Frankly, I can’t possibly be expected to write coherent thoughts after the Kevin Durant trade; after all, I cover the Suns primarily. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of words across the SB Nation family covering each of the three trades in-depth, but here’s a quick recap of the Wednesday trades before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline:
- Suns send Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, and four first-round picks (plus a first-round pick swap) to Brooklyn for KEVIN DURANT and Phoenix draftee TJ Warren
- three-team deal between Lakers, Jazz, and Wolves that sends Russell Westbrook to Utah (and a likely buyout), Mike Conley Jr. to the Wolves, and the three of D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Lakers
- Blazers send Josh Hart (who reunites with his Villanova co-star, Jalen Brunson) and a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick to the Knicks in return for Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, and Svi Mykhailiuk
- Spurs send Jakob Poeltl to Raptors for Khem Birch, a lottery-protected 2024 first-round pick, and two second-round picks; Poeltl returns to Toronto after leaving for San Antonio with DeMar DeRozan as part of the Kawhi Leonard trade
All while these deals transpired, Kyrie Irving made his Dallas Mavericks debut, his first game in a week due to calf soreness (wink). Reactions from their game against the Clippers and eight other games:
Cavs’ dominant stretch continues with 113-85 win over Pistons
Cleveland has won four games in a row, all by at least 15 points. This 28-point win is the biggest of the bunch and it came without their star guards, Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. Jarrett Allen led all scorers with 20 (9-13 FG) to go with his 15 rebounds.
Conversely, the loss continues a stretch that’s been as bad for Detroit as it’s been good for Cleveland. Pistons have lost each of their last three by double-digits to playoff contenders — Phoenix (-16), Boston (-12), and now Cleveland (-28) — with this being the worst of their bunch.
Wizards pull away from Hornets late 118-104
Over the first 43 games from Kristaps Porzingis this season, he had just one game of at least 35 points. He’s had two in the last three games now, including a game-high 36 points (13-22 FG) on Wednesday.
Deni Avdija continued his success in the post-Rui Hachimura era as well; after this 20/13 double double (his seventh double double of the season), Avdija has double-digit scoring in seven of his last eight games (82.5%) after just 16 over his first 44 games (36.4%).
Celtics top Sixers 106-99 in heavyweight East rock fight
Six Celtics scored in double figures but none reached 20. No matter though as they shot the cover off the ball, 40-76 (52.6%) overall and 19-35 (54.3%) from deep. More importantly for Boston, Jaylen Brown suffered a facial fracture in this game and will miss some time.
It was a more star-oriented effort for Philly, who saw Joel Embiid and James Harden combine for 54 points on 19-35 (54.3%). They got as close as within three points twice inside of four minutes to go, but they never once led after the first quarter.
Miami withstands late pushes from Indiana in 116-111 win
The Pacers had two fourth quarter runs to turn a sizable deficit into a tense game — cut 12 to just 1 from 8:47 to 6:15 and cut 8 to just 3 from 1:28 to 0:10 — but both came up short as Indy never led after the 4:15 mark of the third. Bam Adebayo starred with a game-high 38 points on an insanely efficient 12-16 FG (75.0%); it’s the second-highest total of his career.
Poeltl scores 12 points for Spurs in 112-98 loss to Raptors right before being traded to Raptors
OG Anunoby continues to not play as his name swirls around trade rumors that may heat up even further on deadline day. His absence wasn’t about to stop the uber athletic Raptors from handling the Spurs behind a 37/10/7 night from Pascal Siakam, who may or may not still be involved in trade talks himself. Per StatMuse, Siakam passed up Vince Carter for the most 35/10/5 games by a Raptor.
How about Jakob Poeltl playing against his past and future (at the time) team, racking up 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 28 minutes. His return to Toronto was reported just hours later.
Officials at the center of weird ending as Kings beat Rockets 130-128
With weird calls abound, it dampened the excitement of a game that went over 250 points combined and featured Jalen Green’s fourth 40-point game of his career. He totaled 41 on 14-22 FG and 6-9 3P. Green was a +1 in the 2-point loss, one of just three Rockets with a positive mark for the game, though one of his four turnovers was key in Sacramento’s 7-0 run to close the game.
Wolves blow out Jazz 143-118 after spending the day as trade partners
Kyrie Irving shines as Mavs beat Clippers 110-104 in his debut
The first Nets star who was traded donned his new uniform for the first time, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9-17 FG and 4-8 3P with five assists and was a team-high +11 in a six-point win.
Kawhi Leonard, who hasn’t played more than five games in a row since May 2021, played his fifth game in a row and totaled 18 points (7-12 FG), four assists, and two steals in 32 minutes.
Lillard’s second career triple double lifts Blazers past Warriors
Jordan Poole’s 38 points (13-25 FG) and seven assists are nice and all, but do they beat 33 points (8-21 FG, 16-16 FT), 10 rebounds, and 11 assists from Damian Lillard for what amounts to just the second triple double of his career? Jerami Grant (22 points) also helped Portland overcome Klay Thompson’s 31-point follow-up to his 42-point game on Monday.