NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: Devin Booker was as hot as a… Sun

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NBA results, December 5, 2017

Charlotte Hornets 104 – Orlando Magic 94

Indiana Pacers 115 – New York Knicks 97

Phoenix Suns 115 – Philadelphia 76ers 101

Brooklyn Nets 110 – Atlanta Hawks 90

Boston Celtics 111 – Milwaukee Bucks 100

Cleveland Cavaliers 113 – Chicago Bulls 91

Memphis Grizzlies 95 – Minnesota Timberwolves 92

Golden State Warriors 125 – New Orleans Pelicans 115

Dallas Mavericks 122 – Denver Nuggets 105

San Antonio Spurs 96 – Detroit Pistons 93

Utah Jazz 116 – Washington Wizards 69

Five things that happened in the NBA today

1. Devin Booker, Devin Booker happened

Devin Booker started off the game shooting 1-10. Coming off a 38-point performance in his last game, he was ice-cold to start the game against the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring only four points in the first period. His first field goal made came in the final three minutes of the first period off a put back layup.

And then he started to make shots. He found his range in the second and third quarter. When the fourth quarter rolled along, he was almost impossible to stop.

He cooked JJ Redick in the final period, hitting ridiculous shots over the Sixers guard. Booker hit a tough fadeaway three-pointer with Redick draped all over him. He also hit a 30-foot bomb that no defense could have stopped.

In the end, Redick scored 24 of the Suns’ final 32 points of the game to help them hold on to a win. Shooters shoot. Booker just proved that.

2. Jazz plaster the Wizards

The Washington Wizards miss John Wall. Without Wall to run their offense and save them from doom, they are prone to games where their offense will just fall apart. Today was one of those days.

The Wizards lost by 44 points to a Utah Jazz team not known for being an offensive juggernaut. The Jazz defense surely had something to do with the blowout win. But Washington’s offense was atrocious. They shot only 28% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc. Otto Porter was their best offensive weapon with 14 points. Bradley Beal had 11 points on 26% shooting.

For the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell continued his hot streak. After scoring 41 points in his previous game, he scored 21 points at an efficient clip against the Wizards. He did it in only three quarters too. He’s arguably the second best rookie this year.

3. The Grizzlies finally win one

It’s been one hell of a losing streak for the Grizzlies. A lot happened in 11 games. Marc Gasol was benched, he was also subject to several trade rumors. Dave Fizdale was fired and there was a lot of talk about the Grizzlies blowing it all up to tank.

They desperately needed a win. And they finally got one, a close one, over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

They weathered a 30-point game from Jimmy Butler and got an all-around performance from the rest of the team. Marc Gasol scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists. Tyreke Evans had 15 points and nine assists. JaMychal Green scored 14 points and grabbed nine boards.

The Grizzlies are still stuck in limbo. The question of whether they should tank or not is still on the table. But at least they got the monkey off their backs.

4. Lance Stephenson goes playground on the rook

New York is known as having one of the best street ball cultures in the world. Lance Stephenson grew up in Brooklyn. He may be playing in the cornfields of Indiana but he’s still got a lot of playground in his game.

Against the New York Knicks, he channeled his roots and schooled rookie, Frank Ntilikina with a move straight out of Rucker.

5. Steph Curry and ankles is never a good combo

Steph Curry has remained almost injury free for the last five years. Early in his career, he was plagued by ankle injuries that repeatedly took him out for long stretches of the season. With the help of skills development and strengthening, he seems to have gotten over that injury hump.

Against the New Orleans Pelicans, Curry was going for the interception when he rolled his ankle during the abrupt stop.

This was a troubling sight for the Warriors. Thankfully, X-rays came out negative and there isn’t any structural damage. Given his history with ankle injuries though, even if this is classified as just a sprain, it’s still something the team should be worried about.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?

YES! Not just one. But two!

In the fourth quarter of a heated Warriors-Pelicans game, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins got into a verbal tussle. Both superstars exchanged choice words with each other, earning them an ejection from the game.

The refs haven’t been tolerant of Durant all year. This is the third time he was ejected this season. In fact, the Warriors probably lead the league in ejections. Just yesterday, Shaun Livingston was ejected as well for going toe-to-toe with a referee.

The Warriors though have enough stars to weather ejections and injuries. They won both games over the Heat and the Pelicans.

Photo from USA Today

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