The Utah Jazz are taking advantage of the closely-knitted Western Conference and have put themselves right in the thick of the playoff picture. With just five games separating the third seed from the ninth seed, the Jazz are within striking distance of hosting a playoff series in ninth place, let along getting in. They progressed in that process on Monday night by holding off the San Antonio Spurs, 101-99, for their 10th straight win. Donovan Mitchell had 25 points, including the go-ahead basket with 39.2 seconds left, as the Jazz maintain the longest current win streak in the NBA. They become the third team this season to win 10 in a row, joining the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. Joe Ingles added 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, while Derrick Favors had 19 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks for the Jazz, who moved over .500 for the first time in over two months. The Spurs' struggles against the Jazz continued, as they fell to Utah for the third time this season. Kyle Anderson led the Spurs with 16 points, while Pau Gasol had a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds. They will be back at it on Tuesday night when they visit the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz put their win streak on the line when they host the lowly Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.
McConnell's Triple-Double Powers Sixers
Since the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots, both the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers are unbeaten. The Sixers won their fourth straight game on Monday night by topping the New York Knicks, 108-92. T.J. McConnell was the headline of the night by recording his first career triple-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. Dario Saric led the scoring for Philly with 24 points, while Joel Embiid added 17 and Ben Simmons chipped in 13 in the win. Philadelphia spread the ball out well and finished with all five starters in double figures, including J.J. Redick's 18 points and Robert Covington's 13. The 76ers improved to four games over .500 with their 10th straight home victory, moving them to 17-10 at the Wells Fargo Center. Michael Beasley led the Knicks with 22 points for his short-handed team, who was playing their third game without Kristaps Porzingis, who tore his ACL. New York has now dropped seven in a row. Philadelphia looks to improve their playoff positioning when they host the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The Knicks play their final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday at home against the Washington Wizards.
Nylander, Maple Leafs Edge Lightning
The Toronto Maple Leafs earned a marquee division matchup on Monday night, as they got past the first-place Tampa Bay Lighting, 4-3, on their home ice. William Nylander led the way with two goals and an assist for Toronto, while James van Riemsdyk had the tiebreaking goal in the third period. The Leafs jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Lightning scored twice in the third to tie the game. Nikita Kucherov and Yanni Gourde scored just 20 seconds apart to even things at three-apiece after Alex Killorn got his team on the board in the second period. Jake Gardiner also found the back of the net for the Maple Leafs, who have won five in a row at home, and eight of their past nine games overall. Frederik Andersen earned his 28th victory after stopping 28 shots on the night. The win for the Leafs pulls them within six points of the Lightning in the Atlantic Division. They will look to inch closer as they host the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday. The Lightning look to bounce back on Tuesday night as they stay on the road to visit the Buffalo Sabres.