Recapping Week 6 in NBA: Much to be thankful for
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
Hornets 117, Celtics 112 — Kemba Walker ran wild on Saturday against the 76ers, scoring a career-and franchise-record 60 points and … the Hornets lost. Walker wasn’t about to let another monster scoring night go for naught. He dropped 43 points on the Celtics, becoming the fifth player in NBA history to score at least 40 immediately after going for 60-plus.
Bucks 104, Nuggets 98 — Good teams in the NBA can rally at any point and can especially do so against an opponent with equal firepower. The Bucks proved they have that trait on Monday, climbing from a 17-point hole to take down the Nuggets behind the play of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The win helped Milwaukee complete a season-series sweep of Denver and kept it atop the Central Division, too.
Lakers 109, Cavs 105 — Cleveland fans had this one circled for months as it marked the return of LeBron James to the city he led to four straight Finals. James had his way with his old squad and flirted with a triple-double in the win in an emotional game. Despite the loss, Cavs fans had nothing but cheers for James and the team delivered a classy tribute to LeBron as well during the game.
Suns 116, Bucks 114 — Veteran Jamal Crawford has always had a knack for nailing game-winning baskets in his career. He showed he still has some of that mojo left, nailing a foul-line jumper to seal Phoenix’s best win of the season. Although the Suns are one of the NBA’s worst teams to date this season, they didn’t look like it in holding off the Bucks on Friday night.
Warriors 117, Kings 116 — Sacramento continues to be in the thick of the playoff chase in the Western Conference, but if they miss out on that goal, this loss may be one that haunts them. Klay Thompson scored on a putback with 5 seconds left and Kevin Durant won a late-game jump ball to seal a win the Kings had every right to think was theirs.
Sixers 127, Nets 125 — Another week, another game-winning basket from Jimmy Butler. He sank a 3-pointer with :00.4 seconds left on Sunday to drop Brooklyn, almost a week to the day from when he did the same to the Hornets in Charlotte. It was fitting that Butler took the last shot as he (and Joel Embiid) carried the Sixers as they rallied from a 20-point deficit to take this one.
Clippers 104, Blazers 100 — Who had the LA Clippers as their pick as Western Conference leaders a month into the season? Not many, but that’s where they reside after another big win against another powerful West team (they topped the Grizzlies earlier in the week). Tobias Harris delivered all night while Danilo Gallinari nailed a clutch jumper with 47 seconds left to seal this victory.
Stat Lines of the Week
Kemba Walker (43 points, 14-25 FG, 7-13 3pt FG, 4 reb, 5 ast in 38 minutes) — The 6-foot-1 Walker came up gigantic in the fourth quarter against Boston, shooting 7-for-10 overall with four 3-pointers to help seal the win. He and Boston’s Kyrie Irving put on a show for those in Charlotte on Monday, but it was Walker who took the spotlight with his clutch scoring down the stretch. | Watch | Video box score
Tobias Harris (34 points, 14-22 FG, 2-6 3pt FG, 11 reb in 36 minutes) — Efficiency was the name of the game for Harris, as he delivered time and again in one of the Clippers’ biggest wins of the season. As you start to perhaps ponder who should be an All-Star come 2019, don’t let your mind wander too far before you think of Harris. | Watch | Video box score
Marc Gasol (20 points, 6-13 FG, 8-8 FT, 10 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl in 34 minutes) — The number to focus on here comes from the free-throw line, where Gasol’s final two makes were clutch. He sank a pair of free throws with :00.7 seconds left in the game to seal a key win for Memphis as it tries to stay among the West’s best. | Watch | Video box score
Karl-Anthony Towns (35 points, 13-23 FG, 22 reb, 6 ast in 37 minutes) — The Timberwolves’ big man has looked like his All-Star self since the Jimmy Butler trade, and made his presence felt in dominating the Bulls on Saturday night. He rang up his third career game with at least 30 points and 20 rebounds to get Minnesota past Chicago in a game that was tighter than the score indicates. | Watch | Video box score
Kevin Durant (44 points, 13-26 FG, 2-8 3pt FG, 16-17 FT, 13 reb, 7 ast, 2 blk in 40 minutes) — The Warriors needed a win badly by Saturday, having lost four straight heading into their game against the Sacramento Kings. Durant came up big all night long scoring-wise, and made a key heads-up play on a jump ball late in the game to seal the victory. | Watch | Video box score
Nikola Vucevic (31 points, 10-20 FG, 3-8 3pt FG, 8-8 FT, 15 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk in 35 minutes) — The Magic continue to refute the small-ball ways of the rest of the NBA behind their star big man. He led Orlando to a season-series sweep of the Lakers and another big road win (they’ve already won in Boston and San Antonio to date) on Sunday that kept the Magic in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff mix. | Watch | Video box score
Best plays from Week 6
Quotes of the Week
”We were looking for another 60 but I think 43 will do tonight. He’s incredible. This is a special player, a special performance and a special start to an NBA season.” — Hornets coach James Borrego, after Kemba Walker’s big game vs. Boston
“I don’t believe in like, it’s just going to be over when it’s over. In the NBA, I don’t believe in fairytales and the emotions that come into this. It’s not going to just be over unless we got out there and impose our will on the basketball court like we did tonight.” — Warriors star Kevin Durant, after the team beat Portland to end a four-game slide
“I love telling Derrick how good he is and how MVP Derrick (has) always been there and is still there.” — Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, on teammate Derrick Rose
“I don’t know if his blood pressure ever goes up or down. He is one of the best, if not the best free-throw shooter in the league.” — Clippers coach Doc Rivers, on Danilo Gallinari
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VIDEOS FROM WEEK 6
GameTime: Butler making big impact for Sixers
GameTime: Paying homage to Oscar Robertson
GameTime: Is Fultz’s time up in Philly?
Story Time With Shaq: My first triple-double in NBA
Webb’s Wheel: High praise for LeBron
Players Only: Hornets’ Walker keeps on sizzling
STORIES FROM WEEK 6
* Schuhmann: Some plays you may have missed from Week 6 …
* Smith: Q&A with Monty McCutchen
* Powell: The evolution of the homecoming game
* Kia MVP Ladder: Hornets’ Walker making his case known