The Portland Trail Blazers are the hottest team in basketball. Two nights after knocking off the East-leading Indiana Pacers, the Blazers again successfully defended their home court against one of the elite team's in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder. LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists as Portland outlasted the Thunder, 111-104, at the Moda Center.
Every Portland starter finished in double-figures, with Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum each adding 14 points in the win. Robin Lopez put up a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) for the Blazers, who won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Kevin Durant had 33 points on 11-of-23 shooting for the Thunder, who saw their eight-game winning streak snapped. Russell Westbrook added 21 points and five assists for Oklahoma City in defeat.
Hawks 107, Clippers 97
Returning from a four-game absence, Kyle Korver hit six three-pointers and scored 23 points in a record-tying performance Wednesday. One of the game's all-time great shooters, Korver continues to add to his impressive resume:
Korver is now shooting 52 percent from three-point range this season and 42 percent for his career.
Paul Millsap also added 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Atlanta in the win, while Al Horford had 21 points and nine boards. Blake Griffin led L.A. with 24 points, while Chris Paul added 19 points and 11 assists.
Mavericks 100, Pelicans 97
Life without Anthony Davis continues to be difficult for New Orleans, which dropped a close one Wednesday night after needing triple-overtime to beat the shorthanded Bulls on Monday. Monta Ellis recorded his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 assists in the win.
It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Pellies, though, as Jrue Holiday (26 points, nine assists) and Al-Farouq Aminu (16 points, 21 rebounds) both had big games. With Davis out, those two will likely need to step up, and they did Wednesday.
Between the rebounding and this alley-oop, you'd have to say Aminu did a pretty decent Davis impression in this one:
Cavaliers 98, Nuggets 88
With JaVale McGee still sidelined, Denver simply had no answers for Cleveland's size in this one. The Cavaliers finished the game with a 58-42 advantage on the boards as Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson combined for 35 points and 34 rebounds in the win.
With Ty Lawson going 1-of-13 from the field, Randy Foye's 16 points paced the Nuggets. J.J. Hickson added 15 points and 11 rebounds, but gave up countless extra opportunities on the boards, particularly in the fourth quarter as Cleveland put things away.
Kyrie Irving finished with 23 points, including two on this 360 layup:
Suns 97, Rockets 88
On a night when Houston shot just 35 percent from the field, the Suns somehow improve their record to 10-9. Once expected to be among the league's worst teams this season, Phoenix now looks ready to be a serious nuisance in the Western Conference.
Eric Bledsoe continues to be a revelation for the Suns, finishing Wednesday with 20 points and seven assists. He got a lot of help from P.J. Tucker, who added 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals while flashing his potent two-way game.
The Rockets' starters were simply abysmal in this game, combining to shoot 18-of-56 (32 percent) from the field. James Harden (3-of-17, 0-for-10 from three-point range) was especially terrible.
Pistons 105, Bucks 98
It wasn't exactly Brandon Jennings' revenge game, but the point guard recorded 17 points and 11 assists in beating his former team Wednesday night. Unfortunately, those are the positives for the point guard, who shot just 4-of-16 and turned the ball over six times in 42 minutes.
The Pistons' young big man tandem of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe dominated this game throughout. The two combined for 42 points and 36 rebounds as Milwaukee's young big men simply had no answers in this one.
However, if Milwaukee fans needed a silver lining while dropping to 3-15 this season, it may be rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo. He played 28 minutes against Detroit and put up six points, six rebounds, four assists, zero turnovers and three blocks, including this major rejection of Monroe:
Pacers 95, Jazz 86
A pretty ho-hum victory for Indiana, which improves to 17-2 this season. The Jazz actually led by one at halftime, but the Pacers pulled away in the fourth quarter, and Paul George scored five points in the final minute to put away the game.
This wasn't an especially flashy performance from George, who shot just 1-of-8 from three-point range, but he still managed 19 points, six rebounds and four assists in the win. Luis Scola also added 14 points in 16 minutes off the bench.