Post Up: Opposite Directions

The Raptors and Cavs hit different kinds of milestones, the Celtics came back in London, and Larry Nance Jr. hit the Staples Center ceiling.
by January 12, 2018

Raptors 133 (29-11), Cavaliers 99 (26-15)

The surprise of the night wasn’t that the Raptors beat the Cavs. Or even that it was a blowout β€” it’s a long season and that happens, even to great teams. But Toronto dismantled Cleveland in a game that was never competitive. The Raptors tied a franchise record for points in a regulation game and the Cavs have now lost back-to-back games by 25-or-more for the first time in the LeBron James era. James did have 26 points to lead the Cavs, but Cleveland shot just 38 percent and made only 6 of 26 threes. Fred VanVleet had a career-high 22 for the Raptors, who have won six out of seven. With the Cavs now 3-7 in their last 10, LeBron let his frustrations known…

Celtics 114 (34-10), 76ers 103 (19-20)

The Celtics came back from down 22 to beat the Sixers in London behind 20 points and seven assists from Kyrie Irving. Philly built its lead by making its first nine shots of the second quarter while Boston struggled to score. An Irving three, however, sparked a run, and the Celtics cut their deficit to nine by halftime. JJ Redick had 22 to lead all scorers, while Joel Embiid had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Clippers 121 (20-21), Kings 115 (13-28)

One night after going off for 50 points, Lou Williams was the hero again, this time scoring 30 in Sacramento. He did his damage on 10-24 shooting with five threes, while Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score 25 more. Bogdan Bogdanovic had 22 to lead the Kings. This one was in doubt until the final seconds. The Kings trailed by two with the ball and the shot clock turned off, but Tyrone Wallace came up with a steal and a breakaway layup to put the game out of reach.

Lakers 93 (14-27), Spurs 81 (28-15)

The few players who were available for the Spurs kept this game close despite a 17-0 Lakers run in the first half. Ultimately, however, Brandon Ingram (26 points) and Lonzo Ball (18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) were too much to handle. The Spurs, who committed 20 turnovers, got 20 points from LaMarcus Aldridge. However they were withoutΒ Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Danny Green and Rudy Gay. Oh, and in the fourth quarter, Larry Nance Jr. did this:

The Lakers have now won three in a row for the first time this season.