The Restart Of The 2019-20 NBA Season Didn’t Disappoint

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12: Kawhi Leonard (2) of the LA Clippers walks back to play defense against the Denver Nuggets after a change of possession during the fourth quarter of Denver's 114-104 win on Sunday, January 12, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Over the past week, the NBA had provided us a chance to watch exhibition games leading up to the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season. Now, it’s finally here! On Thursday, two games took place inside at the World Wide World of Sport in Orlando. The Pelicans vs the Jazz along with the Clippers vs the Lakers started off the eight remaining regular-season games for each team. Both of these games came down to the wire in the fight for seeding. Thursday was a little dose of what is to come over the next few weeks.

The Re-start Of The 2019-20 NBA Season Didn’t Disappoint

Pelicans vs Jazz

The restart of the 2019-20 NBA season began with the Utah Jazz facing off against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Jazz came into this one as the fourth seed in the Western Conference while the Pelicans are on the outside looking in as the 11th seed. The Pelicans pulled away early and lead 60-48 at the half. They came out fighting for their playoff lives but the dominating play didn’t last. The Jazz started hitting shots and held New Orleans to only 17 points in the fourth. All starters ended in double figures and that included the duo of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley, who both finished with 20 points. Jordan Clarkson played 32 minutes off the bench and led the team in scoring with 23. 

The Pelicans looked like they were going to pull away but that didn’t happen. Despite 23 points from Brandon Ingram, 20 from Jrue Holiday, and 21 off of the bench from J.J. Redick, they couldn’t hold on for the win. New Orleans faded down the stretch, allowing the Jazz to pull away with a win. This is a terrible loss for the Pelicans as they’re trying to catch the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed.

Clippers vs Lakers

The battle of L.A. continued on Thursday night and it didn’t disappoint. Fans were looking forward to this matchup ever since it was announced and they showed us why. The Los Angeles Clippers fell behind by double-digits in the first quarter but they climbed back and only trailed by two at the half. It was back in forth for the rest of the game and there were clutch moments on both offense and defense.

The duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the Los Angeles Lakers came out on top 103-101. They both had a strong game as Davis went for 34 points and eight rebounds while James had 16 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. The duo for the Clippers played even better as Paul George had 30 points and Kawhi Leonard had 28 points. They didn’t get a lot of help from the supporting cast and that was the difference. These two teams don’t face off in the regular season again but many think they’ll face off in the playoffs.

The Last Shot

If you liked the restart of the NBA so far, there’s plenty more where that came from with games all day starting on Friday. Even without fans, Thursday’s games were intense and entertaining. The fight for seeding might not seem important with no home-court advantage, but it’s all about matchups and pride for players. The 2019-20 NBA season continues Friday and we’re looking for more games like the ones we had on Thursday.

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