With every Wednesday in the Association comes a whole lot of games. When there are a whole lot games, you can expect a few stellar performances around the league, especially when scorers like Jayson Tatum, Kevin Durant, and Devin Booker are all in action.
Booker got to wake up on Wednesday to praise being thrown his way from Sam Amick at The Athletic. In and around Amick’s one-on-one with Booker, the letters “M-V-P” were mentioned quite a few times, but it’s not always clear whether he can rise beyond last year’s finish of fourth in MVP voting.
As Tatum in particular joined him in doing so, Booker showed late Wednesday night why his MVP consideration needs to be taken seriously. Reactions to those games and 11 others coming your way.
Depleted Cavs pound Sixers, 113-85
#Cavs Dean Wade is casually flipping in left-handed runners while a wolf sound howls from the speaker system and the Cavs lead by 29 midway through the fourth quarter. We are done here.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) December 1, 2022
Trae Young, Hawks snap losing skid with 125-108 win over Magic
The new Atlanta backcourt continues to produce as Young tallies 30 points and 14 assists with 27 points and six assists from Dejounte Murray, combining to shoot 50% from the floor.
Snapping their three-game losing streak means staying in the East’s top six while the sixth straight loss for the Magic leaves them with the second-worst record in the league – or second-best for tanking purposes.
Jayson Tatum shows out in Celtics’ 134-121 win over Heat
Tatum notched his third 40-point game of the season with 49 on 15-25 shooting (8-12 3P) and continues to be one of the biggest reasons why Boston is the team to beat so far. Four starters had at least five assists on the night to help set up Tatum among others. The Celtics have now won five in a row and 13 of their last 14.
Miami Heat falls further below .500 as Jimmy Butler misses his seventh straight game. In the NBA, you win a lot of games when shooting 52.2% from the floor and 18-40 from distance, but sometimes in the NBA, you run into a buzzsaw like Boston who’s now averaging 134.7 points over their last three.
Another KD-led Nets win, 113-107 over Wizards
Kevin Durant piled together 39 points (13-20), five rebounds, and five assists as Brooklyn gets above .500 for the first time this season at 12-11 off the back of three straight wins. Three Wizards – Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle Kuzma, and Brad Beal – each finished with 25+ points in the loss as Washington trailed for the entire fourth.
Bucks pull out close win over Knicks, 109-103
Grayson Allen hit a go-ahead three with 30.9 seconds left, and the Knicks were never able to answer. Giannis had 37 points (13-25), 13 rebounds, and seven assists, but fouled out with a minute remaining. Nonetheless, Milwaukee picks up the win to move to 15-5.
Silver lining for Knicks fans is that RJ Barrett seems to be back to his normal self, averaging 21.6 points over his last five games (including 26 on 8-15 in this one) after averaging 12.6 over the prior five. They’re sitting right at the edge of the play-in, tied at 10-12 with Miami vying for the 10th spot.
Anthony Edwards posts efficient night as Wolves topple Grizzlies, 109-101
In the first of what will be a good chunk of games missed by Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota was able to protect their home floor against Memphis. The Wolves were in control for most of the fourth quarter, where Ant Man scored 17 of his 29 points on the night, finishing 10-18 from the floor.
Pelicans dominate Raptors, 126-108
New Orleans won the first half 74-47, which was enough to coast through the second half as they continue their rise up the standings, now sitting third in the West at 13-8. Zion Williamson showed out big time once again, totaling 33 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists; he now has two 30-point games in his last four after none over his first 12.
The Raptors continue to tread water just above .500 after struggling to find help around Gary Trent Jr. (35 points) and Pascal Siakam (23). Those two combined to shoot 21-36 (58.3%) from the floor, but the rest of the team shot just 21-52 (40.4%).
Thunder kick the Spurs while they’re down, 119-111
OKC gets back in the win column despite not having Shai Gilgeous-Alexander available. Instead, rookie forward Jalen Williams led the way with 27 points on 11-15 while Josh Giddey added in a double-double of 14 & 14 to go with his five assists.
After a 5-2 start, the Spurs have lost 14 of their last 15, including nine in a row. Their silver lining is getting to watch Devin Vassell put up 25 points on strong efficiency of 7-13 from the field while getting to dream about the freak of nature from France, Victor Wembanyama.
Nuggets handle business against Rockets, 120-100
Devin Booker continues hot run as Suns whack Bulls, 132-113
After posting 44 points, four assists, and six steals two nights prior, Booker followed it up with 51 points on 20-25 shooting with six assists in just three quarters (31 minutes). It also makes three 40-plus point outings over his last seven.
Coming off his first career Western Conference Player of the Week, Suns big Deandre Ayton added 30 points (11-17), 14 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks as he gets his seventh straight double-double and the Suns get their sixth straight win.
Utah snaps losing skid, handle Clippers, 125-112
The Jazz get back into the win column after losing five straight and eight of their last 10 behind 33 points from Jordan Clarkson and 20-plus from each of Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton.
The two stars for the Clippers were both out, so the starters struggled to produce, but they did get 26 from John Wall and and at least eight from four other bench players.
Sacramento lays the beatdown on Indiana, 137-114
Lakers’ vibes immaculate in win over Blazers, 128-109
The win sure looked and felt good for the Lakers as LeBron and AD combined for 58 points on 21-35 (60%) shooting. Austin Reaves added in a season-high 22 points as well, but the as they always are, these good vibes were fleeting as the Lakers didn’t waste any time in waiving everyone’s favorite DoorDasher: