Olympic Ricky Rubio showed up against the Knicks
Ricky Rubio was a man possessed in Madison Square Garden. The fact that he came off the bench had no bearing on his production as he rolled to 37 points, 3 rebounds and 10 assists while shooting 13 of 19 from the field and an unbelievable 8 of 9 from beyond the arc. His explosion helped turn the game from a close one in the first half to a 126-109 blowout. Rubio’s performance was good for a career-high in points.
Rookie Evan Mobley had a fantastic game, too, with 26 points and 9 rebounds on 11 of 15 shooting. Jarrett Allen, who said he understood why the Nets traded him away for James Harden, was a monster in the paint with 18 points, 17 rebounds and 4 assists.
Bradley Beal and the Wizards complete the underdog victory against the Bucks
Bradley Beal came second in last year’s scoring champ race, and he showed his scoring acumen today in a 101-94 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks that pushed the Washington Wizards’ overall record to 7-3 and their home record to 5-1.
Beal dropped 30 points, 5 assists and 8 rebounds while shooting 14 of 22 from the field, and 2 of 3 from deep. While he did have 6 turnovers, his scoring more than made up for it as his supporting cast did enough to help him complete the 101-94 victory. Beal has the utmost confidence in his ability to score the bucket, as evidence by this play:
Kyle Kuzma had a good overall line with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 6 of 11. Daniel Gafford chipped in 11 points and 8 rebounds, while Montrezl Harrell had 15 points and 4 rebounds off the bench. As we mentioned the other day, it looks like the Wizards are currently winning the Russell Westbrook trade.
The Bucks continue to struggle without their full lineup, as they were still missing Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez today. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and a block with three turnovers, and shot 12 of 26 from the field while missing all four three-pointers. Bobby Portis, who looks like his minutes restriction is lifted, chipped in 13 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks in 31 minutes of play. Grayson Allen had 19 points, and Jrue Holiday had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
It’s still early, but injuries are already slowing down the defending champs, as evidenced by their 4-6 start through the first ten games of the season.
The Golden State Warriors kept the best record in the league
The Golden State Warriors continue to have a single defeat on their record after pushing it to 8-1 with an easy victory over the Houston Rockets.
The Dubs turned a 69-61 advantage at the half into a 120-107 blowout, and Jordan Poole played a big part in that with 25 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. It was Poole’s third-straight game with at least 25 points.
Steph Curry had 20 points on 8 of 16 shooting, and didn’t have to play much. The criticism during their lone loss to the Grizzlies was their over-reliance in Curry, but the rest of the team has now been picking up the slack. It helps that they have some serious depth, with players like Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, and more coming off the bench. There’s also a certain trust in this team, as they had 32 assists on 44 made baskets.
The Dubs take on the Hawks next, and it will be good for them that Curry and Draymond Green only had to play a combined 47 minutes this game.
The Nets win fifth in a row to get to third place in the East
The Brooklyn Nets paid the Toronto Raptors a visit today and came away with a 116-103 victory, pushing their record to 7-3, good for third in the Eastern Conference. They got more of the same from Kevin Durant, who finished with 31 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists (with 7 turnovers), while James Harden got close to a triple-double with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists with two turnovers. Durant shot 11 of 18 from the field while Harden shot 10 of 20, with most of his misses coming from beyond the arc. Blake Griffin also chipped in a double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists.
Cole Anthony balled out in a surprise victory for the Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic played a full-strength Utah Jazz squad today, and much to the delight of their home fans, pulled off an upset 107-100 victory. They were carried by second-year point guard Cole Anthony, who shot a blistering 13 of 20 from the field and 5 of 10 from deep on the way to 33 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks with only 2 turnovers. Anthony has been straight balling this season, and is averaging 18.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 5.5 APG. He’s scored 21 or more points in 6 of his last 9 games.
He got good backup from Wendell Carter Jr. who had 22 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists while shooting 9 of 14 from the field and 4 of 7 from the three point line. Carter has had double-digit rebounds in 6 of his last 7 games, and is showing that he has the potential to fill the void that Nikola Vucevic left when he got traded to the Bulls.
Anthony didn’t hold back in his post-game interview.
Utah’s scorers had a lot of trouble hitting their shots today, with Donovan Mitchell shooting 8 of 24, Bogdan Bogdanovic making 4 of 13, and Jordan Clarkson going 2 of 13 from the field.