Basketball is undoubtedly one of the most exciting sports ever, with the NBA championing as the main basketball league in the USA and the world. With the league drawing attention from players and viewers worldwide, we look at how far the new 2022-23 season has gone and the results of recent games.
The 2022-23 NBA season has already seen various surprises, from the Warriors struggling to replicate their last season’s form to the Pelicans impressing as the top three seed in the Western Conference.
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Week 3, December 2022
The latest NBA action at the time of writing this piece took place in the third week of December, and it saw quite a number of intense matchups. The Suns and Pelicans game was the highlight of the game week, with a host of other games also delivering an entertaining show. With nothing more than thirty-two games played so far by any team in the league, here are the key matchups that took place.
Denver Nuggets Vs Los Angeles Lakers
This was a must-watch game in a Western Conference showdown. It was a game that was predicted to be a battle of big men as Anthony Davis was in MVP form heading into this game while Nikola Jokic was routinely carrying the Nuggets.
The Lakers had lost four of their last five games, coming off a 122-118 overtime loss at home to the Boston Celtics, while the Nuggets had won 3 straight games and were coming off a 141-128 home victory against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Despite losing Anthony Davis to injury in the first half, the Lakers won the game 126-108.
- As usual, Nikola Jokic delivered for the Nuggets. He finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists as the Nuggets’ three-game winning streak ended.
- Next up was point guard Jamal Murray, who finished with 23 points on 50% shooting from the field, followed by Aaron Gordon’s 17 points. Denver simply was unable to resist the Lakers’ second-half charge.
Los Angeles Lakers
- Lebron James took charge of scoring in Anthony Davis’ absence, and he dropped 30 points on 65% shooting from the field and got nine boards and two steals. King James ran riot on the Nuggets.
- A potential 6th man of the year candidate, Russell Westbrook, played a huge part in the Lakers’ second-half turnaround in this game. He finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists triple-double. Austin Reaves followed with 16 points from the bench, while Dennis Schroder dropped 15.
New Orleans Pelicans Vs Phoenix Suns
In another heavyweight Western Conference encounter, the New Orleans Pelicans were up against the Suns for the fourth and last regular season encounter. There has been some bad blood between the two teams, and Zion Williamson played a huge part in it.
However, the Pelicans had won two of the three meetings heading into this one, while the Suns were looking to level things up. The Suns had Devin Booker back in this game, and he made the difference as the Suns won the game 118-114.
New Orleans Pelicans
- Zion Williamson led the scoring for the Pelicans with 30 points on 80% shooting and nine assists, while C.J. McCollum dropped 27 points and eight assists.
- Center Jonas Valanciunas dropped 12 points and eight boards. Naji Marshall and Jose Alvardo dropped 11 and 10 points from the bench, respectively.
- It was more of a one-man show for the Suns in this game, as Devin Booker was in his bag, and he scored with ease. He scored a game-high 58 points with high efficiency while dropping five assists and getting six boards.
- Chris Paul followed with 18 points and eight assists, while Mikal Bridges contributed 15 points and three steals.
Chicago Bulls Vs Minnesota Timberwolves
The Chicago Bulls traveled north to compete against the Minnesota Timberwolves in an inter-conference match. Before this game, the Bulls lost to the New York Knicks 114-91, while the Timberwolves defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-110. Minnesota cruised past the Bulls in this game, winning 150-124.
- Demar DeRozan led the Bulls in scoring with 29 points while he added six assists and two steals. Nikola Vucevic followed with 23 points and nine boards.
- Zach Lavine scored 22 points as four of Chicago Bulls’ starting five dropped double digits in points.
- Minnesota put up a franchise record in points in this game. Anthony Edwards led the scoring for the Timberwolves as he dropped a season-high 37 points, seven boards, and a career-high 11 assists.
- D’Angelo Russel followed with 28 points; he shot 7 of 10 from long range while he added eight assists. The Timberwolves were without their star centers in this game, yet they dominated the Bulls in what seemed to be a collective effort.
Brooklyn Nets Vs Detroit Pistons
In this game, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 119–116. As the clock ran out, Kyrie Irving made the game-winning three-point shot. At the same time, the Pistons enter this meeting following a 122-113 loss to the Sacramento Kings. The Nets stars went off in this game as Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving combined for 81 points to win the game 124-121.
- Kevin Durant dropped a game-high 43 points on about 60% shooting from the field and long range, while he got six boards to lead the Nets. Kyrie Irving followed with 38 points.
- Royce O’Neale scored 11 points on 3 of 4 shooting from long range. He was the third of three Nets players who scored double digits.
- Bogdanovic led the scoring for the Pistons with 26 points, while Jordan Ivey scored 19 points.
- Marvin Bagley III and Alec Burks dropped 12 points each from the bench.
The NBA’s most recent games saw Devin Booker’s masterclass in a one-man show against the Pelicans and Nets, pulling off an amazing comeback courtesy of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the second half of their game against the Pistons.