Celtics (3-2) 96; Bucks (3-2) 89
The Bucks rolled out a vintage “Mecca” floor pattern for the game, but it was Boston’s veterans who took over. Al Horford (27/9/4) went 11-of-14 from the floor, including 4-for-5 from three-point range and Kyrie Irving (24/3/7) shot 10-of-18 in the road victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo (28/10/7) continued his scorching-hot start to the season, but no other Buck scored over 15 points in the contest. The Celtics made 19 free throws compared to just eight by the Bucks, who missed six of their attempts from the charity stripe.
Bulls (1-3) 91; Hawks (1-4) 86
With players banged up on both sides, this was a gritty, physical defensive battle. The Hawks shot just 39.5 percent while the Bulls shot 36.0 percent, thus proving the shooting struggles. Hawks starters combined to score just 43 points on 18-for-53 (33.9 percent) shooting, but Marco Belinelli (23/2/2) led the team off the bench. The Bulls led a balanced attack, as no one scored over 16 points, but six players scored in double-figures. Laura Markkanen (14/12/1) recorded his second double-double of the season. The Bulls won the rebounding battle by a shocking 62-to-40 margin, which certainly could have played an impact in their first win of the new season.
Grizzlies (4-1) 96; Mavericks (1-5) 91
In a home-and-home back-to-back series, the two teams ran it back on Thursday. This time, the Grizzlies avenged last night’s loss with the help of Marc Gasol (25/13/3), Mike Conley (22/1/4) and reserve Tyreke Evans (19/6/1). The Mavs shot an abysmal 34.0 percent from the field and just three players scored in double-figures, including Harrison Barnes (22/11/1) and Dirk Nowitzki (14/7/0). Although both teams struggled shooting from the field, they were solid from the free throw line. Memphis knocked down 26-of-30 free throws and Dallas converted 17-of-20.
Clippers (4-0) 104; Trail Blazers (3-2) 103
Blake Griffin (25/8/5) was the hero of the game as he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater. DeAndre Jordan (7/18/1) owned the glass while starting point guard Patrick Beverley (13/7/0) added help in the scoring column, but surprisingly didn’t dish out a single assist. Per usual, Damian Lillard (25/2/6) and CJ McCollum (23/5/4) led the way for Portland, but it ultimately wasn’t enough. The Trail Blazers bench added just 11 points on 4-of-20 shooting in the last-second loss.
Pelicans (2-3) 114; Kings (1-4) 106
The crowd was split into boos and cheers when DeMarcus Cousins (41/23/6) was announced, but he made his Sacramento homecoming worthwhile on the court, going 14-for-25 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three while going 10-for-12 from three-point range.Playing without Anthony Davis (knee), Cousins and Jrue Holiday (20/4/7) led New Orleans’ offense. The Kings sported a balanced attack, as seven players had double-digit scoring nights, but no one scored over 14. The Pelicans out-scored the Kings 58-38 in the second half for the admirable comeback.