Pistons vs. Wizards (8pm ET Monday, ESPN)
After winning seven of their last 10 games, the Detroit Pistons have moved past the beleaguered Bulls to take possession of eighth place in the East. On Saturday, they beat up on the Sixers for the second time in three weeks, this time winning 125-111. Andre Drummond had himself another monster night, scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 23 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals, and Reggie Jackson scored 24 to go along with 10 assists. Over the Pistons’ last 10 games, Drummond has averaged 15-15 and over the season has gone 15-15 a total of 28 times – the next highest total in the NBA this season is 10 each for both Boogie Cousins and DeAndre Jordan. The Pistons are now 34-32.
On March 3, the Wizards awoke to find themselves winners of four in a row with a 30-30 record, which is just good enough to put them on the fringes of the playoff hunt. Fast-forward a week and a half and they’re now riding a season-worst five-game losing streak and drifting toward irrelevance. On Saturday, it was the lowly Nuggets who dropped a 116-100 beating on them as the Wiz got outshot 53% to 42% and out-rebounded 44 to 37. During their current losing streak, the Wizards have been outscored by 14 points per game, while shooting 43% from the floor. Washington is 30-35 and trails the Pistons by 3.5 games for the eighth spot in the East.
Cavaliers vs. Jazz (10:30pm ET Monday, ESPN)
Yes, LeBron James is partly responsible for the longest All-Star break in NBA history, which allowed his Cavs to go a full week between meaningful games. But rest assured, he’s paying for it as tonight will mark the fourth time in 16 days that they will have played back-to-back games. Last night was a big win over the Clippers 114-90 and LeBron went 27-6-5, helping Cleveland totally dominate the boards 49-34. The Cavs are now 47-18 and remain in first place in the East, 2.5 games ahead of Toronto.
Last night, the Utah Jazz jumped out to a 36-16 first quarter lead over the Sacramento Kings and never looked back. On their way to a 108-99 victory, Derrick Favors was the man for Utah, scoring 28 points with 14 rebounds and four assists while Gordon Hayward had a big night as well, dropping 27 points on the Kings. The Jazz are now 31-35 and in ninth place in the West, two games behind the Mavs for the final playoff spot.