Despite a horrendous performance from Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame his struggles to top the San Antonio Spurs 94-88 on Wednesday night. Instead of Westbrook, Reggie Jackson took over as the star guard against San Antonio with 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
Returning from a few days off as he still recovers from offseason knee surgery, Westbrook never found his rhythm on the court against the Spurs. Though he dished out eight assists, the guard's abysmal 2-of-16 shooting effort stands as easily his worst in the past year-plus.
However, with Jackson coming up big off the bench, the Thunder still had enough firepower to end San Antonio's 11-game winning streak on Wednesday. Kevin Durant finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds, some of the former coming on this big slam:
Still unbeaten at home, OKC is now 10-3 on the season, while the Spurs are 13-2.
This marks three straight victories for Washington, a team that appears to be finding some form even as Bradley Beal sits with a stress injury. Marcin Gortat was especially good for the Wizards in this one, shooting 11-of-12 from the field en route to a game-high 25 points.
John Wall didn't have another big scoring game, finishing with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting, but he added six assists and five steals in the winning effort. His biggest miss came at the end of regulation, when a possible game-winning layup clanked off the rim following this game-tying three from O.J. Mayo:
Mayo finished the game with 21 points and seven rebounds, but went quiet in overtime as the Bucks were outscored, 13-5.
Arron Afflalo, Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic and Glen Davis each scored at least 18 points as Orlando won for the second consecutive time. With those four leading the way on a highly efficient offensive night for the team, the Magic shot 52 percent to continue their best stretch in weeks.
However, Oladipo (the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft) continues to have major issues with turnovers. While he often looked good Wednesday against Philly, the guard is averaging 4.1 turnovers per game, and he's recorded eight-plus turnovers in three of his past six contests.
It's nothing to get particularly worried about yet, especially when other top picks like Anthony Bennett and Otto Porter have done little to nothing, but it'll become a larger problem if he doesn't start improving with more reps.
Finally breaking out of his season-long funk, Jerryd Bayless scored 22 points as Memphis ended a two-game losing streak on Wednesday. For the reserve guard, it's been a rough go this season, but this may signal the beginning of his turnaround.
In his previous seven games, Bayless had shot a combined 7-of-34, but he delivered a 6-of-10 shooting performance from the field against Boston while adding nine points at the free throw line.
The usual suspects for the Grizzlies were mostly quiet on this night, but like Bayless, backup forward Ed Davis also came through. He recorded 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, including this rejection of Gerald Wallace in the first half:
Nick Young may not be the hyper-confident, scoring-crazy guard Los Angeles wants, but for now, he may be what the Lakers need. On Wednesday, Swaggy P came alive for 26 points off the bench as the Lakers improved their record to 8-8 this season.
Beyond Young's performance and 21 points from Pau Gasol, L.A. didn't get much help against the Nets, but that team continues to flounder early this season. Without point guard Deron Williams in this game due to injury, Brooklyn's offense looked especially stagnant at times.
Joe Johnson led the Nets in scoring with 18 points.
It's been a rough past few days for the Bulls, but beating up Detroit on the road helps alleviate some of that pain for the time being. After a close first half, Chicago allowed just 26 points in the second half as the Pistons' offense cramped up and the Bulls waltzed to victory.
Both Luol Deng and Taj Gibson had huge games for the Bulls, combining for 50 points and 14 rebounds to lead the team. Tony Snell, Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich also scored 13 points apiece as the team shot 53 percent from the field.
For all the talk of Dion Waiters getting traded, he was arguably the Cavaliers' best player Wednesday night. Coming off the bench against the defending champs, the former No. 4 pick recorded 24 points, six rebounds and three assists on an otherwise miserable night for Cleveland's offense.
Beyond Waiters, the reportedly unhappy young guard who may or may not get dealt soon, it was problems galore for Cleveland. Kyrie Irving and Jarrett Jack combined for an equal number of field goals and turnovers, Andrew Bynum needed 10 shots to get four points and Anthony Bennett didn't even get off the bench after playing 12 minutes in his last game.
All in all, one good game from Waiters can't do away all that's wrong in Cleveland right now. So, well, sorry kid, cheer up soon:
Getting 21 points apiece from Aaron Brooks and Francisco Garcia, the undermanned Rockets still blew out Atlanta on Wednesday night. Even with James Harden sitting and Jeremy Lin leaving after four minutes due to a knee injury, Houston shot 55 percent from the field and looked very much in rhythm.
With the game in hand well before the buzzer, Dwight Howard only played 26 minutes, but he looked pretty good on this put-back slam:
Nuggets 117, Timberwolves 110
A battle of offenses like we all expected, Denver came out on top thanks to eight different players scoring in double figures. With a balanced effort led by Ty Lawson (23 points) and Nate Robinson (15 points), the Nuggets have now won four in a row and eight of their past 11.
Kevin Love "only" finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and three assists in the game, but OH MY GOD YOU PASSING POLTERGEIST:
How many times did you seriously just watch that GIF? Fifteen?
Suns 120, Trail Blazers 106
Phoenix continues to be this season's team that makes absolutely no sense. This time, the somehow above-.500 Suns rack up 120 points to hand Portland just its second road loss in nine games and its third defeat overall.
Shooting 52 percent while committing just 10 turnovers, this was an offensive clinic by the Suns. Point guard Goran Dragic led all scorers with 31 points, Channing Frye added 25 and the Morris twins combined for another 34 points off the bench. With those four leading the way, Phoenix didn't even need Eric Bledsoe on this night.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting.
After using defense to build a lead during the first three quarters, Indiana blew the doors off in the final period Wednesday with 39 points in the last 12 minutes. On an abysmal shooting night for the entire Bobcats team, that late outburst left the Pacers with an easy win on the road.
With practically every guy on Charlotte struggling, the team shot a combined 31 percent from the field against Indiana. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson couldn't get off open shots against the likes of Paul George, George Hill and Lance Stephenson, leading to tons of Bobcat misses.
Like the Thunder with Westbrook, Dallas survived a rough night from Monta Ellis to get another big win. With Ellis posting a 2-for-16 shooting line identical to Westbrook's, the Mavs had Dirk Nowitzki step up with 22 points to top Golden State.
Stephen Curry had a huge game for the Warriors, hitting six three-pointers en route to 29 points and eight assists in the loss. David Lee and Klay Thompson also added 20 points apiece, but the team's road record drops to 4-5.
Chris Paul saw his double-double streak snapped at 13 games, but he and Blake Griffin were still plenty good enough to send the Knicks to their seventh straight loss. Paul scored 15 and dished out seven assists before leaving in the third quarter with a right hamstring strain. Griffin delivered 15 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles.
Carmelo Anthony led New York with 27 points, but made just nine of 23 field goals.
Both teams were abysmal from distance on Wednesday night, with the Knicks making just 6-of-25 three-pointers (24%) and the Clippers sinking 3-of-20 (15%) from long range.