There is no such thing as a dull Saturday night in the NBA. Even with a handful of injuries already plaguing the league, the talent continues to carry the torch for some exciting games. With guys like Joel Embiid, Bradley Beal, Fred VanVleet, and a few other big-time players out, we still managed to get a few down-to-the-wire games, and some players put together some unexpected clutch performances. So, from last night’s games, we’re going to celebrate the unsung heroes of the NBA who held down the fort and gave us a fun slate of Saturday night games even in spite of the lack of star power.

Tyler Herro

27 8 2 10/23 1/7 6/6 1 0

On what has been a troublesome Western Conference road trip for Miami, this was just the win the Heat needed. After dropping three games in a row, the Miami Heat picked up a much-needed 111-105 victory over the Utah Jazz on the backs of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson. With Jimmy Butler (ankle sprain) and Marcus Morris (whiplash) both out, the young guns held their own as the two combined for 49 points. They were two of the Heat’s five players to score in double figures. All-Star guard Kyle Lowry was also a big help in the backcourt as he chipped in with 21 points of his own. Lastly, the frontcourt duo of Bam Adebayo and PJ Tucker were the catalysts to Miami dominating the battle on the boards as the Heat outscored the Jazz in the paint 50 to 36. Adebayo finished the game with a near triple-double with 13 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds. Tucker secured a double-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and he hit all three of his threes. Now Miami sits at a record of 8-5 as they close out their five-game road trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Bojan Bogdanovic

26 6 3 8/19 6/13 4/4 0 0

Coming off of an eventful loss against the Indiana Pacers that involved multiple Utah Jazz players being ejected, this was not exactly the rebound performance they were looking for. The end score may indicate that this was a close game, but truthfully the Jazz were never in control as they were at one point down by as much as 27 points. Nonetheless, they did have some solid performances amongst their key guys which is something to build upon. Bojan Bogdanovic led the charge with 26 and Jordan Clarkson provided big-time support with 25 points off the bench. The Utah All-Star duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert also bounced back in a big way following Thursday’s scuffle. Mitchell played a team-high 37 minutes and scored 22 points despite struggling from beyond the arc (3-of-10). Gobert did his normal damage on the boards as he posted yet another double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Jazz are now 8-5 as they continue their five-game Eastern Conference road trip as they face off against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Spencer Dinwiddie

23 11 6 10/18 3/9 0/0 0 1

With Bradley Beal out due to the passing of his grandmother, it was up to Spencer Dinwiddie and the Washington Wizards to hold down the fort in the All-Star’s absence. They did exactly as the Wizards defeated the Orlando Magic, 104-92. The three players who really stepped for the Wizards were Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell. Dinwiddie led the team with 23 points and rounded out a double-double by tacking on 11 rebounds. Kuzma also recorded a double-double of his own with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Then there is Harrell who is making a strong case for, yet another 6th Man of the Year award as he dropped 20 points in 20 minutes. In spite of missing their leading scorer, that did not hold them back from dominating scoring in the paint in this one as they won that battle 42 to 26. The Wizards are now on a four-game winning streak as they unexpectedly sit atop the Eastern Conference with a record of 8-3. Next up on the agenda, they host the New Orleans Pelicans.

Cole Anthony

22 4 8 4/16 3/9 11/12 0 1

Although their recent NBA lottery picks, Jalen Suggs, and Franz Wagner, did not have that great of an outing, the Magic should still be proud of the performance from three of their other potential building blocks. First up is Cole Anthony who finished with a team-high 22 points and has easily been Orlando’s best player this season. Despite struggling from the floor, Anthony was relentless in terms of getting to the line as he led all players with 12 free throw attempts. The other two guys are the two big young men down low: Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. One could argue that Bamba was actually the player of the game for the Magic more so than Anthony with the way he performed on both ends of the floor. He finished the game with a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds along with three big blocks. Then there is Carter Jr. who nearly recorded a double-double of his own with 17 points and seven rebounds as he showed a little bit of range, hitting four threes. Similar to Bamba, Carter Jr. showed life on the defensive end, but instead of blocking shots, he was playing passing lanes and recorded a team-high three steals. For a team that does not have high expectations to win this season, getting well-rounded performances from some of the team’s key young guys should bring some joy to Orlando Magic fans. They now sit at 3-9 as they head home for the start of their five-game homestand, welcoming the Atlanta Hawks.

Justin Holiday

27 2 1 9/11 6/8 3/4 0 0

The Indiana Pacers extended the Philadelphia 76ers’ losing streak to four-straight games after beating them 118-113 on the back of their depth. Six guys finished the game scoring in double figures, Domantas Sabonis finished with a double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Malcolm Brogdon finished with a triple-double on the night (13 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists). But the star of the show for Indiana was small forward Justin Holiday who came in off the bench and dropped 27 points on 11 shots in 28 minutes. The Pacers pretty much won through strength in numbers in this one and of course, it helped that the Sixers were without both Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle. Indiana sits at 6-8 as they prepare for a three-game homestand, which begins by hosting the New York Knicks.

Tobias Harris

32 11 3 10/22 3/4 9/10 0 0

Even Vegas knew that the Sixers were in trouble as the opening bets came in favoring the Indiana Pacers by as much as nine points. In the end, Philly covered the spread, but this early downward spiral is quickly plummeting them down the standings. In this one, the two lead guys for the Sixers were Tobias Harris and second-year guard Tyrese Maxey who combined for 56 points. Shoutout to Maxey who has gotten a much larger role with the absence of Ben Simmons and with that, he actually played 42 minutes which led all players. Andre Drummond also got a bit involved as he posted a somewhat inefficient double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds on 4-of-12 shooting. With Embiid still out due to Covid protocols, the Sixers are star-less going into a stretch where the schedule is about to get significantly more difficult. Philly sits at 8-6 as they prepare for a five-game West trip starting with Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker

21 3 1 7/14 2/6 5/6 2 0

The New Orleans Pelicans snapped their nine-game losing streak with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies, 112-101. This was the team’s first home victory of the season as Nickeil Alexander-Walker put on a show for the home crowd with a team-high 21 points. This was also the return of Brandon Ingram who missed the past seven games as well as the revenge game for former Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas. The two combined for 34 points and 12 rebounds on the night. Hopefully, this win instills a bit of confidence as they sit at 2-12 with the Washington Wizards next up on the schedule.

Ja Morant

22 9 10 8/17 3/5 3/3 1 0

Surely a disappointing game for the Grizzlies as they were down by as much as 22 points in this game against an inferior squad. This was Dillon Brooks’ second game back from his hand injury and he showed signs of being back to normal, finishing the game with 23 points and five rebounds. Ja Morant continues to build his case as a potential MVP candidate as he once again flirted with a triple-double and was a big part of how the Grizzlies even kept this game close. Notably, Memphis’s budding star power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. had a tough night with only four points and three rebounds, but he did get two blocks and two steals. Jackson Jr. seems to be slowly rounding out as a solid defensive player, but Memphis needs him to match that energy on the defensive end if they look to be a legitimate playoff team in the West. The Grizzlies will welcome rookie phenom Jalen Green and the Houston Rockets in their next game.

Jerami Grant

24 5 5 8/16 2/3 6/6 0 1

In a game that came down to the wire, it was all about late-game execution for the Detroit Pistons. In the 127-121 victory over the Toronto Raptors, Jerami Grant scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. Rookie guard Cade Cunningham also came up big in the 4th as he hit two big shots in the final two minutes of the game to help hold off the Raptors. In the win, Detroit finished with seven players scoring in double figures and they got 44 points from their bench. Next up, the Pistons start their five-game road trip heading West as they look to take on the Sacramento Kings.

Pascal Siakam

25 12 7 9/14 2/3 5/9 1 0

Tough loss for the Toronto Raptors who played without both Fred VanVleet (groin) and Precious Achiuwa (shoulder tendinitis). Nonetheless, the Raptors ended with six players in double figures as Pascal Siakam led the way with a near triple-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists. They also got solid play out of their two rookies Scottie Barnes and Dalano Banton who combined for 23 points, nine rebounds and they each had a steal. Can’t forget about Gary Trent (23 points) and OG Anunoby (17 points) who also had solid outings as well. Sitting at a 7-7 record, Toronto kickstarts their six-game road trip against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Darius Garland

28 4 3 10/19 2/4 6/6 0 0

Darius Garland led the way as the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied from a 19-point deficit to take down the Boston Celtics, 91-89. Of Garland’s 28 points, none were more important than the two free throws he knocked down with 9.4 seconds to seal the victory. He also got a lot of help from his frontcourt as the duo of Jarrett Allen and rookie forward Evan Mobley combined for 30 points, 17 rebounds, four steals and Mobley had three blocks. With the win, the Cavaliers surprisingly advanced to 9-5 (4th in the East) and do so with their lead point guard Collin Sexton still on the shelf with a torn meniscus. Next, they prepare for the second matchup of their two-game set against the Boston Celtics.

Dennis Schroder

28 4 6 7/15 2/8 6/6 1 0

Schroder may have missed the jumper that could have sent the game into overtime, but this game was nip and tuck for a majority of the 4th quarter. In the final seven minutes of the game, there were five lead changes and seven ties, but the Celtics just could not finish the job. Nonetheless, they were playing without star guard Jaylen Brown and Schroder filled the role seamlessly as he led the team with 28 points. They also got a solid performance from Jayson Tatum who finished with 21 points despite struggling from three (1-of-8). Robert Williams continues to impress as he finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor. With a lot of the internal transitions within the franchise, the Celtics seem to still be in search of their identity under new head coach Ime Udoka. It will take time but first, they need to get healthy as they have a handful of players like Brown, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford all out due to injury.

Paul George

23 9 4 10/17 3/5 0/0 0 0

Paul George led the way as the LA Clippers extended their winning streak to seven games as they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in blowout fashion, 129-102. Alongside George, Reggie Jackson added 21 points, but truthfully this game was all about the Clippers’ bigs. Both Ivica Zubac (10 points, 12 rebounds) and Isaiah Hartenstein (12 points, 12 rebounds) finished with double-doubles. They also played a big part in holding T-Wolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns to only eight points. Next up, the Clippers look to continue their winning ways as they prepare to take on Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls.

Anthony Edwards

21 9 3 9/22 2/6 1/2 0 0

Rough night for Karl-Anthony Towns who was held to 3-of-11 shooting by the LA Clippers defense. But with Towns struggling, a few other guys did get to show out a little bit. D’Angelo Russell and Jaden McDaniels both scored 15 points apiece. Then of course the scoring machine that is Anthony Edwards stepped up in a big way with 21 points and was a rebound away from a double-double. After a hot start to the season, the Wolves have dropped six of their last seven with the defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns next up on the schedule.