Nets 98 – Sixers 101
The Sixers won James Harden’s first game in Brooklyn since leaving the Nets. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were no longer in front, although all their replacements were, who did a good job and made things very difficult for their opponent. So much so that there was no expansion as Spencer Dinwiddie’s triple final was canceled after it was verified that it had run out of time. Joel Embiid finished with 37 points and 13 rebounds and James Harden, who was booed at the presentation and in the first minutes of the game, left a message for his former franchise and teammates (“There was a lot of procrastination, I didn’t Ask for a transfer for nothing. Now I don’t look like crazy”), he went for 29 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
Hornets 105 – Nuggets 119
The Nuggets broke a four-game losing streak on the road in Charlotte by replacing the win. The Hornets, longtime draft watchers, lost their seventh straight game despite missing two of their best players in Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon. Despite this, they had Nikola Jokic and that happened often enough. The Serbian scored another triple-double (30+16+10) and already has 20, second on the list, with Doncic at 10. The center is the fifth player in history to reach 20 triple-doubles in a season. Oscar Robertson (5 times), Russell Westbrook (4), Wilt Chamberlain (3) and James Harden (1) did it earlier.
Magic 103 – Heat 107
“Experience”. Both the winning and losing coaches referred to this term as the key to the outcome of the final. The experience of Miami against the inexperience of Orlando, who were up by 9 points with two and a half minutes before the end of the fourth quarter. The Heat knew how to play their game until they forced overtime, which Paolo Banchero was able to avoid with a layup, but Bam Adebayo’s defense failed them. Then, in extra time, the visitors were clearly better. Tyler Herro was the top scorer with 23 points.
Wizards 127 – Pacers 113
The Wizards saw the ring as a pool, with their best shooting percentage, 64%, going to be the best in their history for several minutes. During the three quarters he scored with 70% effectiveness, but this fell slightly with the admission of the game already resolved and less common (up to 13 players played). It was also the season’s best score at halftime for the Capitals as they went into the locker room to win 80–57. Bradley Beal, top scorer of the match with 32 points.
Hawks 125 – Spurs 106
The San Antonio Spurs are just a half-game away from the league’s lowest-seeded Houston Rockets after losing their 12th straight game in Atlanta. This is the worst streak for the Texan franchise since the 88–89 season. The Hawks moved up to eighth in the East after a stellar game from Trae Young, who scored 24 points in addition to matching his course record of 17 assists. D’Andre Hunter also had the same scoring figures.
Nix 126 – Jazz 120
The New York Knicks continued their good streak of play and results, going downhill and without a break, to defeat the Utah Jazz. That of course is off to a spectacular and unexpected start. The Salt Lake City guys are already ranked 11th, out of play-in, and with the movements made at the close of the market, have a clear sense of direction for next year. However, the people of the Big Apple are still struggling to enter the playoffs directly. They’re seventh in the East, a game and a half behind the Heat. Jalen Brunson (38 points) and regular Julius Randle (31), shone tonight. But so did rookie Josh Hart, who had an immediate impact on his new team’s play: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in 26 minutes.
Cavs 97 – Bulls 89
The Cleveland Cavaliers responded in time to turn around a game that had gone downhill for them in the third quarter, when they lost 48–61. But from that moment they put together a 43-17 run that put the game on the plate for them. This is their sixth straight win at home, with which they follow the pace of the top three in the East (they are 4.5 wins behind the leader, Boston, and 1 win behind the third, Sixers) and within distance of their immediate pursuers, the Nets. (2.5 wins over now). Donovan Mitchell, with 19 of his 29 points in the second half, and Jarrett Allen (23–10) were best.
Warriors 103 – Lakers 109
D’Angelo Russell’s redeployment promised with the Lakers winning a game close to life and death in San Francisco the second night without LeBron James. Read the chronicle here.
Kings 133 – Mavs 128
De’Auron Fox stole the show from the two Mav stars in their first game together. The Kings guard scored 26 points between the final quarter and overtime in a key win for Sacramento. Read the chronicle here.