The Rundown: Bulls spoil LeBron’s return, Wolves beat Warriors

Published March 27, 2023, 3:00 PMPolo Bustamante

The Bulls took down the Lakers, the Wolves got even with the Warriors as the battle for playoff spots continue to get heated.


Hornets 110, Mavericks 104

Bulls 118, Lakers 108

Grizzlies 123, Hawks 119

Celtics 137, Spurs 93

Cavaliers 108, Rockets 91

Magic 119, Nets 106

Raptors 114, Wizards 104

Thunder 118, Trail Blazers 112

Timberwolves 99, Warriors 96

What went down

The top of the Western conference is pretty much set. The Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, and Sacramento Kings have a clear lead over the next eight teams in the standings. The battle for the fourth to 10th spot in the West is a bloodbath. There’s only 1.5 games separating the seventh and 11th seeds. A win or loss by any of the bottom teams can cause a major shuffle in the standings.

Take the LA Lakers as an example. A few days ago they were within striking distance of the sixth seed, finally reaching .500 for the first time this season. They came into this matchup against the Chicago Bulls on a high. They even got a boost before today’s game with LeBron James returning from a foot injury.

Unfortunately for them, they got cute with the Bulls and ended up paying for it. James came off the bench to play only 29 minutes and Anthony Davis took only eight shot attempts in the game. When the two best players of your team are playing at half speed, then a loss is all but guaranteed. The Bulls walloped them to send them back to below .500 and down to the ninth spot in the West.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were tied with the Lakers before their game today against the Golden State Warriors. They needed a big win over the defending champs to not only get some breathing room in the play-in picture, but also get closer to an outright playoff spot.

They got just that. Karl-Anthony Towns hit a huge go-ahead 3-pointer in the final 20 seconds of the game to deliver the win. The Timberwolves played a tough game defensively. Towns was able to hit that big shot because the rest of the team were able to force the turnover in the previous defensive possession.

The Timberwolves are now in solo seventh with a 38-37 record. More importantly, they’re now only a half game behind the Warriors for the sixth seed.

Big-time ballers

A win against the tanking San Antonio Spurs was never in doubt for the Boston Celtics. With the Spurs trotting out their young bench mob for most of the games to close out the season, it was only a question of which Boston player would explode for a big game today.

True enough, the Celtics won big and Jaylen Brown was the high point man with 41 points in the 44 point wins. He hit 62.1 percent of his shots and grabbed 13 rebounds in the dominant performance.

What he said

The Dallas Mavericks are on a downward spiral. They lost back-to-back games to the lowly Charlotte Hornets who have been playing without LaMelo Ball. It was a double black eye for the Mavericks in today’s game as Luka Doncic received his 16th technical foul, which meant he would have to miss the team’s next game.

It’s no secret that the Doncic has been frustrated with how things have been going for the Mavericks. He’s been talking about missing his spark in the past few postgame interviews. Here’s his backcourt partner Kyrie Irving weighing in on Doncic’s mindset.

In true Irving fashion, he talks about something deeper than the obvious.

Did you see that?

LeBron James is one of the winningest players in the NBA. There’s not a lot of players that have a winning record against him. In fact only three players have won more than 60 percent of their games against the King. One of them is Patrick Beverley.

PatBev has continued his dominance over LeBron today and he celebrated another win with the most disrespectful celly ever.