The Bulls take down the Celtics to improve to 6-1 and the top fo the Eastern Conference

After starting their season 4-0, the Chicago Bulls looked at a really difficult schedule until November 23. So far, they’ve done a good job in maintaining their momentum as they’ve gone 2-1 against the Knicks, Jazz and Celtics. They’re now riding a two-game winning streak after today’s 128-114 victory against the Celtics.

DeMar DeRozan continues to play with a vengeance after airballing a game-winning attempt against the Knicks. He was unstoppable today with 37 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and a block with only a single turnover. More impressively, he shot 15 of 20 from the field and 3 or 4 from beyond the arc – a good sign for the Bulls considering he’s known as more of a mid-range specialist.

Zach LaVine contributed 26 points, 3 rebounds, and 7 assists in the win, but he struggled with his long ball. He hit 8 of 12 shots from inside the arc but was only 1 of 8 from deep. 

The Celtics got a combined 68 points from Jayston Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford but it simply wasn’t enough, especially since Tatum shot 8 of 22. There are also some signs of discontent rumbling out of the Celtics, with Marcus Smart apparently unhappy with Tatum and Brown’s unwillingness to pass the ball.

The Miami Heat are right behind the Bulls with a 5-1 record, so we’ll see what the standings look like tomorrow. The Bulls have two-straight games coming up against the Philadelphia Sixers, one at home and one away.


The LA Clippers make a great escape against the Oklahoma City Thunder

The LA Clippers started their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 1-4 record. It looked like they were on the way to 1-5, but then they managed to summon some magic down the stretch to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

Paul George struggled from the field early, scoring only 5 points in the first half. He didn’t let that bother him, though, and he went off for 27 points in the second half while having a hand in their key run to close out of the game. He finished with 32 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and 4 turnovers. He shots 11 of 24 from the field and 5 of 8 from deep.

George hit two threes in 26 seconds to cut the deficit from 91-82 to 91-88, which Luke Kennard followed with a game-tying three with 1:39 left in the game. Darius Bazley made it 92-91 with 1:18 to play, but George hit another big shot near the elbow to make it 93-92. Reggie Jackson then made a floater with 36.7 seconds left to make it 95-92 for the Clippers, and Luke Kennard iced the game with two free throws to make it 97-92, nullifying Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s jumper that made it 97-94 with 4.2 seconds left.

Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 28 points, 7 rebounds 2 assists, 2 steals and a block. 

The victory pushed the Clippers’ record to 2-4, hardly the ideal start from a team that made it to the Western Conference Finals last season. However, today’s comeback win is still something to build on. 

The Toronto Raptors take down the Knicks without Scottie Barnes

Prized rookie Scottie Barnes wasn’t available for the Toronto Raptors today, but that didn’t stop them from getting an important 113-104 victory against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. 

Barnes’ teammates stepped up in his absence, with OG Anunoby dropping a career-high 36 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal while shooting 13 of 27 from the field. Gary Trent Jr. also had 26 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.

RJ Barrett follows up his career-best 35-point performance with 27 points and 6 rebounds, and no one on the Knicks’ starting five shot below 50% from the field. The Knicks shot better from three than the Raptors (16 of 38 against 14 of 42), shot more free throws (24 to 14), but simply didn’t get enough stops inside the arc. 

The Grizzlies bounce back with a win against the Nuggets

After getting dominated 129-103 by the Miami Heat the other day, Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies weren’t quite ready to take a second loss in a row. Morant had a solid game with 26 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, and was the only Grizzly to eclipse the 20-point mark. They got a strong contribution off the bench from Tyus Jones and Xavier Tillman Sr., who combined for 29 points and 13 rebounds on 11 of 16 shooting.

Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, but didn’t get much help on the offensive end. 

Cole Anthony dominates in a blowout win for the Magic

The Orlando Magic visited the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 1-6 record, but saw sophomore Cole Anthony continue his strong play to lead them to a blowout win. Anthony had 31 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and a block with 4 turnovers while shooting 8 of 17 from the field and 6 of 11 from three. Franz Wagner put in work as well, finishing with 28 points on 10 of 18 shooting. 

Wendell Carter Jr., who came to Orlando through the Nikola Vucevic trade, had a strong double-double with 15 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists. He even made 2 of 3 three-pointers.

Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 47 points, 22 rebounds and 9 assists but D’Angelo Russell exited the game with a right ankle injury that limited his contribution to 3 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.


The Pacers break out of their four-game skid

The Indiana Pacers had been suffering for a while, and entered their game against the San Antonio Spurs on a four-game losing streak. Fortunately for them, their star forward Domantas Sabonis put on a dominant performances with 24 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal with one turnover. Sabonis shot 11 of 15 from the field.

Myles Turner added in 19 points and 8 rebounds on 7 of 10 shooting, while Chris Duarte had 18 points on 6 of 11 shooting including 4 of 6 from three.

The Spurs had seven players score in double-figures and two had 9 points. You could say that they’re currently missing a go-to scorer like DeMar Derozan.

The Cavs ride a hot start to take down the Hornets

The Cleveland Cavaliers had a great start to their game against the Charlotte Hornets, finishing ahead 40-19 after the first quarter. They kept things close in the second and third quarters with a scoring deficit of 48-53, which allowed them to survive a fourth-quarter rally that saw the Hornets outscore them 34-25. 

Jarrett Allen filled the stat sheet for the Cavs with 24 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 3 blocks while only turning the ball over once. He shot 9 of 13 from the field. The rest of Cleveland’s starters all scored 15 or more points and they had 27 assists on 42 made baskets. 

LaMelo Ball had a solid game for the Hornets, finishing with 30 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks but turned the ball over 6 times. The Hornets weren’t able to weather tough shooting nights from Miles Bridges (4 of 18) and Terry Rozier (9 of 22).

No Joel, no problem for the Sixers

Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris didn’t suit up for the Sixers against the Blazers, but his absence didn’t affect the outcome of the game. Philadelphia defeated the Blazers 113-103 at home while being led by Seth Curry’s 23 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Georges Niang had a big game off the bench with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Andre Drummond did an admirable job of holding the post down in Embiid’s absence with 14 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals.

The Blazers got 20 points apiece from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum but both had a rough night from the field. They shot 15 of 40 overall and 5 of 17 from three. Lillard added 7 points and 10 assists but Portland continues to show that they cannot survive tough games during Dame’s current shooting funk. Lillard is currently shooting 34.9% from the field and 23.1% from beyond the arc over his first seven games of the season.

Trae Young and the Hawks clip the Wizards’ win streak

The Washington Wizards had a chance to push their record to 6-1 as well today, but were unable to win on the road against the Atlanta Hawks. Trae Young led the way with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, but struggled with his three again as he shot 1 of 6. Ice Trae was able to get to the line more effectively today, though, and made all 11 of his free throws.

Bradley Beal had 24 points for the Wizards, but none of his teammates broke the 20 mark. The Hawks improved to 4-3 with this victory.