NBA results, February 9, 2018
Orlando Magic 100 – Atlanta Hawks 98
Toronto Raptors 113 – New York Knicks 88
Boston Celtics 110 – Washington Wizards 104
Portland Trail Blazers 109 – Charlotte Hornets 103
Golden State Warriors 121 – Dallas Mavericks 103
LA Lakers 106 – OKC Thunder 81
Three things that happened in the NBA today
1. Kyrie Irving lifts the Celtics to a big win over the Wizards
The Boston Celtics are at a precarious spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Toronto Raptors have been chasing them in the past few weeks and are now only one game behind the Celtics. If the Celtics lost today after a big win by the Raptors, Boston would have fallen to second place in the East.
Thankfully, Kyrie Irving came up big when his team needed him the most.
Boston looked well on their way to a win when they led by double-digits midway throught the final period. But they threw that lead away and allowed the Washington Wizards to take a three-point lead in the final seconds of the game. The Wizards committed a blunder though as Irving was fouled taking the game-tying three-pointer. He sank all three freebies and sent the game to an extra period.
In overtime, the Celtics slowly took over. Irving hit a step back jumper to tie the game. He was fouled taking a jumper twice, one from behind the arc, the other a step back from midrange. He sank all five free throws to give the Celtics a safe cushion heading into the final seconds of the game.
Irving finished with a game-high 28 points on top of five boards and six assists.
Uncle Drew is still clutch.
2. Lakers audition again for Paul George
A few days ago, the LA Lakers travelled to Oklahoma City and took down the Thunder with ease, winning by double-digits. This time around, they hosted the Thunder in LA and put on a show for Paul George.
The young Lakers led by Brando Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle pulled away in the third period to beat the undermanned Thunder who were playing without Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook.
After clearing cap room earlier today with a trade that sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance to Cleveland, the Lakers took this chance to showcase the young talent they had on the team.
The fans also showered George with a lot of love, getting the recruitment process for George unofficially started.
A "We Want Paul" chant broke out at Staples Center pic.twitter.com/E61pkWIesQ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 9, 2018
3. Kemba Walker shows out after being named to the All-Star game
With Kristaps Porzingis out for the season, the NBA named Kemba Walker as his replacement on Team LeBron.
#BuzzCity Guard @KembaWalker has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Knicks Forward #KristapsPorzingis on #TeamLeBron in the 2018 #NBAAllStar Game. pic.twitter.com/hvBaFqTQF5
— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 8, 2018
Walker is the fourth replacement on LeBron James’ team and the third coming from the Eastern conference after Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic. This season Walker is averaging 23 points and five assists, close to his averages last season when he was also named to the All-Star team.
In his first game as an All-Star, Walker exploded for 40 points and six three-pointers, further cementing his claim on the spot.
Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?
No. But with Porzingis out of the All-Star Weekend entirely, someone needed to take his spot in the Skills Challenge.
The NBA tapped Andre Drummond, another big from the East to take Porzingis’ place in the NBA side event.
Andre's got skills.
Congrats Dre! pic.twitter.com/66Ci83pxJL
— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) February 8, 2018
With Porzingis unable to defend his crown, there will be a new Skill Challenge champion this year.
Photo from Getty Images