Blazers drain 21 three-pointers in rout of 76ers.
With eight games on the NBA schedule on Saturday night, there were a number of talking points including stand-out performances from Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant to name but a few.
The Los Angeles Lakers tipped things off against the Charlotte Bobcats, and Bryant finally secured his first win since returning from his ruptured Achilles with a season-high 21 points in the 88-85 win.
Bryant was 8-of-15 from the field and admitted after the game that he is still adapting to competitive basketball and finding his legs after suffering three consecutive losses since suiting back up.
“I knew it was coming eventually, it’s not a big deal,” Bryant told reporters.
“We know it’s a marathon not a sprint. We have to do the right things game in, game out. Some games you’re going to lose.”
Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill had 15 points apiece, while Kemba Walker had 24 points and eight assists for the Bobcats who have now lost three straight games.
The notable performances of the night didn’t stop there though, with LeBron James scoring 25 points in the Miami Heat’s 114-107 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dwyane Wade added 24 points while Chris Bosh chipped in with 22, and Ray Allen ensured it was a historic night as he surpassed the 24,000 career points mark.
Elsewhere, Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points as the New York Knicks finally found some joy at Madison Square Garden in the 111-106 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Knicks have suffered a disastrous start to the season and remain at 7-16 and outside of the playoff spots, but with the win they move to 4-8 at home which will ideally gain back their confidence from the fans.
Nevertheless, Anthony’s performance was arguably outshone by Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, who scored 38 points, dished out 12 assists and had 3 rebounds and 3 steals in the 113-97 win over the Washington Wizards.
“We wanted to try to turn this from an OK trip into a good trip,” Paul said. “There was a lot of factors. It’s a long flight back home, and we’ve got a lot of sore losers on this team.”
While there was undoubtedly no shortage of individual performances, the Portland Trail Blazers put on a real team effort as they drained a franchise-record 21 3-pointers in the win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 16 rebounds while Nicolas Batum added 17 points, as the Blazers became only the second team in the NBA to reach 20 wins for the season.
They maintain their slender lead at the top of the Western Conference, but the San Antonio Spurs remain firmly behind them following their victory over the Utah Jazz in the late game of the night.
Los Angeles Lakers 88-85 Charlotte Bobcats
Los Angeles Clippers 113-97 Washington Wizards
Cleveland Cavaliers 107-114 Miami Heat
Atlanta Hawks 106-111 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 99-77 Chicago Bulls
Portland Trail Blazers 139-105 Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks 93-106 Dallas Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs 100-84 Utah Jazz