The NBA Roundup: November 4, 2013

Three Kevins hogged the limelight in today’s NBA action. Kevin Love and Kevin Martin combined to hit 7 triples as the T-Wolves remained unbeaten in three games, while Kevin Durant welcomed running mate Russell Westbrook back by scoring 33 points in OKC’s comeback win over PHX.

The Best:
  • Kevin Love and Kevin Martin were clicking for Minnesota as the Wolves took on New York’s finest. Love rattled in 34 points on 10/19 FG shooting on top of 15 rebounds and 5 assists to give the Twin Cities a superb 3-0 start to the season. Former OKC and HOU player Martin also continued to sizzle for Wolves, hitting all 5 of his rainbow attempts to finish with 30 points.
  • KD laid out the red carpet for the return of Jet Zero to the hardwood, unloading a 33-point and 10-rebound double-double for the Thunder, who had to claw back in the second half to avoid the upset axe against Phoenix. Westbrook, for his part, delivered 21 points and 7 assists in his first game back from a leg injury he sustained in last season’s Playoffs.
  • Another guy whose stroke was pure was ATL’s Kyle Korver, who shot a flawless 6/6 from long range. Korver ended up with 22 points, but his Hawks fell short against the Lakers, 103-105.

Kevin Martin waxed hot as the Wolves upended the Knicks.
(image by Noah K. Murray/USA Today)

The Worst:
  • So here’s the thing – PJ Tucker (who?) is playing 37 minutes a game for the Suns. His averages actually aren’t bad (about 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal a game), but in Phoenix’s game against OKC, Tucker registered just 6 points in 39 minutes. I’m just not sold on this guy.
  • Oh how far Boston has fallen. Starting swingman Gerald Wallace sort of typified the Cs’ struggles this season, scoring just 5 points, shooting just 2/6 from the field, and grabbing just 1 rebounds in 36 minutes. Not even those 4 steals could make up for such a terrible line.
  • One guy who hasn’t transitioned very well for the new-look Brooklyn Nets is Joe Johnson, who is actually one of the most expensive (overpaid) guys on the planet. Johnson struggled against Orlando today, shooting just 1/5 from the floor to finish with 2 points in 23 minutes of action.

Final Score: Detroit 87, Boston 77
Auburn Hills, MI ( - Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond all netted 15 points for the Detroit Pistons in an 87-77 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday. The Pistons' starting frontcourt all made seven field goals and a free throw, while Drummond and Monroe added 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Rodney Stuckey shot 8-of-9 from the foul line off the bench for 10 points. Brandon Jennings, who missed the Pistons' first two games after undergoing wisdom tooth surgery, made his Detroit debut and dropped 14 points while matching a game-high with four assists. Jennings spent the first four years of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks and came over in an offseason trade for Brandon Knight. Kelly Olynyk paced Boston with 15 points and eight boards off the bench. Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford scored 13 points apiece as the Celtics remained winless on the season.

Final Score: Orlando 107, Brooklyn 86
Orlando, FL ( - Victor Oladipo scored 19 points to go with six rebounds and four assists to lead the Orlando Magic to a 107-86 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Nikola Vucevic, who led the Eastern Conference in double-doubles last season with 46, poured in 19 points to go with 12 boards and Andrew Nicholson finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Magic, who have won two straight. Arron Afflalo scored 16 points to go with eight assists and six rebounds and Jameer Nelson added 11 points in the win. Brook Lopez scored a game-high 21 points and blocked five shots and Paul Pierce added 16 points for the Nets, who had new head coach Jason Kidd on the bench for the first time all season. Kidd was suspended for the first two games of the season following a DUI incident in the offseason.

Final Score: Miami 103, Washington 93
Miami, FL ( - The Miami Heat had just a pair of three-game losing skids during their back-to-back championship campaigns. They avoided another such slide on Sunday. LeBron James had 25 points in the Heat's 103-93 triumph over the Washington Wizards. Miami was below .500 coming into the tilt for the first time since losing its first game with James and Chris Bosh in 2010-11. Bosh added 24 points and seven rebounds, while Dwyane Wade chipped in 20 points for the Heat, who have won four in a row against the Wizards. Washington, which fell to 0-3, dropped its first 12 games last year after starting 0-8 to begin the 2011-12 campaign.

Final Score: Oklahoma City 103, Phoenix 96
Oklahoma City, OK ( - Russell Westbrook returned to the Oklahoma City lineup after missing the entire preseason and the first two games of the regular season and led the Thunder to a 103-96 win over the Phoenix Suns. Westbrook tore the meniscus in his right knee in Game 2 of the Thunder's first round playoff series with Houston a year ago. He underwent a pair of surgeries and was expected to miss the first 4-to-6 weeks of the regular season, but team doctors cleared him to play prior to Sunday's tilt with Phoenix. The young Thunder star looked explosive in his return, tallying 21 points and seven assists. Westbrook also hit 11-of-14 from the foul line, including four in the final moments to seal the win for OKC. Kevin Durant dropped a game-high 33 points with 10 rebounds, and Reggie Jackson, Westbrook's replacement at point guard for the first two games, added 10 points and five helpers off the bench. Eric Bledsoe played 40 minutes and went for 26 points and a career-high 14 assists to lead Phoenix, which lost point guard Goran Dragic to a sprained ankle early in the third. Gerald Green and Channing Frye netted 21 and 19 points, respectively, as the Suns lost for the first time this season.

Final Score: Minnesota 109, New York 100
New York, NY ( - Kevin Love had 34 points and 15 rebounds and the Minnesota Timberwolves withstood a New York fourth-quarter rally in their 109-100 triumph over the Knicks. The Wolves, who improved to 3-0 for the first time in 12 years, had a 40-19 advantage after the opening frame and led by as many as 23 before the Knicks charged back and pulled within two with 4:48 left. Minnesota, though, tallied the next six points and New York never threatened again. Kevin Martin made all five of his attempts from distance and netted 30 points in the win. Carmelo Anthony had 22 points and 17 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost two straight since winning their opener.

Final Score: LA Lakers 105, Atlanta 103
Los Angeles, CA ( - Pau Gasol sunk a pair of free throws with six seconds left to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 105-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center. Atlanta trailed by as many as 12 in the final frame, but managed to cut the deficit to two points following Korver's 3- pointer from 30 feet out with 1:16 left. After Steve Nash and Xavier Henry both missed runners with the clock winding down, Paul Millsap knocked down a baseline jumper to tie the game. The Lakers called a timeout and turned to Gasol, but the big man missed a hook shot from the middle of the paint. Jordan Hill, though, was there to clean up the miss and the LA reset. Steve Nash took the ball from the top of the key and drew in a pair of defenders before finding Gasol with a no-look bounce pass. Gasol dribbled once before steamrolling Millsap as he passed to Hill on the baseline. Millsap, however had a foot on the lane of the restricted area and Gasol was awarded a pair of free throws, which he converted. Korver's trey from the corner with two seconds left was blocked and Jodie Meeks stole a pass from Al Horford as he fell out of bounds to seal the win.


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