Post Up: Easy Money

by December 18, 2016

Thunder 114 (16-11), Suns 101 (8-19)

We’re running out of ways to describe Russell Westbrook’s season. The ferocious point guard once again put together an unreal stat line with 26 points, 22 assists and 11 boards to help the Thunder snap a two-game losing streak. The triple-double was the 13th of the season and the 50th of his career.

Russ also took basketball Twitter by storm when he hit Tyler Ulis with the Shammgod:

(Don’t forget to read our SLAM 204 cover story on Russ and the Thunder.)

Pacers 105 (14-14), Pistons 90 (14-15)

Indiana snapped its two-game losing streak behind a 26-point, 7-rebound, 2-assist, 2-steal performance from Paul George. The Pacers built a 19-point lead in the second half and Detroit never got closer than 11. Six players scored in double figures for Indiana.

Hornets 107 (15-13), Hawks 99 (13-14) 

Kemba Walker returned to the floor after missing Friday’s game against the Celtics and made his presence felt with 18 points and 10 assists as he continues his All-Star caliber season. ATL came back from 12 down in the third quarter and cut the deficit to one in the fourth quarter thanks to a Kyle Korver three. The Hawks took a 95-94 lead but Marco Belinelli responded with a three of his own and Marvin Willams sealed the deal with a three-pointer against his former team. Atlanta is 4-12 in its last 16.

Cavaliers 119 (19-6), Lakers 108 (11-19)

The Cavaliers-Lakers game started in high spirits when Cleveland mobbed Timofey Mozgov after giving him his 2016 championship ring:

Timofey Mozgov, still loved in Cleveland. (Via @Cavs)

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L.A. kept things close in the fourth, cutting the lead to three with four minutes to go. But the well rested big three of Cavs were too much for the short-handed Lakers, who were without D’Angelo Russell. LeBron finished with 26 points, 7 boards and 9 dimes, Kevin Love had 27 and 17 and Kyrie Irving scored 21 points to go along with 12 assists. Nick Young scored 32 in the loss.

Rockets 111 (21-7), Timberwolves 109 (7-19)

Karl-Anthony Towns’ 41 points and 15 boards wasn’t enough to deny the Rockets their 10th straight win. Minnesota was up by nine with one minute to go before Houston went on a 3-point barrage. Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson hit back-to-back threes, then Ariza tied it up at 95 with 6.5 seconds left. Houston outscored Minny 14-2 over the final two minutes of regulation.

In overtime, James Harden scored 10 of his 28 points and the young Wolves couldn’t hold on for the dub. The Beard finished with 28 points, 13 assists and 9 boards. Anderson had 28 and Eric Gordon had 20, 6 and 4.

Clint Capela left the game with a bruised left leg after knocking knees with KAT.

Nuggets 127 (11-16), Knicks 114 (14-13)

The Knicks got Carmelo Anthony back after missing Thursday’s game in Golden State but it made no difference as Denver spoiled Melo’s return to Denver. Denver shot 56 percent from the field and the Knicks had no answer for Kenneth Faried, who scored 25 points on 10-11 shooting. Melo scored 29 to lead NY.

Warriors 135 (24-4), Trail Blazers 90 (13-16)

KD dropped 21 points in the first two quarters and this one was all but over by halftime. Durant finished with 34 points on 11-13 shooting, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Ian Clark hopped off the bench and chipped in 23 and Draymond Green had 12 boards and 13 assists. The 45-point margin of victory is the highest in the NBA thus far this season and prompted Damian Lillard to say that the Blazers have to start playing “with some damn heart.