National Basketball Association

NBA 6-Pack: T.J. Warren Stays Hot

August 3

Monday's NBA slate featured six games, capped off by a 116-108 win for the Los Angeles Lakers over the Utah Jazz, behind 42 points and 12 rebounds from Anthony Davis. 

The other five games included Toronto's 107-103 win over Miami, Denver's 121-113 win over Oklahoma City in overtime, Indiana's 111-100 victory over Washington, New Orleans' 109-99 triumph over Memphis, and Philadelphia's 132-130 narrow victory over San Antonio. 

Here are the Top 6 things you need to know from Monday in the NBA:

1. T.J. Warren is the bubble MVP (so far)

Is there a 'Orlando Bubble MVP' award? If so, Indiana's T.J. Warren is the early frontrunner.

After scoring 53 points in a Saturday win over Philadelphia, Warren was back at it on Monday, dropping 34 on Washington. 

Warren is averaging 43.5 points per game in the bubble, all while shooting 61.8 percent from the field and 55.5 percent from three.

He's also averaging 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3 blocks and 1.5 steals.

2. Fred VanVleet picks up the slack

After racking up 33 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists against the Lakers on Friday, Raptors All-Star guard Kyle Lowry struggled to find the same rhythm on Monday against Miami, connecting on only 2-of-8 shots and scoring 14 points. 

Luckily, his backcourt mate didn't struggle at all. 

Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 36 points – on only 16 shots – in Toronto's win over the Heat. He went 7-for-12 from distance and made all 13 of this free throws, also a career-high. 

3. Michael Porter Jr. has arrived

In 2017, one of the top prospects in the nation coming out of high school was Michael Porter Jr. However, back injuries derailed both his freshman year in college and his rookie season in 2018-19. 

This season, Porter Jr. saw action in 49 games, but logged 10 minutes or less in 24 of those contests. 

However, things changed in Denver's second game in the bubble. 

Porter Jr. logged a career-high 44 minutes in Denver's overtime win over Miami, scoring a career-high 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. 

4. Zion played 25 minutes

You read that correctly – Zion played 25 minutes!

After logging a combined 29 minutes in New Orleans' first two bubble contests – both losses for the Pelicans – rookie phenom Zion Williamson put up 23 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 25 minutes in Monday's win over Memphis. 

Over the past two games, Williamson totaled 20 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist combined.

5. The Joker is straight silly

Even though MPJ had a career-defining day, Nikola Jokic is still the man for Denver. 

Jokic registered a stat-line of 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, his 7th career 30-point triple double.

Denver is 13-4 this season when Jokic has 10 or more assists, and since he arrived in Denver in 2016, the Nuggets are 48-10 when he dishes out 10+ dimes.

6. Shake Milton redeems himself

Just two days ago, Sixers superstar Joel Embiid was less than thrilled with teammate Shake Milton.

On that night, the Sixers lost to Indiana, 127-121. Embiid finished with 41 points and 21 rebounds, while Milton did not score and recorded 3 assists, 1 rebound and 3 turnovers.

However, that all went away on Monday night.

After leading by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia watched San Antonio storm back and take a 2-point lead with 10 seconds to go. 

However, in the final ticks, Milton's spot-up three put the Sixers up 1, and eventually gave Philly its first win in the bubble.

Milton finished the game with 16 points, 5 rebounds 3 assists and only 1 turnover. 


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