Good afternoon, folks. The Warriors are BACK (well, not really). Let’s talk NBA.
No Superteam, no problem
The Golden State Warriors are now winners of four straight games, which had been a regular occurrence over the last half-decade but is now unheard of. There was no Steph Curry on Friday night. No Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant. The Warriors didn’t even have its impressive rookie, Eric Paschall. And yet, they pulled off a 106-95 win over the struggling Phoenix Suns despite 34 points from Devin Booker.
The former Wildcat shot 13-24 from the field and contributed three rebounds and four assists in the process. Unfortunately, Booker shot just 1-6 from deep and turned the ball over a season-high eight times as Phoenix lost its seventh straight outing.
“You can only hope to contain us right now,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said with a smirk following the win.
Led by D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green, the Warriors came back from down 10 in the fourth quarter to pull off the 11-point victory. Willie Cauley-Stein went for nine points and 10 rebounds as he’s finally beginning to find his role on this Warriors team.
WCS is averaging 9.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.8 blocks on over 61 percent shooting from the field over 13 games in the month of December. In 16 November games, those numbers were down to 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game on 52 percent shooting.
Thunder escape Charlotte with OT win
Our good friend Nick Roush will have some more details later in the day from this game, but I’m still going to give you all a quick recap of one of the best regular-season games I’ve watched thus far this year.
Powered by another jaw-dropping performance from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Oklahoma City Thunder stole an overtime win against the Charlotte Hornets, 104-102. SGA posted 27 points on 10-17 shooting in addition to four boards and two steals. Both of those steals actually came late at the end of regulation, resulting in two necessary fastbreak buckets for OKC that kept them in the game. Nerlens Noel added eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, and three steals but with four turnovers for the Thunder. With the win, OKC has now won five of its last six games and is 16-15, good enough for the seven seed in the West at the moment.
For Charlotte, P.J. Washington made his return to the Hornets lineup after undergoing surgery on a fractured finger that caused him to miss five games. The rookie went for 14 points and five rebounds on 7-15 shooting and actually had a chance to tie the game up with only a few seconds left in overtime. Washington drove to the basket with time running low and his team down two before he was fouled at the rim by Gilgeous-Alexander. With just 1.9 seconds left, the former ‘Cat missed the first free throw and memories of Washington infamously going 1-for-2 over the course of his Kentucky career washed over me. He intentionally missed the second, but Charlotte could not get a shot off and the Thunder came away with the big win.
Malik Monk finished with four points, two rebounds, and four assists on 2-7 shooting for the Hornets. But it was his pregame “Ls down” that made up for his below-average performance.
— Lee K. Howard (@HowardWKYT) December 27, 2019
Bam Adebayo keeps building his All-Star resumè
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo is going to make some serious noise in the All-Star voting for this season, especially if he keeps putting up these types of stat lines over the next several weeks: 18 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, and just one turnover on 8-10 shooting from the field.
Goran Dragic hit the go-ahead jumper for the Heat with under seven seconds left as Miami improves to 14-1 at American Airlines Arena – the best home record in the NBA. Tyler Herro registered 10 points, a career-high nine rebounds, and four assists for the Heat, who were able to narrowly maintain a tight lead throughout the majority of the fourth period.
The Pacers committed just four turnovers all game, tying a franchise record.
- Enes Kanter continues his impressive play for the Boston Celtics, who won its sixth straight game on Friday with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kentucky big man recorded 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks on 7-10 shooting in 22 minutes for the Celtics. When Kanter hauls in at least nine rebounds in a game this season, Boston is 8-1 in those outings.
Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Devin Booker (PHX)||96-105 L @ GSW||34||13-24 (1-6)||3||4||2||0||8||-10||38|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||104-102 (OT) W @ CHA||27||10-17 (1-1)||4||1||2||0||1||-1||36|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||113-112 W vs. IND||18||8-10 (0-0)||15||6||0||0||1||+2||35|
|Enes Kanter (BOS)||129-117 W vs. CLE||14||7-10 (0-0)||9||3||2||2||0||+8||22|
|P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)||102-104 (OT) L vs. OKC||14||7-15 (0-2)||5||0||0||1||1||+20||37|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||113-112 W vs. IND||10||4-11 (2-6)||9||4||0||0||3||+1||22|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (GSW)||105-96 W vs. PHX||9||4-6 (0-0)||10||1||0||0||1||+12||25|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||104-102 (OT) W @ CHA||8||2-2 (0-0)||7||2||3||0||4||+1||19|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||102-104 (OT) L vs. OKC||4||2-7 (0-3)||2||4||1||0||1||-13||23|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||112-86 W @ ATL||DNP-Leg||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||104-102 (OT) W @ CHA||DNP-Elbow||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)||102-104 (OT) L vs. OKC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Brandon Knight (CLE)||117-129 L @ BOS||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
5:00: Grizzlies @ Nuggets (Murray)
7:00: Raptors @ Celtics (Kanter)
7:00: Pacers @ Pelicans (Miller-out)
8:00: 76ers @ Heat (Adebayo, Herro)
8:00: Knicks (Knox, Randle) @ Wizards (Wall-out)
8:00: Hawks @ Bulls
8:00: Nets @ Rockets
8:00: Cavaliers (Knight) @ Timberwolves (Towns-questionable)
8:30: Magic @ Bucks (Bledsoe-out)
8:30: Pistons @ Spurs (Lyles)
8:30: Mavericks @ Warriors (Cauley-Stein)
9:00: Suns (Booker) @ Kings (Fox-DTD, Gabriel)
10:00: Lakers (Davis, Rondo) @ Trail Blazers (Labissiere)
10:30: Jazz @ Clippers (Patterson)