NBA's Top Stats, Best Highlights, Updated Playoff Picture from July 31 Results

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, heads to the basket as Boston Celtics' Daniel Theis defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

After LeBron James and Zion Williamson kicked off the NBA's restart Thursday, Giannis Antetokounmpo and other top stars kept the momentum going over a six-game slate Friday night.

The Eastern Conference resumed play, and one of the day's opening contests from the bubble in Orlando, Florida, went to overtime as the Portland Trail Blazers slipped past the Memphis Grizzlies.

Antetokounmpo later sent a message to the rest of the bubble participants with a monster show, while the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks closed out proceedings with a nail-biting overtime classic with big implications on the playoff race.

Here's a look at some of the best stats, highlights and playoff fallout from Friday night.


July 31 Results, Top Stats

Magic 128, Nets 118

Nikola Vucevic (ORL): 22 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST

Evan Fournier (ORL): 24 PTS, 5 AST

Jonathan Isaac (ORL): 16 PTS, 6 REB

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (BKN): 24 PTS, 4 REB

Caris LeVert (BKN): 17 PTS, 7 AST


Trailblazers 140, Grizzlies 135

Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM): 33 PTS, 3 REB

Ja Morant (MEM): 22 PTS, 5 REB, 11 AST

CJ McCollum (POR): 33 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST

Damian Lillard (POR): 29 PTS, 5 REB, 9 AST

Carmelo Anthony (POR): 21 PTS, 7 REB


Suns 125, Wizards 112

Devin Booker (PHX): 27 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST

DeAndre Ayton (PHX): 24 PTS, 12 REB

Rui Hachimura (WAS): 21 PTS, 8 REB

Jerome Robinson (WAS): 20 PTS


Bucks 119, Celtics 112

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL): 36 PTS, 15 REB, 7 AST

Khris Middleton (MIL): 18 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST

Jaylen Brown (BOS): 22 PTS, 4 REB

Marcus Smart (BOS): 23 PTS, 4 REB


Spurs 129, Kings 120

De'Aaron Fox (SAC): 39 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST

Bogdan Bogdanovic (SAC): 24 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST

Derrick White (SA): 26 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST 

DeMar DeRozan (SA): 27 PTS, 5 REB, 10 AST


Rockets 153, Mavericks 149

James Harden (HOU): 49 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST

Russell Westbrook (HOU): 31 PTS, 11 REB, 8 AST

Kristaps Porzingis (DAL): 39 PTS, 16 REB

Luka Doncic (DAL): 28 PTS, 13 REB, 10 AST


Recap, Takeaways

Orlando at Brooklyn 

The Orlando Magic looked right at home Friday night, blowing away the Brooklyn Nets in a game wherein the latter took the lead into the second quarter, only for things to get ugly from there.

Ugly, as in a 75-43 differential over the second and third quarters as Evan Fournier went an efficient 10-of-15 from the floor, tying for the game high at 24 points. Jonathan Isaac came off the bench to add 16.

Orlando Magic @OrlandoMagic

Felt good to get this win 🏀 https://t.co/yElkMhekP5

Brooklyn entered at a disadvantage besides technically being the away team. The Nets obviously didn't have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but they were also missing Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot tried to do it all himself via 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting.

The win makes it four in a row for the Magic, and they leapfrog the Nets for seventh place in the Eastern Conference before playing the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.


Memphis at Portland 

A high-scoring game with plenty of pauses for free throws, it isn't a shocker to hear CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard teamed up in overtime to score 11 of Portland's 16 points to put away Memphis.

McCollum ended up putting up 33 points alongside Lillard's 29, yet 36 fouls meant 50 free-throw attempts for a Grizzlies team that stormed back from a 13-point deficit to go up by 11.

The give-and-take nature of the contest flipped plenty of times, though it was a late three-pointer from Carmelo Anthony that sent things to overtime before Portland's dynamic duo ran away with it. Somewhat expectedly, McCollum was a highlight reel:

Portland Trail Blazers @trailblazers

🌴 @CJMcCollum 🌴 https://t.co/80uhP70CGo

Despite the win, Portland is still on the outside looking in at the Western Conference, where Memphis holds the eighth seed. The Trailblazers next get the Eastern Conference powerhouse Boston Celtics, while the Grizzlies look to rebound against the San Antonio Spurs.


Phoenix at Washington

Long-shot ambitions were furthered for the Phoenix Suns as Devin Booker poured in 27 points against a struggling Washington Wizards team to get the win Friday night.

Deandre Ayton added 24 to Booker's output for good measure in a game that saw the Suns take the lead 38-31 after one frame and never look back, largely because they shot 52.5 percent from the floor.

Phoenix Suns @Suns

How to start a quarter, brought to you by @DeandreAyton https://t.co/oy3FdUjPiS

With the win, Phoenix sits within five games of eighth-seeded Memphis and next has to overcome Dallas—seventh in the Western Conference—to keep the dream alive. Washington, the only unseeded team not yet eliminated, is six games out of eighth place behind 30-win Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference.


Boston at Milwaukee

Antetokounmpo didn't just stuff the stat sheet Friday—he converted a three-point play on an overturned call to push his Bucks to a 54-12 record to move to within one win of clinching the Eastern Conference's top seed.

Tied at 107 late, Antetokounmpo got called for a foul that was then reversed upon review. He hit a free throw and capped off a 36-point performance by adding 15 rebounds and seven assists for good measure, never mind all the highlights:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

MVP dropping the hammer. https://t.co/8YYnF2h8Rb

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Can't stop it. https://t.co/Fi53PAVl2t

The Celtics just didn't have an answer, as only two players breached the 20-point mark. Jayson Tatum struggled to just five points on 2-of-18 shooting, dipping Boston's record to 3-8 against the Bucks over the past two seasons. They are still sitting third in the standings three games behind the Toronto Raptors and get Portland next.

One game from clinching the No. 1 seed, Milwaukee next gets the Houston Rockets on Sunday.


Sacramento at San Antonio 

The Spurs jumped out to a commanding 43-30 lead after one frame, only for the Sacramento Kings to yo-yo it back the other direction to make it a one-point game by halftime.

But San Antonio taking the second-to-last game of the night was seemingly inevitable with the team shooting 53.3 percent from the floor and 44 percent from deep. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 27 points, while Derrick White added 26.

Impressive as the Spurs were team-wise, the spotlight belonged to Sacramento's De'Aaron Fox and his game-high 39 points and six assists:

Bleacher Report NBA @BR_NBA

De’Aaron Fox had 30 pts heading into the 4Q on the Spurs 😤 https://t.co/JbzPySQlbD

With the win, the Spurs sit four games off the eighth seed, which belongs to Memphis, and next up is a critical game with conference-wide implications against those Grizzlies on Sunday.

Sacramento is also technically four games out, and next up is a game against the streaking Magic from the East.


Houston at Dallas 

James Harden always seemed destined to put on one of the best shows of the opening weekend in Orlando.

He made good on the expectations early, sprinting to a 5-of-5 shooting mark with 20 points in the opening quarter of a track meet that had an 85-75 total at halftime favoring Dallas.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Luka step-back on Harden from way back 😳 (via @dallasmavs) https://t.co/xUeWicMpZD

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Harden between-the-legs dime 🤯 (via @nba) https://t.co/8G2blqcBnr

The fireworks show didn't slow in the second half, and Harden played a pivotal role in pushing things to overtime. He did whatever he wanted and finished his night's shooting with 49 points on just 20 shots from the floor. Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, added 31 of his own.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

ROCO SENDS THE GAME TO OT 🚨 (via @nba) https://t.co/vlXcF5jY1P

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

JAMES HARDEN IS TAKING OVER 🔥 (via @nba) https://t.co/PYbUAA9kzM

Both teams continue to jockey for position around the sixth seed. Houston moves to the fifth seed at 41 wins, while Dallas dips to seventh while boasting 40 wins, as many as sixth-seeded Oklahoma City.

Things don't exactly get easier for Harden and the Rockets exiting Friday, not with Sunday standing as a date against Giannis and the Bucks. Dallas has it a little easier that same day against Phoenix.