Western Conference Playoff Update | King James Takes Over In Denver, Davis Rolls Ankle In Win

Kyle Ratke
Mar 8, 2018 9:26 AM ET

Thanks to LeBron James, the Denver Nuggets are now on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff party, which I’ve heard is a fun party but can’t confirm.

LeBron James, who is 33 years old and in year 15, finished with 39 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. He also shot a super-efficient 15-for-25 from the field and 5-for-8 from the 3-point line to lead Cleveland to a 113-108 win over Denver.

This shot put the icing on the cake for Cleveland and I honestly have no idea how this is possible. But with James, if we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that anything is (that’s Kevin Garnett’s music, I know).

Nikola Jokic finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, but it wasn’t enough.

Denver fell to 35-30, 0.2 percentage points behind the Clippers for the eighth seed in the West and 2.5 games back from the Wolves. Denver is also tied with Utah (more on this shortly) for ninth place.

The Nuggets are back at it on Friday as they host the Lakers.

Utah’s Defense Locks Down Pacers

The Pacers, who will make the playoffs this season, are scoring 106 points per game, which ranks in the middle of the pack in the NBA.

On Wednesday night, they scored just 84 points in a 104-84 loss to the Jazz in Indiana.

This isn’t unusual. In the last three games, Utah has allowed an average of 85 points per game. If you’re new to basketball, generally 85 points is not enough to win an NBA game.

Rudy Gobert continues a hot stretch, finishing with 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead Utah.

Over his last four games, he’s had a Basketball-Reference grade of 20+ in each game and is averaging 21.5 points, 14.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 74.4 percent from the field.

Utah moves to 35-30, tied with Denver for the No. 9 spot in the West. The season series between the two teams is tied up at 2-2.


Utah hosts Memphis on Friday.

Pellies Win 10th Straight, But Davis Goes Down

The Pelicans beat the Kings 114-101 in Sacramento on Wednesday night, but that’s not the big story. The story is that big man Anthony Davis rolled his ankle in the team’s 10th-straight win  and will undergo an MRI on Thursday.

"Won't know anything until tomorrow," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said via ABCNews. "They took X-rays but couldn't really tell a lot from the X-rays, so we'll go back home and I'm sure he'll have an MRI at some stage tomorrow and we'll have more information."

The fall doesn’t look great, but ankle sprains are a tough thing to diagnose from a simple eye test.

The Pelicans are already without DeMarcus Cousins for the season, so obviously this would be a devastating blow if Davis misses significant time.

The good news for New Orleans is that the Pelicans improved to 38-26, fourth in the West and a game ahead of the Wolves.

They are back at it on Friday as they host Bradley Beal and the Wizards.


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