NBA 6-Pack: George, Paul Light Up Bubble
Day 3 in the NBA bubble featured five games, highlighted by the Toronto Raptors' 107-92 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the other four games, the Los Angeles Clippers dominated the New Orleans Pelicans en route to a 126-103 victory, the Indiana Pacers knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers, 127-121, Oklahoma City defeated the Utah Jazz, 110-94, and the Miami Heat rolled over the Denver Nuggets, 125-105.
Here are the Top 6 things you need to know from Saturday in the NBA:
1. The T.J. Warren Show
Move over, Skinny Melo – the NBA bubble has a new breakout star.
Six-year NBA veteran T.J. Warren went off on the Sixers on Saturday, scoring a career-high 53 points. He shot 9-for-12 from three and made 20 of 29 shots on the day.
He became the first Pacer to score 50 or more since Jermaine O'Neal in 2005.
2. Paul George is on fire
In the Clippers' first two games in the bubble, Paul George has carried the offensive load, scoring a combined 58 points.
But it's less about the points and more about the way he's getting them.
George scored 30 points in Thursday's loss to the Lakers, connecting on 6 of 11 threes. Then, in Saturday's blowout win over the Pelicans, PG-13 did not score a 2-point field goal, hitting 8 of 11 threes and going 4-for-5 from the free throw line in 26 minutes.
PG-13 connected on 19 of 34 shots (56 percent) in the last two games, and he's shooting a blazing 63.6 percent from three in that time span.
3. The Zion minutes-limit is real
Two days after the basketball world went crazy after Zion Williamson only played 15 minutes in the Pelicans' bubble opener, he played just 14 minutes in New Orleans' blowout loss to the Clippers on Saturday.
Zion recorded 13 points and 1 assist in just over 15 minutes in Thursday's 103-101 loss to the Utah Jazz, and Saturday afternoon, the rookie sensation scored 7 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in just 14 minutes.
4. Chris Paul has still got it
Future Hall of Famer Chris Paul posted a modest stat-line on Saturday – 18 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds – but his presence on the court remains vital for the Thunder.
Paul connected on 7 of 10 shots, tallied 2 steals, and was a ridiculous +27 in 27 minutes.
Oklahoma City never trailed on Saturday, and now trail Utah by only a half game for the 4th spot in the Western Conference standings.
5. Trouble in Philly?
A potentially ugly scene nearly unfolded during a timeout in the first quarter of the Sixers-Pacers matchup, when Philadelphia superstar center Joel Embiid appeared to accost teammate Shake Milton near the Sixers' bench.
Apparently, Embiid was upset with consecutive possessions orchestrated by Milton that led to either a Philadelphia turnover or Pacers bucket.
However, if there is a silver lining for the Sixers, maybe it's that an upset Embiid is a dominant Embiid.
Embiid addressed the altercation after the game.
6. Raptors continue their domination over the Lakers
After trailing the Lakers 44-41 at halftime, the Raptors outscored LA 66-48 in the second half, cruising to a 107-92 win behind 33 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists from All-Star guard Kyle Lowry.
The Lakers superstar duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James tallied 34 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists between the two of them.
Toronto extended its double-digit winning streak over the Purple and Gold.
While the Raptors didn't have their best shooting night – they only shot 41.7 percent from the field – their defense stifled the Lakers. LA shot 35.4 percent from the field and an abysmal 25 percent from three.