Pistons 121, Magic 101
Wizards 127, Suns 102
Nets 108, Hawks 107
Heat 112, Lakers 98
Bulls 119, Bucks 113 (OT)
Pelicans 119, Timberwolves 118
Warriors 112, Jazz 107
Kings 127, Nuggets 126
What went down
The battle for the top spot in the West rages on.
The Denver Nuggets looked like they had a good hold of the number one seed riding a five-game winning streak heading into their back-to-back match-up against the Sacramento Kings. They looked like they were well on their way to a sixth straight win, as they held an 11-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. That was until De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis went to work.
The two teamed up for a quick 9-0 blast to get the Kings to within two. Sacramento’s 1-2 combo also came up with the finishing kick in the final moments of the game. Fox scored on a jumper to tie the game at 124 and Sabonis scored on the go-ahead dunk to give the Kings the big win.
Reclaiming the top seed in the West are the New Orleans Pelicans.
Zion Williamson was downright dominant in their win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He powered the Pelicans to the win, scoring the final 14 points for his team. He just rammed his way past the defense and there was no one from the Timberwolves that could stop him. Williamson finished with 43 points on 66 percent shooting.
The Pelicans have righted the ship with their fourth straight win to follow a four-game skid. New Orleans is tied with Denver at 22-12 but owns the tiebreaker over the Nuggets.
If the Milwaukee Bucks won the game today, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 45-point, 22-rebound performance easily clinches the Big-time baller tag. Unfortunately, they lost in overtime to the Chicago Bulls.
How did the Bulls overcome a monster game by the Greek Freak? They got a 42-point game from the King of the Fourth, DeMar DeRozan.
Down by 11 midway through the fourth, Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine got Chicago to within striking distance. That was all DeRozan needed. He scored on a layup with 13 seconds left to pull his team to within two. He then got the steal on Milwaukee’s inbound and passed it off to a streaking Ayo Dosunmu for the game-tying dunk.
DeRozan proved to be the King of OT too. He scored eight points in the extra period including a pull-up jumper to give the Bulls the lead, and two free throws to ice the game. DeRozan had a full line with 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks as well.
What he said
LeBron James postgame:— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) December 29, 2022
"I'm a winner. I want to win and give myself a chance to win and still compete for championships... Once you get there and know how to get there, playing basketball at this level just to be playing basketball is just not in my DNA anymore."
Translation: The LA Lakers aren’t a championship team this season.
Deeper Translation: Management better make a change fast or I will have to send a clearer message that doesn’t need any translation soon.
Did you see that?
Rudy Gobert has become an easy target in the past few seasons. The All-Star big man has become a punchline because of his failure to deliver meaningful wins to the Utah Jazz. It looks like he’s brought the same issues with him to Minnesota.
Take a look at the Timberwolves’ last 10 games.
Timberwolves last 10 games:— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 29, 2022
0-7 with Gobert
3-0 without Gobert pic.twitter.com/6qBrGGm6PK
This looks even worse when compared to the record of his former team.
First 35 games of the season— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 29, 2022
Jazz: 19 wins
Wolves: 19 losses pic.twitter.com/VONJ1nvSXZ
How do you say “big oof” in French?