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NBA Scores: Thunder/Bulls gets scrappy, Harden goes for 47, Trail Blazers squeeze out a win

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NBA: Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers @ San Antonio Spurs

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On the second game of a back-to-back, the Sixers took a beating. Check out our recap and the Bell Ringer for more.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Detroit Pistons

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Notables

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) had 32 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks
  • Eric Bledsoe (MIL) had 17 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals
  • Blake Griffin (DET) had 19 points (4/13 FG), 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 steal... 10 turnovers
  • Reggie Bullock (DET) had 24 points (9/14 FG), 3 rebounds, 1 assist

From the Brew Hoop Recap:

Giannis was a mammoth down low tonight, posting a hyper-efficient 15-21 shooting performance en route to 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. He got plenty of brutal calls tonight though, with Flop Griffin doing his best Peeves impression on the court as Giannis made his way to the basket.

From the Detroit Bad Boys Recap:

Blake Griffin had two three-point attempts in the last seconds of the game to tie, but could not get either to fall. The offense just continues to be a bit too Blake-centric, with Blake being asked to create almost everything. The team defers to him almost comically at times. Blake had himself a triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, but turned it over 10 times. Blake is taking a pounding most games as he’s asked to do too much (but sometimes it works) — this offense must find a way to make things easier for him.

Phoenix Suns @ New York Knicks

NBA.com

Notables

  • Devin Booker (PHX) had 38 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals
  • TJ Warren (PHX) had 26 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals and 2 blocks
  • Emmanuel Mudiay (NYK) had 32 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists

From the Bright Side of the Sun Recap:

Minus glue-guy Trevor Ariza’s glue-making energy and winning attitude, the Phoenix Suns blasted the New York Knicks on the way to their first three-game winning streak in nearly two years.

Devin Booker had 38 points, T.J. Warren poured in 24 after halftime (26 for the game), and the ageless Jamal Crawford dished a CAREER HIGH 14 assists off the bench, and the Suns won GOING AWAY over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

From the Posting and Toasting Recap:

Let’s get this out of the way: I highly doubt there’s a non-embarrassing way to lose at home to the last-place Phoenix Suns. Sure, the Knicks were playing the second night of a back-to-back, and sure, the Suns have played better of late. But this is a 6-24 team we’re talking about here.

...or it was. The Suns picked up their seventh win of the season —their second road win — on Monday night, stomping the Knicks 128-110. The main culprit was a 41-17 third-quarter drubbing that turned a seven-point Knicks halftime lead into a 17-point deficit by the start of the fourth. Phoenix outscored the Knicks by 24 in the quarter, matching their biggest quarter differential since November 2014.

In terms of humiliating 12-minute ass-whoopings, this was probably the worst since March 2014, when a 24-46 Lakers club put up 51 points on the Knicks. Remember that game? Remember Nick Young’s premature celebration?

Richaun flex incoming:

Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets

NBA.com

Notables

  • James Harden (HOU) had 47 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals

From the SLC Dunk Recap:

Entering into the 2017-18 season, Utah Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey said he wanted teams to feel like they were walking into a painful dentist appointment when they played the Jazz. Tonight, the Jazz showed off this grating, stubborn style of play as they lost 90-81 in a game that felt closer than the final score shows. This was a game in which an unstoppable force struck an immobile object.

From the Dream Shake Recap:

Despite the four-game winning streak and Harden in the midst of a week-long supernova, you have to wonder how sustainable Houston’s offense is right now. They’ve been getting only minor production from the rest of the roster.

The Rockets shot just 37 percent from the field themselves, and as the games continue to pile up, one has to wonder if this is simply the new reality for both Chris Paul and Eric Gordon. Paul hit a clutch jumper and played good defense, but he was just 3-10 from the field for 11 points, 9 assists, and 4 steals. He’s shooting just 41 percent on the year. EG was 4-13 from the field for 12 points, and he remains mired in a season-long shooting slump even after entering the starting lineup.

Definitely not legal:

Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA.com

Notables

  • Buddy Hield (SAC) had 21 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist
  • Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) had 14 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks

From the Sactown Royalty Recap:

The silver lining of this game came in the form of plentiful minutes for Sacramento’s younger reserves. Aside from Koufos, no Kings player over 25 years-old saw the floor in the second half.

Yogi Ferrell was the standout off the bench, scoring 16 points in 24 minutes. He appears to have the advantage over Frank Mason III for the backup point guard position right now, though Mason acquitted himself nicely as well with 12 points and 6 assists.

In the front court, Harry Giles got some much needed work. He tallied a career high 13 points in 22 minutes. Skal Labissiere also saw season highs in minutes, points, rebounds, and blocks.

From the Canis Hoopus Recap:

The other thing that stuck out to me, as I’m sure it did to everyone else, was the play of Josh Okogie. Mr. Obi-Wan was all over the place tonight. His energy, once again, seemed to give life to the entire lineup. It’s obvious the other guys on the team want him to play more, given the way they react when he does pretty much anything. His energy is genuinely contagious.

I’m not sure that he deserves 20-25 minutes a night, but Josh Okogie definitely belongs in the nightly rotation to some degree. Regardless of the circumstances, he played his tail off against a potential playoff team and gave the Wolves the boost they needed.

Chicago Bulls @ Oklahoma City Thunder

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Notables

  • Lauri Markkanen (CHI) had 16 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks
  • Paul George (OKC) had 24 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals
  • Russell Westbrook (OKC) 13 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists and 5 steals

From the Blog A Bull Recap:

The Bulls actually got off to a decent start behind more Kris Dunn magic and held a 15-10 lead midway through the first quarter, but then the offense dried up and the Thunder went on a 21-3 run to take a commanding 13-point lead toward the tail end of the first quarter. The Bulls hung around as OKC’s bench unit stunk up the joint and even got back within two points midway through the second, but a boatload of turnovers (seven) and a lot of Paul George resulted in a 64-44 halftime score. George scored 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the second quarter en route to a game-high 24 points.

The rest of the game was merely a formality in terms of the outcome, with the Thunder dunking all over the Bulls (Jerami Grant and Steven Adams say hello) while the road team coughed it up a whopping 25 times. The Thunder turned it over 20 times themselves, but part of that was them trying too much fancy stuff plus garbage time sloppiness. Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists and five steals as he generally controlled the game.

From the Welcome to Loud City Recap:

Once again OKC relied on their ability to defend passing lanes by forcing 23 Bulls turnovers on the night. Leading the way was Russell Westbrook, who recorded 5 steals on the night (PG and Steven Adams each had 3). What is interesting about Westbrook, who has now recorded 11 steals in the last 2 games, is that if we saw that stat 3-4 years ago, we would have naturally assumed it was because he was cheating on defense and hunting for big steals while neglecting his own man. While Russ still has a penchant for losing his defensive bearings from time to time, his commitment to staying within the defensive structure is not only helping his team defensively, but it ALSO is allowing him to record his highest steals per game total of his career at 2.4 in his 20 games played, a stat that is tops in the league (PG is 2nd at 2.1 per game).

Getting chippy out there:

Portland Trail Blazers @ Los Angeles Clippers

NBA.com

Notables

  • Damian Lillard (POR) had 39 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals
  • CJ McCollum (POR) had 27 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block
  • Tobias Harris (LAC) had 39 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 24 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists

From the Blazer’s Edge Recap:

If you watched the Toronto game, and saw the Blazer bench be a spark to an inspiring and energetic upset, this was about the opposite of that - Portland’s starters came out swinging, leading the Blazers to one of its best starts of the season - only to be squandered by the second unit and ultimately rescued by a superstar performance from Lillard.

From the Clips Nation Recap:

Tobias Harris led LA from the start with a superlative scoring performance, finishing with a career-high 39 points on 15-of-22 shooting. He was the lone bright spot at the start of the game as the Clippers once again started the game off with a dud. The starters put up no defensive resistance against the Blazers, allowing 37 points in the first quarter. The offense was perfectly serviceable, but plays like Jusuf Nurkic’s uncontested dunk with two minutes remaining in the period were emblematic of the walking turnstile LA’s defense has become.

Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors

NBA.com

Notables

  • Marc Gasol (MEM) had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal
  • Kevin Durant (GS) had 23 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks

From the Grizzly Bear Blues Recap:

The Grizzlies had 16 turnovers and gave up 6 offensive rebounds while the Warriors had 10 turnovers while only giving up 2 offensive rebounds. This means we gave an ELITE offensive team 10 more possessions. To beat this team, you have to win the turnover battle and be better on the boards. Giving them more opportunities to score when you are a team that struggles to score isn’t going to work.

From the Golden State of Mind Recap:

The Grizzlies were thoroughly shackled early, held to 14-of-39 shooting from the field (35.9%). They could barely buy a three-pointer as well, attempting 11 from distance and only converting two at the half. They also couldn’t force the Dubs into many mistakes, as the Warriors only coughed up two turnovers. That’s a far cry from what the “Grit-N-Grind” Grizz used to do to Golden State.