Kings 130, Spurs 112
Nets 109, Trail Blazers 107
Clippers 96, Pistons 91
What went down
This matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the Portland Trail Blazers was the first game after Kevin Durant called out his teammates… by name.
Rather than retreat and sulk after the release of the brutally honest interview by their superstar, the rest of the Nets stepped up and delivered a crucial win.
One of the players who was name-dropped by Durant, Royce O’Neale, came up with the biggest shot of the game to save the Nets.
With 6.5 seconds left in the game, Brooklyn ran a play to get the ball to Durant. He tried to hit the game-winner against Jerami Grant but missed the midrange jumper. O’Neale got inside position and was able to tip the miss in to give the Nets the lead and the win.
O’Neale finished the game with a triple-double of 11 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. The other players in the starting lineup Durant named also had good games. Joe Harris had 15 points on four triples while Nic Claxton scored 11 points.
It wasn’t just the starters that came up big. Ben Simmons, playing off the bench, had his best game of the season against the Blazers. He scored 15 points (on 6/6 shooting), grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished out seven assists. He was a game-changer on both ends of the floor. Yuta Watanabe also dropped 20 points on 71 percent shooting. As usual, Durant led the team with 35 points and eight rebounds.
De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk were hyped to be playing together once again with the Sacramento Kings. The two did some damage together during their time at Kentucky.
Fox and Monk looked like they were reliving their Wildcat days in today’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. Fox continued his hot streak to start the season, once again leading the team with 28 points and eight assists.
Monk came off the bench for added firepower, scoring 26 points and four 3-pointers - both of which were season highs.
That’s now five straight wins for the Kings. That means…
What he said
…the team has now lit the beam five straight times.
Last September 16, the Kings unveiled the team’s victory beam, four high-powered lasers on top of the Golden 1 Center. Every time the Kings win, the beam is lit, sending up a bright purple streak straight up into the sky.
“I want aliens to see it,” team owner Vivek Ranadivé joked in a past interview. “I just like the notion that this just goes into outer space.”
This is definitely one of the cooler victory celebrations in the league. It makes the Kings winning games even better.
Did you see that?
After missing 12 straight games due to a knee issue, Kawhi Leonard was back for the LA Clippers tonight. Predictably, he was rusty in his first game back in nearly a month. He played a little over 24 minutes and notched six points, five rebounds, and four assists.
His raw numbers looked measly but his impact was still undeniable.
Kawhi was +26 in 25 minutes tonight.— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 18, 2022
No other Clipper had +/- higher than +15. pic.twitter.com/c59A6MiRQq
Even if his production isn’t impressive, the Clippers are obviously still better when their superstar is on the floor.