in the country in threes attempted, hitting 34.7% of them as a team. However, Auburn does tend to rely on the three-ball a bit too much at times, getting careless in their shot selection. In fact, Kentucky actually has a better adjusted field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and effective shooting percentage than Auburn does at this point in the season. There are essentially seven players that are threats from downtown for the Tigers, the most dangerous of which are Brown (37.8%) and Harper (40.2%) based on volume of shots and still keeping solid percentages. Outside of those two guards, 6’6″ Malik Dunbar hits 37.5% of his threes, while 6’4″ Samir Doughty hits 44.4% and 6’8″ Chuma Okeke hits 32%. Anfernee McLemore is 6’7″ and has made 10 of his 36 attempts on the year, and lastly, 6’0″ guard J’Von McCormick has hit 4 of the 8 he’s taken this season. Kentucky’s three-point defense has been downright poor almost all season, and it will be especially pertinent today to defend the perimeter well without biting on every pump fake Auburn throws their way.
3. The Tigers typically play a four around one style, in that they’ll put four perimeter players on the floor around one true big man. The time they spend not playing four around one, they’re playing five perimeter threats and no true bigs. I spoke on the plethora of shooters they have in my previous point for the four perimeter players, but it is time to focus on the one in the middle. Junior starting center Austin Wiley stands at 6’11” and 260 pounds, and he is a load to handle in the paint. Wiley was a 5-star prospect coming out of high school, but his development slowed steadily having to sit out all of last year due to eligibility issues surrounding the FBI scandal. The Hoover, Alabama native is averaging 10.8 points, a team-leading 6.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. His stats would probably be improved, but Wiley tends to get into early foul trouble, picking up three or more fouls in each of the last five games, and 10 times in the 15 games he’s played this year.
4. Head Coach Bruce Pearl is now in his 5th season coaching the Auburn Tigers. Fresh off his first NCAA tournament appearance at Auburn last season and the first one for the Tigers since 2003, Pearl has completely revamped the program in a short time period. As last year’s SEC Champion for the regular season for the first time since 1999, the Tigers are in a good place to contend to do so a second time. Auburn currently sits at a 13-3 record, including 2-1 in their first three conference games. Pearl had his squad take care of business in the non-conference portion of their schedule, only dropping two games, including a close loss to Duke in the Maui Invitational and a seven-point loss at now 17th ranked NC State. They knocked off a few potential tournament teams during non-conference play, including Arizona, Washington, Xavier, and Dayton. They also knocked off Murray State and projected top 5 pick Ja Morant in late December just before SEC play began.
5. Since John Calipari took over for Kentucky in the 2009-10 season, the Wildcats are 9-2 against the Tigers. However, Auburn has won two of last three meetings between the two teams, and in fact, both losses were at Auburn Arena. A surprising stat for today’s game is that it is only the fourth road game against a top 15 SEC opponent since Coach Cal started at Kentucky. The Cats haven’t fared well in the first three of these games, losing by double-digits every time. The first was a 17-point loss at Florida in 2013, the second was a 19-point loss at Florida in 2014, and the third was a 10-point loss at Auburn last season. Let’s hope it is a three-and-out for those games, and Kentucky can right the ship this afternoon. Even if the Cats don’t manage to come out with a victory today, I think that taking it down to the wire would be way better for the psyche of this team than a blowout.
Go Cats. Beat Tigers.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©January 19th, 2019 @ 1:30pm
Good afternoon, folks. DeMarcus Cousins returned to the court on Friday night for the first time in nearly a year. It was everything we could have imagined and more. Let’s talk NBA.
Reminder to vote to send the BBNBA to the 2019 All-Star game and also NBA League Pass is still free through Jan. 20.
[32-14] Warriors – 112 @ [24-21] Clippers – 94
- It finally happened, DeMarcus Cousins is back in an NBA uniform and dominating like he never left. In his first game back since tearing his Achilles last January, Boogie scored 14 points on 5-11 shooting (3-4 from three) in addition to six rebounds and three assists. Cousins only played 15 minutes before fouling out, which actually resulted in a vivacious – yet slightly sarcastic – helping of cheers from the mostly Warriors crowd in Staples Center. In fact, the Golden State fans were fawning over Cousins any chance they got. They were dying to root for him, can you blame them though?
DeMarcus Cousins reacts to being given a round of applause and cheered at Staples Center: “Fakest love I’ve ever seen in my life….” pic.twitter.com/uUlDMiHzdq
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 19, 2019
- Cousins scored the Warriors first – and his first as a member of the reigning champs – points on a beautiful slam dunk via a pocket pass from Kevin Durant out of the pick-and-roll and it was beautiful.
WELCOME BACK BOOGIE pic.twitter.com/95JRwa0qPc
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 19, 2019
- ”I felt like a kid on Christmas,” Cousins said. ”This was probably one of the best days of my life being back on the floor playing the game that I love.”
- Cousins was rightfully the main attraction, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander quietly tied his career-high with 24 points for the Clippers. SGA shot 7-17 from the field and registered three rebounds, five assists, and three steals. He also played a career-high 42 minutes.
- Karl-Anthony Towns played only 21 total minutes before fouling out against the San Antonio Spurs. He still managed 23 points and six rebounds, but after picking up his fourth foul early into the second half, the Spurs were able to control the game and ultimately come out with the win.
- For the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony Davis led both his team and the BBNBA in scoring with 27 points, but his squad was whooped by the Portland Trail Blazers 128-112. Julius Randle contributed 19 points and nine rebounds while Darius Miller added five points.
- Isaiah Briscoe clocked 20 minutes for his second consecutive game, scoring six points on 3-6 shooting in addition to four rebounds and three assists. This is the sixth straight game in which Briscoe has topped at least 15 minutes of playing time. He had done so only twice before this recent stretch. The Orlando Magic are making a legitimate NBA player out of Briscoe.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Anthony Davis (NOP)||112-128 L @ POR||27||9-17 (0-0)||7||2||0||1||1||-25||35|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)||94-112 L vs. GSW||24||7-17 (0-3)||3||5||3||0||2||-10||42|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||113-116 L vs. SAS||23||8-17 (1-6)||6||1||0||0||3||-10||21|
|Julius Randle (NOP)||112-128 L @ POR||19||8-16 (1-3)||9||4||1||2||4||-16||36|
|DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)||112-94 W @ LAC||14||5-11 (3-4)||6||3||1||1||1||+21||15|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||93-98 L @ DET||9||4-4 (0-0)||6||1||0||1||2||-4||26|
|Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)||115-117 L vs. BKN||6||3-6 (0-2)||4||3||0||0||1||+3||20|
|Darius Miller (NOP)||112-128 L @ POR||5||1-5 (0-2)||2||1||0||1||0||+3||25|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
3:30 (ABC): Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Sixers
5:00: Suns (Booker) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)
7:00: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Pistons
7:00: Mavericks @ Pacers
7:00: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Magic (Briscoe)
7:30: Celtics @ Hawks (Poythress-out)
7:30: Grizzlies @ Raptors
8:00: Heat (Adebayo) @ Bulls
8:30 (ABC): Lakers (Rondo-out) @ Rockets (Knight)
10:00: Cavaliers @ Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt)
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