MEM @ CHA: As predicted, the Grizzlies did just enough to win. All five starters scored 12 points or more, Zach Randolph (18 & 12) has double-doubled in every game and they have the best record in basketball. Charlotte made a meaningless late run to cut a 17-point deficit to seven; Byron Mullens (18 PTS, 9 REB) hit two 3-pointers and Kemba Walker (17 PTS, 8 AST) had another good line. Ben Gordon (10) returned from a personal absence but rookie Jeffery Taylor got another start at SG, albeit on a short leash.
NOH @ MIL: Led by 22 points apiece from Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, the Bucks held off a stubborn challenge. Anthony Davis was superb in defeat, with 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Ryan Anderson added 20 off the bench (4-of-9 from beyond the arc) but rookie Austin Rivers continues to struggle. Until (unless?) Eric Gordon returns, the Hornets have a big problem at SG.
CHI @ LAC: The Clippers bench outscored their counterparts 53-25, so you could say the red-hot Jamal Crawford (22 points) was the entire difference in a 21-point romp. Blake Griffin (26 PTS, 10 REB) was great, and while DeAndre Jordan had just 5 points and 8 rebounds, he blocked 7 shots and harassed Joakim Noah into 0-for-6 shooting. Kirk Hinrich missed all five of his FG attempts, as the Bulls shot 33.7% on the night and were never a threat.
MIA @ PHO: With Dwyane Wade (foot) unavailable and LeBron James battling the flu, Chris Bosh stepped up — 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks — and the Heat prevailed. Mario Chalmers (triceps) returned with 11 points, and Mike Miller (9 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST) filled in for Wade again. The Suns fell apart in the second half; Marcin Gortat (4 PTS) failed to exploit his size advantage and Luis Scola (3 PTS) played less than 15 minutes. Markieff Morris (16) might be on the verge of a larger role and Shannon Brown (14) has been better than Jared Dudley (4) in nearly every game.
November 18 Games
IND @ NYK: Things tip off at noon today, so don’t forget to set those daily lineups this morning. It took a very good team, catching them on the tail end of a back-to-back, to hand the Knicks their first defeat, and right now Indiana is not a very good team. Tyson Chandler will have his way with this year’s timid Roy Hibbert, and Carmelo Anthony is a nightmare matchup for David West. The Pacers are lost without Danny Granger, and no combination of Lance Stephenson, Gerald Green and Sam Young can replace him.
ORL @ TOR: The Raptors were no match in Boston yesterday, but their second matinee in 24 hours is at home against an easier opponent. Jose Calderon is likely to fare better against Jameer Nelson than he did vs. Rondo, while rookie Jonas Valanciunas may find Nikola Vucevic not quite as crafty as KG. It’s kind of a meaningless game, played at an odd hour, so anything can happen. J.J. Redick has been the hot hand since joining the starting lineup and Jameer Nelson is back at the point; with Toronto’s leaky defense they could do well and Glen Davis is always a double-double possibility.