Post Up: Kuz Control

Kyle Kuzma scored a career-high 38 points to help snap the Rockets' winning streak, Kelly Olynyk lit up his former team, the Spurs survived, and more!
by December 21, 2017

Lakers 122 (11-18), Rockets 116 (22-5)

Kyle Kuzma had a perfect first half to further solidify his status as one of the best rookies in the game.

It turns out the Lakers needed every bit of Kuzma’s eventual career-high 38 points, because James Harden went off for 51 of his own. The win snapped the Rockets’ 14-game winning streak and gave L.A. its first win in well over a week.

Raptors 129 (21-8), Hornets 111 (11-20)

Jeremy Lamb’s career-high 32 points weren’t nearly enough to top three Raptors players with 20-or-more. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 28 points on 10-15 shooting to go with eight assists. Eight of those points came in a second quarter in which Toronto outscored Charlotte 41-21, providing more than enough of a difference. Serge Ibaka had 24 of his own and OG Anunoby had 20.

Pacers 105 (18-14), Hawks 95 (7-24)

Victor Oladipo had 23 points and the Pacers turned the ball over a season-low nine times in a methodical win over Atlanta. Indiana led by just two at halftime but opened up a 20-point lead in the second half before the Hawks scored the final 10 points of the game. John Collins had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the Hawks, who have still not won consecutive games this season.

Kings 104 (11-20), Nets 99 (11-19)

The Nets trailed by as many as 21 but had a shot to tie the game in the final seconds. Down 102-99 with five seconds to go, Spencer Dinwiddie missed a three. He then fouled George Hill, who hit two free throws to put the game out of reach. Hill led all scorers with 22 points, while Zach Randolph had 21. Dinwiddie led the Nets with 16.

Heat 90 (16-15), Celtics 89 (26-8)

Kelly Olynyk scored a career high against his former team, dropping 32 on the Celtics in Boston. The fans greeted Olynyk with a warm ovation before Olynyk ruined their night with a 12-15 shooting game and seven rebounds to go with it. Kyrie Irving missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won it for the Celtics. He had 33 points to lead all scorers.

Bulls 112 (10-20), Magic 94 (11-21)

Winners of seven straight, the lowly Chicago Bulls now own the longest streak in the Eastern Conference. This one came behind 16 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists from Denzel Valentine and 50 percent team shooting for the game. Nikola Vucevic had 18-10-and-5 to lead the Magic, who have now lost six games in a row.

Thunder 107 (16-15), Jazz 79 (14-18)

The Thunder led 25-9 — yes, 25-9 — after the first quarter and were never threatened, dominating the Jazz for 48 minutes. Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists to lead the Thunder, and he even outscored Utah on his own in the first quarter. The Jazz shot just 36 percent for the game, but got 17 points from Rodney Hood, which included three threes.

Oh, and Paul George did this:

Mavericks 110 (9-23), Pistons 93 (17-14)

The Mavericks used a 43-28 second quarter in which they shot 79 percent to build a lead in Detroit and cruise to a 17-point victory. Harrison Barnes led the way with 25 points, while Dennis Smith Jr. added 15 more. Anthony Tolliver led the Pistons with 18 points.

Timberwolves 112 (19-13), Nuggets 94 (16-15)

The Timberwolves overcame a 14-point deficit to beat Denver behind 25 points each from Karl Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler. Minnesota scored 10 of the game’s final 14 points to keep the Nuggets at bay, hitting six free throws in that span. Jamal Murray led all scorers with 30 points.

Spurs 93 (22-10), Trail Blazers 91 (16-15)

CJ McCollum’s off-balance three at the buzzer just missed, giving the Spurs a thrilling win on the road. San Antonio took the lead for good on a Manu Ginobili jumper with 5:04 to play, but the Spurs were never able to build more than a three-point lead as the Blazers answered every shot. LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers with 22 points, and Pau Gasol added 20 points and 17 rebounds. Damian Lillard had 17 to lead Portland.

Warriors 97 (25-6), Grizzlies 84 (9-22)

Klay Thompson put on a show in the first half, scoring 27 points to lead the Warriors to their 10th-straight win. As a team, the Warriors held Memphis to just 33 percent shooting despite 21 points from Marc Gasol. Thompson’s 29 total points led all scorers, while Kevin Durant had 22 and eight rebounds.

Clippers 108 (12-18), Suns 95 (11-22)

The Clippers got back on track Wednesday with a strong first half and just enough in the second to hold off the Suns. Austin Rivers led the Clippers with 21 points and DeAndre Jordan added 12 points and 20 rebounds. TJ Warren had 22 to lead the Suns, whose brief two-game win streak came to an end.