Indiana 108, Golden State 94
Studs: Danny Granger posted the best game of the day in the NBA with 31 points and 16 rebounds on 12-for-24 shooting. Earl Watson also had a good night for the Pacers, tallying 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals off the bench. Corey Maggette led the way for Golden State with 21 points off the bench.
Duds: Kelenna Azubuike and Stephen Jackson combined to shoot 5-for-20 for the Warriors, who shot just 40.2% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line. Tyler Hansbrough was 3-for-12 shooting in his second NBA game for Indiana.
Game Notes: After starting the season 0-3, the Pacers have won three straight. The winning run happens to coincide with Troy Murphy's departure from the lineup due to injury… Pacers' coach Jim O'Brien said that Murphy could return on Saturday, when the Pacers play the Boston Celtics.
Toronto 99, Chicago 89
Studs: Chris Bosh continued his hot run to start the season, posting 28 points and 11 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan had his best game as a pro with 9 points and 9 rebounds, as Toronto climbed back to the .500-mark against Chicago. The Bulls, who also sit at 4-4, were led by 18 points apiece from Luol Deng and rookie Taj Gibson, and 12 points and 11 rebounds from Joakim Noah.
Duds: John Salmons has been wildly inconsistent through the first 8 games of the season, and he was way off again on Wednesday night. Salmons shot just 1-of-11 and missed all six of his attempts from inside the 3-point arc. Brad Miller wasn't any better, as the Bulls' backup center missed all five of his field goal attempts.
Game Notes: Jose Calderon was the only Raptor at or above 50% from the floor, as Toronto won despite shooting just 40.9% from the field… Chicago went without a point for a stretch of over 6 minutes in the fourth quarter... Toronto connected on 22-of-23 free throw attempts, for 95.7%.
Boston 105, Utah 96
Studs: Boston sported an effectively balanced attacked offensively, as all five starters and two key reserves (Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels) reached double figures. Kevin Garnett had a game-high 18 points and Rajon Rondo added 11 assists in the win. Deron Williams led Utah with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Duds: This was a positively woeful performance by the Jazz. They failed to make a single 3-pointer, shot just 66.7% from the free throw line, committed 21 turnovers, and tallied just 2 fast break points.
Game Notes: The Jazz, who are relatively healthy compared to most teams in the league, are now 2 games below .500 at 3-5. After the game, Williams called his team "soft"… Boston recorded 30 assists on 41 made field goals.
Detroit 98, Charlotte 75
Studs: Charlie Villanueva had 30 points, Ben Gordon added 22, and the duo combined to shoot 23-for-33 from the field as the Pistons routed Charlotte. Nazr Mohammed had team-highs with 13 points and 8 rebounds for the Bobcats.
Duds: The Bobcats' starting backcourt of Raymond Felton and Flip Murray combined to shoot 8-for-24 with 21 points in 65 minutes of action and Charlotte had 8 players with 2 or more turnovers.
Game Notes: Villanueva, Gordon, Rodney Stuckey, and Will Bynum combined to score 84 of Detroit's 98 points… Ben Wallace had yet another vintage performance: 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks, with no fouls, no turnovers, and no shots (from the field or the line)… Villanueva outscored Charlotte 18-12 in the third quarter… Charlotte is now averaging a league-worst 83.8 points per game.
Philadelphia 82, New Jersey 79
Studs: Andre Iguodala did his thing, tallying 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Marresse Speights provided yet another lift off the bench with 19 points and 9 rebounds, as Philadelphia escaped New Jersey with a win. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 23 points and 14 rebounds in a losing effort.
Duds: The injury plagued Nets played just 7 players. Eduardo Najera shot 1-for-6 off the bench and rookie Terrence Williams made his first career start, but shot just 5-for-15 for New Jersey, who managed only 40% as a team. Philadelphia shot even worse, at just 39%, including a 0-for-6 night for Elton Brand and a 0-for-3 effort from Jrue Holiday.
Game Notes: This was an ugly game from the very beginning. The 76ers shot just 65% from the free throw line, and neither team made more than a quarter of their 3-point attempts. Neither team scored more than 22 points in any quarter… Speights converted a put-back 3-point play with 70 seconds to play to give the 76ers the win.
Atlanta 114, New York 101
Studs: Atlanta had six players in double figures, led by Al Horford with 25 and Josh Smith with 22. Horford and Smith also combined for 21 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. Rookie Toney Douglas (making his first NBA start) and reserve Al Harrington scored 23 points each to pace the Knicks.
Duds: Chris Duhon went scoreless, missing all six of his shots and committing 3 turnovers in the loss. Marvin Williams was just 2-for-7 with 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 fouls for the Hawks.
Game Notes: New York led by 7 at halftime, but surrendered 67 second half points to lose by 13… The Knicks have now lost 6 straight games. They had 6 separate 6-game losing streaks last season.
Milwaukee 108, Denver 102
Studs: Brandon Jennings looked like the real deal, scoring 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting, and adding 9 assists as Milwaukee held on to upset the Nuggets. Teammate Andrew Bogut added a double-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 32 points and 10 rebounds, and J.R. Smith added 18 points off the Nuggets' bench.
Duds: Kenyon Martin was 2-for-9 and Ty Lawson was 1-for-5, as the high-flying Nuggets shot just 39.8% as a team. Rookie Jodie Meeks was 1-for-7 for the Bucks.
Game Notes: Anthony committed 7 of the Nuggets' 12 team turnovers… Ersan Ilyasova added 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks in just 22 minutes off the Milwaukee bench… In the fourth, Denver cut a 10-point Milwaukee lead down to 1 before Jennings drained back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead back to 7. The Nuggets cut into the lead again, closing to 102-100, but Jennings hit 6 free throws to ice it.
Portland 107, Minnesota 84
Studs: Greg Oden dominated Minnesota's smaller lineup on his way to 18 points and 11 rebounds, as the Blazers shot 55.3% in their dismantling of the Timberwolves. Jonny Flynn led Minnesota with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
Duds: In a frightening sign for the Timberwolves, no single player played terribly; they were simply outmatched and outplayed by a better basketball team. Starters Ryan Gomes and Corey Brewer combined to shoot 5-for-17, but that was really the worst of it.
Game Notes: The Timberwolves outscored Portland in the first and fourth quarters, but was run out of the Target Center in the second and third. The Blazers outscored Minnesota 67-38 during that span… Minnesota has lost 8 straight and has been outscored by 29 points per game in the last three losses.
Cleveland 102, Orlando 93
Studs: Cleveland avenged their defeat at the hands of the Magic with what many believe to be a "statement win" on Wednesday night, behind 36 points and 8 rebounds from LeBron James, and 28 points and 6 assists from Mo Williams. Vince Carter led Orlando with 29 points and 5 rebounds.
Duds: The Magic's bench contributed just 18 points on 7-for-21 shooting, but looked great compared to their counterparts. Cleveland's bench was just 2-for-20 for 10 total points.
Game Notes: The old Superman got the new Superman in foul trouble from the opening tip. Dwight Howard was saddled with 2 fouls after just 2:18 of the first quarter. He finished the game with 11 points and 7 rebounds in 32 minutes, but attempted just 3 field goals, making them all… Orlando made just 4-of-18 3-point attempts. The Magic have now lost 2 out of 3 games and looked lost without the reliable outside shooting of Rashard Lewis and his capable replacement Ryan Anderson.
Houston 104, Memphis 79
Studs: Houston utterly demolished the Grizzlies behind strong showings from most of their regulars, including Luis Scola (22 points and 15 rebounds), Trevor Ariza (17 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists), Carl Landry (20 points), Chase Budinger (15 points), and Kyle Lowry (8 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists). Memphis got 19 points from O.J. Mayo and 18 apiece from Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay.
Duds: Aside from Mayo, Randolph, and Gay, the rest of the Grizzlies roster combined to shoot 9-for-40 (22.5%). Enough said.
Game Notes: The Rockets outscored Memphis 61-41 in the second half… Grizzlies' center Hasheem Thabeet could return as early as Saturday after breaking his jaw.
San Antonio 92, Dallas 83
Studs: San Antonio played without Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, but won again because of 29 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals from Richard Jefferson. Matt Bonner added 11 points and 9 rebounds off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and 12 rebounds, and super sub Jason Terry had 19 to lead all reserves.
Duds: Aside from Terry (6-for-13) and Shawn Marion (5-for-7), the Mavericks shot 17-for-59 (28.8%) as a team. Roger Mason was 1-for-7 from the field and Bonner was the only Spur to make more than half of his free throw attempts.
Game Notes: For as good as the Mavericks looked in their first two games with Josh Howard, they looked equally as bad in this one. They shot just 35.4% as a team and made just 5-of-15 3-point attempts… Duncan participated in the pre-game shoot around, and coach Greg Popovich indicated that at least one of his stars would be in the lineup when the Spurs play the Thunder on Saturday.
Oklahoma City 83, LA Clippers 79
Studs: Kevin Durant had a monster game, posting 30 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block on 12-for-20 shooting. Jeff Green added 13 and journeyman Kevin Ollie chipped in with 11 off the bench. Chris Kaman had team-highs with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Baron Davis tallied 17 points and 9 assists in the loss.
Duds: Davis shot just 6-for-18, and Kaman just 9-for-26, but the trouble didn't stop there for the Clippers. Rasual Butler just 2-for-10 and the bench was non-existent, contributing just 11 points. Russell Westbrook was just 1-for-11 for Oklahoma City.
Game Notes: The Clippers kept the game close due to their outside shooting (35%) and free throw shooting (72.7%), which were both mediocre, but better than Oklahoma City could manage (23.1% and 66.7%, respectively)… Durant hit a step back jumper from the left corner with 38 seconds to play to put the Thunder ahead for good… The Clippers have lost each of the 6 games that Eric Gordon has missed since joining the league last season.
Phoenix 124, New Orleans 104
Studs: Phoenix had eight players reach double figures, including all five starters and Leandro Barbosa, Jared Dudley, and Goran Dragic off the bench. Amare Stoudemire led the way with 21 points, and early MVP candidate Steve Nash added 12 points and 10 assists. Chris Paul had 25 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals for the Hornets.
Duds: The Hornets' starting wings, Peja Stojakovic and Devin Brown, both struggled mightily. Stojakovic missed all eight of his field goal attempts and Brown was just 3-for-12.
Game Notes: The Suns shot 55.4% from the field and made 12-of-24 3-point attempts. They also had the rebounding edge, by a count of 45-29… Phoenix has scored over 100 points in all 9 games this season… The loss will reportedly be the last for New Orleans' coach Byron Scott. The coach will reportedly lose his job on Thursday after a 3-6 start.