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Devastating loss for NBA family, Memphis gets needed boost & New York’s gone streaking

Updated: May 22, 2021

Jackson Jr. returns to Memphis for playoff push


Forward Jaren Jackson Jr. made his season debut Wednesday, April 21 scoring 15 points in 18 minutes.


He also added eight rebounds and four blocks in his first outing of the season, resulting in a 117-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.


Two nights later, Jackson Jr. put up 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting in a 130-128 overtime win over Portland.


In the team’s latest game, he was held to just 10 points and seven rebounds in a 24-point loss to Denver.


All in all, Jackson Jr. has a stat line of 16 points per game on 49 percent shooting to go along with six rebounds per game and two blocks per game in 21 minutes of play.


However, since returning from a knee injury, he’s only shooting 18 percent from three-point range (2-of-11).


Another point of emphasis to note, Jackson Jr. has recorded five fouls in two of the games he’s returned in and four in the other.


Former Kentucky player Clarke Jr. dies in car accident


NBA prospect and former Kentucky guard Terrence Clarke Jr. died Thursday, April 22 in a car accident in Los Angeles.


He was 19 years old.


According to an ESPN report, Clarke was the solo occupant of a 2021 Hyundai Genesis that apparently ran a red light going “at a very high rate of speed” at approximately 2:10 p.m.


Outpourings of love spread quickly on social media beginning largely with those a part of the Kentucky Basketball family.


Boston Celtic forwards Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were among some of the NBA talent to weigh in on the passing of Clarke, who was a Boston native.


Clarke announced last month his intentions to turn pro and signed with agent Rich Paul and Klutch Sports Wednesday.


New York’s gone streaking


The New York Knicks have gone streaking.


It’s been quite a while since that statement has been able to hold true but this year’s Knicks are proving it to be more fact than fiction.


Recently, the team rattled off a string of nine straight wins, propelling it up the Eastern Conference standings.


During that stretch, New York has an average win mark of over 10 points sporting a 10-point overtime win over Atlanta, a 12-point win versus Charlotte and two wins over Toronto, one by six points and the other by 17.


All-star forward Julius Randle led the team in scoring seven times, averaging 30.1 points per game along the way.


Second-year forward RJ Barrett led the way the other two times.


In addition, Randle led the team in assists in eight of the nine games with guard Derrick Rose being the top assist man in the remaining game.


The streak ran hot until the Knicks ran up against the Phoenix Suns Monday, April 26.


Prior to the start of the streak, New York was sitting at 25-26, good for eighth in the East.


Now the team is 35-28 and sitting at fourth in the conference, a full game ahead of the Atlanta Hawks.


The fight for the No. 1 seed


West


Utah sits atop of the Western Conference with a 45-17 record and are a full game ahead of the Phoenix Suns (44-18) at two.


Both teams have 10 games remaining with Utah getting to play six of those at home while Phoenix is travelling for sevenn of them.


Moreover, the Jazz have six games against teams that are .500 or better while the Suns have eight games against teams with .500 records or better.


The two teams play each other one more time this season, Friday, April 30 in Phoenix.


Currently, the Suns lead the season series 2-0.


Important to note the Los Angeles Clippers are third at 43-21 and the Denver Nuggets are right behind them at 41-21.


East


The Eastern-conference leading Brooklyn Nets (42-20) holds a one game lead over the No. 2 placed Philadelphia 76ers (41-21).


The Sixers have 10 more games left to play while the Nets have nine.


However, Brooklyn has six games against teams with .500 records or better while Philadelphia only has three such games.


With no more games against each other scheduled for the regular season, Philadelphia took the season series 2-1.


There are still some big matchups for these two clubs to end the year.


Brooklyn still has two primetime matchups with the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 4.


On the other hand, Philadelphia’s highest seeded opponent in the East is the fifth slotted Atlanta Hawks and in the West, they’ll see a team as high as the currently ninth-seeded San Antonio Spurs.


The aforementioned Bucks still have a chance at first place sitting at 38-23 followed by the red hot New York Knicks at 35-28.


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