The NBA season is nearing the halfway point, but there’s no slowing down. On this Monday night in the association, there was a busy eight-game slate.
Early on, the Spurs extended their winning streak to five games with a win over the Pistons, while the surging Nets didn’t have enough grit to beat the talented Celtics.
Then two of the hottest teams in the league squared off in Houston, with the Rockets handling the Nuggets at home. Plus, the Lakers snapped their three-game losing streak by beating Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.
In the late games, the struggling Knicks lost to the Trail Blazers, while the Magic were handed another loss on their West Coast road trip, this time to the Kings.
Here’s everything you need to know about Monday night in the NBA, along with Tuesday’s schedule.
NBA scores for Monday, Jan. 7
*All times Eastern
NBA schedule for Tuesday, Jan. 8
*All times Eastern
Lakers snap losing streak
The Lakers have struggled recently without LeBron James, but they put their three-game losing streak to an end on Monday with a road win over the Dallas Mavericks. Brandon Ingram led the Lakers with 29 points and six assists, while Lonzo Ball added 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Harden drops defender for four-point play
We’ve seen James Harden embarrass defenders before, but this was really something. Not only did Jamal Murray hit the deck after the behind-the-back move, but he also fouled Harden after recovering for the four-point play. He finished with another huge game of 32 points and 14 assists.
Giannis with the block and the slam
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best two-way stars in the league, and he showed it on Monday night against the Utah Jazz. He blocked center Rudy Gobert on one end, and finished off the play with a dunk on the other.
Griffin with the vintage jam
Blake Griffin may not dunk like he used to, but you better not sleep on his athletic ability. The former Slam Dunk Contest champ threw one down on the baseline against the Spurs on Monday.
Kyrie back in action
After missing two games with an eye injury, Kyrie Irving returned to the Celtics lineup against the Nets, and wasted no time getting into the action.
Western Conference showdown in Houston
The Nuggets still have a claim to first place in the West, thanks to some fantastic play from Nikola Jokic and a five-game winning streak. But they’ll face strong challenges from a number of contenders over the second half of the season, including James Harden and the Rockets, who have won 11 of 13 games. Harden is on a historic hot streak, putting up at least 35 points and five assists in 10 straight games. Can he keep it up on Monday night and get the Rockets a big win?