It was a busy day in the NBA as they commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a loaded 13-game slate which did not disappoint. There were several eye-catching individual performances, most notably from Damian Lillard, as well as impressive team efforts such as the Celtics’ dominant win over their old rivals, the Lakers.
SBOTOP NBA fans were treated to a great day of hoops action, and here’s a quick breakdown of every single game.
Detroit Pistons 100-106 Washington Wizards
The Pistons’ bid to get their first three-game winning streak of the season was thwarted by Bradley Beal and the Wizards. Beal led the way with 29 points, while Ian Mahinmi added 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting for Washington, who snapped their own three-game losing skid.
Derrick Rose led the Pistons with 21 points. The former MVP has now scored 20 or more points in 11 of his last 12 games.
Toronto Raptors 122-117 Atlanta Hawks
Trae Young broke the 40-point barrier for the third time this month and the seventh time this year. However, it still wasn’t enough to keep the Hawks from falling prey to the Raptors at home.
Norman Powell was red-hot for the Raptors as he had 27 points off the bench while hitting 6-of-9 on 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Fred VanVleet added 20 points in his second game back from a hamstring injury.
Sacramento Kings 113-118 (OT) Miami Heat
The Heat improved their NBA-best home record to 19-1 with an overtime victory over the Kings. With Jimmy Butler sidelined due to a hip injury, Kendrick Nunn stepped up once again with a team-high 25 points. Meanwhile, James Johnson and Goran Dragic combined for 40 big points off the Heat bench.
Nemanja Bljelica had a team-high 22 points for the struggling Kings, who have now lost their last five games in a row.
Philadelphia 76ers 117-111 Brooklyn Nets
Ben Simmons had a brilliant all-around game to lead the Sixers past the Nets in Brooklyn. Simmons tied his career-high with 34 points and added 12 rebounds, 12 assists, five steals, and two blocks.
With the recently returned Kyrie Irving sitting out due to a tight hamstring, Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 22 points, although he was just 6-of-17 from the field.
The Sixers have now won four games in a row, while the Nets have lost their last four.
Chicago Bulls 98-111 Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have extended their winning streak to seven games after an easy victory over the Bulls. The reigning MVP recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in just 31 minutes.
Zach LaVine scored 24 points for the Bulls, but no one else could get going offensively as Chicago shot just 37 per cent from the field against the Bucks’ suffocating defence.
New Orleans Pelicans 126-116 Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies’ seven-game winning streak is over. The Pelicans defied the NBA 2020 and defeated Memphis on the road as they drilled a franchise-record 21 3-pointers. After missing the last five games, Jrue Holiday returned to drop 36 points with seven 3-pointers to pace the Pelicans.
Memphis’ Dillon Brooks continued his strong play of late as he tied a season-high with 31 points in a losing effort. The third-year guard is averaging 20 points this month while shooting 45 per cent from beyond the arc.
Oklahoma City Thunder 112-107 Houston Rockets
For the second time in two weeks, Chris Paul helped the Thunder beat his old team, the Houston Rockets. Paul had a huge game with 28 points, while Danilo Gallinari added a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds as OKC rallied from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists, while James Harden struggled mightily with his shooting. He had 29 points, but shot a mere 9-of-29 from the field, including 1-of-17 on 3-pointers as the Rockets lost their fourth game in a row.
New York Knicks 106-86 Cleveland Cavaliers
The Knicks picked up one of their biggest wins of the season as they blew out the Cavaliers by 20 points in Cleveland. Julius Randle and Marcus Morris each had 19 points as six Knicks scored in double figures.
The Cavs, who have now lost five games in a row, were simply dreadful offensively as they shot just 34 per cent. Young guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland were the biggest offenders; they combined to shoot an atrocious 10-of-40 from the field.
Los Angeles Lakers 107-139 Boston Celtics
The marquee matchup between the Celtics and Lakers didn’t turn out the way many expected as the Boston blew out LA to snap their three-game losing skid.
Jayson Tatum scored a team-high 27 points, while Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown — who made one of the top NBA 2020 highlights as he dunked on LeBron James — both had 20 points on their return to the line-up.
Anthony Davis struggled upon his return from a five-game absence as he finished with just nine points in 23 minutes. James also couldn’t get it going offensively. He had one of his lowest-scoring games of the year with just 15 points.
Denver Nuggets 107-100 Minnesota Timberwolves
Michael Porter Jr.’s stock continues to rise. The Nuggets rookie recorded a 20-point, 14-rebound double-double as Denver topped the Timberwolves on the road. Porter has now scored at least 18 points with at least eight rebounds in three of his last four games.
The recently returned Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points to lead the struggling Wolves, who have now lost their last six games in a row.
Indiana Pacers 88-118 Utah Jazz
The Jazz are just looking so good at the moment. They have now won 12 of their last 13 games after demolishing a capable Pacers team that had won five in a row by 30 points. Utah’s last five home wins have come by an average of 23.2 points.
Donovan Mitchell delivered a team-high 25 points for the Jazz, while Mike Conley added 14 points in 18 minutes off the bench in his second game back from a hamstring injury.
San Antonio Spurs 119-117 Phoenix Suns
The Spurs very nearly squandered a 20-point second-half lead against the Suns, but they recovered in time to snatch the road win. Derrick White led the way with a season-high 25 points off the bench, while Bryn Forbes added 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting on 3-pointers.
Suns star Devin Booker continued his recent hot streak as he topped at least 37 points for the third time in the last four games and is averaging 32 points per game this month.
Golden State Warriors 124-129 (OT) Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard would not be denied. The Blazers superstar dropped a new career-high of 61 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to send the game to overtime, as Portland prevailed over the Warriors.
Alec Burks scored a season-high 33 points while D’Angelo Russell added 27 points on 27 shots to lead the Warriors, who have now lost 11 of their last 12 games.
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