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BBNBA: Put Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the Dang All-Star Game

(Logan Riely | Getty Images)

(Logan Riely | Getty Images)

Good morning, folks. This SGA fella sure is good, isn’t he? Let’s talk NBA.

REMINDER: Fan voting for the 2020 NBA All-Star game is now OPEN!

RECAP

SGA pops off for 25, Diallo returns from injury

Another win for the Oklahoma City Thunder, another big-time performance from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The former Kentucky guard isn’t wasting any time taking over the fresh decade. SGA posted 25 points on 10-18 shooting from the floor (2-4 from deep) to go along with seven boards, five dimes, one steal, and two blocks in a 109-103 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. It was the fourth consecutive win for OKC and its eight over its previous nine games. SGA is averaging 26.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists on shooting splits of 52.3/42.3/87.2 over his last eight outings. He’s an All-Star.

Hamidou Diallo made his return from an elbow injury that forced him to sit 17 straight games. The one-time Wildcat played 17 minutes, posting five points and three rebounds on 2-7 shooting from the field. Nerlens Noel added six points, six rebounds, and two steals in 18 minutes for OKC.

The Thunder turned the ball over just four times – a season-low. A win over the Spurs creates a bit more separation between the two teams for the seventh and eighth seed in the Western Conference. OKC is in control of the eighth seed, now 4.5 games ahead of San Antonio. The win marked the first time since Dec. 2014 that the Thunder managed to take down the Spurs down in Texas.

Trey Lyles started his ninth consecutive game for the Spurs but played the fewest amount of minutes across those games on Thursday night. Lyles appeared on the court for just 10 minutes, adding three points on 1-3 shooting.

Fox’s 27 leads Kings over Grizzlies

De’Aaron Fox has slowly been working his way back into proper game form after missing 17 games with a sprained ankle. In his seventh full game back for the Sacramento Kings, he had his best outing yet.

Fox dropped 27 points on 9-18 shooting in addition to four rebounds, nine assists, a season-high five steals, and two blocks in a 128-123 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. 10 of his 27 points came in the final five minutes of the game as Fox led his squad back from down 20 to steal a much-needed win. The victory stopped an eight-game losing streak for Sacramento.

Heat defense suffocates Raptors

The Miami Heat put on the best defensive performance of the 2019-20 season on Thursday night when they held the Toronto Raptors to just 76 points. The Heat secured a 84-76 win, holding the Raps to a mere 31.2 percent shooting from the field and a putrid 6-42 from beyond the arc. Toronto’s previous season-low was 88 points.

Bam Adebayo recorded his 21st double-double of the season, dropping 15 points and 14 rebounds on 7-8 shooting (VOTE THIS MAN INTO THE ALL-STAR GAME!!!) while Tyler Herro added 13 points, four rebounds, and three assists. There was one point during the second-half where The Bucket poured in 11 straight points all by himself.

Other notes

  • Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets earned a significant road win over the Indiana Pacers, 124-116. The former ‘Cat dropped 22 points on 8-18 shooting while registering five rebounds and seven assists in the process.
  • In Cleveland, P.J. Washington and the Charlotte Hornets won a thriller over the Cavaliers thanks to some late heroics from point guard Devonte Graham. Washington went for 14 points, six rebounds, and five assists to help end a six-game losing streak for the Hornets. His teammate, Malik Monk, added three points and two boards on 1-6 shooting.

Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)128-123 W vs. MEM279-18 (1-4)49521+930
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)109-103 W @ SAS2510-18 (2-4)75121+1536
Jamal Murray (DEN)124-116 W @ IND228-18 (2-7)57011+1137
Bam Adebayo (MIA)84-76 W vs. TOR157-8 (0-0)142014+935
P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)109-106 W @ CLE146-14 (1-3)65002+335
Tyler Herro (MIA)84-76 W vs. TOR135-10 (3-6)43102+533
Nerlens Noel (OKC)109-103 W @ SAS62-4 (0-0)61020-218
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)109-103 W @ SAS52-7 (0-0)30000+517
Malik Monk (CHA)109-106 W @ CLE31-6 (1-4)20000-716
Trey Lyles (SAS)103-109 L vs. OKC31-3 (1-2)00000-910
Willie Cauley-Stein (GSW)84-99 L @ MINDNP-Illness----------------
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)99-84 W vs. GSWDNP-Knee----------------
Wenyen Gabriel (SAC)128-123 W vs. MEMDNP-Inactive----------------
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)109-106 W @ CLEDNP-CD----------------
Brandon Knight (CLE)106-109 L vs. CHADNP-CD----------------
Patrick Patterson (LAC)126-112 W vs. DETDNP-CD----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)124-116 W @ INDDNP-CD----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Hawks @ Celtics (Kanter)

7:00: Heat (Adebayo, Herro) @ Magic

7:00: Trail Blazers (Labissiere-out) @ Wizards (Wall-out)

8:00 (ESPN): 76ers @ Rockets

9:00: Knicks (Knox, Randle) @ Suns (Booker)

10:30 (ESPN): Pelicans (Miller-out) @ Lakers (Davis, Rondo)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR