Phinisee Sends Indiana to Huge Upset
The unranked Indiana Hoosiers relied on the career night for Rob Phinisee on Thursday night to pull off a huge upset in the Big Ten Conference, taking down the fourth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers, 68-65, on their home floor. Phinisee had a career-high 20 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 16.5 seconds left, helping the junior to his first win over his hometown school since joining Indiana. Phinisee had 17 of his points in the first half, making his first six shot attempts from the floor, including three three-pointers, as he set a season-high in points in the first half alone. Xavier Johnson added 18 points and Trey Galloway had eight for a Hoosiers team that was mostly without Trayce Jackson-Davis, who played just 11 minutes due to foul trouble. Jaden Ivey kept Purdue close in an attempt to avoid the upset, scoring 19 of his 21 points in the second half, but he missed a potential go-ahead shot with seven seconds left. The Boilermakers dropped their third game of the season, all of which have come in conference play, and fell for the first time in their last six trips to Assembly Hall.
Other key ranked scores saw the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs pull away from San Francisco at home, 78-62, behind Drew Timme's 23 points. Oumar Ballo scored a career-high 21 points in the third-ranked Arizona Wildcats' 85-57 rout of the Stanford Cardinal. And Johnny Juzang's 28 points helped the ninth-ranked UCLA Bruins past the Utah Utes, 63-58.
Suns Rally to Sweep Road Trip; Pacers Down Warriors
The Phoenix Suns may have needed a rally in the final game of their five-game road trip, but the NBA's best team did just that to sweep away the trip with a 109-101 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Devin Booker had 28 points, while Chris Paul added 20 points, 11 assists, and no turnovers in their 35th victory of the season. The Suns not only swept their five-game road trip, but they've now won eight games in a row and nine straight over the Mavs. Luka Doncic had 28 points and Jalen Brunson added 19 in the loss for the Mavericks, who had won four in a row and 10 of their past 11 games. The Suns used a dominant fourth quarter to pull this one off, outscoring the home team, 35-19, in the final 12 minutes, where Paul had 10 of his points.
The Indiana Pacers secured their second straight upset out west on Thursday night, getting past the Golden State Warriors in overtime, 121-117. Keifer Sykes had the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:41 left in overtime, while Chris Duarte led the way with 27 points for the shorthanded 17-29 Pacers team. Klay Thompson could not get a shot off in the final possession with 6.4 seconds to play, and Steph Curry went scoreless in the extra period to seal the loss. Curry did finish with 39 points, but missed a potential tying three-pointer with 16.5 seconds to play, helping the Pacers to this win 24 hours after taking out the Los Angeles Lakers. And the road team pulled this off despite playing without Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, and Domantas Sabonis due to injuries.
The only other game saw Jonas Valanciunas post a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds in the New Orleans Pelicans' 102-91 win over the New York Knicks.
Bulls' Lonzo Ball Out 6-8 Weeks With Knee Surgery
The Chicago Bulls announced on Thursday that guard Lonzo Ball has opted to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. The procedure will repair a torn meniscus and will take place in California in the coming days. The guard was weighing out options with doctors, but the slight tear in the meniscus made this necessary. Ball has missed the past three games with the injury, which was initially called a bone bruise. He was already ruled out for their upcoming three-game road trip as well, but now he is not expected back until well after the All-Star break. This is the second time he has suffered an injury to this knee, as he suffered a similar tear in the same knee in July 2018 while with the Los Angeles Lakers. Ball is in his first season with the Bulls, averaging 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists over 35 games.
Avs Extend Point Streak Out West; McAvoy, Bruins Get Past Caps Late
The Colorado Avalanche overcame a slow start on the road Thursday night to stay red hot, earning a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Kiefer Sherwood scored his first goal in almost three years, helping the Avs extend their point streak to 11 games. They have gone 10-0-1 during that span, including a five-game win streak, and they've won on consecutive nights after blanking the Anaheim Ducks, 2-0. Darcy Keumper remained solid in net with 40 saves, while Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Devon Toews also scored. The Kings are going the opposite direction as of late, losing three in a row, despite 23 saves from Jonathan Quick on this night. The run for the Avalanche has moved them atop the Central Division with a 27-8-3 record, good for 57 points.
The Boston Bruins used some thrilling heroics late in the game Thursday night to earn a quality home win over the Washington Capitals, 4-3 at the TD Garden. Charlie McAvoy scored the go-ahead goal on the power play with 45 seconds left in the third period, leading the Bruins to their 23rd win of the season. David Pastrnak added two goals and Jake DeBrusk also found the back of the net for a Bruins team that rallied from deficits of 2-1 and 3-2. Nic Dowd was called for the costly tripping penalty with 2:34 left in regulation, which led to McAvoy's go-ahead tally, helping the Bruins bounce back from a 7-1 blowout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, which snapped a five-game winning streak. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller, and Nicklas Backstrom all scored in the loss to the Caps, with Kuznetsov extending his point streak to six games.
Other key scores saw Ryan Johansen post a goal and an assist in the Nashville Predators' 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both scored as the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Ottawa Senators, 6-4. And Aleksander Barkov scored twice in the Florida Panthers' 6-0 shutout of the struggling Edmonton Oilers.