NBA action got underway early on Saturday with a stellar matinee that pitted the Portland Trail Blazers against the Philadelphia 76ers. Star center Joel Embiid missed his second consecutive game and it surely showed as the Sixers were outscored 71-59 in the second half in a convincing Portland victory.
From there, we moved onto the main slate of the night. The early games were all pretty close, as the Hawks got past the Suns by five points, the Nets squeaked past the Hornets by just two, the Cavs took down the Grizzlies by five and the Pacers beat the Wizards by seven.
Later on, the Bulls pulled a big upset when they surprised the Celtics, while the Pelicans handed the Lakers a devastating loss despite Anthony Davis‘ absence. Meanwhile, the Kings picked up a big win over the Thunder. In the marquee game of the night, the Rockets took down the Warriors despite playing without James Harden.
NBA schedule for Saturday, Feb. 23
*All times Eastern
- Portland Trail Blazers 130, Philadelphia 76ers 115 (Box Score)
- Atlanta Hawks 120, Phoenix Suns 115 (Box Score)
- Brooklyn Nets 117, Charlotte Hornets 115 (Box Score)
- Cleveland Cavaliers 112, Memphis Grizzlies 107 (Box Score)
- Indiana Pacers 119, Washington Wizards 112 (Box Score)
- New Orleans Pelicans 128, Los Angeles Lakers 115 (Box Score)
- Detroit Pistons 119, Miami Heat 96 (Box Score)
- Chicago Bulls 126, Boston Celtics 116 (Box Score)
- Sacramento Kings 119, Oklahoma City Thunder 116 (Box Score)
- Milwaukee Bucks 140, Minnesota Timberwolves 128 (Box Score)
- Houston Rockets 118, Golden State Warriors 112 (Box Score)
- Utah Jazz 125, Dallas Mavericks 109 (Box Score)
NBA schedule for Sunday, Feb. 24
*All times Eastern
Tolliver meets Giannis at the rim
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been destroying rims all season long, but he couldn’t quite get there on Saturday night. That’s because Anthony Tolliver rose up to meet him, and in the process recorded one of the most surprising rejections of the season.
CP3 shakes and bakes his way to the rim, throws incredible pass
Chris Paul got the mismatch with DeMarcus Cousins out on the perimeter, and turned the matchup into an audition for the AND 1 Mixtape Tour. Later on, he showed off his passing skills by tossing one behind his back and through traffic.
Lopez hammers one on Saric
Brook Lopez has made a name for himself this season with his transformation into a 3-point marksman. But he’s still seven feet tall, and that means he’s tough to stop at the rim, as Dario Saric learned.
LaVine and Markkanen go off in Chicago
The Bulls secured a surprising victory on Saturday night, as they outclassed the Celtics in a game they controlled most of the way. Leading the way was the duo of Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, who combined for 77 points in the win. Each of them recorded a new career-high, with LaVine putting up 42 and Markkanen going for 35.
Russell drops 40 in Nets’ win over Hornets
D’Angelo Russell played in his first All-Star Game last weekend, and he kept up his All-Star level play coming out of the break. Russell poured in 40 points and added seven assists to lead the Nets to an important win over the Hornets on Saturday night.
Holiday and Randle lead Pelicans past Lakers
Anthony Davis sat out again for the Pelicans, but it didn’t matter, as Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle led their squad past the Lakers to hand the team from Los Angeles a crushing defeat. Holiday finished with 27 points, while Randle added 24 of his own.
Love shines in Cavs’ victory
Kevin Love recently made his return from a toe injury that kept him out for much of the season, and he’s already looking like his usual self. He dropped 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on Saturday night in the Cavs’ win over the Grizzlies.
Young comes up clutch from deep
Trae Young has more range than just about anyone in the league, and he proved that once again on Saturday night. With the Hawks trailing by three, Young pulled up from the Hawks’ midcourt logo to drain a clutch triple that helped them comeback and win.
LaVine soars on the break
Zach LaVine showed off his athleticism against the Celtics, getting out on the fastbreak for an impressive slam.
Kuzma rocks the rim
Most of the time, showstopping slams happen on the fastbreak, but Kyle Kuzma threw one down of the half-court variety against the Pelicans.
Bryant rises for the rejection, almost accidentally KOs ref with celebration
Thomas Bryant hustled back for an incredible block in transition against the Pacers, but the excitement nearly turned scary during his celebration. He swung his arm wildly, and just missed the referee.
Nurkic leads Trail Blazers with 24 points in win
Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic dominated the paint without Joel Embiid in the lineup for the Sixers. Nurkic finished the game with 24 points on a very efficient 9-of-13 shooting performance to go along with 10 rebounds.