Within the spirit of Thanksgiving, I really feel it’s solely becoming that I take a second to offer thanks, NBA model. And although I might go on and on for 1,000-plus phrases on why this league makes my coronary heart sing, I’ll hold it to at least one all-encompassing observe: I’m grateful that the NBA has by no means been in nearly as good a spot as it’s in the present day.
In different phrases, I’m grateful that, on the identical evening, we will watch Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland mix for 58 in a blowout win over the Blazers; Trae Younger torch the Sacramento Kings for 35; Kyle Kuzma drop 33 in a loss; DeMar DeRozan and Giannis Antetokounmpo travel in what’s quietly an early contender for sport of the yr; Nikola Jokic return to two-time MVP type as he torches the Thunder all through extra time; Zion Williamson flex on the Spurs in an enormous means; the shorthanded Pistons proceed to play their hearts out as they beat their second-straight Western Convention opponent; and the place we’ll start the recap of Wednesday’s motion, Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic go head-to-head in a battle of top-five abilities.
As you’re passing the candy potatoes in change for inexperienced bean casserole later in the present day, I implore you to consider how grateful you might be that the NBA is the place it’s in the present day by way of expertise. It’s a lovely factor. Now, onto Wednesday’s scores.
Celtics maintain off Mavs in MVP contender face-off, 125-112
I teased within the open (and the headline) however there aren’t sufficient phrases within the English language to explain final evening’s epic duel between Luka Doncic (42 factors, eight rebounds, 9 assists) and Jayson Tatum (37-13-5). Tatum would prevail as Boston’s huge first half — it led 70-49 via two — was sufficient for the C’s to hold on regardless of a late comeback bid from Doncic and co.
Trae Younger, Hawks snap Kings seven-game win streak in 115-106 win
On Tuesday, I wrote that nothing good can final, referencing the Celtics 9 sport win streak coming to an finish towards the Chicago Bulls. The second longest win streak to this point? That belonged to the Kings, who had their seven-game win streak snapped by the hands of Trae Younger (35 factors, seven assists) and the Hawks. Malik Monk (27 on 12-of-18 taking pictures) was Sacramento’s finest offensive risk, whereas De’Aaron Fox’s struggles (18 factors on 7-of-20 taking pictures and a -11 differential for the sport) in the end gave Atlanta the benefit. For now, the beam dims.
Nets floor shorthanded Raptors, win 112-98
Impressively, Toronto — enjoying with out Scottie Barnes, Valuable Achiuwa, Fred VanVleet, Otto Porter Jr., and Pascal Siakam — held Kevin Durant in examine, as he managed simply 12 factors. However it was Okay*rie I*ving who led the way in which for the Nets with 29 as Brooklyn rolled previous the Raptors in Toronto. Ben Simmons, who’s beginning to appear to be himself once more, added 14 factors, six assists, three steals, and two blocks within the win.
Cavs clobber Blazers, 114-96
Timberwolves snap Pacers win streak, win 115-101
Hornets upset Sixers, 107-101
Previous to Wednesday, the Hornets had misplaced 11 of their final 12, and seemed comfortably just like the NBA’s worst workforce. So I feel it’s far to name this win over the 76ers an upset, even supposing Philly was with out Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey.
Bulls stave off Bucks with huge third quarter, win 118-113
DeMar DeRozan’s 36-4-8 evening was sufficient for Chicago to overpower Giannis (36 of his personal, to go together with 11 boards and 7 dimes) and the Bucks, who’re 5-5 of their final 10 video games after the most popular begin to the season. Bear in mind, they continue to be with out Khris Middleton — who was simply assigned a G-League stint with the Wisconsin Herd (eye-ball emoji) — and nonetheless have but to see Joe Ingles in a Milwaukee uniform. However they’ve gotten colder of late, whereas Chicago lastly appears to be placing the items collectively for a workforce that might trigger hassle because the season goes on.
Warriors keep white sizzling at residence, down Clippers, 124-107
Kuzma goes off, however Wiz fall to Warmth, 113-105
Jokic wins MVP-contender battle with SGA, Nuggets beat Thunder 131-126
It’s honest to say that Nikola Jokic has taken his foot off the fuel this season. Simply be certain to notice that now, he’s driving 85 mph as a substitute of 120. He’s nonetheless averaging near a triple-double (22.7 factors, 9.5 rebounds, 9 assists) and over his final two video games, he’s been virtually nuclear. Although his Nuggets misplaced on Tuesday regardless of his 31-9-10 effort, they outlasted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 31-7-11 outing in extra time; Jokic went off for 39 factors, 10 boards, and 9 dimes. He might feasibly be within the MVP race if he needed to be — or if we needed to incorporate him within the dialog.
Jazz fall out of first, fall to Pistons, 125-116
The Jazz may formally be mid. They’ve misplaced two in a row, and 5 of their final seven video games. Maybe we’re overreacting due to their extremely sizzling begin. Maybe we overreacted to stated extremely sizzling begin. Both means, Utah has come crashing again right down to Earth — and into the paltry fourth-place place within the West at 12-8.
Bojan Bogdanovic (23 factors), Kevin Knox II (21), Marvin Bagley (19 factors), Alec Burks (18), and Jaden Ivey (16) all completed in double figures for the victorious Pistons, who’ve received two in a row.
Zion, Pelicans deal with Spurs, 129-110
32 factors on 14-of-18 and 11 rebounds for the child, as Zion Williamson and the Pelicans flexed their solution to a fourth win in 5 video games. What’s extra? He’s sensible as a whip.