(Game of the Night)
Philadelphia Sixers survive Portland Trailblazers 129-128
The Sixers entered the night undefeated and were on a mission to leave undefeated. This wasn’t an easy one, with star Joel Embiid is serving his suspension, but with .4secs remaining on the clock, Furkan Korkmaz drilled a three to lift the Sixers over the Blazers (dealing with their own injuries) and keep the perfect record. Furkan’s game-winner came after the young Anfernee Simons nailed a corner three to give Philly the lead with 2.2secs left. As late as the third quarter Philly found themselves down by at least 20, but utilized their depth to rally back into this game. Al Horford led the way, finishing with 25pts/7asts/5rbs. Ben Simmons added 18pts/8sts/11rbs and Tobias Harris chipped in 23pts/3asts/7rbs.
For the Blazers, Damian Lillard led the way with 33pts/9asts/5rbs. Rodney Hood added 25pts before leaving with a knee injury and Mario Hezonja chipped in 11pts/4asts/12rbs.
Oklahoma City Thunder beat New Orleans Pelicans 115-104
Talk about small-ball. With Adams out and Nerlens Noel limited, for stretches of this game the Thunder would trot out Gallinari at center, surrounded by a bevy of guards and smaller wings. And it worked. SGA went off for 23pts/4asts/8rbs. Chris Paul finished with 15pts/9asts and Darius Bazley and Dennis Schroder each dropped 17pts off the bench to lift the Thunder.
For the Pels, Brandon Ingram left the game early after being injured. JJ Redick led the way off the bench with 17pts/3rbs. Jahlil Okafor added a 15pt/12rb double-double and Jrue Holiday added 16pts/6asts/3rbs.
Detroit Pistons beat Brooklyn Nets 113-109
Two words…Andre Drummond. Dude has been playing some outrageous basketball this season, and now has more 20/20 games this season than non-20/20 games. Drummond led the Pistons with a ridiculous stat-line of 25pts/6asts/20rbs3stls/5blks. I had to re-read that twice to make sure I wasn’t typing any typos. Jeez, and mix in the fact that the Pistons are playing some great ball all around, while dealing with a bevy of injuries, and we could have something interesting with this Detroit team. With backcourt injuries to go around, Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown started and did not disappoint. Brown finished with 22pts/7asts and Kennard chipped in 24pts/4asts/3rbs.
For the Nets, this team is just missing depth. A lot of the crucial depth they had last year is gone. Hell, every single player that finished the season with a positive on-court net rating is gone. Literally. And sure, chase that star power, but Kyrie just can’t do it alone. Kyrie led the way with a 20pt/10asts/11rb triple-double. Taurean Prince added 20pts and Caris LeVert chipped in 14pts/6rbs.
Denver Nuggets beat Orlando Magic 91-87
Nikola vs Nikola never disappoints. This time, it was Nikola Jokic getting the dub on the road. Jokic finished the game with 20pts/4asts/7rbs. It seemed to start the season he wasn’t really forcing the action looking for his own offense, but sometimes this team will need that from it’s star center, and he took the challenge Saturday night. Jamal Murray added 22pts/4rbs.
For the Magic, Nikola Vucevic finished with 24pts/7rbs. Aaron Gordon added 21pts/3asts.9rbs. Markelle Fultz got his first start of the season, but only finished with 9pts. However, Fultz was a decent enough defender in those minutes and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start some more for this team.
Milwaukee Bucks beat Toronto Raptors 115-105
The Raptors got the best of the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals en route to their first NBA Championship, so the Bucks were clearly looking for revenge. Giannis led the way in dominant fashion, finishing with 36pts/8asts/15rbs. Eric Bledsoe chipped in 14pts/5asts/9rbs and Khris Middleton added 11pts/7asts/4rbs.
For the Raps, Kyle Lowry led the way with 36pts/6asts/4rbs. Marc Gasol added a 10pt/12rb double-double and Pascal Siakam was held relatively quiet before fouling out, finishing with 16pts/5rbs.
Phoenix Suns beat Memphis Grizzlies 114-105
Well, shit. The Suns are 4-2. Aaron Baynes put on his best Steph Curry impression, finishing with a career-high four three’s and 20pts/4asts. Devin Booker added 21pts and Kelly Oubre Jr chipped in 15pts/3asts/4rbs.
For the Grizzlies, Ja Morant led the way with 24pts/7asts/3rbs. Brandon Clarke (a personal favorite of mine) added a 16pt/11rb double-double off the bench and Dillon Brooks chipped in 16pts.
Minnesota Timberwolves beat Washington Wizards 131-109
Poor, poor Bradley Beal. Hey, at least he got that money. Beal dropped 30pts in under 30mins and still got absolutely trounced by the T-wolves. That’s all I gotta say about the Wizards.
For the T-Wolves, they got a solid effort all around without their star Towns. Andrew Wiggins led the way, finishing with 21pts/6asts/5rbs. Robert Covington chipped in 20pts/4rbs Jeff Teague added a 16pt/13ast double-double and rookie Jarrett Culver had the best game of his young career, finishing with 20pts/5rbs off the bench.
Charlotte Hornets beat “Golden State Warriors” 93-87
The casual fan would have no shot at naming the Warriors starting lineup last night, and the diehard fans would have a problem too. This isn’t the Warriors of old. No Steph, no D-Lo, no Draymond, and that’s not to mention all the guys they were already missing from last year. This team is in a pickle though. They are hard capped, so they can’t really add anyone besides league minimum guys. Their best bet at a depth improvement move would be trading someone like D-Lo to clear up space for multiple signings or to net a return of a few depth pieces. The season is basically over out their in the new Chase Center. The Hornets found themselves down at the half (not exactly brimming with talent themselves) but woke up long enough to realize they weren’t playing against the 73-win juggernaut Warriors and put these misfits to bed. Dwayne Bacon led the way with 25pts/6rbs. Terry Rozier added 20pts/7asts/5rbs.
And now for the Warriors, Eric Paschall, of Villanova fame, led the way with 25pts/4rbs. Ky Bowman added 16pts/4asts/7rbs.
Subscribe to MLG Highlights on Youtube for NBA highlights.