The short-handed Bucks started strong, but were no match in for a resilient Knicks squad
Julius Randle will probably be an All-Star again if he keeps up with his strong start to the season. He had 32 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks on 11 of 22 shooting to lead the Knicks to a 113-98 victory against the shorthanded Bucks. Randle will be especially happy with his performance because the Knicks had to come back from a 38-19 first quarter deficit.
RJ Barrett chipped in 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, but didn’t shoot well at an 8 of 21 clip. Derrick Rose was a different story, and had a big game off the pine with 23 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists while making 10 of 18 shots. Nerlens Noel made his presence known off the bench too, with 6 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and a block in 24 minutes of play.
The Bucks are still feeling the pain of missing Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton, and even though Jrue Holiday came back today, he only played 20 minutes and came off the bench on the way to 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists with 5 turnovers. Giannis Antetokounmpo did his thing with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks, while shooting 9 of 11 from the free throw line. Grayson Allen added 22 points while making 6 of 9 threes.
Kevin Durant took over again to push the Nets’ win streak to four games
KD had a rough shooting night to start, but his scoring outburst to start the season continues as he finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 12 of 27 from the field. He was also there when the Nets needed him most, as he scored their final three field goals of the game starting from when there was 2:37 left in the fourth quarter until making a layup with 13.1 seconds on the clock to give them enough cushion to eventually win 96-90 after LaMarcus Aldridge hit two free throws to ice the game.
James Harden shot 3 of 5 from deep and 3 of 1 overall, but had a triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebound and 10 assists along with 2 steals and a block. He did have 9 turnovers, though. He had a really weird lapse of concentration in the fourth quarter, too.
The Clippers have won three in a row
The LA Clippers have finally cobbled together a three-game winning streak, which has put them back at .500 with a 4-4 record after a dismal start to their season. They did this in spite of another bad shooting night from Paul George, who had 21 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals but coughed the ball up 3 times and shot 4 of 20 including 0 of 7 from three.
Granted, this victory came against a Minnesota Timberwolves team that are now on a four-game losing streak, so let’s see if the Clippers can keep it up against strong opposition. They’ve so far lost against the Warriors, Grizzlies, Cavaliers and Blazers, so they haven’t really shown an ability to beat the league’s elite yet.
Jordan Poole balls out again
The Golden State Warriors only had one guy score over 20 points today, but that didn’t stop them from having a 126-85 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans. Jordan Poole had his second strong scoring game in a row with 29 points on 10 of 18 shooting (6 of 9 from three). Steph Curry finished with 15 points, 3 rebound and 6 assists on 5 of 15 shooting, and his only made field goals came from beyond the arc. Andrew Wiggins chipped in 16 points, and the Warriors bench combined for 57.
Some of the earlier games this season showed the Warriors rely too much on Curry to carry them, and their fans will be happy to see a more balanced approach to their offense. Nemanja Bjelica again showed great value, as his 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block with 3 turnovers didn’t show his true impact. He had a game-best plus/minus of +33.
The Sacramento Kings shot the lights out
The Sacramento Kings have shown surprising resilience in their first nine games of the season, and got themselves back to a winning record with a 140-110 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Ever since they won their opening day game against the Blazers, the Kings have alternated pairs of losses and wins. They’ll be trying to get their first three-game win streak of the season on Monday when they take on the Indiana Pacers.
The Kings shot 48 of 87 from the field (55.2%), made 22 of 44 threes (50%), and 22 of 26 free throws (84.6%). They also out rebounded the Hornets 56-28, mostly thanks to Richaun Holmes’ huge night with 23 points and 23 rebounds on 9 of 12 shooting (5 of 7 from the charity stripe).
They also had a strong game from star point guard De’Aaron Fox, who had struggled to start the season but finished with 21 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists and a steal while shooting 7 of 15 from the field and making all 7 free throws.
Buddy Hield was an assassin from the bench, too, as he finished with 26 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assist while making 8 of 17 of his three-pointers. Rookie Davion Mitchell continues to get more comfortable on the offensive end too, and finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists while shooting 6 of 11 from the field and 4 of 5 from deep. If Mitchell continues to contribute on offense while also being an elite defender, the Kings could make a push for the play-ins this season.