Brooklyn Nets vs. Toronto Raptors

The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 116-103 in Pascal Siakam’s first game of the NBA season. It was the Nets’ fifth straight victory, though it should be noted that two of those five victories came against the lowly Detroit Pistons—sorry Pistons fans!

The Nets’ two superstars, James Harden and Kevin Durant did not disappoint in this game. Durant scored 31 points (11-18 FG, 3-6 3PT) and added seven rebounds, seven assists, and seven turnovers. Harden notched a near-triple-double with 28 (10-20 FG, 3-10 3PT) points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and two turnovers. Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown continue to start alongside Joe Harris and the two superstars. It’s unclear whether or not Nicolas Claxton will still be the starting center when he returns from this “non-Covid illness,” but he’ll be out for another two weeks, so Griffin gets extra time to make his case to be the starter. Both Brown and Griffin had solid games. Griffin’s state line: 14 points (5-9 FG, 4-6 3PT), 11 rebounds, three assists, and one turnover. Brown’s line: 12 points (6-11 FG, 0-2 3PT), four rebounds, two assists, and one turnover. Patty Mills is outplaying Joe Harris so far this season, on the strength of his unsustainable hot shooting and better playmaking. Mills is shooting 50% from three and has dished out 28 assists, while Joe Harris has accumulated just 11 assists.  The three-point shooting will regress, but the playmaking should be sustainable, especially with Kyrie Irving absent.

Raptors Notes

Pascal Siakam immediately moved back into the starting lineup, pushing Precious Achiuwa to the bench. Siakam had a solid showing considering he’d been sidelined for months. Siakam’s final line: 15 points (5-12 FG, 1-3 3PT), four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks. It looks like fantasy managers who took the calculated risk of drafting Siakam will be rewarded, as he’s returned earlier than expected and could be primed for a high-usage season. Achiuwa seemed to benefit from the reduced role, as he was much more efficient than in recent games. His final line: 13 points (6-11 FG, 1-2 3PT), eight rebounds, one steal, and one block. Keep an eye on Achuiawa’s minute totals over the next week or two to see how much his minutes are reduced once Siakam gets his rhythm and conditioning back.

Siakam’s return could also influence Scottie Barnes‘ usage and shot attempts. Barnes had an impressive, Andrei Kirilenko-esque performance in this game, but he took only seven shots, his lowest total of the season. Barnes’ final line: eight points (4-7 FG, 0-1 3PT,) seven rebounds, four assists, five steals, and one turnover. There may be a handful fewer shot attempts for Barnes now, but the responsibility of sacrificing to accommodate Siakam should fall primarily on Achiuwa, Chris Boucher, and Gary Trent Jr.

OG Anunoby was a popular preseason pick to win the Most Improved Player award this season and so far, he’s lived up to that billing. On the season, he’s averaging 20.2 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one turnover, and 0.6 blocks, while shooting 41% from the field, 36% from three, and 84% from the free-throw line. Siakam’s return should be a boon for Anunoby’s field goal percentage, if not his raw counting stats. Anunoby is sporting the highest usage rate of his career at 24% so far this season. In this game, Anunoby tallied 16 points (7-16 FG, 1-6 3PT), eight rebounds, three assists, and two turnovers. Fred VanVleet‘s final state line: 21 points (6-14 FG, 3-8 3PT), three rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and one turnover.

Chris Boucher played just eight minutes in this game. You simply can’t trust that he’ll get enough minutes to be productive right now. He’s playing just 13 mpg this season, whereas last season he played 24 mpg. Hopefully, he and Nick Nurse make time for some joint therapy sessions and work things out.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New York Knicks

The Cavaliers defeated the New York Knicks 126-109 to keep their hot start to the season going. I’m not sure if the competence and fight of this Cavaliers team are still catching opposing teams off-guard or if they’re just good, but the Cavs are an impressive 7-4 after this win. Ricky Rubio had himself a ballgame, setting a new career-high for points and conjuring up memories of his mysterious teenage phenom days. Rubio finished the game with 37 points (13-19 FG, 8-9 3PT), three rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, and four turnovers. Rubio has probably been one of the better if not the best backup point guard in the league this season and if you were smart enough to pick him up a game or two ago—like I did in our Razzball Writer’s League—you’re feeling pretty good right about now. For the season, Rubio is averaging 13.7 points, three rebounds, six assists, one steal, and three turnovers with shooting splits of 40/42/87. Rubio has never shot better than 36% from three so it’s reasonable to expect some regression in that department, but given that he’s playing 27 mpg he’ll have plenty of opportunities to compile assists and steals.

I hope you were smart enough or lucky enough to draft Evan Mobley this season—I was not and I may never recover from this emotional injury. Mobley continues to throw salt in the wounds of everyone who doubted him this season. His final line in this game: 26 points (11-15 FG, 2-4 3PT), nine rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block, and one turnover. On the season, he’s averaging 14.9 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and one turnover with shooting splits of 52/23/80. He seems like a lock for future All-Star games, all-defense selections, 20 and 10 seasons, and a random season averaging two blocks a game. He might even average four or five assists a game at some point. He looks like the defender everyone believed Jaren Jackson Jr. to be and fortunately for Mobley, it’s much easier to develop a competent three-point stroke than it is to develop the defensive instincts he has in droves as a rookie.

Jarret Allen‘s stat line: 18 points (8-15 FG), 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three turnovers. Darius Garland‘s final line: 16 points (6-14 FG, 4-5 3PT), three rebounds, five assists, one steal, and three turnovers.

Collin Sexton left this game due to a knee injury and therefore only play 12 minutes.

Knicks Notes

Julius Randle led the Knicks in scoring, but Randle’s poor shooting start to the season continued in this game. Randle’s final line: 19 points (7-17 FG, 1-5 3PT), seven rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one block, and two turnovers. Derrick Rose had an efficient night as a spot starter for Kemba Walker who sat out due to injury. Rose’s final line: 17 points (8-14 FG, 1-2 3PT), one rebound, five assists, and one steal.

Evan Fournier‘s final line: 15 points (5-13 FG, 2-7 3PT), three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one turnover. It was a rough shooting game for RJ Barrett. His final line: 6 points (3-13 FG, 0-6 3PT), three rebounds, one assist, and four turnovers.

The Swat Team tandem of Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel is back to full strength and the results are unkind for opposing drivers. Robinson’s line: eight points (3-3 FG), seven rebounds, one assist, and five blocks. Noel’s final line: five points (2-2 FG), six rebounds, three steals, three blocks, and two turnovers. There was talk of Noel developing a three-point shot, at least from the corners, but he’s yet to log a three-point attempt this season. Give the people want they want Noel! Noel is once again averaging 24 mpg and receiving praise from Tom Thibodeau in post-game press conferences, so any concerns about him falling out of favor as a result of Mitchell Robinson being healthy should be assuaged.

 

Utah Jazz vs. Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic defeated the Utah Jazz 107-100, behind another strong performance and chaotic good press conference from Cole Anthony, who has been the Magic’s best player this season and he’s injecting an otherwise boring and steady franchise with some excitement and unpredictability. He finished the game with 33 points (13-20 FG, 5-10 3PT), three rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks, and two turnovers. Anthony’s overall improvement looks real, even if he won’t shoot this well from three all season (41.4% on threes). Anthony’s backcourt mate, Jalen Suggs, is still struggling. His final line: 6 points (3-10 FG, 0-2 3PT), two rebounds, five assists, and four turnovers.

Wendell Carter Jr. looks like a new man in Orlando—but of course, he does! Central Florida is exactly the place to go to carve out a new identity for yourself. The imagined best version of Carter Jr. is probably a more potent shot-blocker, but he’s otherwise actualizing all of the potential he flashed in between bouts of injury in Chicago. He finished the game with 22 points (9-14 FG, 4-7 3PT), 15 rebounds, six assists, one block, and one turnover. Carter Jr. is making 39.5% of his threes so far this season, which would be a career-high if it kept up for the entire season. Mo Bamba continues to block everything in sight. His final line: nine points (4-6 FG, 1-2 3PT), seven rebounds, one assist, two steals, and four blocks. Franz Wagner‘s hot shooting has started to cool down, but the flashes remain incredibly encouraging. Though he was just four of 10 from the field in this game, he mixed in two nice finishes around Rudy Gobert, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. His final line on the evening: 10 points (4-10 FG, 0-1 3PT), four rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

Jazz Notes

Donovan Mitchell has a 35.3% usage rate this season, a career-high, and is shooting just 41.8% from the field and 29.9% from three. 10.8 of his 22.3 FGA are coming from three-point range. Mitchell just has to shoot better and I’m confident he will. For his career, he’s shot 43.8% from the field and 36% from three. He shot 38.6% from three on eight attempts a game last season. Unfortunately, the impending positive regression did not begin in this game—21 points (8-24 FG, 2-12 3PT), seven rebounds, seven assists, and three turnovers.

Joe Ingles started in place of Mike Conley, who sat out due to injury management. Ingles had a forgettable game and finished the night with five points (2-9 FG, 1-7 3PT), three rebounds, six assists, one steal, and two turnovers. Bojan Bogdanovic finished the game with 13 points (4-13 FG, 1-5 3PT), four rebounds, and one assist. Jordan Clarkson finished the game with six points (2-13 FG, 2-11 3PT), one rebound, three assists, one steal, two blocks, and three turnovers. As you can see, it was an unusually cold (shooting) night in central Florida.

Both Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside recorded double-doubles. Gobert’s final line: 14 points (7-9 FG), 15 rebounds, one assist, three steals, four blocks, and four turnovers. Whiteside’s final line:12 points (5-9 FG), 10 rebounds, one block, and three turnovers.

 

Washington Wizards vs. Milwaukee Bucks 

The Washington Wizards defeated an undermanned Milwaukee Bucks squad 101-94, behind Bradley Beal‘s efficient 30 points. The strong start to the season continues for the Wizards, as they’re now 7-3. Beal finished the game with 30 points (14-22 FG, 2-3 3PT), five rebounds, eight assists, one block, and six turnovers. Kyle Kuzma continues his Dennis Rodman interpretation on the boards, notching a double-double with 15 points (6-11 FG, 3-8 3PT), 10 rebounds, five assists, one block, and three turnovers. Kuzma is averaging a career-high nine rebounds so far this season.

Spencer Dinwiddie has played well to start the season after missing much of last season due to a partially torn ACL. Dinwiddie is a classic “junk guard” in fantasy, meaning he’s going to put up counting stats but will shoot relatively poorly. He’s never shot above 44% for a season and this year he’s shooting just 42% from the field, but his numbers everywhere else are solid. For the season, he’s averaging 15.9 points, four rebounds, five assists, and one turnover with shooting splits of 42/38/96. If Dinwiddie can maintain his three-point percentage—which is unlikely, as he’s a career 32% from three—he’ll salvage some unexpected efficiency for managers. His clutch three-pointer with 20 seconds left notwithstanding, it was a poor game for Dinwiddie—six points (2-8 FG, 2-5 3PT), two rebounds, four assists, and one turnover.

Montrezl Harrell continued his efficient start to the season by scoring 15 points (5-7 FG) and adding four rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, and three turnovers. For the season, Harrell is averaging 17.7 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one block, and one turnover with shooting splits of 63/20/82. His rebounds per game and free-throw percentage would both be career-highs if he kept them up all season.

Daniel Gafford‘s final line: 11 points (5-6 FG), eight rebounds, and two blocks.

Bucks Notes

Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s stellar performance wasn’t enough to get the win, but fantasy managers have to love the fact that Giannis played 39 minutes and stuffed the stat sheet, finishing the game with 29 points (12-26 FG, 0-4 3PT), 18 rebounds, five assists, three steals, one block, and three turnovers.

Whatever rift in the space-time continuum is allowing Grayson Allen to succeed needs to be repaired immediately! Allen finished the game with 19 points (6-12 FG, 3-8 3PT), one rebound, two assists, four steals, and one turnover. In all seriousness, Allen is a solid player, who has handled the increased opportunity provided by the Bucks’ injuries quite well. As long as he doesn’t return to trying out various WWE moves during NBA games, some people outside of Milwaukee might be able to find it within themselves to root for him.

Bobby Portis‘ final line: 13 points (6-17 FG, 1-3 3PT), 13 rebounds, two assists, four steals, two blocks, and two turnovers. Portis is getting all the minutes he can handle with Brook Lopez sidelined. Jrue Holiday‘s final line: 14 points (6-16 FG, 2-7 3PT), five rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two turnovers.

Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton remain sidelined.

 

Indiana Pacers vs Sacramento Kings

The Pacers held off the hard-charging Sacramento Kings to secure the 94-91 victory. In classic Pacers fashion, all five starters scored in double figures, led by Caris LeVert‘s 22 points (9-22 FG, 1-5 3PT), six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block, and three turnovers. Domontas Sabonis had a solid game with 17 points (7-13 FG, 0-3 3PT), 10 rebounds, one assist, three steals, and three turnovers.

Myles Turner‘s rollercoaster of a season continues—all of a sudden he can rebound the basketball!? His final line in this game: 12 points (4-10 FG, 2-5 3PT), 15 rebounds, three assists, one steal, five blocks, and one turnover. But let’s dive further into the numbers!

Turner has taken less than 10 shots in six of the Pacer’s 11 games this season. No other regular starter has done that more than twice this season. In two of the games where he’s taken less than 10 shots, he played fewer than 20 minutes. He played 16 minutes on October 23 against the Miami Heat and 14 minutes on October 25 against the Bucks. His pedestrian Heat performance came just a day after he scored 40 points (15-22 FG, 5-9 3PT) and Domontas Sabonis played 43 minutes in the same game. It’s clear that Rick Carlisle sees Turner as more matchup dependent than Sabonis and Turner will no doubt be the first person to get frozen out of the offense if the ball isn’t moving well.

Those are the negatives, but here are some strong positives: Turner has tied his career-high by averaging 14.5 points a game; he’s shooting a career-high 53.4% from the field and 41% from three and grabbing a career-high eight rebounds a game. Here’s more bad news, Turner has shot 50% or better from the field just once in his career and he’s a career 35.5% from three. Nonetheless, all indications are that Turner is going to have a strong season this year even if his three-point shooting takes a slight dip moving forward. He’s providing great value as a shot-blocking (2.9 bpg), three-point shooting anchor for fantasy teams this season.

Chris Duarte‘s iconoclastic veteran rookie season looks to be real. Duarte finished the game with 15 points (6-12 FG, 2-5 3PT), five rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two turnovers. For the season, he’s averaging 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal, 0.1 blocks, and one turnover with shooting splits of 44/42/86. TJ McConnell started in place of Malcolm Brogdon and had a very nice game—18 points (8-13 FG), seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and four turnovers.

Kings Notes

Harrison Barnes led the Kings in scoring with 22 points (6-15 FG, 1-6 3Pt), four rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Although he missed what could have been a sick 30-foot game-winning three-pointer, Tyrese Haliburton had a strong fourth quarter and was central to the Kings’ comeback. In the fourth quarter, Haliburton scored 11 points (4-8 FG, 3-4 3PT) and added two rebounds, three steals, and just one turnover. It appears that Haliburton is starting to get comfortable with his role and find his shooting stroke. He finished the game with 17 points (7-14 FG, 3-6 3PT), three rebounds, one assist, three steals, and three turnovers.

It took De’Aaron Fox 19 shots to score 17 points, but he at least tallied some defensive stats. His final line: 17 points (7-19 FG, 1-3 3PT), three rebounds, two assists, three steals, and three turnovers. Fox should probably limit his pull-up threes to a minimum, given that he’s just 1-23 on those shots this season (after nine games).

Richaun Holmes had a fairly quiet night, finishing the game with 11 points (2-4 FG), nine rebounds, one block, and two turnovers. Buddy Hield got hot late in the game and finished the night with 17 points (6-16 FG, 5-12 3PT), four rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block, and two turnovers. Davion Mitchell‘s final line: 2 points (1-7 FG, 0-1 3PT), three rebounds, six assists, one steal, one block, and one turnover.

 

Sacramento Kings vs Oklahoma City Thunder

The feisty Oklahoma City Thunder outlasted the San Antonia Spurs 99-94 in a defensive struggle Sunday night. Very few players shot well in this game, but the Thunder did just enough to take home the win.

Given the lack of surrounding talent, it’s reasonable to expect Shail Gilgeous-Alexander to finish this season with lower efficiency numbers than he put up last season. Gilgeous-Alexander is shooting 44.4% from the field this season, which would be the lowest mark of his career, were it to last. His final line on the night: 14 points (5-15 FG, 1-6 3PT), eight rebounds, nine assists, one steal, one block, and three turnovers.

This was not one of Josh Giddey‘s better games this season, as he finished the evening with seven points (3-10 FG, 1-6 3PT), seven rebounds, four assists, and four turnovers. Darius Bazley, on the other hand, had a solid double-double—11 points (4-9 FG, 1-1 3PT), 11 rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, and two turnovers. Lugentz Dort had an okay game and finished the night with 13 points (5-14 FG, 1-7 3PT), seven rebounds, and one turnover.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl started this game and finished the night with 13 points (5-9 FG, 3-5 3PT), four rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and one turnover. Mike Muscala tallied 20 points (5-6 FG, 3-4 3PT), four rebounds, and two blocks in just 14 minutes.

Spurs Notes

Keldon Johnson led the Spurs in scoring and was one of the few efficient players for either team. Johnson finished the game with 22 points (9-16 FG, 0-1 3PT), six rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, and one turnover. Dejounte Murray‘s final line: 10 points (5-19 FG, 0-4 3PT), eight rebounds, nine assists, three steals, one block, and three turnovers.

Remember when I said very few players shot well in this game? Derrick White was most definitely not one of those few players. White went scoreless last night and his full stat line, naturally, has a lot of zeros in it: 0 points (0-10 FG, 0-4 3PT), three rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block, and two turnovers. White is not as young as you might think at 27 years old and it feels less and less likely each day that he’ll make some significant skill leap that drastically impacts his production. For the season he’s averaging 12.3 points, three rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block, and one turnover with shooting splits of 38/32/76. White is a fun source of out of position blocks at least, he averaged a block a game in 36 games last season as well.

Drew Eubanks notched a double-double as the starting center with Jakob Poetl sidelined in this game. Eubanks’ final line: 14 points (7-8 FG), 11 rebounds, two assists, three blocks, and two turnovers.

All of Thaddeus Young‘s highest minute totals have come in the last three games. Whatever brain fog that was preventing Greg Popovich from properly appreciating Young’s talents appears to be fading away. Young finished this game with 10 points (5-5 FG), eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two turnovers. Lonnie Walker IV and Doug McDermott were also in double figures with 15 points and 10 points respectively.

 

Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have had a relatively easy schedule to start the season, but they are beating the teams in front of them. After beating the Rockets 120-107, they are 8-1 on the season and sit alone at the top of the Western Conference. These early-season wins could be a crucial buffer that helps them withstand an injury to Steph Curry or a short losing streak at some point this season. The Warriors had this game wrapped up in the third quarter, so much so that neither Draymond Green nor Steph Curry played a minute in the final period.

Jordan Poole did something Steph Curry could not—get to the free-throw line. Poole was a perfect nine of nine from the free-throw line and finished the game with 25 points (7-13 FG, 2-7 3PT), four rebounds, five assists, one steal, and three turnovers. Steph Curry had a solid, but not spectacular game—a luxury with this deeper, more complementary roster. Curry’s final line: 20 points (8-16 FG, 4-11 3PT), three rebounds, two assists, three steals, and 0 turnovers.

Draymond Green forced his will on the Rockets and displayed his all-around skill, finishing the game with six points (3-5 FG, 0-1 3PT), eight rebounds, nine assists, one steal, one block, and six turnovers. Andrew Wiggins supplied his usual scoring and low-volume production across the board. Wiggins’ final line: 16 points (4-11 FG, 1-5 3PT), three rebounds, two assists, and three turnovers.

Otto Porter Jr. got hot from three and finished the game with 15 points (5-9 FG, 5-7 3PT), nine rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block.

Gary Payton II has to be the shortest guy in the league to play in the dunker spot as often as he does. Payton continued to be a positive two-way contributor in this game, finishing with 10 points (5-6 FG) three rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Payton is one of the best on-ball defenders in the league and a hardcore ball-hawk. If he’s going to play 15 to 20 mpg he’s well-worth a roster spot in 14-team leagues and larger. He is also, smartly, being used as a big man in the pick-and-roll, similar to Bruce Brown. Check out this video from Anthony Slate, of The Athletic, which details a play the Warriors have implanted for Payton:

Rockets Notes

Christian Wood didn’t have a good game against the Warriors (the Draymond Green effect), but he’s without a doubt the Rockets’ best player. He finished the game with four points (2-5 FG, 0-1 3PT), one rebound, one assist, four steals, and three turnovers.

After Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate is the best two-way player on the Rockets. Tate is a strong, solid defender. Neither LeBron James nor Russell Westbrook had much success attacking him in the Rockets’ last matchup against the Lakers. But of late, Tate has been doing more scoring than we’re used to seeing from him. Tate is averaging 11.4 points a game this season, but he’s averaging 16.2 points in his last four games. He finished this game with 21 points (7-11 FG, 2-4 3PT), 10 rebounds, and two turnovers. For the season, he’s averaging 11.4 points, six rebounds, two assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks with shooting splits of 50/29/76. You’d like to see him be more of a defensive playmaker for fantasy purposes, but his offensive flashes suggest he’s an improved player this year, even if his number across the board are almost identical. I’ll be interested to see if he can increase his scoring average this season.

Jalen Green will eventually be better than Jae’ Sean Tate, maybe even by the end of this season, but right now, Green is inefficient and inconsistent. His flashes are eye-popping and he already has the ability to drop 30 points on any given night. Last night, was not one of those nights. He finished the game with nine points (4-12 FG, 1-6 3PT), two assists, one steal, and four turnovers. The Kevin Porter Jr. point-guard experiment isn’t going to end any time soon, but let’s just say, it doesn’t seem like the sweater fits. Porter Jr. finished this game with 11 points (3-9 FG, 1-3 3PT), one rebound, seven assists, and three turnovers.

Daniel Theis is alive! After I wrote about how little production Theis had provided this season, he strung together a couple of solid games. You’re welcome, fantasy managers! He’s scored in double figures his last two games and recorded his first three steals in those games as well. He finished this game with 14 points (5-7 FG, 2-2 3PT), five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and three turnovers. Something that caught my eye was how confident Theis looked shooting his two threes; he shot the first one with no hesitation and threw in a pass-fake before cashing the second one—something to monitor!

Alperen Sengun continues to make an impact in limited minutes, although you’d like to see him hit more of his free throws. He finished this game with 12 points (3-4 FG, 1-1 3PT, 5-12 FT), five rebounds, one assist, one block, and three turnovers.

 

Charlotte Hornets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers big-brothered the Hornets in this game, beating them 120-106, in large part because of a 22-0 run late in the fourth quarter. In just another sign of how much the NBA has changed, the Hornets got to 100 points first, but Lawler’s Law was no savior for them last night. This game is the blueprint of how the Clippers can win games this year—with a balanced scoring attack and Ivica Zubac being an impactful rim protector and deterrent. The Hornets’ inability to punish Zubac, even when they went small gave the Clippers the advantage.

Paul George had a decent game in this one. He finished the night with 20 points (9-22 FG, 2-10 3PT), nine rebounds, eight assists, one block, and eight turnovers. Had the Clippers lost this game, the post-game line of questions probably would have focused on George’s subpar shooting and eight turnovers. After a win, George’s numbers look more like a player finding a way to impact winning even when your shot isn’t falling at its usual rate. George also had three important scores in the fourth quarter to keep momentum on the Clippers’ side.

Reggie Jackson led the Clippers in scoring in the fourth quarter with 10 points (3-5 FG, 2-4 3PT) and added one rebound and three assists. For the game, Jackson tallied 19 points (7-18 FG, 3-11 3PT), two rebounds, six assists, one steal, and three turnovers. Every time the Hornets seem to be pulling away about to re-take the lead Reggie Jackson seemed to score.

Luke Kennard, Terance Mann, Nicolas Batum, and Ivica Zubac all scored in double-figures. Zubac’s line: 14 points (3-3 FG, 8-8 FT), 11 rebounds, and two blocks. Batum’s final line: 16 points (6-11 FG, 4-9 3PT), six rebounds, one assist, three steals, one block, and one turnover. Mann’s final line: 17 points (5-8 FG, 2-4 3PT), 10 rebounds, three assists, and one turnover. Kennard’s final line: 18 points (6-12 FG, 6-11 3PT), two rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Serge Ibaka played in his first game of the season, though he was out of sorts for most of the game.

Hornets Notes

Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball were keeping the Hornets in the game for most of this and then things just fell apart. As I mentioned above, the Hornets were unable to take advantage of Zubac late in the game but Bridges was the player Zubac was guarding. Bridges hot shooting has cooled off some over the past few games and Terry Rozier is still trying to find his footing after his ankle injuries. Combine that with poor defensive and it’s not a surprise then that the Hornets have lost six of their last eight games and fallen to 5-6.

Bridges final line: 21 points (7-19 FG, 2-6 3PT), four rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block.

LaMelo Ball’s final line: 21 points (8-19 FG, 2-5 3PT), seven rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two turnovers.

Gordon Hayward‘s final line: 15 points (5-14 FG, 2-4 3PT) and seven rebounds.

Terry Rozier‘s final line: 17 points (8-22 FG, 1-9 3PT), eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one turnover. The numbers don’t look great for Rozier, but it felt like he may have turned a corner in this game.

Kelly Oubre had a solid game and finished the evening with 16 points (7-14 FG, 1-6 3PT), four rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and two turnovers.

Cody Martin didn’t shoot the ball well, but he continues to rack up steals. He finished the game with eight points (2-7 FG, 2-3 3PT), three rebounds, two assists, and three steals.