(Image via yt)
(Game of the Night)
San Antonio Spurs beat Los Angeles Clippers 103-96
Looks like load management paid off big for Kawhi Leonard. I know, I know. A lot of people are going to gripe about Kawhi’s rest over the course of the season. However, Toronto laid the blueprint. The Raptors gave Leonard frequent rest last year, the move paid dividends throughout the playoffs, where a rested Leonard was utterly dominant. More so, Leonard was able to push through some of those nagging injuries we saw during the playoffs last year, something that might not have been possible had he didn’t receive rest during the season. On Thursday, Kawhi led the way for the Clippers, finishing with a 38pt/12rb double-double against the team that started his career. Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to the tune of 24pts/4rbs and Lou Williams chipped in 12pts/5asts.
For the Spurs, DeMar DeRozan led the way with 29pts/7rbs. The only other player to finish the game in double-digits for the Spurs was Derrick White, with 20pts/5rbs off the bench. This marked the Spurs first loss of the season, after starting 3-0.
Miami Heat beat Atlanta Hawks 106-97
The Heat were able to beat the Hawks without Trae Young, once again. Kendrick Nunn continues his rise in the NBA. He now has the third most points scored to start NBA career in the last 25years and the fifth most threes through the first five games. If Nunn continues the pace he is on, he will make an extremely strong case to be the first ever undrafted rookie to win Rookie of the Year. The willingness of his coach and his teammates has been the deciding factor. They let him takeover and do his thing, and that type of empowerment can go a long way in boosting a players confidence. Nunn led the way for the Heat with 28pts. Jimmy Butler did a little bit of everything, finishing with 5pts/11asts/9rbs/6stls. Tyler Herro came off the bench to the tune of 17pts/3asts/4rbs.
For the Hawks, Jabari Parker led the way off the bench, finishing with 23pts/8rbs. Deandre Bembry had a near triple-double, finishing with 18pts/8asts/10rbs.
New Orleans Pelicans beat Denver Nuggets 122-107
The Pelicans earned their first win of the season Thursday night. Jahlil Okafor led the charge, pounding his way to 26pts/5rbs. He looked the part of who many thought he would be coming out of Duke, scoring 20pts in the second half and going to the line a career-high 13times, with 10 makes. He also handled his assignment of Jokic very well, following the teams defensive scheme against the star center. Perhaps the big-man is taking a turn in New Orleans. Brandon Ingram continues his strong start to the season, finishing with 25pts/5asts/3rbs. Frank Jackson came off the bench to hit four threes and finish with 21pts/3rbs.
For the Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr made his NBA debut, and score 15pts/4rbs off the bench. Jerami Grant added 14pts/4rbs and Jamal Murray finished with 14pts/6asts/3rbs.
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