Happy Thanksgiving, NBA fans! While this isn’t our day to watch basketball from morning to night (that would be Christmas Day), we were treated to a full slate of games the night before. Wednesday featured 24 of the league’s 30 franchises, with multiple former Kentucky Wildcats putting on shows.
The two BBNBA stars of the night were Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder) and Malik Monk (Kings), who are both having incredible seasons for different reasons. Unfortunately, their big nights didn’t result in a win, but there was plenty to like about their individual performances. Let’s dive right in.
Starting with Gilgeous-Alexander, the early MVP candidate was absolutely incredible in a 131-126 overtime loss to the Jamal Murray-less Denver Nuggets. SGA exploded for 31 points (8-20 shooting), seven rebounds, 11 assists, and a pair of steals in 42 minutes. He dropped 15 of his points in the second quarter alone, but he was somehow one-upped by Denver’s two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, who dropped 39 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.
Jokic was aided by a 17-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist triple-double from teammate Bruce Brown. Murray was out due to “reconditioning” as he continues to return to game speed following his ACL injury. He’s sat out three of the Nuggets’ last four games.
Kings’ winning streak snapped despite Monk’s big night
Over in Atlanta, Malik Monk was doing his best to challenge SGA for the best BBNBA performance of the night. The Kings’ sharpshooter popped off for a season-high 27 points in a 115-106 loss to the Hawks. Monk shot 12-18 overall from the floor, including a 3-7 mark from downtown, while also adding four rebounds and two steals to his stat line in just 26 minutes.
Helping out Monk in the Sacramento backcourt was his former Kentucky teammate, De’Aaron Fox, who went for 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Unfortunately, he shot 7-20 from the floor and turned the ball over five times in the loss, which snapped the Kings’ seven-game winning streak. The good news is Sacramento is still 10-7 on the season, good enough for 5th in the Western Conference. Kings forward Trey Lyles contributed 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Well hello there, Kevin Knox
Nice of you to finally join in on the fun. It’s no secret that Kevin Knox has not played up to expectations since getting drafted in the lottery back in 2018. Now in his fifth NBA season, Knox didn’t see much playing time early on for the Detroit Pistons to start 2022-23, but that’s changed drastically this week. He poured in 21 points (THE MOST SINCE HIS ROOKIE SEASON) on 6-8 shooting from distance in a 125-116 win over the Utah Jazz last night. In three games since Nov. 20, Knox is averaging 16.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game. Most importantly, he’s found his jumper — Knox is 10-17 from deep during this stretch.
Knox’s Detroit teammate, Hamidou Diallo, added nine points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in his 22 minutes. A third former ‘Cat for the Pistons, Nerlens Noel, was a DNP-Coaches Decision.
On the other end of the court, Jazz forward Jarred Vanderbilt contributed seven points, three rebounds, and two assists in the loss.
Hornets and Heat pick up big wins
The Charlotte Hornets likely won’t make the postseason this year, but that didn’t stop them from beating the Philadelphia 76ers 107-101. Granted, Philly was without the likes of Joel Embiid, James Harden, AND Tyrese Maxey, who are all dealing with foot injuries. But, when you’re as bad as Charlotte, any win is a good win. Especially when the former ‘Cats are performing at a high level.
The Hornets received 19 points, six rebounds, and three assists from forward PJ Washington while backup center Nick Richards was impressive once again, adding 13 points and 13 rebounds on 5-10 shooting in 21 minutes. Richards has recorded a double-double in three consecutive games now, all of them off the bench. He ranks fifth in the NBA in offensive rebounds (61), sixth in field goal percentage (60.7), fourth in offensive rating (133.6), and 19th in block percentage (3.8). Not bad…
Meanwhile, the Miami Heat came away with a much-needed 113-105 win over the Washington Wizards. Bam Adebayo chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds for Miami while Tyler Herro returned to the hardwood for the first time since Nov. 4. The former ‘Cat sat out nine straight games with an ankle injury, but came back on Wednesday to contribute 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists in 29 minutes for the Heat.
Other BBNBA notes
- After sitting out one game to an ankle injury seven days ago, Keldon Johnson has not looked like the Most Improved Player candidate he’s been all season for the San Antonio Spurs. He finished with just five points and one rebound on Wednesday night on 2-9 shooting. Johnson is averaging a mere 9.3 points and 2.0 rebounds since returning from injury.
- Eat your heart out, Shaedon Sharpe haters. The Portland Trail Blazers rookie had his worst outing of the year in a losing effort to the Cleveland Cavaliers, failing to score a point in 15 minutes of action.
- Karl-Anthony Towns led the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 115-101 win over the Isaiah Jackson-less Indiana Pacers. KAT stuffed the stat sheet with 23 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two blocks (with five turnovers) on an efficient 8-11 shooting clip. Minnesota has now won five straight and is 10-8 on the year after a rough start. Jackson was sidelined for the Pacers with a minor ankle injury.
- In a 124-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors, John Wall registered nine points, four rebounds, and three assists for the LA Clippers.
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||126-131 (OT) L vs. DEN||31||8-20 (1-4)||7||11||2||1||1||2||42|
|Malik Monk (SAC)||106-115 L @ ATL||27||12-18 (3-7)||0||4||2||0||2||-2||26|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||115-101 W @ IND||23||8-11 (1-1)||11||8||2||2||5||19||36|
|Kevin Knox (DET)||125-116 W @ UTA||21||6-8 (6-8)||3||0||0||0||1||9||25|
|PJ Washington (CHA)||107-101 W vs. PHI||19||8-14 (3-5)||6||3||0||0||2||-1||34|
|De’Aaron Fox (SAC)||106-115 L @ ATL||18||7-20 (1-5)||5||5||0||0||4||-11||32|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||113-105 W vs. WAS||17||6-15 (5-10)||5||3||0||0||3||-10||29|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||113-105 W vs. WAS||15||5-15||11||2||2||1||2||6||35|
|Nick Richards (CHA)||107-101 W vs. PHI||13||5-10||13||0||1||1||1||11||21|
|Trey Lyles (SAC)||106-115 L @ ATL||12||4-7 (1-3)||7||2||1||1||2||-6||20|
|John Wall (LAC)||107-124 L @ GSW||9||2-8 (0-3)||4||3||0||0||3||-25||20|
|Hamidou Diallo (DET)||125-116 W @ UTA||9||4-8||5||2||2||0||1||5||22|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (UTA)||116-125 L vs. DET||7||3-5||3||2||1||1||1||0||22|
|Keldon Johnson (SAS)||110-129 L vs. NOP||5||2-9 (0-4)||1||0||0||0||1||-20||16|
|Shaedon Sharpe (POR)||96-114 L @ CLE||0||0-2 (0-2)||0||0||0||0||0||-15||15|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||131-126 (OT) W @ OKC||DNP-Reconditioning||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Tyrese Maxey (PHI)||101-107 L @ CHA||DNP-Foot||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Nerlens Noel (DET)||125-116 W @ UTA||DNP-CD||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Isaiah Jackson (IND)||101-115 L vs. MIN||DNP-Ankle||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Tonight in the NBA
No games today! The NFL takes over Thanksgiving. NBA action picks back up on Friday.