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NBA Wednesday’s are always Must See TV, but this one might have been one for the ages as there were jaw-dropping performances in almost every game that tipped off on Wednesday. Seven different players crossed the 30-point plateau, we had buzzer-beaters, jersey swaps, and everything in between. So let’s dive into all the action!
Giannis and Milwaukee outlast LaMelo and Charlotte 127-125.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and LaMelo Ball gave the fans at Fiserv Forum their money’s worth and then some on Wednesday night. Antetokounmpo put up 40 points on 15-of-24 shooting (9-of-13 free throws) and added 12 rebounds, nine assists, one made triple, and one steal in 38 minutes as the Bucks won an absolute thriller over the Hornets. Milwaukee also got some solid minutes from DeMarcus Cousins, who made his Bucks debut on Wednesday, scoring seven points with four rebounds, one assist, and one steal in just 15 minutes. Cousins was a +9 in his time on the floor, which was tied with George Hill for the best mark of any player to suit up Wednesday. As long as Brook Lopez remains out, Cousins should continue to see minutes at the backup center behind Bobby Portis.
LaMelo Ball filled it up as well, scoring 36 points on 12-of-22 shooting (8-of-15 3-pointers) with nine assists, five rebounds, three steals, and one block in 41 minutes. This was the best game of Ball’s career as the 36 points was a career-high, and he also added a signature moment hitting a game-tying three-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining before Giannis made the game-winning layup with 2.0 seconds remaining. LaMelo also had a sweet crossover, making Jrue Holiday, one of the best defenders in the NBA, take a seat on the hardwood.
It was a treat to be in the building in Milwaukee on Wednesday night, as both of these teams’ superstars put on a show, before doing the ceremonious jersey swap at the end of the game. We should see both of these guys at the All-Star Game in Cleveland in February.
Karl-Anthony Towns hurts back, sets franchise record in 115-107 loss to Wizards.
Karl-Anthony Towns etched his name into Timberwolves history on Wednesday night as he broke Kevin Garnett’s record of most 30-point games in franchise history. Towns scored 34 points, which was his 83rd time doing so, setting the new franchise mark, which he will only now reset with each 30-point game that he tallies in a Timberwolves jersey from here on out. He did so on 11-of-25 shooting (10-of-11 free throws) and added two triples, 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block with three turnovers in 33 minutes. The Timberwolves lost the game 115-107 though, as Montrezl Harrell led the Wizards with 27 points on an ultra-efficient 11-of-12 shooting from the floor with five rebounds and three assists off the bench.
The big news from this one though was when Towns landed on his back after dunking the ball with 2:16 remaining in the ballgame. Towns walked gingerly off the floor and did not return. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski later reported that X-Rays on the big man’s back were negative, which is a good sign for the Timberwolves. If Towns misses a few games, Naz Reid could be an intriguing pickup option, as he has played well this season, and could be in for some big games if Towns has to miss a few.
Jae’Sean Tate nets career-high, outduels SGA and Thunder in 114-110 win.
Something has clicked over the last week in Houston as the Rockets look like a completely different team. They have now won four straight games after earning their first road win of the season on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City. They did so with Jalen Green out of the lineup due to a hamstring injury, and Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh contusion), and Christian Wood (ankle) both leaving with injuries early on Wednesday. After the game, Silas had no update on the status of KPJ or Wood, but Wood was seen in a walking boot, and Porter Jr. missed three games this season with this same injury, so he likely re-aggravated it.
Jae’Sean Tate stepped up big time with the odds stacked against Houston, and had the game of his life, scoring 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting (1-of-2 3-pointers) with 10 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks, and two steals in 35 minutes. Tate joined Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in Rockets history to record 30+ points, 10+ rebounds, 5+ assists, and 5+ blocks in a game. To say that he joined elite company would be an understatement considering Olajuwon is the greatest player to ever put on the Rockets uniform.
If Wood & Porter Jr. are to miss time, joining Jalen Green, Tate could be in for some huge games, and another sexy pick-up could be Armoni Brooks, who scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting with four triples in 30 minutes off the bench. Brooks has played well lately, and with all the injuries, he should be getting some consistent minutes until the Rockets can get healthy.
For the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put on a show with a season-high 39 points on 12-of-26 shooting (14-of-16 free throws) with four rebounds, two assists, one block, and one made three-pointer. SGA has been in a shooting slump over the last two weeks, so hopefully, this is the performance that gets him going.
Trae Young goes for 33 & 10 in a 114-111 win over Indiana.
Trae Young had one of his vintage performances on Wednesday, scoring 33 points on 13-of-27 shooting (3-of-10 3-pointers) and adding 10 assists, eight rebounds, two steals, and four turnovers in 37 minutes to lead the Hawks to a win over Indiana. Young passed Larry Bird on Wednesday and is now 15th on the list for most 30 point and 10 assist games in NBA history. He also passed the 2,000 career assists mark and became the seventh player in NBA history to have 5,000+ points and 2,000+ assists under the age of 24. He joined Isaiah Thomas, Stephon Marbury, Tony Parker, LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook in that department.
For Indiana, Malcolm Brogdon had himself a day, scoring 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting and adding nine assists, six rebounds, and three steals. Domantas Sabonis chipped in an efficient 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting (2-of-2 3-pointers) with 10 rebounds, and four assists in 39 minutes.
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Cole Anthony goes for 24, 8, & 7 in 108-103 win over Nuggets.
Cole Anthony put up 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting (1-of-5 3-pointers) and added eight rebounds, seven assists, and just one turnover in 37 minutes to lead the Rockets to an impressive win over Denver. Anthony had missed the last six games due to an ankle sprain, but it was ‘Back to Ballin’ on Tuesday as Wale and French Montana would say. Anthony has been spectacular this season, and with Jalen Suggs expected to miss an extended period of time with a fractured right thumb, Anthony will be carrying the load in Orlando and should have some huge nights here for the foreseeable future. Suggs is going to be re-evaluated every two weeks, and there is currently no set timetable on when he will be back in the lineup.
Kevin Love turns back the clock, Cavs win 111-85.
Kevin Love had his best game of the season on Wednesday as he led the Cavaliers with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor (6-of-8 3-pointers) and grabbed six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block in just 21 minutes off the bench. Love posted a +29 on Wednesday, which was second to Ricky Rubio, who posted an insane +38 in 26 minutes off the bench. It was Love’s second game of the season scoring more than 20 points, the first of which came more than a month ago against Denver. The six three-pointers were a season-high as were the steals, as he had only two steals total on the season entering Wednesday. Love has been returning 10th round value this season, so he should be rostered in any format.
Jayson Tatum scores 26 with 16 boards, Celtics win a slugfest over Philly 88-87.
Points were hard to come by in this one as both teams struggled shooting the basketball on Wednesday. Boston shot just 41.8% from the floor, while Philadelphia shot 37.1% and 25.8% on threes. Jayson Tatum had a solid offensive night though, scoring 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting (3-of-8 3-pointers) and grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds with two assists and one steal. Tatum bounced back from one of the worst games of his career on Sunday against Toronto when he scored just eight points on 2-of-16 shooting. Tatum had 10 assists in that game though, and on Wednesday, he grabbed 16 rebounds, so it is encouraging that he is at least finding other ways to make an impact in the game outside of what he can do from a scoring standpoint.
Kristaps Porzingis scores 20 & 10 on a bum ankle, Mavericks blow out Pelicans 139-107.
Porzingis was iffy to play heading into Wednesday, but after shootaround, Porzingis spoke to reporters and said that even though his ankle was still bothering him, he was going to give it a go on Wednesday night. Porzingis scored 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds with two assists, two blocks, and a made triple. After the game, Porzingis was asked if the ankle had bothered him throughout and he said, “No, no issue. I felt good.”
Luka Doncic also had himself a game and tallied a double-double scoring 28 points on an efficient 11-of-16 shooting (2-of-5 3-pointers) with 14 assists, four rebounds, one steal, and eight turnovers. The eight turnovers were a season-high, but the 14 dimes were one off his season-high so he tried to make up for it on the other end. All in all, I'm sure his managers will take it.
Davion Mitchell scores 20 off the King's bench in a 125-115 win over Clippers.
The Kings have been horrendous this season, but are 3-3 since firing Luke Walton and allowing Alvin Gentry to take over. On Wednesday, they ran into a Clippers team, who gave Paul George the night off, so they were able to get into the win column. Davion Mitchell had one of his best games of the season as he scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting (3-of-4 3-pointers) and added three rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 28 minutes. The 70% mark from the floor was a career-high for Mitchell, who hadn’t been too explosive scoring the ball lately. Mitchell is only rostered in 13% of Yahoo! Leagues, but there is no rush to make that number any higher until he can show us he can do it consistently.