Post Up: Eric Gordon Beats The Process

Hornets 110 (2-2), Nuggets 93 (1-3)

The Hornets might be reeling from all the injuries they’ve suffered in the first few weeks of the season, but new addition Dwight Howard has been a relative bright spot. He posted a trademark D12 line — 15 points, 19 boards — while Frank Kaminsky led the scoring charge with 20 off the bench.

Kemba Walker scored an efficient 19 points on just nine shots and was a game-high +26. Denver got a double-double from Nikola Jokic but the Nuggets shot just 38.4% from the field. Charlotte won the second quarter 35-16 and never looked back.

Pistons 122 (3-2), Timberwolves 101 (2-3)

For the second night in a row, Tom Thibodeau’s squad allowed over 120 points, showing us that even much-hyped Minnesota will need some time to incorporate its new pieces. Tobias Harris (34 points) continued his hot start to the season while Avery Bradley dropped 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting.

Detroit, as a team, went 15-of-34 from three-point range and had 32 assists. Andre Drummond notched his third-straight double-double and reached a personal milestone in the first quarter.

Rockets 105 (4-1), 76ers 104 (1-4)

Down 104-96 with three minutes left to play, the Rockets looked like they were headed to their second loss in as many games. Then, James Harden took over and helped bring Houston roll off six straight points to cut the deficit to two. With just a few seconds left, needing a two to tie and three to win, Beard found Eric Gordon and this happened:

That was Harden’s 13th assist of the night, to go with 27 points. Ben Simmons’ near triple-double and 20+ points apiece from Joel Embiid, JJ Redick and Robert Covington weren’t enough for the 76ers, who have yet to win in Philly this season.

Nets 112 (3-2), Cavaliers 107 (3-2)

Another ho-hum 29-point, 10-rebound, 13-assist performance for LeBron, but without Dwyane Wade or Derrick Rose due to injury, he had to play the point and the Cavs’ supporting cast couldn’t back him up down the stretch. Bron dominated Brooklyn’s smaller bigs down low, but JR Smith and Kevin Love struggled from deep and the Nets took advantage.

The Nets took a franchise record 46 threes, making 17, but there was none bigger than Spencer Dinwiddie’s with under a minute left and Brooklyn down 104-103. They never looked back.

Dinwiddie started last season with the Windy City Bulls of the G League and now he’s drilling game-winning shots over JR Smith. Not too bad.

Spurs 117 (4-0), Heat 100 (2-2)

No Kawhi Leonard, no Tony Parker, no problem. It doesn’t matter who Gregg Popovich has at his disposal, it just works, year in and year out. Tonight, LaMarcus Aldridge was the hero, as he’s been since he signed an extension just before the season began. He dropped 31 points (on just 20 shots) with 7 rebounds as San Antonio used a big third quarter to slip away from Miami.

New Spur Rudy Gay, who is trying to bounce back from an injury-shortened 2016-17 campaign in Sacramento and is proving to be a nice bench piece for San Antonio, scored an efficient 22 points in 26 minutes. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be a real problem for opposing defenses who can’t match up with his size.

Thunder 114 (2-2), Pacers 96 (2-3)

Paul George struggled with foul trouble against his old team, but 28 points apiece from Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook (who added 10 rebounds and 16 assists for his second triple-double of the season) helped the Thunder coast by Indiana despite Victor Oladipo’s 35-point explosion in his return to Oklahoma City.

It’s kind of fitting that PG13 didn’t have his best night in his first game against his old team, since, in Indiana, him not playing well would sink the Pacers. With Melo and Russ, though, he can afford to have an off game and not worry about his teammates picking up the slack.

Mavericks 103 (1-4), Grizzlies 94 (3-1)

It’s been a struggle for the Mavs so far but they finally got off the schneid, and their first W came against a Grizzlies team that has been surprising everyone. One big reason? 9th overall pick Dennis Smith Jr.

DSJ, who led Dallas with 19 points in the win, was the fifth point guard taken in June’s draft. I’m sure some of the teams that passed on him (the Knicks, perhaps) are regretting their decision right now. There will be growing pains for a 19-year-old who play as aggressively as he does, especially on a team like the Mavericks, where a lot of the scoring load will fall on his shoulders. For now, though, he looks pretty good and his 3-for-6 showing from three tonight should help his confidence.

Suns 97 (2-3), Jazz 88 (2-3)

Phoenix looks like a completely different team since letting Earl Watson go a few days ago. The Suns held Utah to 6-for-25 shooting from three-point range and limited the Jazz bench to just 9 points. It didn’t help that the Jazz committed 24 turnovers, 7 of which were by Ricky Rubio.

The Suns didn’t exactly light it up from the field, but with the turnover and rebounding advantages, they took 96 shots (17 more than Utah). Alex Len and Tyler Ulis provided 13 points apiece off the bench while TJ Warren scored a game-high 27 points. We also got to see top pick Josh Jackson show off a little.

Warriors 117 (3-2), Raptors (2-2) 112

The Dubs led most of this game until the fourth, when Toronto used a 26-10 run to take a five-point lead with just over two minutes to go. But it’s almost impossible to beat Golden State without putting them away and the Raptors couldn’t, so the Warriors tied it up on a Steph Curry layup and KD three.

After DeMar DeRozan missed a go-ahead jumper, Steph hit the dagger off a KD dime to close out the Raps. 96 combined points for Steph, KD, Klay and Draymond Green got the job done for the Warriors. DeRozan dropped 24 points to pace Toronto, but Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka went just 2-for-14 from beyond the arc.

Lakers 102 (2-2), Wizards 99 (3-1) — OT

Rocking fresh powder blue Minneapolis throwbacks, the Lakers shut down the Wizards in the fourth quarter for a stunning win, their first at Staples this season. Brandon Ingram put back his own miss at the end of regulation to force overtime, which LA went ahead in on a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope triple.

There was a lot of intrigue around this game because of the John Wall-Lonzo Ball matchup. Wall said he’d show Lonzo “no mercy” and while he made some nice plays, he only shot 7-of-22 and had 4 turnovers. Bradley Beal led Washington with 28 points.

Lonzo also shot poorly (2-of-11) but he grabbed 8 boards and had 10 dimes, including one on KCP’s game-winner. Double-doubles from Ingram and Kyle Kuzma helped the Lakers win the battle on the glass to negate the Lakers’ 21 turnovers.

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