NBA Wrap January 9th
PISTONS NUDGE SUNS IN OVERTIME BEHIND GRANT’S 31
Down 23 midway through the first half and seemingly headed for a 1-8 start, the Detroit Pistons the showed the most amount of resolve in the early season to deliver what seemed an impossible task over the Phoenix Suns.
Detroit would go on to claim its second victory with a 111-105 Overtime victory.
Jerami Grant who has been a shining light through the team’s difficult beginning had a game-high 31 points, including a corner three in the extra period to seal the team’s biggest comeback of the Season.
Phoenix sharp-shooter Devin Booker led the Suns with 23, but missed an opportunity to deliver the win when his tough contested jumper sailed long as buzzer sounded.
Former Piston, Langston Galloway playing his former team after three seasons in the Motor City had 17 off the bench going 5 of 8 from range.
The Pistons remain at home to face the Utah Jazz who are coming off an instrumental win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, the Suns continue its three-game Eastern trip against the Indiana Pacers.
BROWN, TATUM LEAD CELTICS OVER WIZARDS
Boston’s young star duo of Jason Tatum and Jayden Brown combined for 59 points as the Boston Celtics won its fourth straight, 116-107 over the Washington Wizards.
Tatum had 32 points, while Brown finished 27 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists, with the duo becoming the third pair of teammates in the last 20 seasons to reach 250 plus points in their first ten games.
They join Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal (2001/2002) and Steph Curry and Kevin Durant (2016/2017 through 2018/2019).
Bradley Beal coming of a franchise tying 60 points in the Wizards’ loss to the Philadelphia 76ers had another offensive tear finishing the contest with 41 points extending his season scoring average to 35 per game.
The Celtics took control of the game for the first two and a half quarters behind Tatum and Brown leading by as many as 28 before the Wizards stormed back into the game.
Trailing 96-81, Washington would use a 14-3 run, capped off by Rui Hachimura’s triple before Boston would steady after the timeout.
Next for the Celtics is a matchup with the Miami Heat, the side’s second meeting in three days. The Wizards have a short turnaround before also facing Miami back at Capital One Arena.
HORNETS STING THE PELICANS
Gordon Hayward’s continued his outstanding start at the Hive finishing with 26 points as the Charlotte Hornets rallied from an 18 point first half deficit to run over the New Orleans Pelicans 118-110.
Charlotte coming off a 102-94 over the Atlanta Hawks, received 20 points off the bench from high-flyer Miles Bridges.
LaMelo Ball and Lonzo Ball would make history becoming the first brothers selected top five
In the draft to play one another. LaMelo would win the outing finishing one assist shy of a maiden NBA career triple double.
The Pelicans were led by the strong work of Zion Williamson who had 26 points and 8 rebounds, while Brandon Ingram was held to his second-lowest scoring game of the season finishing with 17 points.
The Hornets now return home to face the Atlanta for a second time. New Orleans has two days off before travelling to face Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks to start a seven-game Western swing.
LEBRON AND THE LAKERS HOLD OFF RESISTANT BULLS
Playing without Anthony Davis and facing a Chicago team who were pesky for the full 48 minutes, the Lakers found a way to shake off the Bulls and get back in the win column.
4-time NBA Champion LeBron James led the charge finishing with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists as the Lakers prevailed 117-115 at Staples Centre.
Davis didn’t play as he sat out with a right adductor strain with his availability for the Lakers next game against Houston unknown.
Chicago’s scoring engine Zac LaVine had 38 points, his 4th 30 point outing this season, while Centre Wendell Carter Jr posted 23 points and 7 rebounds.
The fourth quarter was a pendulum swing as both sides traded critical baskets, including in the final minute when Garrett Temple nailed a tough contested step back triple from the corner over Alex Caruso to shave the Lakers margin to one.
On the next possession, Chicago would get a defensive stop when LeBron missed a triple giving the Bulls an opportunity to take back the lead.
That wasn’t to occur as Zach LaVine couldn’t land a well contested 18 foot jumper as the Lakers held on.
In other NBA results from across the association:
The Memphis Grizzlies won its first home game of the season downing the Brooklyn Nets 115-110 who were without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
Grizzlies shooting guard Dillon Brooks had 24, while Brooklyn’s Caris LeVerg had his second 40 point game of his career finishing with 43.
Christian Wood made his return from a one-game absence from a sore knee delivering 22 points and 15 rebounds and the Houston dismantled the Orlando Magic 132-90.
Nikola Vucevic had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Magic in what was the side’s worst losing differential since December 2018 against the San Antonio Spurs 129-90.
Utah star guard Donovan Mitchell had 32 points and sixth-man Jordan Clarkson 26 off the bench as the Utah Jazz made a franchise record 25 threes in a 131-118 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Jazz broke its previous record for threes in a regular season game which was 20 against the San Antonio Spurs on December 4 2018.
Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo put up 35 points and Khris Middleton 31 equaling his season-high.
Steph Curry put on another of his sensational offensive display finishing with 38 points including nine triples as the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers 115-105.
Curry is shooting 39.4% through nine games from deep and now has 41 threes on the season which leads the League.
Stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard paced the Clippers with 25 and 24 points each.
Diminutive guard Fred VanVleet went for 34 points one-shy off a his season-high as the Toronto Raptors broke a franchise scoring record runaway 144-123 win over the staggering Sacramento Kings.
The achievement was made sweeter as the Raptors trailed by 19 before making their comeback.
Toronto’s previous scoring record came on the opening game of last season January 17 against the Washington Wizards when they scored 140.
Sacramento speedy point guard De’Aaron led the Kings with 23 points, while veteran Harrison Barnes scored 21, only for those contributions to see them drop four of five.
OKC guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists the the Thunder restricted the New York Knicks 101-89 at Madison Square Garden.
Second-year pro R.J led the Knicks with 19 points, while Julius Randle had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists despite battling foul trouble in the first half.
By Juri Bilcich
IMAGE: Yahoo Sports.