The Nets won their first NBA game wearing their famous retro tie-dye jerseys from 30 years ago, and they did it through a superb collective effort.
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were absent in their tiff against the Sixers, which gave an opportunity for their youngsters to show everyone what they’re made of.
Elsewhere, the Cavaliers won a tight one against the Grizzlies in a battle of undermanned teams, while the Blazers, Spurs, and the Mavericks emerged victorious against their Western Conference counterparts.
SBOTOP looks back at all of Thursday night’s action with today’s edition of our NBA recap.
Cleveland Cavaliers 94-90 Memphis Grizzlies
Andre Drummond re-asserted his All-Star credentials by leading the Cavaliers to a much-needed win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
The big man notched 22 points, 15 rebounds, and three assists as he helped Cleveland snap their two-game losing skid.
He was backstopped by Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman, and JaVale McGee, who all notched double-digit points as they were missing the services of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
It was a close game all throughout, but the Cavaliers had the breaks down the stretch that secured the win.
With 34 seconds left, rookie Isaac Okoro was called for a foul on Tyus Jones’ layup attempt, which he blocked.
But after a review from a challenge issued by Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff, the foul was overturned and they got the possession.
In the ensuing play, Andre Drummond found a cutting Isaac Okoro for an easy flush and that extended their lead to three points with only 10.6 seconds left.
Memphis couldn’t score on the other end,and Cleveland knocked down one more free throw to come away with a victory.
Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies once more with a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double. Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks added 14 and 11 points in the losing effort.
Brooklyn Nets 122-109 Philadelphia Sixers
The Sixers not only lost this match, but they were also on the wrong end of the NBA 2021 news.
Seth Curry was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus, and he will undergo self-isolation in the next few days.
Despite playing against an undermanned Brooklyn squad who had low NBA 2021 odds of winning this contest, the Sixers couldn’t contain them as the visitors held a double-digit advantage for much of the second half.
Sharpshooter Joe Harris and swingman Caris LeVert stepped up for the Nets by combining for 50 points, while lanky center Jarrett Allen had a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Performances like these from their role players will be crucial are a welcome development for the Nets to cement their elite status.
For Philadelphia, Shake Milton replaced Seth Curry and notched 24 points, while Joel Embiid had a slow start before finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Portland Trail Blazers 135-117 Minnesota Timberwolves
The Blazers compounded the Timberwolves’ misery by handing them their sixth consecutive defeat.
Damian Lillard spearheaded the rout by tallying 39 points, including seven three-pointers, while his CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic added 20 and 17 markers apiece for good measure.
Minnesota continue to struggle without Karl-Anthony Towns, who is still out due to a hand injury he sustained last December.
After holding a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Timberwolves were overwhelmed by a 15-0 run in the second period by the Blazers and they couldn’t recover from there.
D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards recorded 26 points each for Minnesota, who have now slumped to the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
San Antonio Spurs 118-109 Los Angeles Lakers
The return of LaMarcus Aldridge paid dividends as he helped the Spurs dismantle the Lakers’ four-game winning streak.
The sweet shooting big poured in 28 points on 11-for-18 from the field, while he was supported by DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, and Patty Mills, who notched 19, 15, and 10 points respectively.
Los Angeles won the first two games of their mini-series last week, but San Antonio lit them up from three-point range this time around.
The Spurs shot 46-per cent from deep on a 16-for-35 clip and their offencive firepower was enough to pull away with a win.
LeBron James finished with 27 points and 12 assists, while Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma added 23 and 13.
Dallas Mavericks 124-117 Denver Nuggets
The Mavericks got their second straight victory with an overtime win over the Nuggets.
Luka Doncic poured in 38 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, and four steals as he went toe-to-toe with Nikola Jokic, who tallied 38 points and 11 rebounds.
Dallas rallied from four points down to take a four-point lead via Maxi Kleber’s three-pointer down the stretch, but Nikola Jokic had a personal 5-0 run to put Denver ahead.
Down by two points with three seconds left, Nikola Jokic sinked the baseline jumper at the buzzer to send the game to OT.
But come overtime, the Mavericks assumed control for good when Josh Richardson scored five of his 14 points there.
The Nuggets tried to inch closer with Nikola Jokic leading the charge, but Luka Doncic put the game away with four straight points for the Mavericks.
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