It was a busy Friday night in the league, and with several ‘Cats sitting out, it was the Kentucky bigs that stole the show. Anthony Davis had one of his best games of the year after a two-game absence, and Julius Randle is once again doing Julius Randle things. Let’s get into it.
Davis returns, leads Laker comeback
After missing the last two games with Achilles tendonitis, Anthony Davis picked up right where he left up, posting one of his best lines of the season against the Grizzlies: 35 points, nine rebounds, two steals and one block in 35 minutes. The Lakers trailed by as many as 20 early in the game but rallied to win by 10, which probably came as a relief considering it was the first game for L.A. in over a week that hasn’t ended in OT. Highlights below:
— NBA (@NBA) February 13, 2021
Don’t forget: you can vote for Davis and the other ‘Cats to head to the 2021 All-Star Game here, or by logging onto Twitter dot com and tweeting the player’s name with the #NBAAllStar. You can tweet out up to 10 players per day, with each tweet counting as one vote. Get ‘er done.
Murray helps Nuggets eke out win over SGA-less Thunder
In the lowest-scoring game of the night, Jamal Murray and the Nuggets edged Hamidou Diallo and the Thunder, 97-95. Murray did not have the best shooting night (3-11 from deep), but he still managed to lead all scorers with 22 points. OKC was short-handed, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed his fourth game in the last six with a knee sprain, but Diallo stepped up in his absence once again, contributing 16 points, four rebounds and three steals while leading the team in minutes played (36).
Unfortunately for Hami (who’s having a great year, don’t forget!), his most memorable moment from this game was “Shaqtin’ a fool” worthy. With the Thunder up 12 at the end of the third quarter, he tried to grab Murray’s halfcourt-heave from off the rim at the buzzer, resulting in a goaltending call after review.
OKC ended up losing the game by two points… oof.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 13, 2021
Darius Miller also benefitted from SGA’s absence, playing 10 minutes off the bench, but he failed to register a point.
Randle’s big night sinks Wizards
In “Kentucky Knicks” news, a huge night from Julius Randle was more than enough to put down the lowly Wizards, 109-91. The big man bounced back from a tough shooting night on Tuesday with a monster double-double of 24 points and 18 rebounds, leading both teams in each category. Immanuel Quickley contributed 16 in 21 minutes off the bench, and Nerlens Noel had four points and three blocks. Kevin Knox failed to score in his four minutes of action.
Randle’s 22.4 ppg average is good for 12th in the Eastern Conference this year, and his 11.1 rpg is 6th; both numbers are on pace for career-highs. All-Star, anyone?
Other BBNBA News
Karl-Anthony Towns put up 25 points and eight rebounds in his second game back from an extended COVID-19 absence, a loss to Charlotte. His performance was buried in the headlines behind Terry Rozier’s 41-point explosion and a LaMelo Ball-Anthony Edwards rookie duel, but it was encouraging nonetheless for KAT. On the other side, Malik Monk scored five points, while P.J. Washington sat out due to his own COVID-19 exposure.
Keldon Johnson had a nice night in the Spurs win over the Hawks, putting together a stat line of 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds. De’Aaron Fox was a late scratch by the Kings against Orlando, citing a minor knee injury sustained in practice.
Enes Kanter came up three points shy of his season-high with 21 and 13 rebounds in the Blazers’ win over the Cavs, shooting an efficient 9-11 from the field. After the game, he took to Twitter and dedicated the performance to a professor who died three years ago after facing persecution from the Turkish government, which Kanter has vocally opposed for much of his career.
#DictatorErdogan's Political Prisoners:
Ahmet Ozcerit was a university professor who spent 13 months in jail as part of the govt's witch hunt.
He was diagnosed with cancer while under pretrial detention and lost his life 3 years ago TODAY ?
I dedicate today's victory to him ?? pic.twitter.com/azmWG0FAQK
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) February 13, 2021
Finally, Eric Bledsoe scored 16 points on perfect 4-4 shooting from deep in the Pels’ 130-143 loss to Dallas. Zion Williamson had a ridiculous night in this one (14-15 from the floor!), but 82 freakin’ points between Luka and Kristaps Porzingis proved too much.
Full stats below, yo:
|Anthony Davis (LAL)||115-105 W vs. MEM||35||16-27 (0-3)||9||1||2||1||3||+0||35|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||114-120 L vs. CHA||25||9-18 (5-8)||8||2||2||1||1||-3||31|
|Julius Randle (NYK)||109-91 W vs. WSH||24||8-15 (2-3)||18||4||1||0||4||+17||32|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||97-95 W vs. OKC||22||8-19 (3-11)||5||5||2||0||2||+16||38|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||129-110 W vs. CLE||21||9-11 (0-0)||13||1||0||1||2||+21||27|
|Keldon Johnson (SAS)||125-114 W vs. ATL||20||8-11 (2-3)||6||8||0||0||2||+23||27|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||95-97 L vs. DEN||16||6-15 (1-2)||4||2||3||0||3||-6||36|
|Eric Bledsoe (NOP)||130-143 L vs. DAL||16||5-7 (4-4)||4||4||1||0||1||+0||32|
|Immanuel Quickley (NYK)||109-91 W vs. WSH||16||5-15 (2-7)||2||1||0||0||0||+16||21|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)||143-130 W vs NOP||6||3-4 (0-1)||3||2||0||0||0||+5||13|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||120-114 W vs. MIN||5||2-7 (1-3)||4||2||0||0||1||-6||20|
|Nerlens Noel (NYK)||109-91 W vs. WSH||4||2-5 (0-0)||4||1||0||3||0||-1||16|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (MIN)||114-120 L vs. CHA||2||1-1 (0-0)||2||0||1||0||1||-10||7|
|Darius Miller (OKC)||95-97 L vs. DEN||0||0-4 (0-3)||3||1||0||1||0||-11||10|
|Trey Lyles (SAS)||125-114 W vs. ATL||0||0-0 (0-0)||1||0||0||0||0||-23||9|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||109-91 W vs. WSH||0||0-1 (0-1)||1||0||0||0||1||-5||4|
|De'Aaron Fox (SAC)||112-123 L vs. ORL||DNP-Knee injury||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||95-97 L vs. DEN||DNP-Knee sprain||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|P.J. Washinton (CHA)||120-114 W vs. MIN||DNP-COVID-19 protocols||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Nick Richards (CHA)||120-114 W vs. MIN||DNP-Coach's decision||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Rajon Rondo (ATL)||114-125 L vs. SAS||DNP-Lower back pain||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Wenyen Gabriel (NOP)||130-143 L vs. DAL||DNP-Coach's decision||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||125-106 W vs. CHI||DNP-Coach's decision||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TODAY IN THE NBA
3:00 (NBA TV): 76ers (Maxey) @ Suns (Booker)
7:30: Pacers @ Hawks (Rondo)
8:00: Rockets (Wall, Cousins) @ Knicks (Randle, Quickley, Noel, Knox)
8:30 (ABC): Nets @ Warriors (Mulder)
9:00: Heat (Adebayo, Herro) @ Jazz