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Horns in the NBA: 3/24 — 3/30

Tristan Thompson is thriving despite minutes restriction and DJ Augustin, Mo Bamba and Orlando’s playoff hopes are uncertain.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Tristan Thompson made his long-awaited re-entry into the lineup after his January injury. It comes after the Cavs were given the brush-off from the postseason, but a no-pressure environment has helped him ease back into things.

LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs

  • Sun, 3/24 - Road win over the Boston Celtics: 48 points (20-31), 13 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Tue, 3/26 - Road loss to the Charlotte Hornets: 20 points (8-18), 15 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Thu, 3/28 - Home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers: 14 points (6-15), 3 rebounds, 1 assist

Aldridge’s 48 points on Sunday marked not only a career night, but it gave the Spurs some cushioning in the playoff ladder. It also materialized on the two-day portion of the week in which Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker boasted back-to-back 50 point games. Unfortunately for Aldridge, that caused his game to be swept under the rug.

The Spurs also dropped to the seventh seed in the West, and they’re still part of a playoff picture in flux.

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

  • Sun, 3/24 - Home win over the Detroit Pistons: 14 points (5-6), 5 rebounds, 11 assists
  • Wed, 3/27 - Road win over the Memphis Grizzlies: 28 points (12-13), 9 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Fri, 3/29 - Road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves: 23 points (8-22), 12 rebounds, 7 assists

Durant missed just two shots through his first 42 points this week, though he struggled to connect Friday versus the Timberwolves. He also tallied good assist numbers, as he averaged 7.6 per game over the three-game span.

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

  • Sun, 3/24 - Home win over the Denver Nuggets: 17 points (7-15), 11 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Fri, 3/29 - Road loss to the Boston Celtics: 15 points (5-12), 11 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Sat, 3/30 - Home loss to the Orlando Magic: 16 points (6-13), 12 rebounds, 2 assists

I’ve been pushing more double-doubles for Jarrett Allen, though a Myles Turner double-double counter may be in order. Not only did he amass three this week, but he’s had seven of them in the last 13 games.

Cory Joseph, Indiana Pacers

  • Sun, 3/24 - Home win over the Denver Nuggets: 2 points (1-4), 0 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Fri, 3/29 - Road loss to the Boston Celtics: 2 points (1-4), 1 rebound, 5 assists
  • Sat, 3/30 - Home loss to the Orlando Magic: 4 points (2-4), 3 rebounds, 0 assists

The Pacers have dropped 13 of their last 18 games. You have to think that Joseph’s troubles (his 2.8 points per game in the last 13 games were among a bevy of stumbling blocks I had in mind) may have fed into that.

Avery Bradley, Memphis Grizzlies

Bradley is out with a right shin bruise suffered on March 16th versus the Washington Wizards.

Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Sun, 3/14 - Road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks: 10 points (5-8), 6 rebounds, 1 assist
  • Tue, 3/26 - Home loss to the Boston Celtics: 7 points (2-4), 3 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Thu, 3/28 - Road loss to the San Antonio Spurs: 4 points (2-4), 7 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Sat, 3/30 - Road loss to the Log Angeles Clippers: 10 points (4-8), 10 rebounds, 3 assists

After being sidelined for more than two months, Thompson returned last week for two games on restricted minutes. His lack of major rust raises eyebrows, and besides a minutes restriction, he’s sidestepped the bulk of the post-injury struggles we tend to see from players with lengthy time off the floor.

Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets

  • Mon, 3/25 - Road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers: 10 points (3-8), 8 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Thu, 3/28 - Road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers: 4 points (2-3), 4 rebounds, 1 assist
  • Sat, 3/30 - Home win over the Boston Celtics: 10 points (2-3), 7 rebounds, 3 assists

Allen had 24 points this week on just 14 shots. He’s been impacting the game efficiently and steadily alongside a hot stretch from his teammate, D’Angelo Russell.

Mohamed Bamba, Orlando Magic

No status change here; Bamba is still out indefinitely.

D.J. Augustin, Orlando Magic

  • Mon, 3/25 - Road win over the Philadelphia 76ers: 4 points (2-4), 2 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Tue, 3/26 - Road win over the Miami Heat: 17 points (3-11), 4 rebounds, 7 assists
  • Thu, 3/28 - Road loss to the Detroit Pistons: 18 points (7-12), 4 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Sat, 3/30 - Road win over the Indiana Pacers: 11 points (5-10), 4 rebounds, 10 assists

Orlando and Miami are interchanging between the eighth and ninth spots in the East (the eighth seed is the final playoff seed). But locking a basement seed, well, recent history shows that’s more of Miami’s thing. But the Magic did win a much-needed head-to-head versus the Heat on Tuesday night. Though his shots didn’t fall favorably, Augustin was a key performer. He had 17 points and a team-high 7 assists.

P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets

  • Sun, 3/24 - Road win over the New Orleans Pelicans: 11 points (4-6), 3 rebounds, 0 assists
  • Tue, 3/26 - Road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks: 3 rebounds (1-9), 5 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Thu, 3/28 - Home win over the Denver Nuggets: 3 points (1-2), 5 rebounds, 0 assists
  • Sat, 3/30 - Home win over the Sacramento Kings: 3 points (1-3), 7 rebounds, 2 assists

I’d like to see less “1-for” games from Tucker, though he underpinned his tick on the defensive end this week. He was a primary reason that the Bucks, Nuggets, and Pelicans all scored under 95 points, which is a trend Houston wants to see extended into the playoffs.