Recapping Week 5 in NBA: Epic performances abound
Jeff Case, NBA.com
Take a look back at the week that was in the NBA with a collection of some of the best games, videos, photos, features and more from around the NBA world.
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Games of the Week
Clippers 121, Warriors 116 (OT) — First, the Clippers blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. Then, the Warriors’ Draymond Green drew the ire of Kevin Durant for how he handled the final possession of regulation. Lastly, Lou Williams came through in overtime to seal a thrilling win for the Clippers. In short, there were no shortage of storylines in this showdown between these West rivals.
Pistons 106, Raptors 104 — Beating your old team? That’s always sweet for whoever is involved in it. Doing so on a game-winning buzzer-beater? That sweetens the pot a bit more. While Dwane Casey didn’t take a shot on Wednesday, watching Reggie Bullock nail a 5-footer to sink the Raptors had to be rewarding for Toronto’s ex-coach. It was his first game back at his old haunt and, although he was honored by the team for his work, this win had to feel sweet.
Magic 111, Sixers 106 — Jimmy Butler got his wish earlier in the week and was ready to start fresh with the Sixers on Wednesday. Too bad Terrance Ross and the Magic weren’t about to stand idly by for it. Ross nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds left that capped Orlando’s fourth-quarter rally. Even more impressive was that the Magic scored 21 straight points in the fourth quarter and held Philly without a field goal over the game’s final 3 1/2 minutes.
Lakers 126, Blazers 117 — What, exactly, will LeBron James’ legacy be when he’s done playing? That question came to mind for many after James passed a legend of the game on the all-time scoring list en route to a Lakers win Wednesday. His 44-point outburst pushed him ahead of Wilt Chamberlain for fifth on the all-time list and got the talk flowing about the legacy of perhaps the NBA’s best player today.
Celtics 123, Raptors 116 (OT) — Can we get more than four of these matchups this season, please? Friday’s showdown was another classic between these East heavyweights, as Kyrie Irving dominated down the stretch and into overtime to help Boston even up the season series at 1-1. For the Raptors, Kawhi Leonard delivered (31 points, 15 rebounds, three steals) as he did in the first Celtics-Raptors game, but this time his crew took the loss.
Sixers 122, Hornets 119 (OT) — Days after a so-so Sixers debut, Jimmy Butler reminded all of us why he’s one of the NBA’s best two-way players. First, he swatted away Kemba Walker’s driving, go-ahead layup attempt in overtime and saved the ball. Then, Butler nailed the game-winning 3-pointer in OT with :00.3 left on the clock. Tremendous tip of the hat to Walker, though, who set both career and franchise records in scoring 60 points in the loss.
Lakers 113, Heat 97 — Another day, another milestone for LeBron. He dropped 51 points on Miami, marking the 12th 50-point game in his storied career. He became the fifth player in NBA lore to score 50 or more points with three different franchises and joined Kobe Bryant (60 points) as the only players to score 50 or more points in their 16th season or later. And, James also got his first win against the Heat since leaving them in 2014.
Stat Lines of the Week
Karl-Anthony Towns (25 points, 9-11 FG, 2-2 3pt FG, 21 reb, 3 ast in 37 minutes) — The weight of the Wolves rest on Towns’ shoulders now after the Jimmy Butler trade. He proved he was more than up to that load, though, in rampaging past the Nets on Monday night. | Watch | Video box score
LeBron James (44 points, 13-19 FG, 5-6 3pt FG, 10 reb, 9 ast in 36 minutes) — History struck twice for the former Kia MVP winner this week, with the first instance coming on Wednesday night as he passed Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list. Not only that, but this win kept the Lakers on the winning side of things and gave them a victory over one of the West’s better teams to open the 2018-19 season. | Watch | Video box score
Kyrie Irving (43 points, 18-26 FG, 3-6 3pt FG, 2 reb, 11 ast in 43 minutes) — Irving had 11 straight Boston points down the stretch assisted on every basket in the extra period to lead Boston to a 123-116 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday. In short, it was the kind of performance that has Boston thinking it can win the East this season. | Watch | Video box score
Kemba Walker (60 points, 21-34 FG, 6-14 3pt FG, 7 reb, 4 ast, 4 stl in 45 minutes) — Don’t let Walker getting his go-ahead layup try in overtime swatted by Jimmy Butler be the lasting memory of this game from Saturday. Instead, focus on the amazing scoring performance he put on and how he overall lit up Butler (he shot 15 of 23 against him) and the Sixers at large. | Watch | Video box score
LeBron James (51 points, 19-31 FG, 6-8 3pt FG, 8 reb, 3 ast in 38 minutes) — One accolade a week would generally be enough for most NBA superstars. Not so for James, who passed Wilt Chamberlain on Wednesday on the all-time scoring list … and then lit up Miami with a 51-point game that looked mostly effortless. | Watch | Video box score
Best plays from Week 5
Quotes of the Week
”That’s what I’ve been striving for my whole life.” — Jazz forward Joe Ingles, after his wearing of a medical bandana around his head Monday started a social media trend.
“I’ve read a lot about how ‘is this the end of the run? Or ‘Is it over?’ Or ‘did I force Kevin [Durant] to leave?’ … What you must know, nobody in this organization, from a player — not myself, not Kevin not anybody else — is going to beat us. If you’re one of them 29 other teams in this league, you’ve got to beat us. We’re not going to beat us. We’re going to continue to do what we do. I’m sorry if that ruins everybody’s stories.” — Warriors forward Draymond Green
“You don’t just click your heels and win NBA games.” — Sixers coach Brett Brown, after his team lost in Jimmy Butler’s debut game
“He would never say it, but anytime you come back to a place you spent so much time at, had so much success and obviously the fans love him here, to win Coach of the Year and switch jobs in the same year is tough. I think it meant a lot to him. I was just proud of the way we came back and responded.” — Pistons forward Blake Griffin, on coach Dwane Casey getting a win Wednesday in Toronto
“Anytime my name is mentioned with some of the greats to play this game, I always think back to my hometown, where I come from, how far I’ve come.” — Lakers forward LeBron James, on passing Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list
“In the summer we tried to hit a home run and it didn’t work out. He tried everything he could. He was great while he was here. It just didn’t work out for whatever reason. I just thank him for his professionalism. It was good. He tried everything he could to make it work and it just didn’t work out.” — Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, on the team parting ways with Carmelo Anthony
“Man, he made some shots tonight where you’re just like, ‘Wow.’ You catch yourself being a fan. When he gets into that mode, the whole arena knew where we were going, and so did the Raptors. They just couldn’t stop him.” — Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, on Kyrie Irving’s play vs. the Raptors
“I’m still proud, that’s an unbelievable thing to do right there. I’m just mad that we lost. I’m a competitor. It would have been even better with a win.” — Hornets guard Kemba Walker, on his 60-point game
“Aaron Gordon is one of the top 1 percent of athletes in this league. The fact he’s now making his 3s, with that athleticism and his ability to put the ball on the floor, that’s a scary thought.” — Knicks coach David Fizdale
Photos of the Week
(Dis)respect your elders
Have your people call my people
A Magical finish
Oh, to be a fly on the wall …
Hey, click on this stuff …
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VIDEOS FROM WEEK 5
GameTime: Dancing with Boban Marjanovic
GameTime: Doncic talks after big win vs. Warriors
GameTime: State of situation with Warriors?
Isiah On Point: Reminiscing with Doc Rivers
Inside The NBA: Thoughts on Anthony’s exit in Houston
Story Time With Shaq: First time playing Michael Jordan
Players Only: Lowry talks scoring, Raptors
Players Only: Can Butler, Embiid co-exist in Philly?
STORIES FROM WEEK 5
* Schuhmann: Some plays you may have missed from Week 5 …
* Aschburner: Q&A with Cavs veteran Kyle Korver
* Aschburner: Mavs’ Jordan enjoying major turnaround at line
* Aschburner: Lopez twins change their game to fit into modern NBA
* Kia MVP Ladder: LeBron rising as Lakers do likewise in West
* Dunk HQ: A double dose of Zach LaVine