Paul George grabbed 8 steals in 27 minutes of play
The Portland Trail Blazers grabbed the first lead of the game against the LA Clippers with a three from Nassir Little, and two CJ McCollum threes made it 11-10 and then 14-13 in the first quarter. That was the last time they’d be ahead.
Paul George had a slow start on offense in the first half with 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting, but made his presence known on the defensive end of the floor as he finished with four steals. Luke Kennard led the Clippers in scoring in the first half with 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting and finished the game leading all scorers with 23 points.
George continued to make his presence known on the defensive end in the second half, messing up the Blazers’ offense with even more steals. He finished with a line of 16 points, 5 assists, 8 steals, a block and 3 turnovers. He did this in only 27 minutes of play and was subbed out of the game for good with 3:24 left in the third quarter with the Clippers up by 29 at that point.
Damian Lillard started shooting horribly, going 3 of 8 and 0 of 5 from three in the first half for 8 points. CJ McCollum continued to carry the scoring load for the Blazers with 16 first half points on 6 of 14 shooting and 4 of 10 from deep. It didn’t get much batter for Lillard in the second half and he finished the game with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 turnovers. McCollum finished with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, a block and 3 turnovers.
Dame’s continuing funk is going to be a big cause for concern for the Blazers. He sat for good with 2:02 left in the third quarter. McCollum left the game with 10:53 left in the fourth quarter. The game finished with a score of 116 – 86 and it was over long before the final whistle blew.
The Blazers finished with 30 turnovers and were held to a field goal percentage of 37% and three-point percentage of 22.2%. The Clippers, led by George’s example, finished the game with 21 steals.
The Boston Celtics seem to like playing overtime games
The Boston Celtics didn’t seem to want to get any extra rest on the second-day of a back-to-back as they snapped the Charlotte Hornets’ winning streak.
The Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics were both on the second night of a back-to-back set, but you sure as hell wouldn’t have known that by watching them play today. Their overtime battle, which ended 140-129 in favour of the Celtics, is going to leave both squads with sore legs.
The game was a doozy from the start, with both teams able to hit their threes at will en-route to a 68-66 first half. Second-year man LaMelo Ball had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists, while Miles Bridges continued his strong play with 25 points, and 10 rebounds. Kelly Oubre was also hot from deep, making 5 of 10 of his threes on the way to 19 points. Mason Plumlee had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, too.
However, the Hornets simply had no answer for the Celtics’ star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum, who played 37 minutes yesterday, ended up playing another 41 minutes tonight with another all-around line of 41 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists while shooting 50% from both the field and beyond the arc. Brown, who was rested in the game against the Rockets, roared back in his return with 30 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a block.
Jabari Parker also joined the list of former Sacramento Kings basketball players who remember how to play after leaving that team, and scored 13 points on an efficient 5 of 8 from the field (3 of 4 from deep).
It was always going to be a tough ask for the Hornets to beat the Celtics when Brown and Tatum are on fire, and they simply ran out of gas as they were outscored 18-7 in the overtime period. They shouldn’t take any shame in the loss, though, and should reset and prepare for their next contest against the Orlando Magic on Thursday morning (Manila time).
Giannis Antetokounmpo might just want another MVP award
Giannis Antetokounmpo may have his NBA title and his Finals MVP, but it doesn’t look like he’s quite satisfied yet. A fire seems to have been lit in him after they got the Milwaukee Bucks got their asses embarrassed 137-95 a couple of games ago.
The Greek Freak narrowly missed a triple-double against the Indiana Pacers with 30 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, a steal and 2 blocks with only 2 turnovers. He was highly efficient, making 10 of 18 of his two-point attempts while missing a pair of threes. He also had his best performance from the free throw line so far this season by going 10 of 13 from the charity stripe. He’s averaging 24.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.3 SPG and 1.8 BPG, and more importantly has pushed his free throw average to 72.5% for the season. As the Phoenix Suns learned in the NBA Finals, Giannis making his free throws makes it extremely difficult to defeat the Bucks. If Giannis can keep his free throw average hovering around 70% for the season, how are you going to stop him?
Khris Middleton also had a great all-around game with 27 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists. Grayson Allen helped the Bucks’ winning effort with 19 points as Jrue Holiday was rested because of his ankle injury.
Even though the Pacers lost, fantasy players who own Domantas Sabonis will be happy with his performance as he put up 21 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and steal with 3 turnovers while shooting 8 of 13 from the field. Malcolm Brogdon also had 25 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists in the loss.
Jimmy Butler decided to have fun at the Orlando Magic’s expense
Jimmy Buckets wasn’t messing around today. He took over the first quarter against the Orlando Magic and the rest of the Miami Heat didn’t let up on the way to a 107-90 victory. Butler finished the game with 36 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals with a single turnover. He also shot 15 of 21 and didn’t attempt a single three-pointer. Bam Adebayo chipped in 16 rebounds and 13 rebounds, while Markieff Morris and Tyler Herro combined for 29 points off the Heat bench.
Reigning NBA champion PJ Tucker had a funny game for the Heat. He went 0 of 4 from the field and finished with 0 points, 1 rebounds and 1 personal foul in 21 minutes of action while still posting a plus/minus of +7.
Patty Mills continues to show that he was a brilliant offseason acquisition for the Nets
Bradley Beal made his return for the Washington Wizards and scored 19 points, but was an inefficient 8 of 22 from the field. Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyle Kuzma were also misfiring for the Wizards and went a combined 6 of 24 from the field for a total of 16 points.
For the Brooklyn Nets, James Harden had an off night on offense, going 5 of 17 overall and 1 of 8 from three. However, Harden played the role of facilitator well, finishing with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, a steal, a block, with only two turnovers. Kevin Durant outdueled Beal with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals while shooting 9 of 17 from the field.
However, Patty Mills may have been the key difference maker for the mercurial Nets. He had another big game coming off the pine, with 21 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal on an ultra-efficient 8 of 14 and 5 of 9 from three. The former Spur, who was brought in after helping Australia finally get their first Olympic basketball medal over the summer, is doing an admirable job of helping the team in Kyrie Irving’s absence. Over his first four games, Mills is the Nets’ third-best scorer with 14.5 PPG and is making a ridiculous 64% of his threes. He’s also got the team’s second-highest plus/minus at +7.5. LaMarcus Aldridge, who didn’t play tonight, holds the top spot with +9.3.
DeMar DeRozan can still ball
DeMar DeRozan signed a three-year $85-million contract with the Chicago Bulls, and he’s so far provided good returns for the Chicago Bulls. In today’s close 111-108 victory against his former team the Toronto Raptors, DeRozan led all scorers with 26 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Zach LaVine matched him by dropping 22 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.
With DeRozan and LaVine leading the way, the Bulls two other key players in Nikola Vucevic and Lonzo Ball have a lot of scoring pressure taken off them, allowing them to better play within their skillsets. DeRozan also brings veteran leadership to the team, as evidenced by him saying he’s not too excited about the Bulls’ hot start in a long season. The Bulls are now 4-0 ahead of a brutal incoming schedule.
Oof, the Nuggets definitely could have used Jamal Murray tonight
The Cleveland Cavaliers now find themselves at .500 after handing the Denver Nuggets their first loss in a 99-87 victory. Jarrett Allen had himself a monster game with 21 points and 16 rebounds while making 10 of 11 of his shots. He wasn’t even the Cavs’ leading scorer, though, as Kevin Love had a big one off the bench with 22 points and 6 rebounds on 8 of 13 shooting.
Today’s defeat saw the Nuggets waste another classic Nikola Jokic effort, as the reigning MVP had 24 points, 19 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. He did have 6 turnovers, though. No one else on the Nuggets scored more than 12 points – further showing how much they really miss having a shot creator and maker of Jamal Murray’s caliber. Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon combined for an atrocious 9 of 28 from the field and 23 total points.
Bonus points go to Ricky Rubio and Facundo Campazzo who got into one of the funniest NBA staredowns in recent memory.
Jonas Valanciunas was a man among boys today
Jonas Valanciunas has kind of been a beast for the New Orleans Pelicans, who finally got their first win in their fourth game of the season. The 1-3 Pelicans got 22 points, 23 rebounds and 2 blocks with a single turnover from the Lithuanian center. He’s been a bright spot in an otherwise miserable start for the Pelicans, who are still waiting for the injured Zion Williams to come back.
Added points go to Valanciunas for somehow convincing Patrick Beverley that it was a good idea to start shit with him.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are now 2-1 after losing to the Pelicans, but they’ll be encouraged by the development of Anthony Edwards. He combined with Karl Anthony-Towns for 60 points, 23 rebounds and 10 assists.