Yesterday was MLK Day and like every other year, NBA teams marked the occasion by honoring the man and by playing some great standoffs. All in all, ten games were played and we were treated to some truly memorable moments.
In New York City, the home Knicks hosted the Philadelphia 76ers who have been looking much better these last few weeks and they really put the Knicks to the test. The game went to two overtimes and in the end, the Knicks managed to pull out a win 119-113.
The Charlotte Hornets hosted the Utah Jazz and believe it or not, this game also went to double overtime with the Jazz finding ways to claw their way back into the game on more than a few occasions. In the end, Kemba Walker’s 52 points were just too much for the injured Jazz who lost 124-119. The Portland Trailblazers went to Washington to play the Wizards and they pulled out a surprising win, 108-98. McCollum shot like he was possessed, hitting 6 of 10 from the three-point line. For the Wizards, Wall had a completely reverse night, shooting only 4 of 17 from the field.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been on a roll lately and yesterday, it was the New Orleans Pelicans who found themselves on the other end of that roll. They took the game to the line, but a clever Marc Gasol tip ensured the Grizzlies won this one 101-99. Everyone expected the Magic – Hawks matchup played in Atlanta to be a true battle between two East Conference teams. In the end, only the Hawks seemed to have come out to play, taking this one with ease 98-81.
The Brooklyn Nets traveled north to play the Toronto Raptors and to everyone’s surprise, they were leading heading into the fourth quarter. The Raptors turned on the heat in the fourth, however, winning it 31-16 for a 112-100 victory. The game of the night was supposed to be the rematch from last year’s Finals, with the Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the Golden State Warriors. It ended up being a total dismantling of the home team. The Warriors won 132-98 and that was not even the biggest lead of the game.
The Dallas Mavericks hosted the Boston Celtics and the game was the third of the night that went to overtime. Nowitzki had to give it his all to win this one, scoring 31 points and pulling down 11 boards in a 118-113 win. The last game of the night also went to overtime, with the home LA Clippers taking on the Houston Rockets for a Western Conference matchup of the day. Dwight Howard made 36 points and 26 rebounds, but it was not enough to beat the Clippers who were led by J.J. Redick who posted career-high 40 points. The Clips won 140-132.