clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA scores 2017: We’re happy the Celtics win streak happened, and 13 more things from Wednesday night

Also, Durant returned to Oklahoma City for a second time and got blown out. What!?

NBA: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics rebounded an 0-2 start to win the next 16 games and it’s the best story so far in this young season.

After losing Gordon Hayward on opening night, it seemed like any excitement we all collectively had about Boston was sucked away. But everyone underestimated the talents of part-time coach, part-time wizard Brad Stevens, who was able to lead a team that relied heavily on a rookie and sophomore in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Everyone underestimated the important of Al Horford in holding down the defense and Kyrie Irving’s talent in crunch time.

There are a hundred problems the Celtics could run into this year: Irving’s clutch magic wearing off; Brown or Tatum fading towards the second half; Marcus Smart’s continued poor shooting becoming a serious problem; LeBron James in the playoffs. Without Hayward, this isn’t the complete Celtics team. Plus, they’re built for the long term — winning now is just a bonus, in a sense.

Boston took a “bonus” and turned it into the fourth-longest win streak in franchise history. And no one would have faulted the Celtics for taking a stepback after losing Hayward! Instead, they’re even better than before, even if it’s not sustainable forever.

It was a beautiful run, but all streaks must come to the end by the hands of Dion Waiters. That’s the rule. Waiters scored eight points in the final two minutes of a close game, including two huge shots from behind the arc that staved off a Boston comeback. That gave the Heat a 104-98 win.

Here’s the kind of shots that were going down for Waiters, proof that all streaks must end eventually:

RIP to the Celtics 16-game winning streak that stole our hearts.

Thunder vs. Warriors: bad basketball but great drama

There is good basketball played nightly around the league, but there is also an increasingly demand for soap opera-esque drama. Enter Golden State vs. Oklahoma City, our favorite matchup starring two sworn enemies who once described themselves as brothers.

The Thunder were devastatingly good in a 108-91 win, which caught us all by surprise. All three of Oklahoma City’s stars played well, especially Westbrook, who dropped 34 points. The Warriors trailed by double digits the entire second half, and so this game was not enticing from a basketball perspective.

From a drama standpoint, though? Hell yes.

Durant was booed throughout his introductions and smiled anyway, much different from his first time back here.

Later on, Durant and Westbrook got into a screaming fight, just like the first time Durant returned.

Those moments fueled our insatiable desire for viral moments, so thank you to Durant and Westbrook for participating. Both players tried to downplay what it meant after the game, but this is an instance where you listen to what a player does, not what he says. Those two made their feelings perfectly clear.

Congratulations to the Pistons and the Pacers

There were 28 teams who played on Wednesday. The two outliers were Detroit and Indiana, who both had days off on Thanksgiving eve. I hope both teams kept a close eye on this fantastic night of NBA basketball and followed all of our SB Nation coverage. I’m sure they did!

Harrison Barnes redeemed himself

It was only Monday that Barnes missed a potential game-winner, an isolation stepback against the Boston Celtics. After that game, he was hard on himself and expressed disappointment in missing that shot. With matters like this, players don’t typically get chances to immediately redeem themselves, but Barnes did and took advantage of it.

Who needs Giannis when you have Khris Middleton?

Giannis Antetokounmpo missed Wednesday’s game with knee soreness — please be OK! — so Khris Middleton filled in as the Bucks leading scorer. Oh, man, was he good: 40 points on 14-of-26 shooting, nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

This isn’t even Middleton’s first 40-point game this season, since he scored 43 against Charlotte to begin November. The 26-year-old is averaging nearly 20 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game this year, and he hasn’t even hit his three-pointer well. When Middleton’s 32 percent from deep starts to rise — he’s a career 40 percent shooter — watch out.

Middleton stole the show, but ...

The Bucks almost lost this game to the Phoenix Suns, though without Antetokounmpo, they have an excuse. Eric Bledsoe scored 30 points in his return to Phoenix just a week after being traded, although he needed 26 field goal attempts to get there. Meanwhile, the game went to overtime because of this absolutely absurd Devin Booker shot.

Mbah a Moute means ‘be happy’

I don’t actually know if that’s true, but I do know Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is an extremely positive man. How positive? Plus-57 positive.

That’s an incredible number, especially since Houston only won by 30 points. (Their lead was cut by nearly 20 points late in garbage time, however.) Mbah a Moute and another summer acquisition, P.J. Tucker, allow for so much versatility, and the return of Chris Paul is also off to a start so good that he’s making passes like this.

Let’s just acknowledge that Houston’s incredible.

Marc Gasol held onto his buzzer beater too long

OK, let’s be fair to Gasol: there’s probably no way he makes that without stepping into it, and that’s what really caused him to release it late. There have been much more egregious examples of this, after all.

For those egregious examples, though, there’s a simple fix: stop counting shots from beyond half court as field goal attempts (unless they go in). In this example, just give the players what they won’t and we won’t have to worry about this silliness any more.

I can’t pretend I don’t enjoy it, though.

More from Wednesday

Wednesday’s final scores

Hornets 129, Wizards 124 (OT!) (At the Hive recap | Bullets Forever recap)

Cavaliers 119, Nets 109 (Fear the Sword recap | Nets Daily recap)

Sixers 101, Trail Blazers 81 (Liberty Ballers recap | Blazers Edge recap)

Clippers 116, Hawks 103 (Peachtree Hoops recap)

Heat 104, Celtics 98 (Hot Hot Hoops recap | Celtics Blog recap)

Knicks 108, Raptors 100 (Posting and Toasting recap | Raptors HQ recap)

Rockets 125, Nuggets 95 (The Dream Shake recap | Denver Stiffs recap)

Mavericks 95, Grizzlies 94 (Mavs Moneyball recap | Grizzly Bear Blues recap)

Timberwolves 124, Magic 118 (Canis Hoopus recap | Orlando Pinstriped Post recap)

Pelicans 107, Spurs 90 (The Bird Writes recap | Pound the Rock recap)

Thunder 108, Warriors 91 (Welcome to Loud City recap | Golden State of Mind recap)

Bucks 113, Suns 107 (Brew Hoops recap | Bright Side of the Sun recap)

Jazz 110, Bulls 80 (SLC Dunk recap | Blog a Bull recap)

Kings 113, Lakers 102 (Sactown Royalty recap | Silver Screen and Roll recap)

Boston's dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown