Jazz 126, Pistons 111
Bulls 113, Heat 103
Knicks 132, Warriors 94
Wizards 113, Suns 110
Nuggets 105, Grizzlies 91
What went down
It was a relatively tame on-court day around the association today with contenders getting crushed by their opponents and their schedule. The Golden State Warriors continued their trudge up the northeast with a beating served up by the red-hot New York Knicks.
Jalen Brunson dropped 21 PTS, 3 REB, and 5 AST to lead the Knicks to their 8th straight win 🔥 pic.twitter.com/GlDdr62CqG— NBA (@NBA) December 21, 2022
The Knicks collected their eighth consecutive win and shot up to sixth in the East with an 18-13 record. Jalen Brunson and Immanuel Quickley did most of the damage offensively, drooping 21 and 22 points, respectively, while Julius Randle added an all-around line of 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
The Heat limped into their home game against the Chicago Bulls without Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry and conceded a decisive loss to the Chicago Bulls. Nikola Vucevic had his best game of the season for the struggling Bulls, hitting 13 of his 17 shots for 29 points and 12 rebounds.
Even the Washington Wizards got a bit of reprieve, snapping their 10-game losing streak in Phoenix against the short-handed Suns, who were without Devin Booker due to a groin injury.
CORNER KUUUUUUUUZ 🙌— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) December 21, 2022
📊 29 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST pic.twitter.com/AvT8VTr0kY
Kyle Kuzma definitely upped his perceived trade value with a 29-point explosion for the Wizards, who didn’t have Kristaps Porzingis due to a non-COVID illness.
The story of the NBA season for the NBA nerds has been the Utah Jazz, more specifically the breakout year of Lauri Markkanen. Today, the Finnisher had one of his best games of the season, drilling a career-high nine triples fro 38 points in a win against the Detroit Pistons.
Lauri Markkanen was MONEY from deep in the Jazz win.— NBA (@NBA) December 21, 2022
🎯 38 PTS
🎯 9 3PM (career-high)
🎯 5 REB pic.twitter.com/02wgWyxdjL
This was Markkanen’s seventh 30-point game of the season, more than his last three seasons combined. For people that kept up with Markkanen over the years, this should not have come as a surprise as he’s developed more perimeter skills every season he’s been in the league. The 25-year old could be an All-Star this year.
What he said
Inside The NBA continues to be America’s show. On a day without a ton of big games, the Inside The NBA crew dropped a bunch of snow on Charles Barkley.
LET IT SNOW, CHUCK ??🤣 pic.twitter.com/J9Tzv9gfRk— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) December 21, 2022
It speaks to the quality of the show that this probably isn’t even in their top 20 funniest moments ever.
Did you see that?
BREAKING: Billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia is finalizing a purchase of the Phoenix Suns, sources tell ESPN. The deal, expected to be completed in the near future, would end the tumultuous tenure of owner Robert Sarver.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 20, 2022
Reports have come out that the Phoenix Suns will be sold to Mat Ishbia, the CEO of the largest wholesale lender in North America, United Wholesale Mortgage. Ishbia will become the youngest majority owner in the league at 42 years old.
Ishbia made his billions after joining UWM holdings in 2003 and becoming CEO in 2013. Before that, his father Jeff had control of the company since founding it in 1986. Mat has close ties to basketball. He was a walk-on at Michigan State in 1998. He’s been one of the school’s top boosters ever since.
Ishbia reportedly bought the Suns for 4 billion dollars. Without factoring inflation, this will be the most anyone’s paid for an NBA team since Joe Tsai bought the Brooklyn Nets for 3.3 billion dollars in 2019.
Another millionaire that lit up Twitter today was Nikola Jokic. The reigning MVP had his way with Memphis Grizzlies as his Denver Nuggets cruised to an easy win. Just look at how easy he made these two passes look.
This Joker pass.— NBA (@NBA) December 21, 2022
Nuggets lead 30-14 on TNT. pic.twitter.com/hFCYisWFz4
UNREAL JOKIC DIME 🤯— NBA (@NBA) December 21, 2022
Nuggets lead the Grizzlies 67-53 in Q3 on TNT. pic.twitter.com/kTjEOnFT0A