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12/13/2017

NBA Game Recaps for December 13, 2017
100
Oklahoma City Thunder  at  Indiana Pacers
Final  – December 13, 2017
95

Thunder Edge Pacers, 100-95

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Indiana Pacers, 100-95, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday evening. Neither team came into the contest with stellar records, but the game wasn't short on star power and intriguing storylines by any stretch. The night marked Paul George's first regular-season contest in the Hoosier State in an opposing uniform, while Victor Oladipo was also facing off against many of his Oklahoma City teammates from last season. As it turned out, it was Steven Adams, who's enjoyed a breakout campaign on the offensive end thus far, who spearheaded the Thunder (13-14) on a night when George and Russell Westbrook went a combined 6-for-31 from the field. Adams drained 11 of his 16 shots on the way to a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double that also included one assist. The visitors also definitively erased a 27-22 first-quarter deficit with a 29-point second quarter that helped them forge a 51-46 halftime advantage. While the Pacers (16-12) opened the third with an 11-2 run, Oklahoma City was able to battle back and eventually escaped with the hard-fought victory. Alex Abrines drew another start for Andre Roberson (ankle) and followed Adams with 14 points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal. George and Carmelo Anthony turned in matching 12-point tallies, with the former also supplying five assists, two rebounds and three steals, and the latter adding five rebounds, two blocks and one steal. Westbrook mustered a modest 10 points due to his aforementioned shooting struggles but did haul in 17 rebounds, dished out 12 assists and recorded two steals. Jerami Grant led the bench with nine points, six rebounds and three blocks. Oladipo paced Indiana with 19 points, a total he supplemented with six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Bojan Bogdanovic was next with 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Darren Collison registered 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and one block. Thaddeus Young generated an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double that also included seven steals, three blocks and one assist. Myles Turner totaled nine points, four rebounds, two assists and three blocks, and Lance Stephenson matched his scoring total while also tallying eight rebounds and two assists. The Thunder's next stop is in Philadelphia, where they'll face off with the Sixers on Friday night. Meanwhile, the Pacers remain home to tangle with the Detroit Pistons on Friday evening.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:47 PM ET      Updated on December 13, 2017 at 9:54 PM ET

By Juan Carlos Blanco

Steven Adams spearheaded the Thunder on a night when Paul George and Russell Westbrook went a combined 6-for-31 from the field. Adams drained 11 of his 16 shots on the way to a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double that also included one assist. The visitors erased a 27-22 first-quarter deficit with a 29-point second quarter that helped them forge a 51-46 halftime advantage. While the Pacers opened the third with an 11-2 run, Oklahoma City was able to battle back and eventually escaped with the hard-fought victory. Alex Abrines followed Adams with a line that included 14 points and four rebounds. George and Carmelo Anthony turned in matching 12-point tallies, with the former also supplying five assists, two rebounds and three steals, and the latter adding five rebounds, two blocks and one steal. Westbrook mustered a modest 10 points but hauled in 17 rebounds, dished out 12 assists and recorded two steals. Jerami Grant led the bench with a line that included nine points and six rebounds. Oladipo paced Indiana with 19 points, a total he supplemented with six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Bojan Bogdanovic was next with 15 points, while Darren Collison registered 14. Thaddeus Young generated an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double that also included seven steals, three blocks and one assist. Myles Turner's contributions included nine points and four rebounds, while Lance Stephenson led the bench with nine points and eight boards.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:53 PM ET

106
Los Angeles Clippers  at  Orlando Magic
Final  – December 13, 2017
95

Clippers Defeat Magic, 106-95

By Joel Bartilotta

The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Orlando Magic, 106-95, at Amway Center on Wednesday, Despite the fact that Orlando got out to a 24-13 lead after the first quarter, Los Angeles dominated from there. In fact, Los Angeles countered that with a 32-16 second quarter, as they dominated throughout the second half. Free-throw shooting was a huge difference, with the Magic hitting just 12-of-21 and the Clippers going 16-of-20. Los Angeles also did a great job of controlling the glass, outrebounding Orlando, 51-45. Three-point shooting was also key, with Los Angeles going 12-of-26 and Orlando hitting just 9-of-27. The Clippers (11-15) only starter in double figures was DeAndre Jordan, as he tallied 16 points, 20 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Lou Williams was the player of the game, as he provided 31 points, three rebounds and eight assists off the bench. Milos Teodosic started and accrued eight points, six rebounds and six assists. The Magic (11-18) were led by Jonathon Simmons as he collected 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Mario Hezonja started and totaled 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Nikola Vucevic finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks. On deck for Los Angeles is a road matchup versus the Washington Wizards on Friday. As for Orlando, they play host to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday as well.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:27 PM ET      Updated on December 13, 2017 at 9:28 PM ET

By Joel Bartilotta

Orlando looked poised for a big win after a 24-13 first quarter, but Los Angeles had other ideas. In fact, the Clippers rode a 32-16 second quarter, as they were in control for the majority of the second half. Defense was key, with Los Angeles holding Orlando to 42 percent from the field, 33 percent from three-point range and 57 percent from the free-throw line. The Clippers ended up hitting 46 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free-throw line. Lou Williams was the player of the game, as he provided 31 points, three rebounds and eight assists off the bench. DeAandre Jordan was the only Clippers starter in double figures, as he tallied 16 points and 20 rebounds. Nikola Vucevic was Orlando's best player, as he amassed 14 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and four steals, Jonathon Simmons accumulated 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:33 PM ET

87
Memphis Grizzlies  at  Washington Wizards
Final  – December 13, 2017
93

Wizards Hold On, Defeat Grizzlies At Home

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

The Washington Wizards defeated the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, 93-87, at Capital One Arena on Wednesday evening. The Wizards (14-13) received the surprising news of John Wall's return, and there is no question the point guard gave quite a boost to a team that was struggling on both ends of the court. The Wizards looked in control early on and built a 12-point advantage heading into half time, but the Grizzlies (8-19) crawled back and made it a three-point game heading into the fourth. However, the Wizards prevailed and escaped with a six-point win that should boost the team's morale going forward. John Wall only played 27 minutes in his return from injury, but he contributed with 13 points, four assists, two steals and one huge block over Chandler Parsons. Bradley Beal led the scoring with 18 points, seven assists, and four rebounds, and Otto Porter Jr. added 14 points with eight boards. All five starters finished with at least 10 points, and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 11 points off the bench. On Memphis' end, Andrew Harrison had one of the best games of his NBA career since he finished with 20 points, seven assists, three rebounds, and three steals. JaMychal Green added a strong double-double of 15 points and 15 boards, while Marc Gasol chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds of his own. The bench struggled, however, as they only scored 19 points on 8-for-25 from the field.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:39 PM ET

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

John Wall only played 27 minutes in his return from injury, but he contributed with 13 points, four assists, two steals and one key block. Bradley Beal led the scoring with 18 points, seven assists, and four rebounds, and Otto Porter Jr. added 14 points with eight boards. All five starters finished with at least 10 points, and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 11 points off the bench. On Memphis' end, Andrew Harrison had one of the best games of his NBA career since he finished with 20 points, seven assists, three rebounds, and three steals. JaMychal Green added a strong double-double of 15 points and 15 boards, while Marc Gasol chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds of his own. The bench struggled, however, as they only scored 19 points on 8-for-25 from the field.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:39 PM ET

118
Denver Nuggets  at  Boston Celtics
Final  – December 13, 2017
124

Celtics Outlast Nuggets, 124-118

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Boston Celtics defeated the Denver Nuggets, 124-118, at TD Center on Wednesday evening. The Celtics (24-6) came into the night knowing they would be short-handed down low, considering Marcus Morris would be sitting with a knee injury and Al Horford was taking the night off for rest purposes. However, their absences figured to be offset by the return of Kyrie Irving from a one-game absence with a quadriceps strain. The latter development was ultimately a pivotal factor, as the All-Star point guard posted a team-high 33 points, which he supplemented with seven assists, one rebound, two blocks and one steal. Both teams enjoyed stellar shooting nights, with Boston draining 59.5 percent of their 79 shot attempts and the Nuggets (15-13) posting a 49.5 percent success rate from the field. With the Celtics' weakened frontcourt, Denver actually dominated on the glass by a 48-30 margin. Gary Harris led the Nuggets with 36 points and added six assists, three rebounds and two steals. Jamal Murray generated a 28-point, 10-rebound double-double that also included four assists and three steals. Mason Plumlee drew the start at center and tallied 15 points, six boards, two assists and two blocks. Wilson Chandler supplied 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Trey Lyles filled out the stat sheet in a start at power forward, collecting nine points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal. Jaylen Brown followed Irving with 26 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block. Aron Baynes drew the start at center in Horford's stead and contributed 17 points, six rebounds and two assists. Jayson Tatum supplied 15 points, four boards, two assists and one block. Shane Larkin led the bench with 14 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block. Marcus Smart mustered a modest four points but dished out nine assists and posted one rebound, two steals and two blocks. The Nuggets head back home to take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, while the Celtics remain home and await the Utah Jazz on Friday evening as well.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:16 PM ET      Updated on December 13, 2017 at 10:21 PM ET

By Juan Carlos Blanco

Kyrie Irving made up for the absences of Marcus Morris (knee) and Al Horford (rest), posting a team-high 33 points, along with seven assists, one rebound, two blocks and one steal. Both teams enjoyed stellar shooting nights, with Boston draining 59.5 percent of their 79 shot attempts and the Nuggets (15-13) posting a 49.5 percent success rate from the field. With the Celtics' weakened frontcourt, Denver actually dominated on the glass by a 48-30 margin. Gary Harris' 36 points led the Nuggets, and he added six assists, three rebounds and two steals. Jamal Murray generated a 28-point, 10-rebound double-double. Mason Plumlee drew the start at center and tallied 15 points, six boards, two assists and two blocks. Wilson Chandler's contributions included 14 points and five rebounds. Trey Lyles collected nine points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal. Jaylen Brown followed Irving with 26 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block. Aron Baynes drew the start at center in Horford's stead and contributed 17 points, six rebounds and two assists. Jayson Tatum supplied 15 points, and Shane Larkin led the bench with 14. Marcus Smart mustered a modest four points but dished out nine assists and posted one rebound, two steals and two blocks.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:20 PM ET

102
Portland Trail Blazers  at  Miami Heat
Final  – December 13, 2017
95

Trail Blazers Defeat Heat, 102-95

By Joel Bartilotta

The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the host Miami Heat, 102-95, at American Airlines Arena on Wednesday. Despite the fact that Miami led for the majority of this game, it came down to the final seconds with Portland coming out as the victors. In fact, the Trail Blazers led for less than five minutes, as they finished the game with a 32-16 fourth quarter to comeback and win. Free-throw shooting was a huge factor, with Portland hitting 20-of-23 and Miami going just 14-of-23 from the charity stripe. The Turnover differential was also a big factor, as Portland forced 16 turnovers from Miami, while committing just 11 on their end. The Trail Blazers (14-13) were led by C.J. McCollum, as he tallied 28 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Damian Lillard struggled early on, but still finished with 18 points, three rebounds and six assists. Al-Farouq Aminu recorded a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double. The Heat (13-14) had all five starters score in double figures, as none of them reached 20 points. Dion Waiters was the closest, as he accrued 17 points, two rebounds and three assists. James Johnson flirted with a triple-double, as he collected 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Wayne Ellington was huge off the bench, dropping 24 points. On deck for Portland is a road matchup versus the Orlando Magic on Friday. As for Miami, they play host to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday for their next fixture.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 9:59 PM ET      Updated on December 13, 2017 at 10:00 PM ET

By Joel Bartilotta

Miami actually led for over 40 minutes of this game, but Portland led when it mattered most. In fact, the Trail Blazers rode a 32-16 fourth quarter to complete their comeback, as they finished the game on an 11-1 run. Despite both teams shooting 23 free-throws, Miami really hurt themselves by converting just 14 of those, while Portland ended up hitting 20 of theirs. C.J. McCollum was the player of the game, as he accumulated 28 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Damian Lillard finished with 18 points, three rebounds and six assists. Al-Farouq Aminu totaled 15 points and 13 rebounds. Dion Waiters led Miami with 17 points, two rebounds and three assists. James Johnson fell two assists shy of a triple-double, collecting 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Wayne Ellington dropped 24 points to lead the bench.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:05 PM ET

108
Milwaukee Bucks  at  New Orleans Pelicans
Final  – December 13, 2017
115

Cousins, Davis Lead Pelicans To Home Win

By Dan Bruno  

The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, 115-108, at Smoothie King Center on Wednesday evening. The Pelicans put an end to the Bucks' three-game winning streak by coming up big down the stretch. The Bucks started out strong and led 37-32 after one quarter. The Pelicans responded in the second quarter, where they outscored the Bucks 30-26, however they still trailed by one, 63-62 at half time. The Pelicans came out strong again in the third and managed to overtake the lead, holding a two-point advantage heading into the fourth. The Bucks made a run to start the fourth but by midway through the quarter the Pelicans had regained the lead and did not let go from there. DeMarcus Cousins led the way for New Orleans with 26 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and one block, in 37 minutes of action. Anthony Davis followed up with 25 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two assists, in 36 minutes. E'Twaun Moore was a difference maker with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists, in 35 minutes. The Pelicans shot 56 percent from the field, including 13-of-25 from long range. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 32 points, nine rebounds, five steals, four assists and one block, in 41 minutes of action. Khris Middleton followed up with 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, in 36 minutes, while Eric Bledsoe and John Henson added 14 points each. The Bucks shot 46 percent from the field, including 8-of-27 from long range. The Bucks (15-11) will look to get back on track as they play host to the Bulls on Friday. The Pelicans (15-14) head to Denver where they will take on the Nuggets Friday.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:42 PM ET      Updated on December 14, 2017 at 1:38 AM ET

By Dan Bruno  

DeMarcus Cousins led the way for New Orleans with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 13 rebounds, seven assists and one block, in 37 minutes of action. Anthony Davis followed up with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two assists, in 36 minutes. E'Twaun Moore was a difference maker with 21 points, five rebounds and four assists, in 35 minutes. Jrue Holiday finished with 16 points, eight assists, four rebounds, a steal and a block, in 38 minutes. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 32 points on 13-of-24 shooting, nine rebounds, five steals, four assists and one block, in 41 minutes of action. Khris Middleton followed up with 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, in 36 minutes, while Eric Bledsoe added 14 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds, in 32 minutes. John Henson finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks, in 29 minutes.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:45 PM ET      Updated on December 13, 2017 at 10:52 PM ET

100
Utah Jazz  at  Chicago Bulls
Final  – December 13, 2017
103

Bulls Survive, Defeat Jazz To Keep Winning Streak Alive

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz, 103-100, at United Center on Thursday evening. The Bulls (7-20) were riding a three-game winning streak, and pushed it to a season-high four games thanks to an impressive over the Jazz (13-15). Chicago looked better early on and built a six-point lead in the first quarter, but the Jazz stormed back and the game was quite close during the first three quarters. The Jazz did everything they could to turn things around in the final 12 minutes, but Chicago prevailed and secured a season-high fourth consecutive win. Once again Nikola Mirotic had a big game when the Bulls needed him the most, as the small forward played a big role in Chicago's win since he finished with 29 points and nine rebounds, while making three of his five three-point attempts. Robin Lopez added 16 points, while Kris Dunn came close to a triple-double after finishing with 13 points, nine assists, and seven boards. All five members of Chicago's starting lineup scored at least 10 points. On the other hand, rookie Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring with 32 points, but he missed the potential tying bucket when he couldn't convert an off-balance three from long range. Ricky Rubio added 14 points with six assists, while Rodney Hood looked good coming off the bench. The talented scorer had 15 points in 25 minutes of action.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:24 PM ET

By Juan Pablo Aravena  

Nikola Mirotic had a big game when the Bulls needed him the most, as the small forward played a big role in Chicago's win since he finished with 29 points and nine rebounds, while making three of his five three-point attempts. Robin Lopez added 16 points, while Kris Dunn came close to a triple-double after finishing with 13 points, nine assists, and seven boards. All five members of Chicago's starting lineup scored at least 10 points. On the other hand, rookie Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring with 32 points, but he missed the potential tying bucket when he couldn't convert an off-balance three from long range. Ricky Rubio added 14 points with six assists, while Rodney Hood looked good coming off the bench. The talented scorer had 15 points in 25 minutes of action.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 10:24 PM ET

115
Toronto Raptors  at  Phoenix Suns
Final  – December 13, 2017
109

Raptors Hang On Down The Stretch To Finish Road Trip 3-1

By Dan Bruno  

The Toronto Raptors defeated the host Phoenix Suns, 115-109, at Talking Stick Resort Arena. This marked the fourth and final game of a road trip for the Raptors, which they finished with a 3-1 record. After falling apart late in their last game, the Raptors came out strong in this one with an early 37-31 lead after one quarter. After a tight second quarter, Toronto maintained the six-point advantage at halftime. The Raptors came out strong once again in the third, expanding their lead to 92-79 heading into the fourth. Things got interesting in the fourth as the Suns fought to make it a three-point game with just under 30 seconds to go, however the Raptors were able to hit just enough of their free throws down the stretch to hang on. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 37 points on 12-of-24 shooting, seven rebounds and four assists, in 36 minutes. Serge Ibaka followed up with 21 points, 13 rebounds, one assist and one block, while Jonas Valanciunas tallied 20 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Lowry chipped in 12 points, seven assists, two rebounds and one steal. The Raptors shot 43 percent from the field, including 9-of-26 from long range. Meanwhile, Troy Daniels was on fire for Phoenix, finishing with 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, in 31 minutes off the bench. Greg Monroe followed up with 17 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal, while T.J. Warren added 17 points, three rebounds and one assist. The Suns shot 46 percent from the field, including 8-of-24 from long range. The Suns (9-21) head to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Saturday. The Raptors (18-8) play host to the Nets on Friday.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 11:46 PM ET      Updated on December 14, 2017 at 1:39 AM ET

By Dan Bruno  

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 37 points on 12-of-24 shooting, seven rebounds and four assists, in 36 minutes. Serge Ibaka followed up with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 13 rebounds, one assist and one block, while Jonas Valanciunas tallied 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and 11 rebounds. Kyle Lowry chipped in 12 points, seven assists, two rebounds and one steal. O.G. Anunoby finished with nine points and two rebounds, in 19 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Troy Daniels led the way for the Suns, with 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, in 31 minutes off the bench. Greg Monroe followed up with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal, while T.J. Warren added 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting, three rebounds and one assist. Tyler Ulis added 16 points, eight assists and five rebounds, in 29 minutes.

Posted on December 13, 2017 at 11:48 PM ET

96
Charlotte Hornets  at  Houston Rockets
Final  – December 13, 2017
108

Rockets Blow Out Hornets, 108-96, for 11th Straight Victory

By Oscar Heanue

The Houston Rockets rolled past the visiting Charlotte Hornets, 108-96, at Toyota Center on Wednesday night. Houston (22-4) owns the league's best record as well as an impressive 11-game win streak. On Wednesday, the team showcased its first-place offense, scoring 108 points while knocking down 17 three-pointers. Veteran point guard Chris Paul delivered what was arguably his best performance in a Rockets uniform, scoring 31 points while dishing out 11 assists. Paul headed up a solid Rockets guard rotation, including MVP candidate James Harden and reigning Sixth Man of the Year Eric Gordon. Harden contributed 21 points in the win, despite having a relatively inefficient night at just 8-of-22 from the field. Gordon came off the bench for an additional 17 points. Charlotte (10-17) has disappointed early in the season, and has now lost five of its last seven games. The Hornets struggled again on Wednesday, falling behind by a wide margin fairly early in the game. Houston had pulled ahead by 15 by the end of the first quarter, and held a double-digit lead for almost the entirety of the remainder of the game. While Charlotte saw strong play from starting center and former Rocket Dwight Howard, the team still struggled to make anything happen on offense. Howard had an impressive eight offensive rebounds and 26 points, but the team could not follow his lead. The Hornets shot just 41.4 percent from the field and had only 12 total offensive boards. Charlotte will host the Miami Heat on Friday, while Houston will play host to the San Antonio Spurs.

Posted on December 14, 2017 at 12:00 AM ET

By Oscar Heanue

The Houston Rockets profited once again from their high-powered offense in Wednesday's win. The Rockets knocked down 17 three-pointers en route to 108 points on the night. Spearheading the offensive output was superstar point guard Chris Paul, who recorded a team-high 31 points on the night. The scoring total was a new season-high for Paul, who also led the team with 11 assists. James Harden, meanwhile, had 21 points and eight assists. Charlotte, meanwhile, was not as potent on offense. Despite a stellar outing from center Dwight Howard (26 points, 18 rebounds), the team could not find the bottom of the basket efficiently. As a team, the Hornets shot only 41.4 percent from the field. It was a particularly poor night for point guard Kemba Walker, who went just 5-of-15 from the floor in the loss.

Posted on December 14, 2017 at 12:06 AM ET