What you may have missed this weekend: 3/1 – 3/3
Bulls beat Hawks in 4OT:
If I told you that two of the leagues worst teams battled in an epic game for the ages, would you believe me? I wouldn’t either, but it happened, and it was one of the best games in history. It was the 3rd highest scoring game in NBA history (168-161). It was also only the 15th four overtime game in NBA history. These two teams tied an NBA record with 43 three-pointers made.
That wasn’t all though, it was the first of two games between the two teams over the weekend. In this game, we saw Chicago Bulls players like Lauri Markkanen (31 pts), Zach Lavine (47 pts), and Otto Porter (31 pts) come up big. For Atlanta, it was rookie point guard Trae Young who shined to became the 1st rookie with 45 points and 10 Assists since the G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan.
Game two on Sunday came down to the wire as well, but no overtime, as the Hawks held on to beat the Bulls after Kris Dunn missed the game-tying three. Markkanen and Lavine combined for 31 points, and Porter didn’t even play. Trae Young got ejected with 9:20 left in the third quarter after he received a double technical earlier in the game. Young finished with just 18 points.
Milwaukee Bucks first team to clinch playoffs:
The Bucks have been the league’s best team all season long, and they have one of the best players in the game to lead them. Bucks forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is one of the top candidates for Most Valuable Player this season. He and the Bucks became the first team to clinch a playoff spot with their win over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
These Bucks are playing the best basketball of their careers, as guard Khris Middleton became a first-time All-Star. Guard Eric Bledsoe has finally come into his own with this Bucks team. He has been a huge part of their success this season. Bledsoe also earned himself a much-deserved contract extension with the Bucks. The deal was four years for $70 million.
Celtics, Thunder break their 4-game skid:
The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder are arguably two of the best teams in the league, but they both went on runs that were not favorable. They both lost four straight games until this weekend.
The Thunder lost to teams who are all in the playoff picture, like the Sacramento Kings, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and San Antonio Spurs. Since Westbrook’s triple-double streak ended, the Thunder have been struggling to win games. The good thing is that he and Paul George have continued to play well together, so they will still be one of the best in the West.
The Celtics lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers. The Celtics were having a tough time winning any game. Let’s be honest, we probably thought they were going to be the top team in the East, seeing how they went all the way to the Conference Finals without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, that hasn’t been the case this season.
Tottenham, Arsenal fail to cross the finish line:
Though it was hard to decide which of the two teams played better, one thing is certain: Arsenal let it slip.
Arsenal played the first half to their taste, scoring the opening goal through Aaron Ramsey, coming from a counter-attack after a Tottenham corner. In the second half, a foul in the box saw Harry Kane scoring in his ninth fixture against Arsenal, the penalty being the equalizer.
Towards the end of the match, Arsenal had a golden opportunity to take the game home, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his penalty saved by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. In the last moments of the game, Arsenal substitute Lucas Torriera was shown a red card. The match ended 1-1, Arsenal in fourth, four points behind Tottenham in third.
Atlanta United’s mistakes cost them versus DC United:
Despite Atlanta United beating Herediano 4-0 before coming into the MLS opener against DC United, DC United was too good for Atlanta to handle. From early on, it seemed DC had most of the control of the ball and Atlanta struggled to find the opponent’s box. Then, finally, in the last minute of the first half, DC found a breakthrough through Paul Arriolia. Atlanta were unable to improve in the second half, as Luciano Acosta brought over his form from last season and scored from outside the box.
Liam Dawson heroics help Peshawar Zalmi cross the line against Islamabad United:
Oh, Peshawar Zalmi badly needed revenge against Islamabad United. They lost to United in last year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL) final and once again earlier this season by 12 runs, kudos to a Mohammad Sami hat-trick. But this time around, Peshawar didn’t give up hope, not even till the last ball. In the first innings, it seemed Cameron Delport had won the match for Islamabad with his 71(55). But in the second innings, Liam Dawson and captain Darren Sammy responded well, putting up an 89-run partnership, until Sammy was dismissed for 40. Off of the last ball, Peshawar needed a boundary to win, and Dawson drove Sami straight down the ground towards long-on for just that.
Ahmed Shehzad, Rilee Rossouw helps Quetta Gladiators climb above Multan Sultans:
Though it took them 19 overs, the Quetta Gladiators managed to successfully register another win against the Multan Sultans. Multan was only able to put up 121, 46 of those runs being Johson Charles. Darren Bravo and Sohail Tanvir each took three wickets with Mohammad Nawaz grabbing two and Mohammad Hasnain having one to his name. Quetta’s batting got off to a good start, with the Shane Watson-Ahsan Ali partnership lasting 49 runs, until birthday-boy Shahid Afridi removed Watson for 33. Ahmed Shehzad scored a sturdy 28(35)* and Rilee Rossouw’s 35(33) was sufficient enough as Quetta won by six wickets.
Lahore PSL matches relocated to Karachi:
This year, eight PSL matches were to be held in Pakistan, three in Lahore, five in Karachi. However, due to flight scheduling issues, all the matches will be held in the southern city of Karachi. The first game in Karachi begins on March 7, with the hosts Karachi Kings taking on Peshawar Zalmi. The playoffs and final will also be held in Karachi.