NBA wRap: Wiggins battles LeBron to a draw, but Cavs win
MANILA, Philippines - We saw a matchup between the best of the present and the best of the future on Sunday, February 1 (PH time). LeBron James and his Cavaliers visited Andrew Wiggins and his Timberwolves. While the return of Kevin Love was the main draw heading into the match, it quickly became clear that the duel between the two forwards would be the day’s highlight.
Find out more on today’s NBA wRap:
Sacramento Kings (17-29) 99 - 94 Indiana Pacers (17-32)
SAC: Rudy Gay: 31 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
IND: David West: 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 assists
The Kings won their 7th road game of the season by beating the Pacers thanks to Gay and 20 points, 19 rebounds, and 3 assists from All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. Darren Collison also played well against his former team, putting up 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Pacers have lost 8 of their last 10 games.
Dallas Mavericks (32-17) 108 - 93 Orlando Magic (15-35)
DAL: Monta Ellis: 25 points, 13 assists, 3 steals
ORL: Nikola Vucevic: 17 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists
Dallas had a scary moment early in the game as Rajon Rondo was forced to leave the court after getting hit on the head twice:
Rondo didn’t return after scoring 0 points in 2 minutes. Dallas still won their second straight, and Orlando lost their eighth straight, but the biggest concern for the team right now is Rondo, whom the Mavs gave up a lot of pieces for in order to acquire.
Toronto Raptors (33-15) 120 - 116 Washington Wizards (31-17)
TOR: Amir Johnson: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 assists
WAS: John Wall: 28 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds
The Raptors led by 18 in the fourth period before the Wizards rallied to force OT. Fortunately for the Raps, a couple of clutch shots by Kyle Lowry (23 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) down the stretch sealed the game and created separation between them and the Wiz for the no. 2 seed in the East.
Atlanta Hawks (40-8) 91 - 85 Philadelphia 76ers (10-38)
ATL: Al Horford: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks
PHI: Michael Carter-Williams: 13 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds
It was tougher than expected, but Atlanta beat Philadelphia to win their 19th straight game. They also made NBA history, becoming the first team ever to go a perfect 17-0 in a month.
They also have the best record in the NBA right now.
Detroit Pistons (18-30) 114 - 101 Houston Rockets (33-15)
DET: DJ Augustin: 28 points, 12 assists, 2 steals
HOU: James Harden: 26 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds
Josh Smith made his first return to Detroit since being waved and played in unspectacular fashion: 8 points on 3-of-11 shooting with 7 rebounds. He was also booed by the fans, and you can’t really blame them.
It was a big win for Detroit, who are three games back of the Charlotte Hornets in the loss column for the no. 8 seed in the East.
Memphis Grizzlies (35-12) 85 - 74 Oklahoma City Thunder (23-23)
MEM: Zach Randolph: 21 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists
OKC: Serge Ibaka: 13 points, 10 rebounds
The Thunder are below .500 again. Kevin Durant scored 15 points on 16 shots and Russell Westbrook went 5-of-16 from the field for 14 points in their team’s second loss to Memphis this season. OKC is now three games back of the Phoenix Suns in the loss column for the no. 8 seed in the West.
Memphis just makes beautiful basketball sometimes:
The Grizzlies are 9-1 in their last 10 games, and are no. 2 in the West standings.
CLE: LeBron James: 36 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
MIN: Andrew Wiggins: 33 points, 4 steals, 1 assist
The Cavs have now won 10 straight games. Their latest victim was Minnesota, Kevin Love’s former team. Love put up 14 points and 17 rebounds in his return to Minny, but wasn’t welcomed with a warm reception.
Here’s someone T-Wolves fans aren’t booing: the guy they exchanged Love for, Andrew Wiggins, who took LeBron to school on this play:
Wiggins also played LeBron to a draw, even if the Cavs won by double-digits:
Not bad pic.twitter.com/fXVFYN2Urb— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) February 1, 2015
But LeBron is LeBron, thus his team got the last laugh.
Cleveland is now one game back of Chicago in the loss column for the lead of the Central Division and the no. 4 seed in the East.
Milwaukee Bucks (25-22) 95 - 88 Portland Trail Blazers (32-16)
MIL: Jared Dudley: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals
POR: Damian Lillard: 19 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals
Charlotte Hornets (20-27) 104 - 86 Denver Nuggets (19-29)
CHA: Cody Zeller: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
DEN: Ty Lawson: 10 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds
Cody Zeller stepped up well in the absence of Kemba Walker, and received help from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Al Jefferson, who combined for 31 points and 20 rebounds. Denver lost their second game in a row and are 1-9 in their last 10 games.
Jusuf Nurkic has been an impressive rookie this season for Denver. But he got his official “welcome to the NBA” moment courtesy of Gerald Henderson on Sunday:
Los Angeles Clippers (33-15) 105 - 85 San Antonio Spurs (30-18)
LAC: Blake Griffin: 31 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists
SAS: Kawhi Leonard: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals
It was an impressive win for the Clippers, who on the road dominated the defending champions from start to finish. Chris Paul put up 20 points and 6 assists, while Spencer Hawes came off the bench and put up 11 points. Even Doc Rivers’ son, Austin, had 11 points in 18 minutes.
It a pretty bad night for the Spurs overall, especially for Coach Pop:
Golden State Warriors (37-8) 106 - 87 Phoenix Suns (28-21)
GSW: Steph Curry: 25 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds
PHX: Markieff Morris: 17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists
The Warriors looked in danger of losing a third straight game as they trailed the Suns by double-figures in the first half. But GSW turned the tables in the third and fourth quarters, outscoring Phoenix by 18.