Ten games were played in the NBA last night and there were quite a few surprises along the way. On top of all the surprises, we were treated to a number of very close games between conference rivals which might end up being crucial once we get closer to the playoffs.
The Charlotte Hornets hosted the Atlanta Hawks and the game was close only in the first quarter. The Hornets dominated the Hawks in the second and third quarters, handing them a rather surprising 107-84 blowout loss that very few people expected. For the Hawks, only Paul Millsap came to play, while the Hornets were led by Kemba Walker.
After being sidelined for 16 games, Bradley Beal returned for the Washington Wizards and his return came not a day too early. The Wizards were hosting the Milwaukee Bucks and they had to give their everything to beat the young Bucks team, 106-101.
The Brooklyn Nets had a sellout crowd as the New York Knicks came for an NYC matchup without their leading scorer Carmelo Anthony who was out with a sprained right ankle. He was sorely missed as the Nets managed to end a 5-game losing skid, winning 110-104. Brook Lopez an Thaddeus Young led their team with 20 and 19 points respectively.
The Boston Celtics have been struggling as of lately, losing 4 games in a row before last night’s matchup with the Indiana Pacers. The young Celtics team came out to play and thanks to a balanced offense, they managed to beat the Pacers 103-94 at the TD Garden.
The Minnesota Timberwolves went to Texas to take on the Houston Rockets and once again, they managed to stay in the game until the closing seconds of the game. James Harden proved to be too much, however, scoring 27 points and handing out 11 assists to help the Rockets beat the visiting Wolves 107-104.
The Oklahoma City Thunder won the game against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half, outscoring the visiting team 65 to 42 in the first two quarter. The first half also saw a bit of a tussle between Russel Westbrook on one side and J.J. Barea and Charlie Villanueva on the other. About a minute and a half before halftime, Russ got ejected from the game after a second technical foul, but the OKC managed to stay in control of the game, prevailing in the end 108-89.
The biggest surprise of the evening came in Denver where the home Nuggets handed the Golden State Warriors their third loss of the season. Last night it became more obvious than ever before that the Warriors’ success this season has had a lot to do with Draymond Green who sat out last night’s game.
In Portland, the home Blazers and the visiting Utah Jazz played one of the least attractive games of the evening, with the home team winning in the end 99-85. For the Blazers, Lillard and McCollum got much needed support from Gerald Henderson and Meyers Leonard.
The New Orleans Pelicans went to Sacramento to take on the Kings and thanks to Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon scoring 24 points each, they managed to squeeze a rare away win this season. Cousins had 32 points and 12 rebounds but it was not enough for the Kings not to lose this game 109-97.
The final matchup of the night saw the Miami Heat traveling to LA to take on the Clippers who were without their starting center DeAndre Jordan. The Clips broke the game open in the third quarter during which they outscored the Heat 34 to 17. In the end, they won 104-97.