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NBA Live 18

Sim Life with ‘NBA LIVE 18’: Wolves at Rockets, Mavs at Lakers

The game before the game … Minnesota thwarts Houston, Dallas dumps Lakers again

Now that the NBA All-Star break is over, it’s time to focus on how things will start to shake out for the playoffs. Based on the current standings, the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets (8 p.m. EST) may be a Western Conference semifinals preview, while the Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles matchup (10:30 p.m. EST) marks the Lakers’ home debut of Isaiah Thomas. The Mavs end the week having been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Let’s see what happens using NBA Live 18.

Wolves at Rockets

Top things to 👀

  • The Rockets are on a 10-game winning streak and are the only team with multiple 10-game winning streaks this season.
  • James Harden is in great position to make history.

  • The Rockets entered the All-Star break with the best record in the NBA for the first time in team history. The team with the best record at the break has reached the NBA Finals in five of the previous six seasons.

Despite a strong 8-0 run by Houston to get back in the game in the last minute, Minnesota was able to stop the hottest team in the league after Harden’s potential game-winning 3-pointer missed the mark at the buzzer. The Timberwolves took it 97-95.

The Wolves got a big game from their Big 3. Jimmy Butler put the team on his back and led them to victory.

Harden did his best to keep H-Town in the game, scoring 18 of his team-high 32 points in the first half.

Box score

MAVS AT LAKERS

Top things to 👀

  • Now that owner Mark Cuban has been fined for admitting that Dallas has been trying to tank, will the Mavs try hard to win?
  • The Mavericks beat the Lakers in their last meeting, as Dallas scored a season-best 130 points behind Dirk Nowitzki’s season-high 22 points. Lakers fans hope they don’t see too much of this again …

The Lakers’ hot fourth quarter kept them close, but a strong 12-2 run to close out the game gave the Mavs a 95-90 win as the Lakers remained winless since Thomas joined the squad via trade from Cleveland.

Nowitzki must really enjoy playing the Lakers, scoring 21 points for his second-highest output of the season. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Wesley Matthews also came up big for Dallas with a team-high 25 points.

Thomas had a game-high 26 for L.A., but he also was a minus-11 while on the floor.

Box score

Liner Notes

Make sure you catch both of these games on ESPN, or if you are out and about, lock in with the ESPN App.

Marcus Matthews is a general editor for The Undefeated. He’s a DMV native but prefers the Lakers over the Bullets/Wizards - #HTTR all day though!