A busy Friday night of NBA basketball included an impressive Denver Nuggets win on the road, the Philadelphia 76ers maintaining their almost flawless home record and the Oklahoma City Thunder easily dispatching of the lowly Atlanta Hawks.
Cleveland Cavaliers 95 Boston Celtics 128: A 2nd straight win for the Celtics, leaning on an almost perfect night of shooting by Kyrie Irving (29 points, 5-for-7 from three) and 7 players altogether in double figures, including 14 by Gordon Hayward in 24 minutes off the bench.
Utah Jazz 119 Charlotte Hornets 111: The Jazz are also picking up some steam of late, winning 3 of their last 4 and continuing to show a knack for winning on the road (9-6), still a game under .500. Donovan Mitchell still doesn’t have his 3-point game going on, but he was firing on all cylinders from everywhere else, finishing with 30 points while Rudy Gobert stuffed the stat sheets with 20 points, 17 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jeremy Lamb led the Hornets with 24 points.
Chicago Bulls 88 Detroit Pistons 107: A balanced night from the Pistons’ offense, as Blake Griffin (20), Reggie Jackson (20) and Andre Drummond (19) took care of business early, opening a 13-point lead in the first quarter, en route to a 4th consecutive win. The Bulls fall to 5-18 this season despite a fine night from rookie Wendell Carter Jr., putting up 28 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Washington Wizards 98 Philadelphia 76ers 123: The Wizards fell behind early and couldn’t keep up with the surging Sixers, with a 7th win in 8 games while improving to 12-1 at home this season. 7 players finished with double figure scoring, led by Joel Embiid putting up 16 points.
Memphis Grizzlies 131 Brooklyn Nets 125: The Grizzlies ended their 3-game losing streak with an overtime win in Brooklyn, led by huge nights from Mike Conley (37 points) and Jaren Jackson Jr., who was right behind him with 36 points but perhaps doing the most important thing – nailing the 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime, where the Grizzlies finally took over.
New Orleans Pelicans 101 Miami Heat 106: The Heat, still not in full tanking mode, end a short losing streak thanks to strong bench play by Dwyane Wade (18 pts), Kelly Olynyk and Justise Winslow. Anthony Davis had the usual massive stat line (41 points, 9 rebounds), but he was the only one who really stood out for the struggling Pelicans, now losers of 5 in their last 6 games.
Atlanta Hawks 109 Oklahoma City Thunder 124: The Hawks are officially back to their losing ways, getting only 9 points on 4-for-15 from the field by rookie Trae Young. The Thunder picked up win number 4 in their last 5 games, getting 23, with 9 rebounds and 10 assists of course, from Russell Westbrook, supported by 21 Alex Abrines points and 20 by Paul George.
Houston Rockets 136 San Antonio Spurs 105: In a weird season for both Texas teams, it’s the Spurs’ momentum that keeps pointing down after a massive loss at home. The Rockets had just 5 turnovers while shooting efficiently from all ranges, led by 27 Clint Capela points, 23 James Harden points and 26 off the bench by Eric Gordon.
Orlando Magic 99 Phoenix Suns 85: The Magic wrap up their Western tour with a strong fourth quarter performance against in Phoenix (4-18 this season). Nikola Vucevic scored 25 points, Terrence Ross added 21 off the bench while Aaron Gordon provided 18. No Devin Booker and no T.J. Warren on the Suns’ side meant very little chance to do something.
Dallas Mavericks 103 Los Angeles Lakers 114: The highlight of the game is Luka Doncic giving LeBron James a double rejection under the basket, but Doncic himself had a bad night (6 points, 2-for-13 shooting) while James scored 28 points, leading 6 players overall in double figures, including 19 by Brandon Ingram.
Denver Nuggets 113 Portland Trail Blazers 112: A big win for Denver in Portland following Gary Harris’ go-ahead three late in the fourth, followed by C.J. McCollum missing the potential game winner at the buzzer. Harris led the Nuggets with 27 points. McCollum finished with 33 for Portland, making up for Lillard’s lukewarm shooting, but missed the one that truly mattered.
Eastern Conference Standings
|12||New York Knicks||7||16||.304||12.0||23|
Western Conference Standings
|1||Los Angeles Clippers||15||6||.714||–||21|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||14||7||.667||1.0||21|
|4||Golden State Warriors||15||8||.652||1.0||23|
|6||Los Angeles Lakers||13||9||.591||2.5||22|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers||13||9||.591||2.5||22|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||11||12||.478||5.0||23|
|14||San Antonio Spurs||10||12||.455||5.5||22|
Highlight of the Night
As we mentioned above, the most viral piece of basketball from Friday is Luka Doncic picking up two blocks in one possession, denying LeBron James at the rim. This was early in the game, when the Mavs had a double digit lead.
Star of the Night
Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Grizzlies. He put up the best numbers of his rookie year to date (36 points, 8 rebounds, 59% from the field, perfect 7-for-7 from the line), including a clutch three to send the game into overtime.