NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: Sweet Lou drops 50

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NBA results, January 11, 2018

Dallas Mavericks 115 – Charlotte Hornets 111

Miami Heat 114 – Indiana Pacers 106

Utah Jazz 107 – Washington Wizards 104

Detroit Pistons 114 – Brooklyn Nets 80

Chicago Bulls 122 – New York Knicks 119

Houston Rockets 121 – Portland Trail Blazers 112

Memphis Grizzlies 105 – New Orleans Pelicans 102

Milwaukee Bucks 110 – Orlando Magic 103

Minnesota Timberwolves 104 – OKC Thunder 88

Atlanta Hawks 110 – Denver Nuggets 97

LA Clippers 125 – Golden State Warriors 106

Five things that happened in the NBA today

1. Lou Williams put on a show in Oracle

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were sitting out today’s game against the LA Clippers to rest. With two of the best shooters in the league out for today’s game, it was really nice of Lou Williams to make up for it with a shooting display of his own. Williams erupted for a career-high 50 points in front of the Oracle Arena crowd.

The Clippers were down by eight points in the third quarter when Williams single-handedly brought the team back with an amazing display of scoring. He didn’t just get hot from beyond the arc. Williams was on fire from everywhere on the court. Even Coach Steve Kerr was sitting back in awe as Williams torched the nets. He scored a franchise-best 27 points in the quarter.

The Clippers took momentum away from the Warriors and proceeded to blow them out in the fourth quarter, led by Williams who remained hot after his third quarter show.

This was a big win by the Clippers. They stop the Warriors’ five-game win streak and pull to within one game of the eight seed. They’re doing this without Blake Griffin who’s out due to the NBA’s concussion protocol. The Clippers are making a run for the playoffs primarily because of Williams who’s been on fire in the past 10 games.

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2. Williams spoils Durant’s milestone

Lost in the Clippers win was Kevin Durant’s own hot-shooting night. Durant tried to carry the Warriors to a win without both Curry and Thompson. He scored 40 points in just 31 minutes.

In the process, Durant also became the second youngest player to ever score 20,000 points. He hit the milestone with a midrange jumper in the second quarter of the game.

Some notes on Durant’s Milestone:

  • LeBron James is the youngest to reach 20K points, doing it at 28 years and 17 days. Durant did it in 29 years and 103 days
  • Durant is the fifth player to reach 20K points before 30. He joins James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain
  • Durant is the 44th player to join the 20K club

3. Chris Paul steps up against Damian Lillard

The Houston Rockets’ gamble in acquiring Chris Paul over the summer is paying off. Not only is Paul playing well alongside Harden, but now that Harden is out with an injury, the Rockets have another superstar to step up in his place.

Against the Portland Trail Blazers who welcomed back Damian Lillard, Paul led the way with 37 points and 11 assists. The Rockets didn’t skip a beat as Paul led them offensively. He hit big shots in the end game to give his team a safe cushion.

Paul scored his 37th point on a layup in the dying seconds of the game with the Rockets up by seven points. Lillard didn’t appreciate the basket and let Paul know about it before the game ended.

4. The Finnisher beats the Unicorn

When it comes to sweet-shooting European big men, Dirk Nowitzki is the OG. He’s the template that everyone tries to follow. But he’s not the barometer anymore. That distinction belongs to Kristaps Porzingis.

The Unicorn is the standard that all European shooting bigs aspire to become. Porzingis hosted a young Finn in Madison Square Garden today. Lauri Markkanen was in town and he ended up out playing Porzingis.

Markkanen scored 33 points and tied the rookie record of eight threes in a game.

Porzingis scored 29 points and had big plays at the end of regulation and the first OT period. But in the second extra period, Robin Lopez and Kris Dunn hit big shots to give the Bulls enough cushion to win the game.

5. Timberwolves making a run for the top

The Minnesota Timberwolves are slowly making a run for a top three slot in the West. A day after they stifled LeBron James, Minnesota shackled the rest of the Thunder in another big win.

Russell Westbrook scored 38 points and had 10 boards but the rest of his team could only manage 50 points on 30% shooting. Anthony only had 15 points and George managed only 13 both on subpar percentages.

Jimmy Butler scored 26 points to lead a balanced scoring attack.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?

Rodney Hood is no superstar, but he got ejected today for continuously complaining over a non call. To make matters worse, on his way back to the locker room, he slapped a phone away from a fan who was recording him.

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