- Matt Skilton
NBA Weekly 1/24 - 1/30
LeBron, Giannis, and The Warriors Steal The Show
For the first time in a while, the league had its first nine-game nationally televised week. Once again the Lakers showed inconsistencies, the Warriors and Klay Thompson balled out and so did 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, so let's jump in.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Brooklyn Nets
Final Score: 106 – 96
Lebron James continued his dominant run, leading the Lakers past the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center.
James had an equal game-high 33 points while shooting an amazing 66% from the field, the 4-time MVP also had seven rebounds and six assists. Malik Monk chipped in 22 points off the bench in 28 minutes.
James Harden was the other player that had 33 points, he put together a triple-double with 12 rebounds and 11 assists as well. Patty Mills was second in scoring with 15 points and knocked down three 3-pointers.
The Nets and Lakers split holding the advantage through the first quarter before Los Angeles shot out to an 8-point lead heading into the second. The Lakers kept the lead throughout the second quarter but could only extend their lead to nine heading into halftime after both sides traded baskets through the period.
The Nets closed within two points with 6:32 remaining in the third, but the Lakers kicked back into gear, going on a 21-9 run, to take a 14-point lead into the final period. The Lakers waited until there was 8:54 remaining in the fourth to score their first basket of the quarter, however, the Nets couldn’t close in as both sides struggled to score down the stretch.
“Listen, I don't know about any reports, of course, I'm frustrated because we're not healthy, there's a lot of inconsistency for whatever reason. Injuries, COVID, whatever you want to call it, so yeah, it is frustrating. I think everyone in this organization is frustrated because we are better than our record is and we should be on the way up. So that's all it is,”
-James Harden responding to a report that came out from Bleacher Report earlier in the week, stating he was frustrated in Brooklyn.
Dallas Mavericks @ Golden State Warriors
Final Score: 92 – 130
The Golden State Warriors routed the Dallas Mavericks as Klay Thompson’s minutes increased at the Chase Center.
Jonathan Kuminga led the Warriors’ scoring with 22 points off the bench in 18 minutes, he also shot 8-9 from the field. Stephen Curry had 18 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists but struggled from deep, shooting 20% from beyond the 3-point line.
Luka Doncic spent 27 minutes on the court and chipped in 25 points, eight-rebound, and three assists in that time. Jalen Brunson was the second-highest scorer for the Mavs with 11 points in 36 minutes as Dallas struggled to put points on the board.
After a close start, the Warriors took control late in the first quarter, and quickly built their lead to nine by the end of the first, after a quick rally by Dallas, the home side continued to pour on points, taking a 12-point lead into the second half.
Tim Hardaway Jr. landed awkwardly and had to be assisted back to the dressing rooms after injuring his knee early in the game.
“I just want to say how sorry we are to hear that. You hate to see anybody get injured, I just want to send him our regards from the organization and hopefully, he's back sometime soon. I don't know what the prognosis is. We feel terrible for him,”
-Warriors coach Steve Kerr
The Warriors continued to dominate the Mavs, outscoring them 34-27 in the third to take a 19-point lead into the final period. With momentum on Golden State’s side, they didn’t let up, pouring on another 33 points in the final period to take a dominant win.
Jason Kidd returned home to the Bay Area, where he attended high school and attended college at California-Berkely.
New York Knicks @ Miami Heat
Final Score: 96 – 110
The Miami Heat took the win in their first meeting with the New York Knicks at the American Airlines Arena.
Duncan Robinson led the Heat with 25 points and also knocked down seven shots from deep in 26 minutes. Jimmy Butler shot 7-8 from the field for 22 points while Tyler Herro chipped in with 21 points off the bench in 33 minutes.
Obi Toppin led the Knicks with 18 points off the bench while shooting 7-9 from the field, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle were the only Knicks starters to have double-digit points, Barrett had 18 while Randle 11 points.
Miami led the game from the jump, as they steadily built a 14-point lead heading into the second quarter. Miami built their lead out to 17 in the second, but the Knicks rallied late, to cut the deficit to 13 with a half to play.
Miami dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks 33-21, giving New York and 25-point mountain to climb if they wanted the win. The Knicks fought hard in the fourth, but the deficit was too big for them to erase, falling 14 points short.
“A lot of guys stepped up, but I would say Bam just really created a lot of triggers for us, he got a lot of guys open, guys into movement and creating actions, which forced some overreactions and created some ball movement from there. And everybody started to capitalize with those open shots,”
-Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
Final conference battle:
Both sides had already faced off against every other Eastern Conference opponent, but after 49 games for the Knicks and 48 games for the Heat, they’ve finally kicked off their regular-season series. The Knicks are still yet to play the Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, and Sacramento Kings, while the Heat only haven’t played the San Antonio Spurs.
Phoenix Suns @ Utah Jazz
Final Score: 109 – 115
Devin Booker and Chris Paul led the Phoenix Suns past the Utah Jazz at the Vivint Arena.
Booker had 33 points while Paul had 27 as the backcourt pair combined for 60 points in the road win. Paul also put up 13 assists and nine rebounds. Cameron Johnson was the third starter to reach 20 points, he also reeled in six rebounds.
“I feel good, I'm cool, I'll hoop again tomorrow if you want to,”
Jordan Clarkson had 22 points for the Jazz and Trent Forrest had 17 points and six rebounds as all the Utah starters reached double digits in points.
Phoenix had control of the game for the whole first quarter, as they steadily built a 31-21 lead, heading into the second quarter. Utah then outscored the Suns 35-27 in the second to close the gap to two points as the sides went into the locker rooms.
The third quarter was extremely tight, both sides traded baskets and the lead throughout the period, with Utah taking a 2-point advantage into the final quarter. The Suns resumed the momentum that they started the first with, seizing the lead with 8:31 remaining and built an 8-point advantage, which proved too much for the Jazz.
A top scorer:
Rudy Gay made his way to the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and the result put him into the top 100 scorers in league history. Gay has averaged 16.5 points throughout his career which started back in 2006 when he was selected eighth in the NBA Draft.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Philadelphia 76ers
Final Score: 87 – 105
Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers steamrolled past the Los Angeles Lakers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Embiid led the way for the Sixers with 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in 35 minutes. Tobias Harris had 23 points off 66% from the field, while Tyrese Maxey chipped in with 14 points and 10 assists.
“I was not very good tonight, so I was happy my teammates were able to pick me up,”
- Joel Embiid
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with a game-high 31 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks. Russell Westbrook added 20 points but turned the ball over six times as the Lakers struggled without Lebron James.
The Lakers kept the game close for the majority of the first quarter, but the Sixers were able to shoot out to a 10-point late on. The Lakers chipped into the deficit throughout the second quarter, outscoring the home side 26-22, to trail by six points heading into the second half.
The Sixers dominated the third quarter, building a 20-point by the end of the period, to give the Lakers little hope of taking the win. The Lakers weren’t really able to chip into the lead in the fourth as both sides failed to score over 20 points, as the Sixers continue to build momentum in the second half of the season.
Ejection on the side-lines:
Carmelo Anthony has never shied away from interacting with fans and seemed to enjoy going back and forth with a couple of courtside Sixers fans before a line was crossed that saw them get ejected.
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Golden State Warriors
Final Score: 115 – 124
Steph Curry shot his way out of the rough stretch he’s endured as the Golden State Warriors got past the Timberwolves at the Chase Center.
Curry led the way for the Warriors with 29 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, while Klay Thompson put up 23 points and knocked down five shots from deep in 27 minutes.
“With Klay, it's easy to play with him because he's obviously an amazing scorer, amazing shooter commands a lot of attention out there, the hardest part is just trying to keep things simple because you can always try to do something special on every possession and there's where you get in trouble and we have a tendency to do that from time to time,”
Karl-Anthony Towns was the leading scorer for the Wolves with 31 points in 36 minutes, Anthony Edwards added 27 points and six assists in his 37 minutes.
Both sides tussled through the first quarter as they traded leads towards the buzzer, eventually, they finished up deadlocked at 29 apiece. It was much of the same for the second quarter, with Minnesota stretching a lead out to four points in the final moments to have the advantage as they went into the locker rooms.
The Warriors took the lead with 9:56 remaining in the third quarter and didn’t look back, outscoring the visitors 38-20 in the quarter and took a 14-point lead into the final period. The Timberwolves rallied back and closed the gap to six points, but couldn’t grab hold of the lead.
The Warriors brought the heat from deep during the game, they shot an astonishing 58.3% from three as a team, while their rugged defense held the Wolves to 22.7% as a team.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Charlotte Hornets
Final Score: 114-117
The Charlotte Hornets gave the Lakers their second straight loss despite Russell Westbrook’s effort at the Spectrum Center.
Miles Bridges led the Hornets in points with 26, he also chipped in with six assists and eight rebounds. LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier both had 20 points while Mason Plumlee pulled in an astonishing 17 rebounds.
Russell Westbrook was the only starter to reach double digits in points, where he dropped 35, Carmelo Anthony dropped in 19 off the bench and Talen Horton-Tucker had 16 as well.
The Lakers let the Hornets jump out to an early 15-point lead before they slowly reeled them back in to trail by 10 at the end of the first. The Lakers were able to close within two points in the second, but then the Hornets turned it on in front of their home fans, as they took a 16-point lead into halftime.
It was a familiar story in the third quarter, the Lakers once again closed the deficit, tying the game late on, but it was the hornets who took a 2-point lead into the final period. Charlotte built their lead back to 10 points in the fourth before a late Lakers rally saw them come within three points, to fall agonizingly short.
Miles Bridges continued his hot streak, he’s now scored 20 or more points in five of his last six games.
“I'm comfortable right now and I love to have the ball in my hands, And LaMelo does a great job of getting everyone the ball,”
New York Knicks @ Milwaukee Bucks
Final Score: 108 – 123
Giannis Antetokounmpo showed out for the Bucks as they clutched up in the fourth to get past the New York Knicks at the Fiserv Forum.
Giannis picked up 18 points off 12-19 shooting and 13 rebounds in 34 minutes on the court, while Jrue Holiday played the perfect supporting role with 24 points and 10 assists in 35 minutes.
Evan Fournier was the leading scorer for the Knicks with 25 points and RJ Barrett followed closely behind with 23 points.
“At the beginning of the fourth, Giannis kind of took over a little bit, they just had a different intensity in the fourth that we weren't able to match. But it's good for a team like us, watching the defending champs to see how they raise their level, especially in that fourth quarter. We know what we've got to do to eventually get to that level,”
The Bucks led the entire game despite it being relatively close until the final moments. Milwaukee poured 39 points in the first quarter, but New York kept within touching distance as they trailed by nine heading into the second. The Knicks closed the gap in the second, scoring 33 points in the quarter to trail by four points at halftime.
Both sides traded baskets in the third quarter as the Milwaukee lead barely grew, taking a 93-88 lead with the final 12 minutes looming. Milwaukee controlled the fourth quarter, going on a 20-9 run early on, in an attempt to put the game out of reach. From there the Bucks cruised to the final buzzer, claiming a 15-point win in the process.
Grayson Allen comes back:
Grayson Allen was suspended earlier in the week, where the Bucks issued a statement disagreeing with the league’s decision, but the guard accepted the punishment and in his return put up 15 points in 30 minutes.
Brooklyn Nets @ Golden State Warriors
Final Score: 106 – 110
Klay Thompson played a decisive role in getting the Warriors the win over Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets at the Chase Center.
Andrew Wiggins led the scoring with 24 points and had eight rebounds, Steph Curry chipped in with 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds while Thompson and Otto Porter Jr. both had 16 points.
Irving did all he could for the Nets, scoring 32 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, Patty Mills helped out with 24 points, but the rest of the Nets' players struggled to put points on the board.
The Nets controlled the earlier exchanges as they got out to an 11-point lead before the Warriors fought back to take a 31-20 lead into the second quarter. The Nets led briefly in the period, but once again it was the Warriors who held a lead heading into the locker rooms.
Golden State wasn’t finished there, they shot out to a 19-point lead in the third, before the Nets were able to rally to trail by two points as the fourth quarter started. Both sides traded baskets and the lead in the fourth before Klay Thompson was able to give the Warriors a 4-point lead and essentially ice the game with 12.5 remaining on the clock. The win also gives the Warriors a 2-0 sweep of the season series after they won 117-99 in Brooklyn in November.
“I think I'm figuring out how to play well with these guys and vice versa, It's hard to simulate that when you're on the side-line watching,”
Kyrie is always a factor:
At this point, everyone knows Irving can only play road games for the Nets, but according to coach Steve Nash, it hasn’t been difficult to navigate the issue.
“It's great having him back. We've had so many injuries and interruptions this year, availability issues, to add a player his caliber, even if it's just on the road has been much needed and been great for our group,”
Next Week’s Games:
Washington Wizards @ Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn Nets @ Phoenix Suns
Memphis Grizzlies @ New York Knicks
Denver Nuggets @ Utah Jazz
Phoenix Suns @ Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers @ Dallas Mavericks
New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers
Atlanta Hawks @ Dallas Mavericks
Matt Skilton is a multimedia sports journalism graduate and covers all of your sports needs at ThePyrrhic.com. Keep watching for recaps, analysis, trade news, and more!
Follow Matt on Twitter @MSkilton16
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