plavevski / Shutterstock.com
Only five games were played throughout the NBA last night, but boy, were those five games amazing! The biggest story of the night took place in the last game, as the Los Angeles Lakers were hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The young Wolves came into Staples Center, looking to get their spirits up after a few losses they suffered recently. The historically bad Lakers seemed like the perfect victim. The matchup offered a number of storylines, one of which is the last time Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett would play against each other in an NBA game. Since the Minnesota veteran did not play in this one, it was a bit of a letdown. Another storyline was Andrew Wiggins facing the player most people compare him to – Kobe himself. This storyline definitely lived up to its potential.
Both stars were on fire last night, with Wiggins scoring 30 points on 13 of 20 shooting and the veteran Bryant bringing even more, scoring 38 points on 10 of 21 shots, also going 11 of 12 from the free throw line. In short, we got to see the old Kobe once again, scoring at will, dishing assists and even pulling down some boards.
The Lakers pulled away in the second quarter but a fourth period comeback gave the Wolves a lead with only 5 minutes left in the game. Then, Black Mamba reminded us once again why he is one of the best ever to play the game. He took over completely in the fourth, sealing the Wolves’ fate for the final score of 119-115.
In the East, we saw an always enticing NY Knicks – Boston Celtics matchup. Both teams played their game, but in the end, the Celtics wore the Knicks down for an away 97-89 win. The funniest moment of the game was Marcus Smart flopping his brains out on a Carmelo Anthony possession. You simply have to see it for yourself to appreciate it.
The Houston Rockets hosted the Miami Heat and had no trouble cooling them off. The Heat were without their inside man Hassan Whiteside and James Harden’s 26 points and 14 assists were enough for the home team to prevail 115-102.
The Phoenix Suns played their first game since Jeff Hornacek was replaced as head coach by Earl Watson and it didn’t bring them much success. The Toronto Raptors were in town and they took home the win, 104-97.
In Portland, the home Trailblazers faced the Milwaukee Bucks and this time it was C. J. McCollum who did much of the heavy lifting, scoring 30. Lillard had 14 points and 12 assists. The Bucks struggled from the free throw line, shooting under 60 percent.