A Kevin Durant ejection didn’t stop the Nets from winning
Kevin Durant’s been dealing with a bit of frustration lately. Part of it’s probably got something to do with the ongoing Kyrie Irving saga, and part of it has to do with how the Nets have also struggled out of the gate recently. His frustration boiled over today against the Pistons, where he got ejected for a flagrant foul on Kelly Olynyk. He had 23 points and 5 assists at the time.
He also got fined $25,000 for throwing the ball into the stands during their game against the Pacers – which was curiously also in a game that they ended up winning handily.
Fortunately for the Nets, the loss of their best scorer did not stop them from winning, thanks to another triple-double from James Harden, who finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists with 5 turnovers. Harden didn’t shoot much, making 6 of 9 field goals and 4 of 7 triples, and hit 2 of 3 free throws. His playmaking kept the others involved and they got another solid performance from LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 16 points and 3 rebounds on 7 of 8 shooting from the bench. De’Andre Bembry made the most of his rare minutes as well with 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting.
The Jazz hand the Bucks their first three-game losing streak of the season
The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks are now 3-4 thanks to a three-game losing streak after losing at home to the Jazz. The Bucks are almost never underdogs at home, so it was a telling sign that Utah were the favourites heading into the game.
Donovan Mitchell redeemed himself for his 9 of 27 performance yesterday by with 28 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals with 4 turnovers. He shot much more efficiently, making 10 of 18 shots from the field and 4 of 9 from beyond the arc. Mike Conley also returned to drop 20 points on 6 of 11 shooting. The Bucks really missed Jrue Holiday’s defense for this one.
Rudy Gobert only had 9 points but led the game in rebounds with 13 while also adding 2 assists, a steal and 4 blocks. The Bucks, who are still missing Brook Lopez, didn’t have enough big bodies to throw at him.
With Khris Middleton also sitting out due to illness, the Bucks just didn’t have enough firepower to throw at the Jazz. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks but only made 3 of 11 of his three-point attempts.
The Hornets sting the Bucks behind LaMelo Ball’s wizardry
LaMelo Ball had struggled of late, only scoring a total of 13 points in the Hornets’ previous two games against the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, but bounced back huge against the Blazers. He had 27 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists with a lone turnover. He shot 10 of 20 from the field and 4 of 9 from deep. When he gets going, the Hornets are so much better. They’ve improved to 5-2 after this win.
CJ McCollum continued his strong scoring start to the season with 25 points and 8 assists for Portland, but only shot 10 of 24 from the field. Damian Lillard, whose shooting struggles have been a topic of conversation this season, didn’t help his case. He finished with 14 points and 12 assists but had a dismal night from the field while shooting 5 of 20 overall and 2 of 14 from three.
Luka did his thing against the Kings
The Kings have been showing a lot of fightback lately, but they couldn’t do enough to stop the Mavericks in Dallas. With De’Aaron Fox continuing to struggle with his shot (5 of 16 from the field), the Kings couldn’t capitalize on another big night from Richaun Holmes, who had 22 points and 13 rebounds.
As expected, Luka Doncic led the way for the Mavericks and almost had a triple-double with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists along with a steal and a block. He got help this time around though, with four other Mavericks scoring at least 12 points. Sometimes you’ve got to wonder if they really do just play better without Kristaps Porzingis on the floor.