Saturday of NBA action included a comfortable win for Toronto & Kawhi Leonard in Cleveland, the Milwaukee Bucks stumped by the New York Knicks in overtime and the Detroit Pistons not letting the Stephen Curry comeback faze them, beating the Golden State Warriors for a 5th straight win.
Milwaukee Bucks 134 New York Knicks 136: An overtime win for the Knicks, led by 28 points from Emanuel Mudiay, 26 points by Kevin Knox, 21 by Damyean Dotson and Tim Hardaway Jr. each. Giannis Antetokounmpo had an MVP-kind of night, only on the losing side, stuffing the stat sheet with 33 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Golden State Warriors 102 Detroit Pistons 111: The red-hot Pistons didn’t let the return of Stephen Curry get in their way, picking up W number 5 in a row. Blake Griffin led the way with 26 points and Andre Drummond destroyed the Warriors on the offensive glass with 8 (19 overall). The Warriors shot just 23.1% from beyond the arc, and Curry added 7 turnovers to his 27 points.
Brooklyn Nets 88 Washington Wizards 102: John Wall scored 30, Bradley Beal helped out with 22 and the Wizards held the Nets to just 37% shooting from the field and forced 17 turnovers, hoping to put the abysmal start of the season and other, internal problems behind them.
Toronto Raptors 106 Cleveland Cavaliers 95: Kawhi Leonard led an entire lineup of players in double figures, scoring 34 points (averaging 25 this season) and not letting the absence of Kyle Lowry get in the way. Tristan Thompson with 18 points and 19 rebounds stood out for the Cavaliers, whose 4-18 record is tied for the worst in the league.
Chicago Bulls 105 Houston Rockets 121: The struggling Bulls were no match for the inconsistent Rockets, despite the return of Lauri Markkanen. The Fin scored 10 points on 14 shots in 26 minutes, while James Harden led all scorers with 30 points. A second straight win for the Rockets, back at .500 both overall and at home.
Boston Celtics 118 Minnesota Timberwolves 109: Just like Houston, Boston is another title contender struggling out of the gate. The team needed Gordon Hayward’s best game of the season, 30 points with 9 boards and 8 dimes in all of 30 minutes, to pick up a tough win in Minneapolis, despite 26 points from Derrick Rose. This is a 3rd straight win for Boston, up to 6th in the Eastern standings.
Indiana Pacers 110 Sacramento Kings 111: Willie Cauley-Stein’s putback dunk with 16.1 seconds to go sealed the win for the Kings, ending a 3-game losing streak. The Pacers, led by 27 points from Bojan Bogdanovic, were missing Victor Oladipo. Bogdan Bogdanovic was the top scorer for the Kings with 20 points.
Eastern Conference Standings
|12||New York Knicks||8||16||.333||12.0||24|
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||9||.625||1.5||24|
|6||Los Angeles Lakers||13||9||.591||2.5||22|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers||13||9||.591||2.5||22|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||11||12||.478||5.0||23|
|14||San Antonio Spurs||10||12||.455||5.5||22|
Play of the Night
Mario Hezonja made one field goal in the Knicks’ win over the Bucks. But it was an impressive one – dunking over Giannis Antetokunmpo and then stepping over the MVP candidate, channeling is inner Allen Iverson.
Star of the Night
It hasn’t been the easiest of comebacks for Gordon Hayward, not to mention rough goings for the Celtics in the East, but his performance on the road against Minnesota, pushing his team to 3 straight wins, could be the sign that good things are yet to come.