The Milwaukee Bucks haven’t tasted defeat too often over the last two NBA seasons. But Giannis Antetokounmpo and co. suffered their biggest regular-season defeat under head coach Mike Budenholzer as the San Antonio Spurs spanked them by 22 points.
That game was just one of many notable details SBOTOP NBA fans should know from another action-packed night around the league, which included the Philadelphia 76ers finally getting back to winning ways and Nikola Jokic having a career night.
Oklahoma City Thunder 113-120 Philadelphia 76ers
A couple of streaks came to an end in Philadelphia as the 76ers finally snapped their four-game losing skid by beating the in-form Thunder, who had won their last five in a row and nine of their last 10.
All five Sixers starters finished in double digits, led by Josh Richardson’s 23 points. Ben Simmons (17 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists) and Joel Embiid (18 points, nine rebounds, nine assists) also had excellent all-around games
Embiid suffered a gruesome finger dislocation in the first quarter, but he would return to the game after having it popped back into place.
Indiana Pacers 115-104 Charlotte Hornets
The Pacers put an end to their recent road woes as they took care of the struggling Hornets. Indiana had lost their last four road games heading into the game, but T.J. Warren’s team-high 36 points ensured they wouldn’t lose a fifth.
Charlotte’s backcourt of Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham carried the team with a combined 50 points and 12 assists, but they simply couldn’t stop Warren and the Pacers, who shot 53 per cent from the field as a team.
The loss snapped the Hornets’ mini two-game win streak and have now lost seven of their last nine games.
Denver Nuggets 123-115 Atlanta Hawks
Nikola Jokic was anonymous offensively in their loss to the Wizards the other night, but he more than made up for it in Atlanta. The Serbian big man scored a career-high 47 points to lead the Nuggets past the Hawks.
Will Barton added 28 points for the Nuggets, who are now 2-2 on their current five-game road trip, which ends in Dallas.
Trae Young had another brilliant game for the Hawks as he finished with 29 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 12 assists.
Boston Celtics 94-99 Washington Wizards
The Celtics saw their own three-game win streak surprisingly snapped away to the Washington Wizards. With All-Star guard Bradley Beal sitting out, Ish Smith starred for the Wizards with 27 points off the bench.
The Celtics were also without their All-Star guard in Kemba Walker, who missed his third straight game due to flu. Boston simply couldn’t make anything as they shot a mere 35 per cent from the floor, including 8-of-37 on 3-pointers.
Guards Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown were the main offenders as they shot just 10-of-36 from the field and 5-of-20 from beyond the arc.
Brooklyn Nets 89-101 Orlando Magic
The Nets are not looking so hot right now. Brooklyn’s losing streak is now up to six games after they fell away to the Orlando Magic. Former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz had a memorable game with a career-high 25 points to lead the Magic to victory.
Meanwhile, the Nets simply couldn’t get the ball to go in the net. They shot just 33 per cent from the floor and 21 per cent on 3-pointers. Guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple were especially off as they went a combined 3-of-18 from beyond the arc and 8-of-32 overall.
Utah Jazz 128-126 New Orleans Pelicans
The Jazz and Pelicans played the most entertaining game of the night as they had a high-scoring shootout which went down to the wire.
Utah’s Bojan Bogdanovic and New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram both had a game-high 35 points, but it was Donovan Mitchell’s clutch jumper with over a minute to go which decided the game. The Jazz have now won six games in a row.
The Pelicans have dropped two out of their last three after winning four straight, but the big NBA 2020 news for them is that prized rookie Zion Williamson has progressed to 5-on-5 practise and is getting closer to making his return.
Milwaukee Bucks 104-126 San Antonio Spurs
Despite being significant underdogs, the Spurs shockingly blew out the NBA-leading Milwaukee Buck by 22 points.
DeMar DeRozan led the charge for the Spurs with 25 points, while Patty Mills and Rudy Gay combined for 38 big points off the Spurs bench. Mills also had six of the team’s season-high 19 made 3-pointers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a strong game with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists, but Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe were held to just 23 points combined after putting up 41 in their home win over the Spurs the other night.
Chicago Bulls 110-118 Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic and the Mavs bounced back from their disappointing home defeat to the Hornets by beating the Bulls.
Doncic had another brilliant performance for Dallas. The young superstar had 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists and scored 21 of the team’s 27 points in the third quarter. That’s his second triple-double in a row and his fourth-straight game with over 30 points a streak which started after his off-night against the Lakers.
Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 26 points, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Chicago from losing their fourth game in a row and fifth in their last six.
Golden State Warriors 98-111 Sacramento Kings
After going on a hot streak during Christmas time, the Warriors are still in search of their first win of 2020. Golden State dropped their fourth game of the new year — and fifth overall — as they lost to the Sacramento Kings.
The Kings’ backcourt of D’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield starred as they had 21 points apiece. Meanwhile, the wing duo of Harrison Barnes and Trevor Ariza also chipped in with 18 points each.
With Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell still sidelined due to injuries, Glenn Robinson III had a team-high 16 points for the shorthanded Warriors, while rookie Eric Paschall added 12.
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