Around the Association: Steph Goes Off Again, Ja Carries Grizzlies, Philly Wins In Denver

Around the Association: Steph Goes Off Again, Ja Carries Grizzlies, Philly Wins In Denver

This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.

Nightly Notables

Steph leads the Dubs yet again

  • If you look at the final score of Golden State and Cleveland's matchup, you would assume that the Warriors' held firm control over the game throughout. However, that was not the case and the score heading into the fourth quarter was actually 81-68 in favor of Cleveland. The Warriors outscored the Cavs 36-8 in the fourth quarter as Stephen Curry accounted for 20 of those points to help lead the Warriors to victory. The two-time MVP finished the game with 40 points (15-27 FG, 9-16 3Pt, 1-1 FT), four rebounds, six assists and two steals over 35 minutes. There is still A LOT of basketball to be played, but Curry is the easy early-season MVP favorite.
    • Draymond Green dropped a season-high 14 assists to go with four points (2-3 FG, 0-1 3Pt), two rebounds, one block and one steal over 30 minutes of play during the win.
  • Darius Garland really impressed me in Cleveland's eventual loss to the Warriors. The third-year pro finished with 25 points (10-22 FG, 4-11 3Pt, 1-1 FT), one rebound, five assists and two steals in 38 minutes. Garland is slowly starting to become one of the more slept on players in the league in my mind, dropping 21 or more points in four out his last five contests.
    • With still no Jarrett Allen (illness) and Evan Mobley (elbow), Ed Davis remained as Cleveland's starter at center. The veteran looked good, totaling seven points (3-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 14 rebounds, one assist and two blocks in 28 minutes. Davis is averaging 6.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in his two starts this season.

Morant leads Memphis past Clips

  • Ja Morant was on one during Memphis' 120-108 home win over the Clippers. The third-year guard recorded 28 points (13-21 FG, 2-5 3Pt) to go with five rebounds, five assists and one steal in 31 minutes. Morant scored 17 of his 28 points in the third quarter as he helped carry the Grizzlies past LA. Morant is playing some of the best ball of his career as of late, averaging 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game over his last six contests.
    • Jaren Jackson also looked good for the Grizzlies during the win. The forward ended with 18 points (7-16 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 1-1 FT), six rebounds, four blocks and one assist in 29 minutes. This marked Jackson's second straight game totaling 18 points, but the 22-year-old hasn't reached the 20 point mark in seven straight showings.
  • Paul George had yet another strong showing for the Clippers despite falling to Memphis. He finished with a team-high 23 points (9-18 FG, 5-9 3Pt) to go with six assists five rebounds and one block in 31 minutes. This marked Geroge's 11th straight game scoring at least 20 points.
    • Reggie Jackson looked good for the Clippers, as well. The veteran point guard recorded 18 points (7-16 FG, 4-8 3Pt) five assists, two rebounds and one steal in 30 minutes.

Philly steals one in Denver

  • The 76ers had dropped five straight games heading into Thursday's contest against the Nuggets and it looked like they were headed for six straight as Joel Embiid (COVID) missed yet another game. However, Philadelphia was able to leave Denver with a 103-89 victory. It was a spirited effort led by Tyrese Maxey, who paced the team in scoring once again.
    • The 21-year-old recorded 22 points (9-15 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-4 FT), five rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal across 35 minutes. Maxey is on a tear as of late, averaging 25.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game over his last five showings.
      • Charles Bassey had his best performance of the season as coach Doc Rivers opted to use the rookie with Embiid still out of the lineup. The Western Kentucky product finished with 12 points (5-7 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-3 FT), seven rebounds, three blocks and one steal across 19 minutes.
  • Despite the losing effort, Nikola Jokic was absolutely incredible once again for the Nuggets. The reigning MVP 30 points (10-17 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 7-9 FT), 10 rebounds, seven assists and one block in 35 minutes. However, Jokic did tweak his wrist in the losing effort and his status for Friday's contest against the Bulls is uncertain.
    • Will Barton returned to the Nuggets lineup after missing the past two games with a back injury and impressed in the loss. The veteran finished with a near triple-double, posting 19 points (7-14 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 1-1 FT), nine rebounds and eight assists across 34 minutes.

Best and Worst of the Night

  • Best of the Night: Stephen Curry – 40 points (15-27 FG, 9-16 3Pt, 1-1 FT), four rebounds, six assists and two steals in 35 minutes.
  • Worst of the Night: Pascal Siakam – Four points (2-14 FG, 0-4 3Pt), five assists, three rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes.
  • Rookie of the Night: Charles Bassey – 12 points (5-7 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-3 FT), seven rebounds, three blocks and one steal in 19 minutes.

Quick Hitters

  • Cleveland's contest against the Warriors may have meant a little bit more to Kevin Love than the rest of Cleveland's younger roster. The former All-Star ended with 17 points (5-12 FG, 4-10 3Pt, 3-3 FT), seven rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns led the way for Minnesota during their resounding 215-90 win over the Spurs. KAT finished with 25 points (9-16 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 4-6 FT), 12 rebounds, five assists and one block in 38 minutes during the win.
    • D'Angelo Russell was also doing his own thing during the Timberwolves' victory, ending with  22 points (6-19 FG, 4-12 3Pt, 6-7 FT), three rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal in 31 minutes.
  • There was not much offense coming out of the Spurs on Thursday night. Devin Vassell scored a team-high 18 points (8-14 FG, 2-7 3Pt) to go with four rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal over 24 minutes.
    • Jakob Poeltl (COVID) made his return to the lineup, but came off the bench and finished with just two points (1-2 FG), two rebounds, one assist and one block in 15 minutes. It is pretty clear the Spurs are easing their young big man back into the swing of things.
  • Rudy Gay made his season debut for the Jazz and looked great in their 119-103 win over the Raptors. The veteran wing finished with 20 points (7-8 FG, 5-6 3Pt, 1-2 FT), five rebounds and two assists across 18 minutes. It is still unclear what Gay's nightly production will look like in Utah, but this is an encouraging start.
    • Joe Ingles came close to finishing with a triple-double off of the bench, recording 10 points (4-8 FG, 2-6 3Pt), seven rebounds, eight assists and one steal in 24 minutes. This was a much-needed game from the Australian, as he had averaged just 4.0 points, 4.2 assists and 2.7 boards over his previous six games.
  • Despite the losing effort, Gary Trent Jr's impressive season continued Thursday night. The 22-year-old scored a season-high 31 points (12-18 FG, 5-11 3Pt, 2-2 FT), two rebounds, three assists and one steal over 33 minutes of play. Trent's 17.1 points per game average on the season would set a new career-high for the guard.
    • With OG Anunoby (hip) likely out "for a while", Khem Birch slid into Toronto's starting lineup. The 6-foot-9 big finished with a season-high 14 points (6-8 FG, 2-3 FT), three rebounds, two steals and one assist in 24 minutes of play. If Birch continues to start in place of Anunoby, then the 29-year-old is worthy of a pick-up in deeper leagues.
    • Scottie Barnes also stuffed the stat sheet in the loss, finishing with 10 points (5-11 FG, 0-2 3Pt), six rebounds, six assists and one steal across 35 minutes.
  • Jimmy Butler has looked sharp since returning to Miami's lineup. The All-Star wing put up 32 points (11-19 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 10-10 FT), three rebounds, five assists and four steals in 34 minutes during Miami's 112-97 win over the Wizards. Butler has scored over 30 points in each of his two appearances since returning from an ankle injury.
    • Tyler Herro (wrist) missed his first contest of the season, which meant that it was Gabe Vincent's time to shine off of the bench. The 6-foot-3 guard finished with 18 points (6-12 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT), three assists and two rebounds in 25 minutes. Vincent is averaging 15.5 points over 26.0 minutes per game during his last two appearances.
  • Bradley Beal did all he could during Washington's defeat. The All-Star guard dropped in 30 points (11-18 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 5-6 FT) to go with six rebounds, five assists and one steal across 36 minutes. This marked Beal's second 30 point outing in his last four appearances.
    • Kyle Kuzma filled up the box score in the loss, ending with 19 points (7-12 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 13 rebounds, seven assists and one steal across 40 minutes. This marked Kuzma's sixth double-double of the season and his 9.1 rebounds per game average would set a new career-high.
    • Corey Kispert had his best game for the Wizards, totaling a career-high 13 points (5-10 FG, 3-7 3Pt) and four rebounds in a career-best 24 minutes.

Looking ahead to the weekend

  • Longtime rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, match up Friday night.
  • The Bulls and Nuggets match up in Denver on Friday.
  • Jalen Green will make his first appearance at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
  • Exciting point guards, LaMelo Ball and Trae Young, will battle it out Saturday night in Atlanta.
  • We get a 2019 Finals rematch when the Raptors head to Golden State on Sunday.
  • Can the Suns extend their winning streak to 12 games with contests against the Mavericks and Nuggets?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Spero
Michael writes in the NBA and NCAAF departments for RotoWire. He is a big-time fan of both the Bulls and Nuggets. Michael spends his time playing pick-up or anxiously rooting for his fantasy teams.
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