Wednesday night was cram-packed in the NBA, with many former Kentucky Wildcats boasting impressive outings.
In Cleveland, the Oklahoma City Thunder earned a gritty 95-86 win over the Cavaliers to climb further back into the early-season playoff picture. Hamidou Diallo led all former Wildcats with eight points in just 13 minutes, continuing to provide instant scoring off the bench for Billy Donovan. Nerlens Noel was held scoreless but did his job accordingly, blocking four shots in 14 minutes to defend the rim. Patrick Patterson, playing 17 minutes, struggled by scoring just three points.
Heading East to Atlanta, the New York Knicks escaped with a 112-107 road win over the Hawks. Enes Kanter continued to surge off of the bench, posting another double-double of 17 points & 11 rebounds in 30 minutes. Kevin Knox continued his struggles in return from injury, being held scoreless in nine minutes of action.
Alex Poythress’s playing time took a slight dent, seeing the floor for just nine minutes to score four points.
Down in South Beach, the Miami Heat won, 95-88, in a defensive effort over the San Antonio Spurs despite NBA sophomore Bam Adebayo scoring only two points in eight minutes.
Heading West, the Denver Nuggets lost a nail-biter to the Memphis Grizzlies, 89-87. Jamal Murray’s offensive efficiency took a hit, shooting less than 50% from the floor to score 15 points but did assist on seven baskets in 37 minutes. Trey Lyles continued his strong start to the season, though, falling one rebound short of a double-double in his 28 minute, 16/9 performance.
In New Orleans, the Pelicans handled their business in a 107-98 win over the Chicago Bulls. Anthony Davis scored 22 points in the first half to finish with 32 for the game, along with 15 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in 37 minutes. Julius Randle added 12 points, five assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes while Darius Miller scored 11 points in 20 minutes.
To cap-off the night’s action, the Sacramento Kings suffered a home loss to the Toronto Raptors. Willie Cauley-Stein led the way for the Kings, scoring 24 points and eight rebounds in 33 minutes. De’Aaron Fox also played well, scoring 20 points and dishing out four assists in 36 minutes.
On Thursday, the NBA slate is much smaller but features Devin Booker’s Phoenix Suns, the Oklahoma City Thunder in a back-to-back followed by rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Los Angeles Clippers.