Harden, Porzingis set career-highs; Cavs lose again; Celtics stifle Magic

Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks

Hawks (2-8) 117; Cavaliers (4-6) 115

The Cavaliers have now dropped five of their last six games. After Kevin Love (4/4/1) left the game early due to an illness, LeBron James (26/5/13) carried Cleveland as best as he could. Dwayne Wade (25/11/6) had his best game as a Cavalier off the bench while Kyle Korver (23/5/0) also caught fire. But, defensive woes yet again caught Cleveland, as all five Hawks starters scored 14 or more points. Dennis Schroder (28/3/9) led the way for Atlanta, shooting an efficient 9-of-13 from the floor and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Rookie John Collins (12/13/1) had a double-double off the bench for the Hawks.

Heat (4-5) 104; Clippers (5-4) 101

Playing without Dion Waiters, the Heat relied on Hassan Whiteside (21/17/1) offensively, and he delivered, going 9-of-16 shooting in a dominant effort. Blake Griffin (23/8/4) led the Clippers in scoring in the defeat, but as a whole, LA struggled offensively, shooting just 39.1 percent overall and 9-of-31 (29.0 percent) from three-point range. Oddly enough, the Clippers won the rebounding battle 50-to-37 and outscored the Heat 35-15 in the fourth quarter, but still lost.

Celtics (8-2) 104; Magic (6-4) 88

Boston showed exactly why they’re considered one of the best defensive teams in the NBA in this performance. Limiting the Magic to 36.3 percent shooting, including a 6-of-29 (20.7 percent) mark from three-point range, the Celtics allowed 20 or less points in three out of the four quarters. Since the game was out of hand by the fourth quarter, no Celtic played 30 minutes, but all five starters scored in double-figures, led by Jaylen Brown (18/7/1). Boston has the best record in the NBA.

Wizards (5-4) 107; Raptors (5-4) 96

Playing without John Wall due to a shoulder injury, the Wizards had a major disadvantage heading into this game. But, opposing All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry (2/1/1) got ejected after playing 12 minutes, thus evening the playing field. Bradley Beal (38/5/4) continued his hot start to the season, going 16-of-26 from the floor as the clear go-to option for Washington. DeMar DeRozan (26/4/3) led the way for the Raptors who went an embarrassing 5-of-24 from beyond the arc in the home loss. The Wizards went 11-of-23 from deep.

Rockets (8-3) 137; Jazz (5-5) 110

Houston absolutely dismantled Utah in this one, scoring 115 points in the first three quarters alone, including 48 in the third. James Harden (56/2/13) set a new career-high in points as the Rockets shot an absurd 59.3 percent from the field and an astounding 23-of-39 (59.0 percent) from three-point range. Harden and Eric Gordon (20/6/2) combined to take 40 of Houston’s 81 field goal attempts on the night. All five Jazz starters scored in double-figures, but none scored over 13 points in the loss. Rookie Donovan Mitchell (17/4/4) continued his surge to lead Utah in scoring.

Spurs (6-4) 112; Suns (4-6) 95

Seven Spurs scored in double-figures in the win. Led by LaMarcus Aldridge (21/9/2) who went 9-of-13 shooting, San Antonio outscored Phoenix 34-to-13 in the third quarter to pull away for good. TJ Warren (17/5/0) led the Suns in scoring. Phoenix had 18 turnovers in the game, exactly double the number that San Antonio had (9).

Knicks (5-4) 108; Pacers (5-5) 101

Kristaps Porzingis (40/8/1) continued his blazing-hot start to the new season, posting a career-high in points on 15-of-24 shooting. The Knicks shockingly outscored the Pacers 36-17 in the fourth quarter for the comeback victory in front of their home fans. Five Pacers scored 15 or more points in the loss and were led by Thaddeus Young (18/5/3), who shot 7-of-11 from the floor.

Timberwolves (7-3) 112; Hornets (5-5) 94

Andrew Wiggins (20/3/2), Jeff Teague (18/5/12) and Karl-Anthony Towns (16/9/2) led the T-Wolves to victory. Minnesota pulled ahead with a huge second quarter in which they outscored Charlotte 40-23. Despite the presence of Dwight Howard (13/9/1), Minnesota owned the glass with a 54-to-38 rebounding margin. Kemba Walker (9/2/9) uncharacteristically struggled for the Hornets, going 4-of-15 shooting. Interestingly, just 30 total points were scored in the fourth quarter in this game (15-15).

Trail Blazers (5-4) 103; Thunder (4-4) 99

Carmelo Anthony (13/6/0) was ejected in the third quarter, thus leaving Russell Westbrook (25/6/9) and Paul George (27/5/2) to carry most of the scoring load from that point forward. That duo combined to take 46 of OKC’s 89 total shots. The trio of Damian Lillard (36/5/13), CJ McCollum (22/3/1) and Jusuf Nurkic (25/8/3) remarkably combined 83 of Portland’s 103 points in the victory for the Blazers.

Lakers (5-5) 107; Grizzlies (6-4) 102

Lonzo Ball (9/5/9) struggled yet again, shooting just 3-of-13 from the field, including 1-of-8 from three-point range for the Lakers. Brook Lopez (21/1/5) and Brandon Ingram (20/7/1) both shot 7-of-14 from the field to lead LA to the win. Tyreke Evans (26/1/2), Mike Conley (23/5/3) and Marc Gasol (15/10/7) almost brought the Grizzlies back, outscoring the Lakers 32-19 in the final quarter, but LA held on at the end.

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