• Matt Skilton

NBA Weekly Recap 1/10-1/16


It was an eventful week in the NBA, the Nuggets blew a 25-point lead and then beat the Blazers by 32 in the next game. Brooklyn toppled the Bulls in a clash between the top Eastern Conference sides, former Knicks paid a visit to the Garden but went home empty-handed and Joel Embiid had the chance to break a franchise record but played the team game instead.


Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Clippers

Final Score: 85 – 87

The Clippers rallied in the second half to come back from 25 points down to take the win over the Denver Nuggets at the Crypto.com Arena.


Amir Coffey was the leading scorer for the Clippers with 18 points in 43 minutes, while Eric Bledsoe dropped nine assists off the bench. Terance Mann and Reggie Jackson were equal second in points with 13 each in what was a low-scoring game.


“We just kept chipping away, just trying to throw some different coverages at Jokic, mess him up. Just trying to finish possessions with rebounds. We just got it clicking there late in the third and took it over to the fourth,”

-Amir Coffey


Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic combined together for 51 points, more than half of their team’s total. Gordon also reeled in 12 rebounds, while Jokic picked up 13 boards and 8 assists.


The Clippers took their first lead of the game early in the second quarter, but then it was the Nuggets who started to run away with the game, only allowing 12 points in the quarter, the visitors took a 13-point lead into the half-time break.


Denver eventually built their lead up to 25 with 7:04 remaining in the third quarter. The Clippers surged back into the game, going on an 18-7 run, closing the deficit to 66-55 with the final 12 minutes to play. The home side continued to close in on the Nuggets, eventually tying the game at 71 apiece but couldn’t take the lead until Coffey hit a 3-pointer with 2:30 remaining in the game. The Clippers stretched their lead to five, which proved too much for the Nuggets who couldn’t retake the advantage.


Late season resurgence hopeful:

Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. both appeared in the Nuggets pregame, putting up some shots. Murray had knee surgery last year, while Porter had back surgery in December, neither are close to a return date yet but the Nuggets will be hopeful both can be on the court for a late resurgence in the regular season.


Dallas Mavericks @ New York Knicks

Final Score: 85 – 108

RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson starred for the Knicks as they snapped the Dallas Mavericks 6-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden.


RJ Barrett dropped in 32 points off 13-22 from the field in 41 minutes, he also pulled in seven rebounds. Mitchell Robinson shot 90% from the field for his 19 points and sealed a double-double with 10 rebounds.


“I thought RJ, monster game. Mitch, monster game, that may have been the best game of the year for our starters. Really played hard and played well,”

-Tom Thibodeau


Luka Doncic led the Mavericks in points with 21 and had a team-high 11 rebounds as well. Jalen Brunson scored 14 points, while Tim Hardaway Jr. had 13, the only three Mavs players to reach double digits in scoring.


The Mavs kept within touch with the Knicks through the first half, they briefly led early on, but couldn’t seize an opportunity to control the game again. The road team trailed by nine points heading into the second quarter, they were able to close within three, before the Knicks retook control of the game heading into the locker rooms with an 11-point lead.


The Knicks outscored the Mavs 28-21 in the third, to stretch their lead to 18 points with the final period looming. Dallas struggled to get out of the gates in the fourth, scoring 10 points in the first eight minutes of the quarter. New York took their biggest lead of the game 108-83 with 39 seconds remaining, but the Mavericks were able to cut it back to 23 points moments later, which was where it ended.


Facing off:

Tim Hardaway Jr, Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina, Reggie Bullock, Trey Burke, and Theo Pinson all featured for the Mavericks, facing off against their former team with a point to prove but it didn’t go their way.


Brooklyn Nets @ Chicago Bulls

Final Score: 138 – 112

Brooklyn strolled to a blowout win over the Chicago Bulls thanks to Kevin Durant and James Harden at the United Center.


Durant shot 70% from the field and 75% from deep for his 27 points, he also picked up nine assists. James Harden picked up 25 points and 16 assists in just 33 minutes. Patty Mills also nailed six of his eight attempts from deep, to pick up 21 points off the bench.


“We're trying to make no statements to the league, I mean, who cares what they think. We know what we bring to the table, and it's all about us. But I'm sure people were watching the game tonight,”

-Kevin Durant


Zach Lavine led the Bulls in scoring with 22 points in 33 minutes, while DeMar DeRozan dropped in 19 points. Lonzo Ball led the team in assists with seven.


After a back and forth first quarter, the Nets piled on 38 points, taking a 7-point lead into the second. Both sides traded baskets, with the Bulls struggling to cut into the small deficit, but eventually trailed by two points heading into the second half.


The Bulls started struggling to score, going on a scoreless run in the final 2:49 of the third. This continued into the fourth, where Chicago finally scored with 9:04 left on the clock, marking a 5:45 scoreless run. Meanwhile, the Nets went to work on the offensive end scoring 22 points in that time. The Bulls rallied late but the deficit was too large for them to threaten.


Kyrie suiting up:

Kyrie Irving chipped in with nine points but was lucky to play for the Nets. Chicago has a similar mandate to New York, where you have to be vaccinated to play. However, thanks to an exception the former first overall pick was allowed to suit up.


Golden State Warriors @ Milwaukee Bucks

Final Score: 99 – 118

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks scored 77 points in the first half to roll past the misfiring Golden State Warriors at the Fiserv Forum.


Giannis led the way with a triple-double, picking up 30 points, 11 assists, and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes. Khris Middleton dropped in 23 points and shot 5-7 from deep, while Bobby Portis was the third Bucks player to reach the 20s, scoring 20 points in 25 minutes.


“I think there was a good focus from us tonight, I think when it starts on the defensive end, usually that's when we're at our best. A team like the Warriors, a player like (Stephen) Curry and (Klay) Thompson, they bring out the best in you. They bring out the highest focus,”

-Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer


Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors in points with 16 and Jonathan Kuminga chipped in with 15 points off the bench. The sharpshooting duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled for a combined 23 points and the Warriors’ shooting slump continued.


Milwaukee surged out to a 16-point lead at the end of the first and dominated the second as well, adding 40 points in the quarter to lead by 39 points at the break.


The Warriors chipped away at the lead in the third, cutting the deficit to 25 points with 12 minutes to play. The Warriors’ struggled to score in the middle of the fourth, but eventually cut the lead to 19 points, however, this one was over for a long time.


Back in action:

Budenholzer missed four games while in the league’s health and safety protocols, assistant Darvin Ham was the acting head coach for those games, where the Bucks went 1-3.


“I think Coach Darvin did a great job stepping up, leading the team, coaching the team, and keeping us accountable, but, obviously, it's great to have Coach Bud back healthy, happy, and getting us ready to go,”

-Giannis Antetokounmpo


Portland Trail Blazers @ Denver Nuggets

Final Score: 108 – 140

The Nuggets piled on 72 points in the first half as they ripped the Portland Trail Blazers apart at the Ball Arena.


Will Barton led the team in points with 21, while reigning MVP Nikola Jokic shot 80% from the field for 20 points, he also picked up eight rebounds and seven assists. Three players off the Nuggets’ bench also put up over 15 points in a great team effort.


Ben McLemore led the Blazers with 18 points as the road team missed Damian Lillard. Dennis Smith Jr. put up 18 points and eight assists in the loss.


The Blazers fought hard in the first quarter, but eventually, the Nuggets asserted their dominance, leading by 13 points heading into the second quarter. The Nuggets stretched their lead to 17 at the break. The Nuggets continued their momentum in the third, not giving Portland a sniff, they led by 21 at the end of the third and put up a 39-point surge in the fourth to close out the game.


“I think everybody who's a Nuggets fan was probably wondering when we got up big when the collapse was going to happen, give our guys credit,”

Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after the Nuggets threw away a 25-point lead to the Clippers earlier in the week.


Bol stays:

Bol Bol was all set to head to Detroit after a trade had been agreed, but the Detroit Pistons rescinded the trade after the big man didn’t receive medical clearance.


Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers

Final Score: 99 – 111

Joel Embiid starred for the Philadelphia 76ers in the win over the Boston Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center.


Embiid had 25 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists in 32 minutes. Tyrese Maxey dropped in 23 points at 50% from the field in a heavy workload of 38 minutes.


Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 21 points, Jayson Tatum had 20 points and 11 rebounds, while point guard Payton Pritchard put up 17 points off the bench in 24 minutes.


The Sixers got off to a hot start in the first quarter, outscoring the Celtics 32-14, the home side carried their hot start into the second, taking a 20-point lead into the locker rooms.


Both sides traded baskets in the third, with the Celtics struggling to cut into the deficit left for them. Trailing by 17 as the fourth kicked off, the Celtics once again tried to cut into the lead, but steady scoring for the Sixers gave the Celtics no chance. Boston added some late points to cut the lead to 12, but couldn’t mount a challenge.


“The slow start doomed us; I have to do a better job of getting our guys ready to play. They were coming off a loss and played a little harder than we did. It's on me,”

-Celtics coach Ime Udoka


Just short:

Joel Embiid finished the game on 25 points, five points shy of setting the franchise record with nine straight games with 30 or more points. His streak remains tied with Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain.


Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies

Final Score: 112 – 85

Luka Doncic was the star of the show as the Dallas Mavericks stormed past the Memphis Grizzlies, snapping their 11-game win in the process at the FedEx Forum.


Doncic put up his 40th career triple-double, with 27 points, 10 assists, and 12 rebounds in 32 minutes on the court. Tim Hardaway Jr. was second in points with 16 off the bench. Marquese Chriss and Jalen Brunson both chipped in with 15 points.


Ja Morant put up 19 points off 8-15 from the field and added eight assists. Desmond Bane added 16 points for his team in 29 minutes of game time.


Both sides tussled throughout the first half, Memphis led by four points at the end of the first quarter, after trading baskets throughout the second, the Grizzlies stretched their lead, taking a 5-point advantage into the second half.


The Mavs came alive in the third quarter, taking the lead with 6:43 left in the third. Dallas outscored the Grizzlies in the third, 34-18 to take a 9-point lead into the final period. The Mavericks all but sealed the game when they went on a 17-0 run that lasted 5:30. Memphis added some points late, but their scoreless run killed any chance of them extending their winning streak to 12 games.


“I thought the team rebounding and the team defense was excellent to go with the tempo and pace offensively, I thought it was great all around,”

-Acting Mavericks coach Sean Sweeney


Streak snapped:

The Grizzlies’ streak may not have been the longest of the league this season, but it was an incredible effort. During the 11-game win streak, Memphis won three sets of back-to-back games. The Grizzlies also welcomed back rim protector Steven Adams, who missed four games after being placed in health and safety protocols.


Next Week’s Games:

January 17:

Chicago Bulls @ Memphis Grizzlies

Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks


January 19:

Charlotte Hornets @ Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Clippers @ Denver Nuggets


January 20:

Phoenix Suns @ Dallas Mavericks

Indiana Pacers @ Golden State Warriors


January 21:

Toronto Raptors @ Washington Wizards


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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