Zion Williamson throws down monster dunk on Instagram (VIDEO). Which means… what? — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

If nothing else, we know Zion can still be an Instagram star throwing down dunks. He’s always been good at that.

Zion Williamson throws down monster dunk on Instagram (VIDEO). Which means… what? — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports



• The Toronto Raptors (31-24) continue a stretch of five straight games against Western Conference opponents (Feb. 9-16) Monday night when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans (22-34). The Raptors’ season-high eight-game winning streak came to an end Saturday with a 110-109 loss to Denver. Toronto is 10-10
vs. the West this season, after going 10-20 against the Western Conference in 2020-21.
• Pascal Siakam recorded a season-high 35 points (16-22 FG, 3-7 3PT), 10 rebounds and seven assists in 42 minutes for his team-leading 18th double-double Feb. 12 vs. Denver. Saturday marked Siakam’s sixth
career game with 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists – tied with Chris Bosh for second most in franchise history behind only Vince Carter (10). Siakam also became just the second Raptor, along with Donyell Marshall – March 13, 2005 vs. Philadelphia, to score 35+ points without attempting a free throw.
• Pascal Siakam is currently averaging 22.1 points, and career highs of 8.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists, in 42 games this season. He is one of just six players in the NBA averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, James Harden, Nikola Jokic & Dejounte Murray.
• Pascal Siakam (Feb. 3-12) and Fred VanVleet (Feb. 1-12) have both scored 20+ points in a career-high six straight games played. VanVleet sat out Feb. 10 at Houston with left groin soreness. Siakam is averaging 29.0 points and is shooting .643 (72-112) from the field over the last six games, while VanVleet is averaging 22.3 points and shooting .459 (28-61) from three-point range over his last six games played.
• Toronto tied a season low with seven turnovers Saturday vs. Denver, while forcing the Nuggets into 18 turnovers which led to 22 points. The Raptors currently lead the NBA in deflections (18.1), rank second in steals (9.3) and are tied for third in points off turnovers (18.9).
• Gary Trent Jr. has at least one steal in a career-high 13 straight games (Jan. 21 – Feb. 12). Trent Jr. has 26 steals in the last 13 games and ranks currently second in the NBA in steals per game (1.93).
• Toronto has shot better than 45 percent from the field in a season-high five straight games (Feb. 4-12), shooting .521 (228-438) from the floor. Pascal Siakam is shooting 70 percent (63-90) over the last five.
• Fred VanVleet has been named a reserve for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on SunDay, Feb. 20 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. VanVleet becomes just the eighth player in franchise history to earn an All-Star selection. He is the first undrafted player in the NBA to be named an
All-Star since Ben Wallace in 2006. VanVleet will also compete in the MTN Dew 3-Point Contest.
• Sophomore Precious Achiuwa and rookie Scottie Barnes have been selected to participate in the 2022 Rising Stars, which will be played on Friday, Feb. 18 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland as part of NBA All-Star 2022. Toronto will have two players in the showcase event for the first time since Andrea
Bargnani and Jamario Moon in 2008. Barnes will also participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

MIN: 35.8 REB: 7.6 AST: 3.4 STL: 1.0 TO: 1.9 BLK: 0.8 PTS: 14.7
• Tallied 17 points, five rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes of action Feb 12 vs. Denver.
• Ranks first among rookies in minutes (35.8), third in rebounds (7.6), and is tied for third in points (14.7).
• Has scored 15+ points in five of the last six games (Feb. 3-12), averaging 15.8 points during this stretch.

MIN: 37.1 REB: 5.7 AST: 2.7 STL: 1.6 TO: 1.8 BLK: 0.6 PTS: 18.0
• Contributed nine points, five rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes Feb 12 vs. Denver.
• Has scored 20+ points in a single-season career-high 18 games; something he did 13 times last season.
• Averaging 19.1 points and 6.2 rebounds on the road, compared to 17.1 points and 5.2 rebounds at home.

MIN: 37.9 REB: 8.7 AST: 5.2 STL: 1.3 TO: 2.7 BLK: 0.8 PTS: 22.1
• Recorded a season-high 35 points Feb. 12 vs. Denver; added 10 rebounds and seven assists in 42 minutes.
• Toronto is now 30-6 all-time, including 6-1 this season, when Siakam scores 30 or more points.
• Leads the Raptors with 18 double-doubles, matching his single-season career-high set in 2018-19.

MIN: 34.9 REB: 2.7 AST: 2.0 STL: 2.0 TO: 1.0 BLK: 0.3 PTS: 18.6
• Finished 11 points, three rebounds and one steal in 38 minutes Feb. 12 vs. Denver.
• Ranks second in the NBA in steals per game (1.93) and fifth in total deflections (161).
• Averaging 23.0 points and shooting .455 (25-55) from beyond the arc through seven games in February.

MIN: 38.6 REB: 4.6 AST: 7.1 STL: 1.7 TO: 2.7 BLK: 0.5 PTS: 21.6
• Contributed 25 points, five rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes Feb. 12 vs. Denver.
• Ranks second in the NBA in total deflections (193) and three-pointers (197), and seventh in steals (81).
• Leads the NBA in minutes per game (38.6) – has logged 40+ minutes in 15 games this season.

Isaac Bonga (G League – On Assignment) – Out
David Johnson (G League – Two-Way) – Out

Opponent: Minnesota Timberwolves
Date: Wednesday, February 16
Tip-Off: 8 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Target Center
Television: TSN
Radio: Sportsnet 590 the FAN
2020-21 1-1 0-1 1-0
ALL-TIME 34-16 22-4 12-12
STREAKS Won 1 Lost 1 Won 3
LAST WIN: Feb. 19, 2021 (86-81)
LAST ROAD WIN: Feb. 19, 2021 (86-81)
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: +23 (Feb. 10, 2008)
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT: -32 (Mar. 19, 2002)
GAME 30 – FEBRUARY 20, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — Norman Powell scored a season-high 31 points and
the Toronto Raptors beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 86-81, closing the
game with an 11-0 run … Toronto earned its third straight win … Fred
VanVleet had 12 points and seven rebounds, while Pascal Siakam added
10 points and nine boards … Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 19
points and 13 rebounds … Malik Beasley scored 13 and Jordan McLaughlin had 11 … After trailing by as many as 19, the Wolves clawed their way
back into the game with a 16-0 run midway through the third quarter …
Jake Layman had a dunk and a 3-pointer during the stretch, which tied the
game at 57 … Rookie Anthony Edwards added a long jumper and a vicious dunk as part of a three-point play, helping Minnesota to a 64-58 lead
heading into the fourth … Minnesota led 81-75 with 3:30 to play when
Toronto took over … VanVleet hit a pair of free throws, Powell scored on
a transition layup, and Siakam threw down a tying dunk … On Minnesota’s next possession, Towns was called for a moving screen, and on the
other end, Terence Davis hit his third 3-pointer of the quarter to make it 84
-81 with 30 seconds to play … The Wolves had a chance to tie it, but
Beasley’s 3-pointer was short, and Davis hit two free throws for Toronto …
Playing a second straight game without point guard Kyle Lowry (sprained
thumb), the Raptors dominated the first half, thanks in part to Minnesota’s
cold shooting … At one point the Wolves missed 18 straight 3-pointers.
1 2 3 4 TOT
TORONTO 28 17 13 28 86
MINNESOTA 15 20 29 17 81

Celtics Notebook: Nesmith seizes his opportunity — Boston Herald

With Marcus Smart (health and safety protocol) and Rob Williams (personal reasons) both on ice during the Celtics’ 104-92 win over New Orleans on Monday, when the coach searched for a way to shake up his lineup down the stretch, he turned to the second-year wing.

Celtics Notebook: Nesmith seizes his opportunity — Boston Herald


TORONTO & NEW ORLEANS POSTGAME VIDEO: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2j8fgl17gig3szo/AAB_ze09Pd9gbmQ4iXZXs3URa?dl=0




New Orleans10114-26Ingram – 22Valanciunas – 17Temple – 6
Toronto10520-17VanVleet – 32Siakam – 10Siakam – 7

Trailing 99-96 with 2:26 left, Fred VanVleet hit back-to-back three-point field goals to put the Raptors up by three points (102-99) … Toronto led the rest of the game.


Toronto outrebounded New Orleans 46-35, including 15-7 on the offensive glass … The Raptors tallied 24 second chance points compared to the Pelicans’ 6 … Toronto has outrebounded opponents 89-50 on the offensive end over the last six games (Dec. 31- Jan. 9).


  • With the win, Toronto improves to 20-17 this season and 12-10 at home … The Raptors have now set a season-high with their sixth consecutive win (Dec. 31 – Jan. 9) … The last time Toronto won six straight games was Mar. 3 – Aug. 5, 2020 … The Raptors willcomplete a three-game homestand (Jan. 7-11), Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns.
  • Fred VanVleet tallied 32 points and made season-best eight three-point field goals … He added four rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes … VanVleet has scored 30+ points in six of the last eight games played (Dec. 14 – Jan. 9), averaging 30.6 points and shooting .471 (82-for-174) from the field, including .456 (47-for-103) from beyond the arc during this stretch.
  • Fred VanVleet scored in double digits in both the first quarter (13) and fourth quarter (12) tonight … He has now scored 10+ points in 21 quarters this season, something he did 31 times in 52 games last season.
  • Pascal Siakam finished with 29 points (8-18 FG, 3-5 3PT, 10-10 FT), 10 rebounds and seven assists for his team-leading eighth double-double of the season … Tonight marks the 16th time in his career and fifth time this season that Siakam has recorded 20+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists … Siakam has now dished out five or more assists in a career-high seven consecutive games (Dec. 28 – Jan. 9), averaging 6.4 assists per game during this stretch.
  • Fred VanVleet (32)and Pascal Siakam (29)combined to score 61 of Toronto’s 105 points, including 19 of the team’s 26 points in the fourth quarter…The Raptors are 4-1 this season when Siakam and VanVleet each score 20+ points.
  • Reserves Precious Achiuwa (9)and Chris Boucher (8) combined for 17 of Toronto’s 46 rebounds, including six of the team’s 15 offensive rebounds.


  • With the loss, New Orleans is now14-26, including 6-15 on the road … The Pelicans will return home to play the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
  • Jonas Valanciunas recorded 20 points and 17 rebounds for his team-leading 27th double-double of the season … Valanciunas has also led (or tied) the Pelicans in rebounding in three of the last four games (Jan. 3-9), averaging 13.0 rebounds during this span … Only Rudy Gobert (31), Nikola Jokic (28) and Domantas Sabonis (28) have recorded more double-doubles than Valanciunas this season.
  • Brandon Ingram finished with a team-high 22 points, five rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes … Ingram has now scored 20+ points in consecutive games (Jan. 6-9), averaging 27.0 points and shooting .529 (18-for-34) from the floor.
  • Brandon Ingram has led New Orleans in scoring in consecutive games (Jan. 6-9), for the first time since Dec. 21-23 … Entering tonight the Pelicans have had six different players lead the team in scoring over the last six games (Dec. 26 – Jan. 6).


01/09/2022TorontoW 105-101 Overall:2616
02/14/2022New Orleans at Toronto:129
 at New Orleans:147

Steph Curry, Draymond Green among Warriors ruled out against New Orleans — Monterey Herald

While the Warriors attempt to avoid their first losing streak of the season, they’ll have to do so against the New Orleans Pelicans without their top two players: Steph Curry and Draymond Green both got the night off. On the second night of back-to-back games, the Warriors traded in Curry, Green and Juan Toscano-Anderson for…

Steph Curry, Draymond Green among Warriors ruled out against New Orleans — Monterey Herald

Report: Zion Williamson has skipped rehab, fallen asleep during film — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Before the season, Zion Williamson talked about becoming more committed to leading the Pelicans into the playoffs.

Report: Zion Williamson has skipped rehab, fallen asleep during film — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

Nikola Jokic’s overtime heroics saves Nuggets vs. Pelicans — The Denver Post

NEW ORLEANS – The battle in the Bayou turned into the battle of the big men. And the NBA’s reigning MVP prevailed. Nikola Jokic dug deep into his bag of post moves, dancing and dipping through the Pelicans’ paint. Jokic saved 11 of his 39 points for overtime, ensuring a gripping 120-114 win in New…

Nikola Jokic’s overtime heroics saves Nuggets vs. Pelicans — The Denver Post

Clippers fall to Pelicans again as Valanciunas enjoys career night — San Gabriel Valley Tribune

LOS ANGELES — Outrebounded and out-​​Valanciunas’d, the Clippers finally shot well but still came up short on Monday night in a deflating 123-104 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Jonas ​​Valanciunas, New Orleans’ bearded big man, scored 29 of his career-high 39 points in the first half, when he shot 7 for 7 from 3-point…

Clippers fall to Pelicans again as Valanciunas enjoys career night — San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Pelicans’ Didi Louzada suspended 25 games for testing positive for steroids — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports

He says he was given the steroids by a doctor in his native Brazil and didn’t know what he was ingesting.

Pelicans’ Didi Louzada suspended 25 games for testing positive for steroids — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports