Monday, April 12
Washington at Utah
The first meeting of the season between the Wizards and Jazz on March 18 featured a scoring duel between Bradley Beal (43 points) and Donovan Mitchell (42) points with Beal and the Wizards prevailing 131-122. The win snapped both a five-game losing streak for the Wizards and a nine-game winning streak for the Jazz. This game also featured outstanding performances by Russell Westbrook (35 points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists) and Joe Ingles (34 points, 8-10 shooting from 3-point range). Can the sequel match the first offering between these teams?
Tuesday, April 13
Atlanta at Toronto
Oklahoma City at Utah
We spotlight a pair of games that are rematches from fantastic finishes earlier this season. The Hawks lead the season series with the Raptors 2-0 with Tony Snell hating the game-winning 3-point shot at the buzzer to give Atlanta the win on March 11. Prior to this season, the Hawks had lost 10 straight games to the Raptors.
When the Jazz and Thunder squared off the first time this season, Donovan Mitchell hit the game-winning layup with seven second remaining to give Utah a 110-109 win. It was an otherwise tough outing for Mitchell, who had just eight points on 3-14 shooting through the first three quarters, but scored 12 points on 5-9 shooting in the fourth.
Wednesday, April 14
Miami at Denver
The Nuggets just had an eight-game win streak snapped on Sunday as they have climbed to fourth in the West, and open Week 17 just two games back of the LA Clippers for third place in the conference. Denver dominated a short-handed Miami squad (no Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic or Tyler Herro) when the teams first met on Jan. 27. Now that the Heat are healthy, they should give Denver a much bigger test this time around. Miami enters Week 17 having won six of their last seven games and are just a half-game back of Atlanta for fourth in the East.
Thursday, April 15
Kings at Suns
The Kings and Suns split a two-game series back in December, with the Kings striking first and the Suns having an answer just 24 hours later. De’Aaron Fox has led the Kings against the Suns with 18.0 points and 5.5 assists per game, while the Suns have been led by the combo of Devin Booker (23.0 ppg) and Chris Paul (15.0 ppg, 12.0 apg – his second highest assist average against any opponent this season). After opening the season 8-8, the Suns have the NBA’s best record since Jan. 24 at 29-8.
Meanwhile, the Kings have been on a roller coaster throughout the season with extended win steaks and losing streaks. The Kings had a stretch where they lost six of seven games, bounced back to win seven of their next eight, then followed that up with nine straight losses. Most recently, they won seven of eight games again before enduring their current six-game losing streak, which put them three games back of qualifying for the Play-In Tournament. Can the Kings answer with another win streak to get back in contention?
Friday, April 16
New Orleans at Washington
In their first meeting of the season on Jan. 27, the Pelicans’ one-two punch of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson – scoring 32 points apiece – was enough to offset Bradley Beal’s 47-point effort as the Wizards did not have Russell Westbrook. With Westbrook in the lineup and on a triple-double tear (four in a row, eight in last nine games), will the Wizards have enough this time around? They still need to contend with Williamson, who continues his spectacular second NBA season. While his streak of 20-point games on 50% shooting or better was snapped after matching Shaquille O’Neal with 25 in a row, Zion is on pace to join Kevin McHale (26.1 ppg on 60.4% shooting in 1986-87) as the only players in NBA history to average at least 25 points on 60% shooting or better for an entire season.
Saturday, April 17
Memphis at Milwaukee
After putting together a historic shooting performance (joining Wilt Chamberlain as the only player to shoot 18-18 on 2-point shots in a game), Giannis Antetokounmpo has missed the past five games with left knee soreness. The Bucks are 2-3 without Giannis, getting a 37-point win over Orlando on Sunday to snap a three-game skid. The Bucks, who enter Week 17 three games back of both Brooklyn and Philadelphia in the East, have some work to do if they want the No.1 seed in the East for the third straight year. The Grizzlies have playoff aspirations of their own as they enter the week sitting eighth in the Western Conference. Memphis was eliminated by Portland in the debut of the Play-In Tournament last season and currently sits four games back of Portland for sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Sunday, April 18
Portland at Charlotte
While we won’t get the Melo vs. Melo matchup this time around as LaMelo Ball continues to be sidelined with a fractured wrist, we may get another shootout between these teams. The Blazers hit a franchise record 24 3-pointers when the teams met for the first time this season March 1. Portland shot 24-46 (52.2%) from beyond the arc with Damian Lillard (6), CJ McCollum (6) and Robert Covington (5) leading the charge. The Hornets allow the most 3-point attempts and the third-most 3-pointers made of any team in the league. Could the Blazers set the nets on fire again against the short-handed Hornets (Ball and Gordon Hayward continue to be out)?