LaVine led the team with 25 points as the Chicago Bulls outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers, 98-94. DeMar DeRozan returned to the lineup after missing the last game with a groin injury and added 20 points but the key to this game for the Bulls was defense. Chicago held the Cavs to only 35 points in the first half and stifled their try at a fourth quarter comeback. With this win, the Bulls got their first road victory since March 9th as they maintain control of the 5th seed in the East.

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LeBron James passed Karl Malone on the career scoring list, leaving only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left to conquer. James needed 19 points to pass Malone and finished with double that as he now sits at 36,930 points. That’s less than 1,500 points left to take the top spot. Alongside James, Russell Westbrook had a good night with 22 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists. This coming after he nailed a clutch three to steal the victory over the Toronto Raptors the night before. But unfortunately for James, it seems that every time he breaks a record, the Lakers leave the game on the losing end. Something they cannot afford considering where they are in the standings. With this loss, the Lakers now only sit half a game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans, who are 10th in the Western Conference.

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LeBron James put on a show with a season-high 56 points as the Los Angeles Lakers took down the Golden State Warriors, 124-116. James did so on impressive shooting splits and became only the fourth player at age 37+ to score 50+ points in a game. The only other players in this group are Jamal Crawford, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan.

Alongside James, four other players scored in double-figures including Russell Westbrook, who finished with 20 points. Carmelo Anthony also had a strong performance off the bench with 14 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes.

This win snapped a four-game losing streak, but they still are only 3-7 in their last ten games. At 27-35 they sit in ninth place in the West, but they are only half a game ahead of the Pelicans.

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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the charge as the Boston Celtics got the win over the Detroit Pistons, 113-104. Fitting that it came over Detroit considering Boston has won 11 of their last 12 games with that lone loss coming against the Pistons. Brown led the team with 27 points while Tatum added 26 points and 11 rebounds. Sneaky performance from the bench as well as Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard each played 26 minutes and combined for 32 points. Boston looks to continue their winning ways as they head to Indiana to take on Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers tonight.

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Simons dropped 30 points and eight rebounds to help the Portland Trail Blazers erase a 23-point third quarter deficit to take down the New York Knicks, 112-103. Newly acquired Josh Hart had a strong Portland debut as he added 23 points while shooting 63% from the field. Jusuf Nurkic also had a monster night on the boards as he finished with 12 points and 20 rebounds. This win gave the Blazers their second straight win after starting February 0-4.

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Ja Morant scored 33 points in three quarters to help the Memphis Grizzlies dominate the Orlando Magic, 135-115. The Grizzlies led by as many as 31 points and things got out of hand early as Memphis went into halftime up 76-56. Alongside Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 21 points and Steven Adams added 12 points and 11 rebounds. These three spearheaded a strong inside presence for the Grizzlies as they scored 68 points in the paint to the Magic’s 34. With this win, Memphis is 5-1 in their last six games and notched their 16th road win in 20 games.

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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 69 points to lead the Boston Celtics over the New Orleans Pelicans, 107-97. These two pretty much carried things offensively as the next highest scorer for the Celtics was Josh Richardson who finished with ten points. One guy who shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle is Robert Williams. He only had eight points, but racked up a game-high 16 rebounds and four blocks. This victory advances Boston back up to a .500 record at 25-25.

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Anfernee Simons scored 31 points along with a career-high 11 assists to help lead the Portland Trail Blazers to the 115-110 victory over the Washington Wizards.

This was also a big game for Jusuf Nurkic who chipped in 23 points and 14 rebounds while watching Simons score 26 of his 31 points in the first half. Solid night for the Trail Blazers’ wings as Nassir Little and Robert Covington combined for 33 points.

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Jaren Jackson Jr. drops 26 points to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a franchise-tying record 8th straight win as they took down the LA Clippers, 123-108. Memphis entered this game without both their head coach Taylor Jenkins (healthy and safety protocols) and star point guard Ja Morant (thigh soreness). Nonetheless, the Grizzlies’ depth prevailed again. Alongside Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane added 23 points and Tyus Jones chipped in 18 points. We also got an uncharacteristic performance from Brandon Clarke who finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. Memphis continues to solidify themselves within the Top-4 of the West as they now sit five games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks who are 5th in the standings.

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DeMar DeRozan does it again as he hits yet another game-winner to steal the victory for the Chicago Bulls over the Washington Wizards, 120-119. With this game winner, DeRozan became the first player in NBA history to make back-to-back game winners in back-to-back days.

This was a game that the Wizards led for 90% of the time, but Chicago clawed to within two points on multiple occasions in the final minutes of the game.

Zach LaVine finished with a game-high 35 points and knocked down 7-of-12 threes. Nikola Vucevic had a solid night with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Then there’s Coby White who stepped up big time in the absence of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso as he finished with 20 points of his own with four big threes.

This win makes seven straight wins for Chicago and propels them to the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 24-10.

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New York kicks off the holiday with a big win in MSG as the Knicks take down the Atlanta Hawks, 101-87. Julius Randle led the charge with 25 points and 12 rebounds as he had a hot shooting night from beyond the arc to put New York on his back. Alongside him, rookie guard Quentin Grimes and Evan Fournier each scored 15 apiece while Obi Toppin added 13 points off the bench in 13 minutes. But the man of the hour was none other than Kemba Walker. Finishing the game with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, Walker became the first Knick in franchise history to record a triple-double on Christmas Day. This also makes him the 7th player in league history to accomplish such a feat alongside notable guys like Draymond Green, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Oscar Robertson.

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