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Last Night In The NBA: James Harden Did What Now?

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Welcome to another edition of Last Night In The NBA where we catch you up on everything that happened the night before in the Association. We had 10 games yesterday, some closer than others, but like we’re learning every time we do this, some pretty amazing things went down. If you spent the day watching football you missed some quality basketball, so let me bring you up to speed. Here’s what happened

Hawks (2-8) 117 vs Cavaliers (4-6) 115

What do you do when you have one of the worst offenses in the league and can’t seem to beat ANY team in the NBA? Well just play CLE! The Hawks are in the bottom third of the league in terms of shooting, but you wouldn’t know that by their 37 point first quarter. Which they did twice.

Dennis Schroder led the way for ATL with 28/9 points on 9-13

but he had help. No Hawks starter had under 14 points, and as a unit they went 34-60. Did they have to hold on for dear life in that 4th quarter? Sure, but when your only other win on the year is against the worst team in the NBA in DAL, you take what you can get. ATL fans should also be pretty happy because rookie John Collins was legit as hell with his 12/13 in 24 minutes. He had 7 OREB!

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For CLE, you know the team and their fan base is started to get a little worried mostly because they can;t stop telling you how now worried they are. Losses now to NY, ATL, IND, CHI, BKN, NO, ORL but nah they aren’t nervous. They play the worst defense in the league but nope no reason to worry. I hate to break it to you CLE, but this isn’t like your other teams that have started slow. Your team stinks right now, and they need to figure out a LOT before you can just pencil them in the Finals.

In this game, Lebron showed up as usual and had 26/13 on 10-17, but he got no help from this starting teammates. Derrick Rose was the only other starter in double figures, and he had 10 on 4-12 shooting. They did get some throwback performances from their 500 year old bench players in Wade and Korver who had 48 points combined so that’s nice. Not as if the bench is also a major concern for CLE either.

Kevin Love left the game with an “illness”, the team said he had been sick all day, but clearly he was just watching his team play basketball.

Celtics (8-2) 104 vs Magic (6-4) 88

The full blog is coming, but in the meantime just embrace the fact that the Celtics are playing the best basketball in the NBA right now. Sorry haters!

Heat (4-5) 104 vs Clippers (5-4) 101

Another game in which the victor had to hold on for dear life at the end, but the Heat did and got what I would consider their best win of the young season. It’s never fun to blow a 25 point lead, which they did, but when you get 21/17 from Hassan Whiteside, that is fun.

Their bench showed up too, getting solid performances from both Johnsons and Wayne Ellington

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Did you know the Heat are 34-8 when shooting at least 30% from three? They were at 39% in this game.

For LAC, Blake showed up and had 23/8, Jordan did his thing with 10/19, but the other starters for the most part struggled. Lou Williams did catch fire and have 22 off the bench, but as a team they shot just 39/29% and had 15 turnovers.

Wizards (5-4) 107 vs TOR (5-4) 96

No John Wall no problem! You couldn’t tell they missed him based on the way the Wizards played yesterday, going on the road and beating a good TOR team without arguably your best player is impressive. Also impressive was the 38 points Bradley Beal gave them

Beal has been a scoring machine lately, and outside of their game against GS doesn’t have another outing under 20 points. So far in November he’s averaging 38/5/3.3 on 57/47% shooting making nearly 4 threes a night. That is NASTY.

Otto Porter Jr helped out with 19 of his own on 8-13 shooting and as a team they had 47/47% splits.

For TOR, there was DeMar DeRozan who had 26 and not much else

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This was a bit of a shocking loss for the Raptors because although they don’t get talked about much, they do have the 2nd best point differential in the East, but that’s not going to matter if Kyle Lowry has more games in which he goes 0-4 and finishes with 2 points.

Rockets (8-3) 137 vs Jazz (5-5) 110

James Harden ladies and gentleman. 56 points, 13 assists, 19-25 from the field, 7-8 from three, 11-12 from the line, and he played 35 minutes. INSANE

This coming on the heels of Lebron’s 57 point performance, to me this was more impressive for me because 1). Harden and I are both ASU guys 2). The Jazz are a better defensive team than WSH.

You almost forget this team also has CP3 on it, but while he’s recovering the Rockets are not skipping a beat. Between the Rockets and the Astros the Houston sports scene has a few things going for it if you ask me (wanted to type Watson here too, bummed).

Eric Gordon also had 20 points on 7-15 including 6 made threes, but come on, the story here was Harden.

For UTA, Donovan Mitchell continues to play well, going for 17/4/4 on 6-13, and I found this super slow mo cross over by Rudy Gobert both thrilling and confusing

Sometimes you’re just going to catch an unbelievable scorer on a hot night, which is exactly what happened to the Jazz. Sadly, they are yet to win on the road this year (0-4).

Spurs (6-4) 112 vs Suns (4-6) 95

The Spurs are back baby! All it took was matchups with CHA and PHX and things are back to normal. Still with no Kawhi, it’s up to LMA to carry the burden, and he really has done a nice job filling in as the go to guy for the Spurs. In this one he had 21/9 on 9-13 shooting, which lead the 7 players that reached double figures

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It also helped to go 11-22 from behind the arc

This win gave Pop 1,156 for his career, which puts him 6th all time. How much high do we think he goes before he hangs it up? Crazy to think he becomes the all time leader?

For PHX, 95 points with 18 TOs isn’t going to beat a team like SA, and it becomes that much harder when your star player in Devin Booker goes 3-11. To be honest there weren’t too many positives, so look at these nice dunks

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Knicks (5-4) 108 vs Pacers (5-5) 101

I could tell you about this performance from the Knicks perspective, or you could go read Clem’s breakdown from last night which was fantastic. It’s OK, I’ll wait. Go read it.

For IND, a pretty solid night outside that horrific fourth quarter where they scored just 17 points and were outscored by 19 points. With Turner back in the starting lineup it moved Sabonis back to the second unit, and he still had solid production of 16/8 due to moves that looked like this

Darren Collison had 15/10 which was nice, and Oladipo while not that efficient, had 17. The Pacers for the most part played well offensively, they took care of the ball and had good percentages, they just didn’t have an answer for Porzingis. That’ll happen to teams I hear.

Timberwolves (7-3) 112 vs Hornets (5-5) 94

Don’t look now but MN is the hottest team in the West with their 5th straight win! They tie SA with the best home record in the West at 4-1, and they got the win mostly because their starters were solid as fuck.

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Wiggins had 20 on 8-12, KAT had 16/9 on 5-11, Teague had 18/12 on 7-15 and Butler had 13 on 4-6. Pretty solid. They also got 15 points in 20 minutes from Jamal Crawford, who I could watch play basketball forever. Guy still has it

THIS looks more like the hyped up Timberwolves team we all talked about over the summer, and perhaps it has something to do with actually playing some defense.

For CHA, it’s tough for them to win when Kemba struggles, and struggle did he ever. 4-15 isn’t going to cut it. At least they had Zeller though!

Trail Blazers (6-4) 103 vs Thunder (4-5) 99

I said it the other day, but man it has to be stressful as all hell to be a die hard Blazers fan. Of their 10 games, 6 of them had to have gone down to the wire, and it’s a long season. My Ts + Ps are with you guys. Fortunately, last night was one of celebration as they held on despite blowing a pretty sizable lead. I’m sure it helps when you get 36/5/13 from Dame

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and then 22 from CJ McCollum including GIGANTIC threes down the stretch, followed by Nurkic going crazy for 25

No other player on the Blazers had more than 6 points, and they turned it over 21 times. What a weird game.

For OKC, you have every right to be pissed. You and Melo got boned big time. This was perhaps the worst ejection I have ever seen. A Flagrant 2 for what exactly? Incidental contact? Horrible call that 100% impacted the result of this game

At the end of the day though, the Thunder DID have plenty of opportunities to steal this game, so while that call stunk, it wasn’t why they lost. In fact, one of the reasons they even made it close again was because of, wait for it…Raymond Felton!

I almost forgot what year we were in for a second. Russ and PG13 had over 50 combined which was nice, but let’s hear what the MVP had to say after this one!

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Lakers (5-5) 107 vs Grizzlies (6-4) 102

Damn you MEM and your inconsistency. The Lakers pulled this one out despite a 4th quarter where they got outscored 32-19, and a big reason why was the performances from some of their young talent. No, not Lonzo, he went 3-13 (1-8) again, but instead Kyle Kuzma who had 13/12, and Brandon Ingram who had 20

Brook Lopez also had 21 to lead all scorers

For MEM, you have to be thrilled with what Tyreke Evans is giving you coming back from his injury. He had 26 points in 32 minutes off the bench last night, and looks great

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Mike Conley led all starters with 23, and Gasol had nearly a triple dub with 15/10/7, but MEM fell a little too much in love with the three, which is fine, but it did not love them back as they went just 11-37. I’m going to need to live in a world where the MEM of the world aren’t blowing games to the Lakers. Thank you.

And with that, you’re now all caught up! There are just 3 games today, but in the event you can’t find time to watch that’s OK, just make sure to check back here tomorrow morning for anything and everything you may have missed.