Sacramento Kings vs. LA Clippers, Kings win 123-96

Top Performers

Domantas Sabonis

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
24 5 6 10/11 2/2 2/3 0 2

Ivica Zubac

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
13 15 1 5/6 0/0 3/4 1 0

Key Points

  • Light the beam! Despite being on the opposing team’s home floor, “Light the beam!” chants erupted in the Crypto.com Arena for almost the entire final three minutes of the game. The Kings came out and dominated with all five of their starters finishing in double figures, along with Malik Monk and Chimezie Metu who combine for 23 points off the bench.
  • Although De’Aaron Fox had a solid night with 14 points and six rebounds, Sabonis’s running mate in this one was Keegan Murray. Murray finished the night as the game’s second-leading scorer, posting a career-high 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor. Watch out for the Kings.
  • The Clippers were bad. Period, point blank. They were without their top guys Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and even Norman Powell, but on paper, they are supposed to have some of the best depth in the league. Last night, we couldn’t tell. Their leading scorer was second-year guard Brandon Boston who had 18 points in 20 minutes off the bench. John Wall also had a pretty good game with 12 points in 12 minutes off the bench, but their starting lineup had all five guys play 20+ minutes and the most anyone could muster up was 13 points apiece from Ivica Zubac and Terance Mann. Either they need some help getting buckets or the Kings clamped them up. Reggie Jackson’s 1-of-12 from the floor suggests the latter. Just saying.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, Thunder win 135-128

Top Performers

Josh Giddey

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
21 12 7 8/16 3/7 2/3 2 2

Naz Reid

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
13 18 3 6/12 0/2 1/2 0 4

Key Points

  • For the Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned after missing the last game against the Spurs and set the tone with a game-high 33 points. From there, the Thunder blitzed Minnesota with their depth as seven guys finished in double figures including reigning Rookie of the Month, Jalen Williams, who had 11 points.
  • For the Minnesota Timberwolves, Rudy Gobert was tripping. Or more like he was tripping people. There came a point in the early portion of the game when a skirmish broke out after Gobert purposely tripped Thunder forward Kenrich Williams. Gobert had only played nine minutes and was a perfect 3-for-3 before getting himself ejected.
  • But beyond that, the T-Wolves had some studs to watch off the bench as Naz Reid took those Gobert minutes and balled out, finishing with a big-time double-double. Jaylen Nowell also had himself a game off the bench with 21 points in 23 minutes. Can’t leave out the fact that D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards combined for 53 points, but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough. This team is feeling the effects of missing Karl-Anthony Towns on offense.

 

Dallas Mavericks vs. New York Knicks, Mavericks win 121-100

Top Performers

Luka Doncic

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
30 8 7 11/21 4/9 11/21 1 3

Julius Randle

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
24 5 3 8/15 3/8 5/5 0 0

Key Points

  • Luka Doncic and his roster of former New York Knicks came into Madison Square Garden and got busy. Although Doncic once again flirted with Ms. Triple-Double, the talk of the game was Tim Hardaway Jr., who has been on a heater as of late and last night he finished with 28 points and seven rebounds while hitting 8-of-13 threes. Another guy to show love is Spencer Dinwiddie, who flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds.
  • For the Knicks, it was all Julius Randle and Immanuel Quickley. The two combined for 47 points and Quickley got his 23 points in 29 minutes off the bench. For the rest of the supporting cast, it was quiet.
  • Jalen Brunson finished with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting. RJ Barrett seems to be checked out with all the media scrutiny, as he only played 20 minutes and had 13 points. Mitchell Robinson played 22 minutes and only had two points and six rebounds. The Knicks just looked deflated, and they now have lost four of their last six games.

 

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Charlotte Hornets, Bucks win 105-96

Top Performers

Bobby Portis

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
20 8 7 9/18 1/5 1/1 0 0

Terry Rozier

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
26 5 4 10/21 1/7 5/5 0 0

Key Points

  • The Milwaukee Bucks were without their Big Three and still handled business. This mainly came off the effort from their frontcourt duo of Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis, who combined for 34 points. Jordan Nwora also caught fire in this game as he had 17 points on a 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Nothing too special here, just the Bucks continuing to show their dominance against below .500 teams this season.
  • The Hornets had three players go for 20+ points: Terry Rozier with 26 points, Jalen McDaniels with 21 points, and Kelly Oubre with 20 points. Other than that, this team could not seem to put the ball in the basket. The Hornets shot an abysmal 5-of-24 from three as a team and PJ Washington put up a goose egg on 0-of-13 shooting in 33 minutes on the floor. The best player from an efficiency standpoint was Mason Plumlee, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting from the field.
  • Tough night getting buckets for the Hornets, and it’s been that way all season as they are the 27th-ranked scoring offense (109.0 PPG) with the worst offensive rating in basketball (107.0). Hornets fans, keep tuning into those Victor Wembenyama highlights because he might just be in your uniform next season.

 

Orlando Magic vs. Toronto Raptors, Raptors win 121-108

Top Performers

Bol Bol

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
18 7 1 7/8 0/1 4/5 1 1

Pascal Siakam

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
26 8 10 9/15 1/4 7/7 3 0

Key Points

  • In a game where not much happened offensively for the Orlando Magic, Bol Bol stepped up and balled out. Bol and Terrence Ross led the team each scoring 18 points apiece as they combined to shoot 14-of-15 from the floor. Bol even showed off his ball handling with a coast-to-coast slam that had the Raptors’ bench impressed, But aside from those two, you know it’s a rough night when your 5th guy off the bench is your third-leading scorer as Admiral Schofield had 13 points in 19 minutes. No disrespect to Schofield. The dynamic duo of Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero scored nine points apiece while shooting a combined 6-of-16. Not a great showing for the Magic as they drop their 8th straight game.
  • On the other hand, the Toronto Raptors were cooking on offense. OG Anunoby tied his career-high with 33 points in 32 minutes. Pascal Siakam flirted with a triple-double as he finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, and ten assists. Scottie Barnes had a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds while shooting 8-of-10 from the field with his two misses being his two three-point attempts. In a game where both rosters are predicated on big wing play and length defensively, the Raptors showed the Magic that they still have a long way to go.

 

Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors, Warriors win 120-101

Top Performers

Kevin Porter Jr.

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
20 3 4 6/16 1/9 7/7 2 0

Stephen Curry

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
20 3 10 10/21 8/17 0/2 1 1

Key Points

  • This game came down to three-point shooting and when that happens, you always bet on the team with Wardell Stephen Curry. The combination of Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins alone combined for 66 points while hitting 16 of the Golden State’s 25 made threes. The Houston Rockets only had three makes on their 28 attempts. If the Warriors are going to make nearly as many threes as you take, that’s game over from tip-off. Jordan Poole also had a good night with 21 points and five assists while hitting five threes.
  • The Rockets had five guys finish in double figures including rookie forward Tari Eason who had 13 points and ten rebounds off the bench. But when Kevin Porter Jr. shoots 1-of-9 and Jalen Green shoots 0-of-5 from three, there’s not much more reliable scoring on this Houston roster to be able to overcome that.

 

Portland Trailblazers vs. Utah Jazz, Blazers win 116-111

Top Performers

Anfernee Simons

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
45 2 4 15/25 7/12 8/8 1 2

Lauri Markkanen

PTS REB AST FG% 3P% FT% STL BLK
21 6 2 4/10 4/6 9/9 3 1

Key Points

  • Mama, there goes that man! Anfernee Simons came out on a mission last night and delivered as he scored a career-high 45 points and even blocked a potential three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to help seal the victory over the Utah Jazz. Jerami Grant played wingman for Simons as he finished with 33 points while attempting a game-high 14 free throws. These two carried in this game as the only other Blazer to score double figures was Jusuf Nurkic who had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Despite all their injuries including significant missed time by Damian Lillard, this Portland team continues to find a way to pull out close games.
  • The Utah Jazz finished with five players in double figures as Jordan Clarkson led the charge with 24 points, but it just wasn’t enough. This was one of those games for the Jazz that came down to late-game execution which begs the question: Has the tank for Wembenyama officially started in Utah? The early season story was cute, and they have a few guys on a redemption tour, but they are 4-6 in their last ten and with teams like the Magic and Rockets sitting comfortably atop the Wemby sweepstakes, the Jazz may want to start considering how long they want this feel-good story to last.