Post Up: Zach LaVine’s Return Highlights Night of Close Games

Big-time players had to step up in tight games as the likes of John Wall, Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Julius Randle and Zach LaVine stepped up in the limelight.
by January 13, 2018

Lakers 107 (15-27), Mavericks 101 (15-29)

Saturday’s opener set the tone for the ensuing games as Julius Randle (23 points, 15 rebounds) stepped up in overtime to lead the Lakers to a victory in his hometown of Dallas. Dennis Smith Jr. out-dueled fellow rookie point guard Lonzo Ball in a 23-point performance.

Kings 105 (13-29), Clippers 126 (21-21)

Los Angeles won the 10th game of its last 13 contests as Lou Williams’ hot streak continued with 26 points. It was a collective effort, though, as eight different Clippers scored double-digit points while DeAndre Jordan sat out the first game of his NBA career due to an ankle sprain. De’Aaron Fox had 17 points and 10 assists for the Kings.

Thunder 101 (23-20), Hornets 91 (16-25)

Neither team shot higher than 41 percent from the field, but the Thunder were able to capitalize off of the Hornets’ 14 turnovers to earn a win on the road. Russell Westbrook had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 7 dimes.

Nets 113 (16-27), Wizards 119 (25-18)

The Nets continued the inspiring, gritty play that has been a theme of their 2017-18 campaign, but couldn’t get the job done in overtime after overcoming a 23-point deficit. John Wall capped off a 23-point, 16-assist night with a dagger shot with 9 seconds to go in overtime to make it a two-score game. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 24 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the Nets with 22.

Warriors 127 (35-9), Raptors 125 (29-12)

DeMar DeRozan got off to a fast start as he scored 19 first quarter points, but the game still looked far out of reach as the Warriors led by as many as 27 in the first half; however, Drake and the home crowd in Toronto had the Air Canada Centre rocking as the Raptors charged back to cut the deficit to one late in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t enough, though, as clutch buckets from Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry put the game to bed. DeRozan finished the night with 42 points.

Pistons 105 (22-19), Bulls 107 (16-27)

These Bulls may not be who we thought they were. Seven different players scored at least nine points and Zach LaVine made a triumphant return as he dropped 14 points in 19 minutes. Rookie Lauri Markkanen continued to impress as he led the Bulls with 19 points in 27 minutes. Avery Bradley scored 26 points for the Pistons.

Spurs 112 (28-15), Nuggets 80 (22-20)

Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points and had 4 steals as the Spurs throttled the Nuggets. Danny Green also made his return to the Spurs’ starting lineup and scored 11 points in 18 minutes. Nikola Jokic stuffed the stat sheet with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.