76ers 108 (2-18), Pistons 101 (3-17) OT
This game featured a lot of sloppy basketball between two teams without an identity at the moment. There were a handful of botched layups and forced passes throughout the night. However, Philadelphia found a way to pull out the win by keeping the Pistons without a field goal in overtime. Offensively during these five extra minutes of basketball, the Sixers made a couple buckets and some free throws to seal the victory. Michael Carter-Williams (20 points, 15 assists, 8 rebounds) had a monster double-double and continues to dish out assists every night. Robert Covington (25 points, 6 rebounds), though, led the Sixers in scoring thanks to some solid shooting. The Pistons big men in Greg Monroe (15 points, 9 rebounds), Josh Smith (23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) and Kyle Singler (21 points, 6 rebounds) all reached double figures but couldn’t overcome their guards poor shooting. Brandon Jennings (8 points, 6 assists) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (9 points) combined to shoot 4-20 from the field. Even against the Sixers, that type of shooting is going to make it difficult to win games.
Warriors 112 (17-2), Bulls 102 (12-8)
What a night for Draymond Green (career-high 31 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks). The former Michigan State Spartan nailed seven treys and had the most complete game of his career. He did a little bit of everything on both sides of the court and helped make up for Klay Thompson (24 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds) and Stephen Curry (19 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds) not shooting as well as they normally do. The Bulls had plenty of scoring from Jimmy Butler (24 points) and Pau Gasol (22 points, 20 rebounds)—who had a big 20-20 game—but as a team, they turned the ball over twice as many times as the Warriors. Golden State took advantage of this and got out into the break for some east buckets. After Taj Gibson (12 points, 7 rebounds) made two free throws with 7:13 remaining in the game, the Bulls only trailed 89-87.But thanks to some quick 3-pointers and dunks, the lead quickly bloated to double-digits. The Warriors have now won a franchise-best 12 games in a row and look to be one of the best teams in the League.
Rockets 100 (16-4), Suns 95 (12-9)
The Rockets haven’t been winning games in the flashiest of ways, but they are finding ways to pull out victories, winners of seven of their last eight games. Saturday night, they build a commanding 35-18 lead after the first quarter before letting it squander away by the end of the game. Thanks to some late treys and free throws, though, the Suns couldn’t complete the comeback. James Harden (15 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists) had a balanced game, Trevor Ariza (19 points, 7 rebounds) spread the floor with his shooting and Donatas Motiejunas (16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, 7-12 from the field) remained a legitimate source of offense. Motiejunas has taken full advantage of Terrence Jones’ injury. This team really seems to be finding a groove without their big men. The Suns, on the other hand, still lack a force down low. Their lack of size still remains an issue, as they were outrebounded 57-40…without D12 on the court. Eric Bledsoe (23 points, 3 steals, 3 blocks) did everything he could to keep his team in the game. Houston now holds the second best record in the NBA.
Spurs 123 (15-5), Timberwolves 101 (4-15)
Less than six minutes into the game, the Timberwolves were clinging onto an early 9-7 lead. Then the Spurs went on to build a double-digit lead and never look back. Seven Spurs scored in double figures as Marco Belinelli (20 points, 6 assists) ended up leading the team in scoring. San Antonio managed to shoot a blistering 57.3 percent from the field, methodically going about their business against an injury-ridden Minnesota team. They also had a season-high 30 assists on the night. For the Wolves, Zach LaVine (22 points, 10 assists) and Anthony Bennett (14 points, 10 rebounds) notched double-doubles while Shabazz Muhammad (20 points, 7-12 from the field) continued his strong level of play. However, many of these points and statistics in a game that had been all but decided. The Spurs will now travel to Utah and play the Jazz on Tuesday.
Magic 105 (9-14), Kings 96 (10-10)
The Kings desperately need DeMarcus Cousins (viral infection) to rekindle their hot start to the season. This doesn’t look anything like the team that surprised so many teams in the first few weeks. For the Magic, Tobias Harris (27 points, 10-17 from the field) looked great through three quarters while Victor Oladipo (16 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) scored six crucial points down the stretch in the fourth quarter. The Kings lack a go-to guy they can count on when the offense goes off the tracks. Darren Collison (22 points, 3-6 on 3-pointers) still is having one of his best seasons of his career and Rudy Gay (16 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds) knows how to create for himself. But these guys don’t command an offense like Boogie. The Kings also only managed to shoot 4-15 (26.7 percent) from deep. They will take on the Jazz on Monday night.
Clippers 120 (14-5), Pelicans 100 (8-10)
The Pelicans just couldn’t seem to play defense coming out of the locker. Behind another dominant 30-point performance from Blake Griffin (30 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists), the Clippers easily took down the Pelicans and outscored them 73-42 in the first and third quarter. Those 24 minutes clearly decided this game. Anthony Davis (26 points) put the ball in the basket but was held to a season-low three rebounds. His counterpart in DeAndre Jordan (8 points, 18 rebounds, 5 blocks) showed the young gun how to gobble up rebounds—at least on Saturday night. Chris Paul (18 points, 16 assists) had a extremely efficient game with an 8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. And all the while, Jamal Crawford (20 points), J.J. Redick (21 points) and Matt Barnes (14 points) were knocking down bombs. The Clippers shot 55.1 percent from the field and 17-32 (53.1 percent) on 3-pointers. They have now won seven games in a row.