Post Up: All-Star Thursday

Fresh off being named All-Stars, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Gordon Hayward led their teams to victories. Nikola Jokic continued to dominate for the Nuggets.
by January 27, 2017
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Nikola Jokic

Thunder 109 (28-19), Mavs 98 (16-30)

Russell Westbrook turned on the afterburners in the fourth quarter. He knocked in 17 points and two crazy three-pointers to put the Mavs away. He finished with 45 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. It’s only the tenth time in his 46 games that he hasn’t had at least a double-double. Even though the Thunder had 13 assists on 37 field goals, they’ve now won three in a row.

Pacers 109 (23-22), Wolves 103 (17-29)

After Andrew Wiggins made a layup to pull the Wolves to within 106-103 with 15 seconds to play, Jeff Teague sprinted up the sideline. It appeared that he stepped out of bounds, which would have given the Wolves the ball with 12 seconds left. But officials didn’t call it, and Teague found Myles Turner for a dunk to seal the game.

Paul George stepped up before that crucial play. He had 32 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds for the Pacers. Teague had 20 points and 13 dimes. The Pacers shot 52% for the game and made 10-18 from downtown. Karl-Anthony Towns had 33 points in the loss.

Nuggets 127 (20-25), Suns 120 (15-31)

Before tonight, Nikola Jokic had been averaging 23 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in his 13 games. The Nuggets were 7-6 in the games. As Phoenix searched for answers against the 21-year-old, they compromised their defense, often having undersized Jared Dudley and PJ Tucker on Jokic. The Joker torched Phoenix for 29 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists; the Nuggets outrebounded the Suns 48-28.

With his strong play, Denver was able to put up 70 second half points and shoot 30-35 from the free throw line. They hung on for the win in a game of nine ties and eight lead changes. Jameer Nelson had 9 assists, Danilo Gallinari had 25 points.

Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker and TJ Warren all scored at least 21 points for the Suns.

Jazz 96 (30-18), Lakers 88 (16-34)

Gordon Hayward was selected to his first All-Star team tonight. He lived up to the billing, bullying his way to 24 points. Though George Hill had only 12 points and Alec Burks scored just 11, it was Rudy Gobert’s expert-level defense that got Utah their 30th win of the season, joining only five other teams in the League to make it to 30.

Gobert had 6 blocks, a season-high, to go along with his 9 points and 13 rebounds.