Raptors 104 (7-1), Magic 100 (2-6)
The Toronto Raptors are the new beasts of the East. They sit at the top of their conference and are tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the best record in the League. Stay woke, my friends.
The visiting Magic started the game strong in Toronto. By halftime, three of their five starters were already in double figures. Orlando kept up momentum throughout the first three quarters and headed into the fourth with an 11-point advantage. The tables turned in the last period, when the Raptors bench rallied to tie the game after going on an 11-0 run. Patrick Patterson (12 points) sank a 3 to give the Raps their first lead since the opening quarter. Toronto’s bench and defense, which forced five Magic turnovers in the fourth, claimed a fifth consecutive win for the North.
Grizzlies 107 (7-1), Lakers 102 (1-6)
It was a record-breaking night for Kobe Bryant—he’s now officially the player who missed the most shots in NBA history. Not the best type of record, but he’s also fourth on the all-time scoring list, so. Bryant (28 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals) put up numbers last night as usual. Even when down 17 in the fourth, his Lakers tried to catch up with an 11-0 run and eventually cut Memphis’ double-digit lead to just 3. Jordan Hill (13 points and 14 rebounds) missed an important long jumper with less than a minute left in the game, and Los Angeles’ efforts were too little, too late. Led by Mike Conley (23 points), the Memphis Grizzlies bounced back from their first loss of the season to get their 17th straight win at home.
Bucks 85 (4-4), Thunder 78 (2-6)
The Buck reserves did their thing last night in Milwaukee to improve their record to an even 4-4. OJ Mayo (19 points) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (14 points and 9 rebounds) led the Bucks bench to 53 points. Also off the bench, Zaza Pachulia (8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) fed Jerryd Bayless (6 points and 4 rebounds) for this nifty play:
The Thunder simply couldn’t say the same of their quiet reserves that scored 22. Despite a praiseworthy performance from Reggie Jackson (29 points on 57.1 percent shooting), Oklahoma City had to walk away with yet another loss.
Mavericks 106 (5-3), Kings 98 (5-3)
Congratulations are in order for Dirk Nowitzki (23 points and 7 rebounds). With this historic basket—that classic J the 7-footer pretty much trademarked—Dirk passed Hakeem Olajuwon to become ninth on the NBA all-time scoring list.
The Sacramento Kings started the game off hot right from the get go, outscoring the Dallas Mavericks 32-14 in the first quarter. Their lead extended to as much as 24 in the second, but by the end of the half, the Mavs cut it to 9. Dallas pounded Sacramento in the third quarter, outscoring their royal guests 30-15 and finished off with a win and a milestone for their star player.
Trail Blazers 102 (5-3), Hornets 100 (3-5)
Them Blazer All-Stars showed up last night. LaMarcus Aldridge (25 points and 14 rebounds) and Damian Lillard (29 points and 7 assists) led their team to a hard-fought win, overcoming a 23-point Charlotte lead.
Big games from both Al Jefferson (22 points) and Lance Stephenson (14 points and 14 rebounds) weren’t enough last night for the Hornets. In the fourth quarter, Portland outscored Charlotte 27-15 and benefited greatly from the ruling on Gary Neal’s lay-up at the buzzer—the ball still graced his fingertips as the clock read 0.0 and would not count.
Spurs 113 (4-3), Warriors 100 (5-2)
Back-to-back games didn’t keep the Spurs’ veterans from the lineup yesterday night as they handled the Warriors on the road. Tony Parker (28 points and 7 assists), Tim Duncan (12 points and 13 rebounds) and Manu Ginobili (17 points and 5 assists) handed Golden State their second loss in a row. After missing the Warriors’ previous game with a sprained hand, Klay Thompson (29 points) led all players in scoring. With a pair of solid California wins in the bag, the Spurs have these next two days to rest up before playing on Friday against the Lakers.