Recapping Week 9 in NBA: A fantastic farewell
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
Celtics 113, Pelicans 100 — One sign of a quality contender in the NBA is its ability to succeed without its best players. That’s the trait Boston displayed against New Orleans on Monday, as both Al Horford and Kyrie Irving watched Marcus Morris and Co. rack up the team’s sixth straight win. Morris finished with a season-high 31 points and youngster Jayson Tatum added 21, too, in the win.
Lakers 108, Heat 105 — The Dwyane Wade farewell tour took on special significance on Monday, what with the former Finals MVP paying his last visit to his former teammate, LeBron James. Fittingly, Wade had a shot to send the game into overtime at the buzzer, but his 27 footer fell short (thanks to some fantastic defense by James). The story for this one is less the final score and more the moment of two legends squaring off one last time in an iconic NBA venue.
Pacers 113, Bucks 97 — Chalk up another win against an Eastern Conference favorite for Indiana, which had beaten Boston earlier this season as well. The return of Victor Oladipo sparked the Pacers to their fifth straight win and has them in the thick of the East chase with the Celtics, Raptors and Sixers.
Celtics 130, Wizards 125 (OT) — It’s something for a player to get “M-V-P” chants in his home arena. It’s quite another to get them on the road after destroying that foe with back-to-back clutch shots. Irving put on a show in the extra period, but John Wall and Bradley Beal kept the Wizards in this one as much as they could. In short, it was a showdown between star guards you had to see.
Rockets 126, Lakers 111 — Some players are fortunate enough to score 50 points in a game. Others are good enough to rack up triple-doubles regularly. Then, there was James Harden on Thursday night … he did both. Harden notched the fourth 50-point triple-double of his career, and only the 13th in NBA history, in powering the Rockets to key win.
Trail Blazers 128, Raptors 122 — From the start of the season until Thanksgiving, Portland was a pleasant surprise with its 12-6 start. Things have gone a downhill since then and the Blazers were 15-13 entering Friday’s showdown with the East-leading Raptors. This one featured a great showdown of two clutch scorers (Portland’s Damian Lillard and Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard), but was decided by Portland’s reserves late.
Lakers 128, Hornets 100 — What could possibly make a 28-point win a game worth noting in this space? Nothing … except for two teammates — LeBron James and Lonzo Ball — each logging a triple-double in the Lakers’ win. They became the eighth set of teammates in NBA history to earn triple-doubles in the same game.
Nuggets 95, Raptors 86 — Roughly two weeks since winning a thriller in Toronto, the Nuggets completed the season-series sweep with a great comeback at home on Sunday. Nikola Jokic did most of the heavy lifting all game, but a timely scoring surge from Jamal Murray powered Denver to a win in a showdown of the top-seeded teams in the East and West.
Stat Lines of the Week
LeBron James (24 points, 7-15 FG, 12 reb, 11 ast in 30 minutes) & Lonzo Ball (16 points, 7-11 FG, 10 reb, 10 ast, 5 stl in 34 minutes) — Few in Lakers lore are more beloved than Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. James and Ball have a ways to go to reach that lofty air, but for one night, they had something in common with the “Showtime” duo. In notching a triple-double on Saturday vs. Charlotte, they became the first Lakers teammates to accomplish the feat since Jan. 22, 1982 (when Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar did it).
James Harden (50 points, 14-26 FG, 18-19 FT, 10 reb, 11 ast, 2 stl in 35 minutes) — It took some clutch scoring from the reigning Kia MVP to get this milestone game. Harden crossed into the 50-point realm in the final five minutes, scoring 11 points in that span (while also snaring rebound No. 10 with 90 seconds to go) to give Houston a critical victory.
Kyrie Irving (38 points, 12-28 FG, 7 ast in 40 minutes) — Some minor injuries have slowed the Celtics’ star guard at times this season. The Wizards saw firsthand, though, that Irving is still as cold-blooded as ever. He netted 12 of his points in OT, including a pair of dagger 3-pointers that sealed a closer-than-it-should-have-been win for Boston. | Watch | Video box score
Anthony Davis (41 points, 17-34 FG, 7 reb, 4 stl in 38 minutes) — Although this performance came in a loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday, it also proved why Davis is a go-to player. He was hot in the fourth quarter as the Pelicans tried to comeback, but ultimately fell short of that thanks to Marcus Morris. | Watch | Video box score
Stephen Curry (38 points, 12-23 FG, 7-14 3pt FG, 7 reb 6 ast, 2 stl in 36 minutes) — After a pedestrian first half on Monday against the Wolves (5-12 FG, 13 points), Curry went 7-for-11 in the second half to fuel an overall efficient scoring night. His pair of deep shots in the fourth quarter sealed the win and upped his scoring average to 31.4 ppg since returning from injury. | Watch | Video box score
Dwyane Wade (15 points, 6-19 FG, 5 reb, 10 ast in 32 minutes) — Yes, the space here is often reserved for amazing stat lines and performances. But how can we overlook the effort Wade put in to try and get a win over his good buddy LeBron? While James dazzled in his own right (28 points, 9 rebounds, 12 assists), Wade showed some familiar flair in this near-win for the Heat. | Watch | Video box score
Kyle Lowry (21 points, 8-13 FG, 5 reb, 7 ast in 32 minutes) — It had been a rough stretch for Lowry, who was shooting 4-for-28 in his previous four games before facing the LA Clippers on Tuesday. Not only did Toronto score a big win against another West contender, but the stat line Lowry delivered was more in tune with his usual performance. | Watch | Video box score
Spencer Dinwiddie (39 points, 11-18 FG, 5 ast in 30 minutes) — Close games hadn’t been kind to Brooklyn entering Wednesday’s showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers (the Nets were 4-5 in games decided by three points or less). Dinwiddie showed the scoring form that made him a standout last season, doing all his damage in a reserve roll to power another win this season vs. Philly. | Watch | Video box score
Best plays from Week 9
Quotes of the Week
“We seem to make every guard look like a freakin’ Hall of Famer.” — Sixers center Joel Embiid, after Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie scored 39
“He’s good at basketball. Nothing he does surprises me. Even on a night he gets off to a slow start he finds a way.” — Warriors coach Steve Kerr, on Stephen Curry
“Some people say you shouldn’t be friends with your competitors. But even with our friendship, we competed against each other and we pushed each other.” — Lakers forward LeBron James, on Dwyane Wade
“This was the last time I was going to be able to guard him, so I waited to the end. He knows my moves just like I know his moves. I just wanted to enjoy the competition for the last time.” — Heat guard Dwyane Wade, on LeBron James
“It’s crazy, man. I watched a lot of him (LeBron) growing up and now we had triple-doubles in the same game. I don’t even know if I dreamed of that before.” — Lakers guard Lonzo Ball
“Any time you can put yourself in the conversation of Laker history, all the guys that have come through this franchise, it’s pretty special.” — Lakers forward LeBron James, on he and Ball notching triple-doubles in the same game
“It’s a little awkward, you know. I’m a human. I’ve got feelings. I’m not just numb to the situation. I don’t know how it happened. I guess (the general managers) were in a group text or something.” — Grizzlies guard MarShon Brooks, on the failed three-way trade Saturday that might have sent him to Phoenix
“You guys have a good evening.” — Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, to reporters after being informed he had passed Pat Riley on the all-time wins list
“You can’t tell me one of the best players in the league takes a hundred hits in that game and shoots four free throws. It’s been going on all year. I do not understand why they are letting everybody play one of the best players in the league so physically. I do not understand.” — Raptors coach Nick Nurse, about the lack of foul calls for Kawhi Leonard on Sunday vs. Denver
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We’re all busy. But there’s lots of great content on NBA.com that you might have missed in the hubbub of your life. Take a moment, slow down and soak up some of our best stories, videos and more.
VIDEOS FROM WEEK 9
GameTime: Reflecting on Popovich’s NBA legacy
GameTime: Mitchell’s game reveals hints of Wade’s
GameTime: What moves should Lakers make next?
GameTime: Who could get traded next?
Isiah On Point: In praise of Doncic’s game
Isiah On Point: Why Lowry is driving Raptors
Inside The NBA: Missing you, Shaq
Inside The NBA: Dating and fashion advice from KG
Story Time With Shaq: Secret of ‘Shaq-A-Claus’
Players Only: Where does Wade rank among all-time shooting guards?
Players Only: Secrets to a great pick-and-roll play
Shooter’s Paradise: Secret to Wade’s trademark move
STORIES FROM WEEK 9
* Powell: LeBron, Wade ready for final matchup
* Aschburner: VanDeWeghe reflects on NBA’s highest-scoring game ever
* Schuhmann: Lakers look better the earlier they shoot
* Kia MVP Ladder: Harden helping lead Rockets out of early-season hole