Indiana Pacers 112 (5-4), Detroit Pistons 106 (4-6)
After a sluggish start to the season, the Pacers have now won five of their past six games after knocking off the pesky Pistons. One of the keys to their victory? The Pacers bench throttled the Pistons bench, outscoring them 51-28. Domantas Sabonis has become a nearly automatic double-double, as he paced the team with 17 points, 14 boards and six assists on the night.
With Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose and Reggie Jackson all sidelined due to various injuries, Detroit is sorely lacking playmaking options. Third-year guard Luke Kennard has done an admirable job vacuuming up more possessions, and he dropped 29 points, six rebounds and five assists while playing a game-high 41 minutes.
Orlando Magic 118 (3-6), Memphis Grizzlies 86 (2-6)
This was a complete demolition. The Magic were in control all game, and put the nail in the coffin by outscoring the Grizzlies 34-8 in the 4th quarter. It was a beautifully balanced effort, with Nikola Vucevic looking back like his old self with 23 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and two steals. French guard Evan Fournier continued his solid season with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Jonathan Issac has become a fully-fleshed defensive terror. He had 22 points on 9-11 shooting, and now has a whopping 16 blocks in his last four games.
For Memphis, it was simply one of those down games a young, inexperienced team is bound to have throughout the rigors of an 82-game season. Their highest scorer was center Jonas Valinciunas, who put up 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Cleveland Cavaliers 113 (3-5), Washington Wizards 100 (2-6)
Of all the games on tonight, somehow this one ended up on national TV. but surprisingly, it was…kind of good basketball. The Cavaliers brought a balanced approach to D.C., with seven players scoring in double digits and Tristan Thompson leading the way w9ith 21 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks on 67% shooting
The Wizards may be off to a rough start to the season, but their young frontcourt comprised of Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant combined for 44 points and 15 rebounds on 21-29 shooting. Plus, Rui threw down this filthy dunk:
Sacramento Kings 121 (3-6), Atlanta Hawks 109 (3-5)
Ever since their perplexing and disastrous 0-5 start, the Kings have gone on to with three of their last four games to right the ship. Buddy Hield led the way with 22 points, while Bogdon Bogdanovic had a terrific game off the bench, scoring 20 points along with four rebounds, five assists and converting 83% of his 3-point attempts.
The Hawks continued their downward spiral, and are now 1-4 in their last five games. On the bright side, Trae Young is still making a mockery of the poor fools tasked with guarding him. He dropped a cool 30 points, 12 assists and five steals on 54% from the field.
Toronto Raptors 122 (6-2), New Orleans Pelicans 104 (1-7)
Is it possible to win most Improved Player two years in a row? Because Pascal Siakam is making a hell of a case to go back-to-back with the award after winning it last year. The dude just dropped a career-high 44 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. He’s a monster, and he just joined Vince Carter, Chris Bosh and DeMar DeRozan as the only Raptors players with multiple games of 40 points and 10 rebounds.
It’s sad seeing the Pelicans drop to a league-worst 1-7, but there are multiple silver linings. Brandon Ingram has taken the next step from ambiguous young player with potential to a star, super-human Zion Williamson’s debut is just around the corner and even if the losing continues, they are in line to add another quality prospect to their current treasure trove.
But as of now, it’s been rough.
Minnesota Timberwolves 125 (5-3), Golden State Warriors 119 (2-7)
This was a wild game. Andrew Wiggins popped off for 40 points, Karl Towns had a 20-14 double-double and Robert Covington had a quietly excellent night, scoring 17 points, corralling 11 rebounds, snatching five steals and swatting three blocks
A 2-7 record is pretty brutal for the “Dubs”, but it was a blast to see D’Angelo Russell balling again after a week off due to injury. He carried the Warriors, with 52 points, nine rebounds, five assists and seven three-pointers made.
New York Knicks 102 (2-7), Dallas Mavericks 102 (5-3)
In the surprise of the evening, the previously 1-7 Knicks strutted into Dallas and defeated old pal Kristaps Porzingis. Marcus Morris Sr. stepped up big-time with 29 points and nine rebounds, with Julius Randle scoring 21 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Dallas’s two studs were phenomenal (Luka had a ridiculous 38-14-10 triple-double and Porzingis had 28 points, nine boards and five blocks), but the rest of the Mavericks starters combined for a measly…six points. That just cannot happen.
Denver Nuggets 100 (6-2), Philadelphia 76ers 97 (5-3)
What a fantastic comeback for the Nuggets! Down 19 points in the 4th quarter, they clawed their way back, and then Nikola Jokic went full Joker and hit a game-winning buzzer-beater 3-pointer. Boom. Now that’s a way to end the night.
The 76ers, who started the season 5-0, have now succumbed to three straight losses. To be fair, they were missing Ben Simmons, who orchestrates so many actions for them and serves as a strong first line of defense on the perimeter. Joel Embiid had 19 points, 15 rebounds and one soul-snatching block, but he also coughed up the rock eight times.
Utah Jazz 103 (6-3), Milwaukee Bucks (6-3)
What a thriller. Despite trailing virtually all game, the Bucks tied it up at 100 a piece thanks to excellent efforts from Giannis Antetokounmpo (30 points, 13 rebounds), Khris Middleton (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Eric Bledsoe (22 points, eight rebounds, five assists). It was a valiant comeback effort with the potential to turn into a quality win.
Then, Bojan Bogdanovic happened.
Not only did he win the game with this ice-cold three-pointer, but he also dropped 33 points.
Brooklyn Nets 119 (4-4), Portland Trail-Blazers 112 (3-6)
Apparently, if you scored 50 or more points in the NBA today, your team lost. Despite Damian Lillard’s herculean 60-point effort, his Trail-Blazers dropped to 3-6 in the brutal Western Conference. Get this man some more help.
Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie led the way for the Nets, with 33 and 34 points, respectively.
Los Angeles Lakers 95 (7-1), Miami Heat 80 (6-3)
The Lakers are fun again! They haven’t lost since opening night, the fans are louder than ever and there’s no drama around the team after years of behind-the-scenes tension. Bottom-line: this team is championship-level good, and they’re playing like it.
Anthony Davis stuffed the stat sheet yet again, with 26 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, two steals and three blocks, while LeBron controlled all facets of the game as he had himself a tidy 25 points along with four rebounds and six assists.