Post Up: Westbrook’s World

Russell Westbrook caught fire in the clutch, Melo hit a game-winner and the Lakers bounced back in Wednesday's slate of NBA games.
by December 01, 2016
russell westbrook

Kings (7-11), 76ers (4-14): POSTPONED

The court in Philly was reportedly wet from a hockey game the night before as well as high humidity levels. DeMarcus Cousins still wanted to play, helping clean up with floor with not one, but two, mops.

And yes, Joel Embiid is still getting a lot of mileage out of his “tanking” shtick.

Pistons 121 (10-10), Celtics 114 (10-8)

A nice win for the Pistons, who have turned the corner in the past week, winning four of their last five games. They’ve been outscoring their opponents by an average of 9.3 points per 100 possessions during that span, which would be good for third-best in the NBA this season. Almost all five starters dropped at least 20 points, with Ish Smith totaling just 19.

Grizzlies 105 (11-8), Raptors 120 (12-6)

Without Mike Conley, Memphis fell apart in the second half against the Toronto Raptors, who have a top-5 offense and top-10 defense on the season. Andrew Harrison started in Conley’s place, but finished with a team-worst -14 plus/minus on the night. The team can’t rely on him this heavily going forward. Kyle Lowry led the way for Toronto with 29 points and 8 dimes.

Lakers 96 (10-10), Bulls 90 (10-7)

Huge win for the Lakers, who were coming off a blowout loss in New Orleans last night. Chicago led for most of the way, but L.A. came through in the end when it mattered most. The biggest difference in this game was bench scoring—a category in which the Lakers won by a whopping 40 points. Julius Randle is a star in the making, scoring 13 points and grabbing 20 boards in just about 31 minutes of work. Wow.

Wizards 115 (6-11), Thunder 126 (12-8)

Washington led for most of the fourth quarter, but then Russell Westbrook started to catch fire. Russ hit a step-back trey to send the game into overtime and then proceeded to drop 14 points in the extra session. Russ finished the game with his fourth straight triple-double—all in wins (two ending in OT) for OKC. The only question remains: Can he keep it up for 82 games?

Knicks 106 (9-9), T-Wolves 104 (5-13)

The future was right before our eyes as Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis went head to head in Minnesota. Towns was otherworldly, with 47 points and 18 bounds, but Porzingis wasn’t bad either with 29, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. The Knicks built a 17-point fourth quarter lead only two watch it all dwindle away in the final seven minutes. Thankfully for New York, Carmelo Anthony is as clutch as they come.

Spurs 94 (15-4), Mavs 87 (3-14)

San Antonio sat Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, and started some 26-year-old rookie named Nicolas Laprovittola. Dallas had built a 13-point third quarter lead and looked to be headed toward their fourth W on the year. Didn’t happen. Patty Mills had a big 23 points off the bench and Kawhi Leonard, steady as always, put up 21 and 7.

Heat 106 (6-12), Nuggets 98 (7-11)

This was an interesting battle between two struggling teams, both with plenty of intriguing young talent and excellent coaching staffs, still searching for effective lineups. The Heat, amazingly, committed just 6 TOs on the night, which proved to be the difference. Hassan Whiteside continued his stat sheet-stuffing ways with 25 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks. And Wayne Ellington came off the bench to score 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Hawks 107 (10-9), Suns 109 (6-13)

The struggle is real for the Hawks. After starting the season 9-2, Atlanta has gone a ghastly 1-7 in their last eight games. Phoenix, still a bottom-five team on the season, practically led the entire game. The Suns’ bench led by Brandon Knight, Alex Len and Jared Dudley scored a combined 46 points. Dennis Schroder had a career-best 31 points in the loss.

Pacers 109 (9-10), Blazers 131 (10-10)

This game was the definition of a blowout. Indy never led by more than 3 points, and Portland had built a 28-point lead by the middle of the third quarter. It was a crucial win for the Blazers, who had suffered six losses in their last eight games. Dame Lillard led the way with 28 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals.