In a busy night of NBA action, the Toronto Raptors and DeMar DeRozan showed some impressive basketball in Oklahoma City against the Thunder and Russell Westbrook. The Golden State Warriors had no problem against a D-League kind of Dallas Mavericks team, the Charlotte Hornets cement themselves as one of the best teams in the East, the Los Angeles Clippers might be the best team in the league right now, and the Houston Rockets somehow survive on the road against the San Antonio Spurs.
Brooklyn Nets 96 New York Knicks 110: The first New York City derby of the season ends with an easy win for the Knicks, led by 22 points from Carmelo Anthony and 21 for Kristaps Porzingis. Brook Lopez scored 21 for the Nets and Justin Hamilton had 21 too, but no one else on the team finished with more than 9 points.
Boston Celtics 93 Washington Wizards 118: Under the radar, the Celtics are disappointing, falling to 3-4. Otto Porter Jr. was outstanding on both ends, finishing the game with 34 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks. The Celtics, playing without Al Horford, got a lot from Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and even Marcus Smart, but everyone else seemed to play well below expected.
Utah Jazz 98 Charlotte Hornets 104: With the win, the Hornets are tied for the best record in the East. Kemba Walker shot poorly to reach his 21 points, but got plenty of help from Marvin Williams with 19 and six players overall in double figures. The Jazz offense stalled in the final minutes, not getting enough from their bench, missing George Hill, out with a thumb injury.
Minnesota Timberwolves 123 Orlando Magic 107: While the Timberwolves sort out their defense, this offensive explosion can help them coast through the troubles. Zach LaVine hit seven 3-pointers to finish with 37 points, Andrew Wiggins scored 29 points and Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 20. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 24 points.
Philadelphia 76ers 115 Indiana Pacers 122: No Joel Embiid didn’t change anything for the Sixers. Not bad basketball, but still no win, helping the Pacers maintain their perfect home record behind 30 points from Jeff Teague and 28 from Paul George, who has been very inconsistent this season.
Chicago Bulls 107 Atlanta Hawks 115: The Bulls continue to struggle away from home, especially defensively. The Hawks outscored the Bulls 12-6 in the final four minutes, with Thabo Sefolosha and Dwight Howard providing most of the firepower. Sefolosha scored 20 points on 8-of-9 from the field. Jimmy Butler scored 39 points, Dwyane Wade finished with 25, but their bench gave them nothing and Rajon Rondo shot just 2-for-10 from the field.
Toronto Raptors 112 Oklahoma City Thunder 102: In a showdown between DeMar DeRozan and Russell Westbrook, Toronto’s star was the winner. DeRozan scored 37 points to lead his team to a big road victory, while Westbrook finished with 36, but shot horrendously (9-for-26) and turned the ball over 8 times.
Detroit Pistons 100 Phoenix Suns 107: The Suns are slowly getting better and even getting something from players not named Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker. Bledsoe led the scoring with 21 points, but Jared Dudley with 19 off the bench and T.J. Warren with 18 were a huge help. The Pistons, still without a road win, were led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, scoring 27.
Houston Rockets 101 San Antonio Spurs 99: The Spurs missed two opportunities to tie the game, as Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge couldn’t finish. James Harden was two turnovers away from a quadruple double, scoring 24 with 12 rebounds, 15 assists and 8 turnovers. Ryan Anderson balanced him out with 20, while Leonard led the Spurs scoring 34, but the team shot just 39.3% from the field.
Portland Trail Blazers 80 Los Angeles Clippers 111: The Clippers are playing the best basketball in the league, holding the Blazers to 35.2% from the field and everyone on the team but Shabazz Napier (which means garbage time) to single digit scoring. Blake Griffin scored 22 points to lead the Clippers, as they allowed Austin Rivers to play 30 minutes, which says it all about how easy this game was.
Dallas Mavericks 95 Golden State Warriors 116: The Mavericks had Harrison Barnes with 25 points and nothing else, with too many key players, like Bogut, Nowitzki and Williams not suiting up for the game. Stephen Curry finished with 24 points, all in the second half, while Kevin Durant had 28. Klay Thompson seems to be coming together finally, finishing with 20.
Eastern Conference Standings
|10||New York Knicks||3||4||.429||3.0||7|
Western Conference Standings
|1||Los Angeles Clippers||7||1||.875||–||8|
|2||Golden State Warriors||6||2||.750||1.0||8|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||6||2||.750||1.0||8|
|5||San Antonio Spurs||5||3||.625||2.0||8|
|6||Portland Trail Blazers||5||4||.556||2.5||9|
|8||Los Angeles Lakers||4||4||.500||3.0||8|
|15||New Orleans Pelicans||0||8||.000||7.0||8|