Cavs begin to surge, Celts continue winning
Last week of the NBA continued its exciting action as the league began to shape itself. It began with the Los Angeles Clippers traveling to the Big Apple to face the New York Knicks. The Clippers were trying to end their eight-game losing streak, but their very poor play led them to lose 107-85. Kristaps Porzingis led with 25 points. The Knicks move to 9-7 on the season. The Minnesota Timberwolves went to Charlotte to face the Hornets. Hornets’ Dwight Howard had a very strong 25 points and 20 rebounds as he led his team to a 118-102 victory over the T-Wolves. Jamal Crawford led his team with 19 points. The Detroit Pistons hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers, where the Pistons hoped to continue their hot start to the year and the Cavs are trying to turn their season around. The Pistons’ offense was nearly nonexistent as they were only able to total 88 points in their 116-88 defeat. Kevin Love led the Cavs with a double-double.
Tuesday, Nov. 21, only had one game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Bulls had a commanding 19-point lead in the third quarter, but the Lakers were able to completely shut down the Bulls’ offense in the final two quarters, leading them to a strong 103-94 win. Lakers’ rookie Kyle Kuzma continues to dominate this season as he scored 22 points. Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen impressed with 17 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.
Wednesday, Nov. 22, had a showcase of games starting with the Philadelphia 76ers at home against the Portland Trail Blazers. Joel Embiid had a very impressive game with 28 points and 12 rebounds in their dominating 101-81 win, while Trail Blazer Damian Lillard contributed 30 points in his part of the loss. The 76ers are now 10-7 while the Trail Blazers fell to 10-8. The Indiana Pacers faced off the Orlando Magic, where Pacers’ Victor Oladipo was looking to impress against his former team. He was able to, as he finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, five assists and seven steals as he led his team to victory. Magic’s Nikola Vucevic scored 25 points in the team's 105-97 loss. The Boston Celtics were riding high on their 16-win streak going into Miami to face the Heat. Miami got out to an early lead and never looked back as the combination of Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters helped end the Celtics’ win streak. Kyrie Irving had 23 points in the 104-98 loss.
Thursday, Nov. 23, had no games scheduled so everyone could enjoy Thanksgiving with their families.
Friday, Nov. 24, had the Denver Nuggets host the Memphis Grizzlies. Nikola Jokic went off in the fourth quarter, during which he scored half of his 28 points and was only two assists away from a triple-double in the Nuggets win. Marc Gasol had an impressive double-double, but his effort was not enough in the 104-92 loss. The New Orleans Pelicans visited the Phoenix Suns, where the two big men, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, dominated in their 115-91 win. T.J. Warren led the Suns with 18 points. The Golden State Warriors matched up against the Chicago Bulls in Oakland, where the Warriors showed why, even without Kevin Durant, they are the most powerful team in the league. Stephen Curry put on a show, scoring 33 points in the 143-94 rout over the Bulls.
Saturday, Nov. 25, featured the Knicks, minus Porzingis and Kanter, against the Houston Rockets. The Knicks took an early lead but the super power of James Harden and Chris Paul was too much for the Knicks. Harden had 37 points and 10 assists in the 117-102 win. The Dallas Mavericks were visited by the Oklahoma City Thunder, where both teams tried to turn their seasons around. Legend Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high of 19 points as the Mavs were able to defeat the Thunder 97-81. Russell Westbrook finished with 28 points. The Milwaukee Bucks traveled to Utah to face the Jazz. The Jazz connected on 18 three-pointers as the team was locked in from downtown. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 27 points and 13 rebounds were not enough in the 121-106 loss.
Sunday only showcased three games. The most exciting game was between the Brooklyn Nets and the Memphis Grizzlies, where they were many questions on the Grizzlies sideline. After being down 79-65 going into the third quarter, the Grizzlies subbed all-star center Marc Gasol out. He was benched during the fourth quarter, which greatly upset him, considering he is the centerpiece of the team. This led to their 98-88 loss to the Nets. After the game, the Grizzlies’ management fired head coach David Fizdale.