A friday night of preseason basketball in which most teams kept their best players off the floor or didn’t use them a whole lot. The Washington Wizards handled the Philadelphia 76ers; New York Knicks stayed perfect by beating the Boston Celtics; Memphis Grizzlies won against the Oklahoma City Thunder without starters for both teams; Atlanta Hawks beat the Dallas Mavericks; and the Denver Nuggets easily swept aside the Phoenix Suns.
Washington Wizards beat Philadelphia 76ers 127-118
The Wizards improve to 3-1 in the preseason, led by Marcin Gortat and Kelly Oubre Jr., both scored 16 points. DeJuan Blair had 15 off the bench. John Wall scored only 4 points, but did finish with 14 assists, 10 of them coming in the first half in only 15 minutes of action. The Sixers had only 11 players on hand, with no Jahlil Okafor, once again keeping him and Nerlens Noel separate. Noel scored 15 points, and off the bench it was Scottie Wilbekin leading the team with 21.
New York Knicks beat Boston Celtics 101-95
The Knicks are a perfect 4-0 in the preseason, this time letting the bench do most of the work. Carmelo Anthony had just 8 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Derrick Williams who is looking terrific in the preseason led the team with 19 points, helped out by 13 from Kyle O’Quinn. Isaiah Thomas scored 13 for the Celtics, getting a disappointing performance from David Lee, who finished with just 4 points shooting 2-of-8 from the field.
Memphis Grizzlies beat Oklahoma City Thunder 94-78
No Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter meant not a lot of offense for the Thunder. The Grizzlies also didn’t use most of their key players, with Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Tony Allen, Courtney Lee and Beno Udrih sitting. JaMychal Green led the team with 18 points, getting help from Ryan Hollins with 16, Jeff Green scoring 15 and Russ Smith doing the same. For the Thunder, Anthony Morrow led the scoring with 16 points.
Atlanta Hawks beat Dallas Mavericks 91-84
The Hawks are perfect in the preseason, the Mavs still win-less. It’s not surprising considering how many key players they keep leaving out of games. Dirk Nowitzki did play this time, scoring 6 points in 19 minutes. John Jenkins was their leading scorer once again with 16. The Hawks did well mostly with Nowitzki off the court, led by Al Horford with 16 and Shelvin Mack scoring 13. Tiago Splitter started next to Horford while Paul Millsap was resting, giving the team a look of playing Horford at the power forward position for once.
Denver Nuggets beat Phoenix Suns 106-81
Nikola Jokic and Will Barton each scored 19 points for the Nuggets while Wilson Chandler finished with an impressive 10 points, 19 rebounds double double. Kenneth Faried scored 15 points and Gary Harris added 16 from the backcourt. The Suns are still without Eric Bledsoe (stomach virus), getting 14 points from Alex Len and 13 from Devin Booker.