What did the NBA preseason have to offer us on another night of basketball? The Orlando Magic beating the Miami Heat; Milwaukee Bucks winning against a LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers; Indiana Pacers overcoming the Detroit Pistons; Oklahoma City Thunder victorious over the Dallas Mavericks; Sacramento Kings beating the Los Angeles Lakers; Houston Rockets winning a point-filled night against the Phoenix Suns; and the Denver Nuggets impressing in a win over the Golden State Warriors.
Orlando Magic beat Miami Heat 95-92
A fun game to watch even without Miami’s big three of Wade, Bosh and Dragic playing. Justise Winslow did a good job with 12 points, while the Orlando Magic were simply electrifying with their dunking and other showtime moves. Shabazz Napier might have been their best player with 15 points off the bench and some very good basketball in overtime, but seeing Aaron Gordon flying high and Mario Hezonja do his own thing was the best thing about this game.
Milwaukee Bucks beat Cleveland Cavaliers 110-101
LeBron James didn’t play because of an illness, giving Mo Williams (18 points) and Richard Jefferson (16 points) a chance to shine. James Jones got 30 minutes and Sasha Kaun got some lineup time while Timofey Mozgov didn’t play. For the Bucks, Khris Middleton led with 19 points and Rashad Vaughn looked very good off the bench scoring 19. Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t play.
Indiana Pacers beat Detroit Pistons 101-97
The Pacers got themselves the win off of 15 points from Toney Douglas and 13 by Glenn Robinson III, but the impressive individual performances came from Andre Drummond and Stanley Johnson. Drummond finished with 17 points and 21 rebounds, including 10 on offense. The rookie had 16 points while Reggie Jackson also scored 17. Paul George played only 12 minutes but managed 13 points in them.
Oklahoma City Thunder beat Dallas Mavericks 100-88
The Mavericks keep on playing what is basically a D-League team on the floor with Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Wesley Matthews and Deron Williams resting or out injured. John Jenkins got 26 points for them, but the Mavs are still without a win in preseason. For the Thunder, Russell Westbrook led the way with 19 points and Kevin Durant scored 10. Enes Kanter was playing off the bench this time, not stopping him from finishing with 17. Besides some Westbrook – Durant combo for a 3, the highlight of the game was Steven Adams swearing on camera and then immediately apologizing. Justin Anderson had a nice little dunk as well for Dallas.
Sacramento Kings beat Los Angeles Lakers 107-100
Kobe Bryant picked up a knee bruise and left the game early, finishing with 10 points in 18 minutes. He left the arena early as well after the news of Lamar Odom fighting for his life in a hospital spread. As far as basketball goes, Jordan Clarkson scored 17 points and the bench unit that included D’Angelo Russell (11 points), Nick Young (12 points) and Lou Williams (16 points) looked good, while a Kings team playing without DeMarcus Cousins didn’t have problems scoring. Marco Belinelli, still of the bench, had 17, and Darren Collison, not in the lineup, finished with 16. Ben McLemore was the shooting guard next to Rajon Rondo this time, scoring 11 points. Rondo made a quip about his relationship with George Karl, as everyone wants to hear they’re not getting along.
Houston Rockets beat Phoenix Suns 135-129
No James Harden, Ty Lawson and Dwight Howard for the Rockets, giving Terrence Jones (23 points) and Corey Brewer (21 points) more time with the ball to show their stuff. For Phoenix, playing without Tyson Chandler, Alex Len and Eric Bledsoe, we had T.J. Warren scoring 21 points to lead the way and Mirza Teletovic helping out with 19. Markieff Morris? He’s playing, showing up and doing his job, this time with 13 points in 24 minutes. Maybe he’s working hard so someone trades for him.
Denver Nuggets beat Golden State Warriors 114-103
Down go the champions, but it doesn’t matter; it’s the preseason. The Warriors put on their full-strength lineup and squad, but looked pretty bad in the process, led by Draymond Green scoring 15 points and Leandro Barbosa with 16 off the bench and Stephen Curry scoring 14. Kenneth Faried was great for the Nuggets with 22 points and a lot of easy ones in the paint. Emmanuel Mudiay had 16 points and so did Jameer Nelson, coming off the bench.