1. Streaking Suns
With all puns intended, the Phoenix Suns are on fire right now. Winners of 12 straight games, the Suns now sit behind the Warriors in the Western Conference and in this week’s Power Rankings. Phoenix wrapped up the week with a 29-point win over the Nuggets — their third win by 25 points or more during this streak.
This 12-game run is already the fourth-longest win streak in Suns history — five shy of the franchise record 17 straight wins from the 2006 season. Matching that streak will not be easy as the Suns close out the month with road games against San Antonio, Cleveland, New York and Brooklyn before hosting Golden State on Nov. 30.
One of the keys to the Suns’ streak has been getting contributions from every player that steps on the court. Phoenix has nine players who are averaging at least nine points per game, while appearing in at least half of the games during the streak. While Devin Booker leads the way at 22.7 ppg, the Suns are averaging 113.4 ppg as a team during the streak. Booker has been good for 20% of the points, but that other 80% has been a collective effort.
2. Weekly stats leaders: Giannis shining bright
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo led all players in scoring (33.3 ppg) and rebounding (16.0 rpg) during games played in Week 5 across the league. Giannis also had the top scoring game of the week, posting a season-best 47 points in the Bucks’ win over the Lakers on Nov. 17. The defending champs went 3-0 on the week — with wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City and Orlando — to improve to 9-8 on the season.
Chris Paul led all players in assists in Week 5, averaging 11.5 dimes. Paul leads the league in assists on the season (10.7 apg), while the Suns rank third in assist percentage (63.4%).
3. Kings make a coaching change
The first coaching change of the 2021-22 season came on Sunday in Sacramento as the Kings relieved Luke Walton of his head coaching duties and named Alvin Gentry as interim head coach. The change came following Sacramento’s 123-105 loss to Utah on Saturday; it was the Kings’ third-straight loss and seventh in their last eight games to drop them to 6-11 on the season.
The Kings are looking to snap the NBA’s longest active playoff drought (15 years) as the team has not made the postseason since Rick Adelman’s final season in 2006. Walton — who went 68-93 in two-plus seasons at the helm — was Sacramento’s 10th coach during that run.
4. Triple-double No. 1 for No. 1 pick
Cade Cunningham recorded his first career triple-double in Detroit’s loss to Los Angeles on Sunday as he finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in 38 minutes. After missing the preseason and the opening four games of the season, Cunningham has averaged 14.1 points (4th among rookies), 6.4 rebounds (4th), 4.6 assists (2nd) and 1.4 steals (1st) per game for the Pistons over his first 11 games.
5. Warriors’ start renew Green’s love of the game
While we opened the rewind discussing the 12 straight wins by the Suns, there is still one team they are chasing in the standings — the Golden State Warriors, who went 4-0 in Week 5 to improve to a league-best 15-2 on the season.
Take a couple minutes and watch this answer from Draymond Green’s press conference on Sunday, discussing his renewed love for the game and his desire to have his children see how good of a player their father is.
"I've just found that love and joy for the game and I'm just enjoying playing basketball and controlling what I can control."
Draymond Green on the motivation he's playing with this season.
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) November 22, 2021
6. Milestone watch: Some 3-point records
LeBron James became the 11th player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career 3-pointers on Sunday. Four of the 11 players to reach 2,000 3-pointers made are active, as LeBron joins Stephen Curry, James Harden and Damian Lillard.
There are a few major 3-point milestones on the horizon that we have to keep an eye on:
• Curry is 56 3-pointers from passing Ray Allen for first place all time.
• Harden is 66 3-pointers from passing Reggie Miller for third place all time.
• Lillard is 49 3-pointers from passing Paul Pierce for ninth place.
7. Curry back in MVP mode
Stephen Curry finished out Week 5 ranked second in the league in scoring (28.4 ppg) and first in the latest Kia MVP Ladder. Curry is the only player in NBA history to average more than five 3-pointers made over the course of a season – he’s done so three times (5.1 in both 2015-16 and 2018-19; 5.3 in 2020-21). Through his first 16 games, he’s on a record pace of 5.4 3-pointers made per game on 41.1% shooting.
At this point it’s redundant to say that Curry is the greatest shooter of all-time — that’s not debatable anymore. But it’s still amazing to see some of his shooting numbers compared to his current on-court rivals and the greatest shooters from years ago.
On Thursday, Curry recorded his fourth 40-point game of the season; he’s scored 40 or more points in a quarter of the games he’s played so far this season. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George — two apiece — are the only other players with multiple 40-point games so far this season.
8. LeBron’s scoring streak continues — barely
During Los Angeles’ win over Detroit on Sunday, LeBron James scored 10 points in 21 minutes before being ejected (flagrant 2 foul) for only the second time in his career. By reaching 10 points, he extended his record streak of double-digit scoring games to 1,048 – dating back to Jan. 6, 2007 — by the slimmest of margins. LeBron’s streak is now 180 games longer than Michael Jordan’s streak of 866 games, which had long been the standard for others to chase.
1. LeBron James: 1,048 (Jan. 6, 2007 – present)
2. Michael Jordan: 866 (March 26, 1986 – Dec. 26, 2001)
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 787 (Dec. 4, 1977 – Dec. 2, 1987)
4. Karl Malone: 575 (Dec. 18, 1991 – March 26, 1999)
5. Kevin Durant: 562 (March 14, 2009 – Feb. 27, 2017)
How long will LeBron’s record stand? Well, the second-longest active streak of double-digit scoring games belongs to Kawhi Leonard at 175 games, followed by Brandon Ingram (128), Zach LaVine (120) and Luka Doncic (115). No other player has more than 100 in a row. So, yeah, it’s going to be awhile before this mark gets challenged.
9. Durant joins NBA HooperVision
NBA HooperVision with Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson has given League Pass subscribers a fun and insightful new way to watch a game broadcast with the former teammates giving a player’s perspective to the game.
During this week’s stream of the Clippers vs. Grizzlies, Crawford and Richardson welcomed Kevin Durant to the show to discuss a variety of topics, from the play of Memphis guard Ja Morant, this year’s rookie class, looking back at KD’s rookie season and much more. Here’s a taste of what the broadcast has to offer.