NBA's Top Stats, Best Highlights, Updated Playoff Picture from Aug. 5 Results

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) is greeted by teammates during player introductions before the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

In Wednesday's games, a promising young player sustained his hot hand and a star walked off the court with a knee injury. The Washington Wizards and Memphis Grizzlies attempted to win their first games since the official restart of the season. 

The Western Conference could have a play-in tournament between the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds. In the eighth spot, the Grizzlies have struggled to pick up wins as the Portland Trail Blazers creep up behind them in the standings following a 110-102 victory over the Houston Rockets Tuesday. 

In the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards haven't closed the gap on the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets, but they had a competitive matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Almost a week into the regular-season bubble games, the brackets in both conferences remain fluid. Which teams and players put on a show Wednesday? Let's revisit all the action with scores, stats and highlights.


Utah Jazz 124, Memphis Grizzlies 115

Joe Ingles (UTA): 25 PTS (6-11 3PT), 4 REB, 5 AST

Mike Conley (UTA): 23 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST

Jonas Valanciunas (MEM): 21 PTS, 14 REB, 3 AST

Ja Morant (MEM): 20 PTS, 6 REB, 9 AST

The Utah Jazz found their way back into the win column, taking down the Grizzlies after consecutive losses. Joe Ingles led his team to victory with his sharpshooting Wednesday.

utahjazz @utahjazz

Joe hits his 4th triple 🇦🇺 #TakeNote | @joeingles7 https://t.co/HiT2gx4ByJ

utahjazz @utahjazz

𝐅𝐈𝐕𝐄 threes for Joseph Howarth Ingles #TakeNote https://t.co/qEGIZWTMHi

As a team, the Jazz shot 40 percent (18-of-45) from three-point territory. Without forward Bojan Bogdanovic (wrist surgery), that's the type of shooting performance Utah needs for a postseason run.

Donovan Mitchell didn't have an efficient scoring output, converting 7-of-18 from the floor, but he broke down the Grizzlies defense to find a comfortable range on his shot, rocked the rim after cleaning the glass and finished with 18 points.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Spida has Grayson Allen on skates ⛸ https://t.co/IribNDUzJP

utahjazz @utahjazz

follow dunk ☑️ off-the-dribble 3 ☑️ #TakeNote | @spidadmitchell https://t.co/VHJisS3HlE

The Grizzlies have yet to win a regular-season game in the bubble. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Jaren Jackson Jr. will miss the remainder of the campaign with a torn meniscus. Rookie forward Brandon Clarke replaced him Wednesday, scoring six points and grabbing five rebounds.

Four Grizzlies scored 20 or more points, including Grayson Allen off the bench. Yet, Utah outscored Memphis by eight in the final quarter to close out a win.


Philadelphia 76ers 107, Washington Wizards 98

Joel Embiid (PHI): 30 PTS, 11 REB, 3 STL, 2 BLK

Tobias Harris (PHI): 17 PTS, 6 REB

Thomas Bryant (WAS): 19 PTS, 10 REB, 2 STL, 4 BLK

Troy Brown Jr. (WAS): 17 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST

The Philadelphia 76ers needed a full four quarters to put away the Wizards. They also did it without Ben Simmons. In the third quarter, he exited with a knee injury, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the two-time All-Star's MRI came back clean, and he's considered day-to-day.

Joel Embiid finished with a 30-point double-double to help seal the victory. Shake Milton established a rhythm from deep, scoring on three of his five attempts from beyond the arc.

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

🚨 @SniperShake 🚨 https://t.co/sXvrN3j6Ol

Philadelphia 76ers @sixers

Shake things. 🥤 https://t.co/DYQLWShLng

If Simmons misses some time, Milton has to contribute on a larger scale as a scorer, distributor and on the defensive end.

The Wizards dropped to 0-4 in the NBA restart and fell behind the Charlotte Hornets (23-42), who didn't qualify to enter the bubble. 

Without All-Star guard Bradley Beal, Washington had a long shot to pull within four games of the No. 8 seed to force a play-in tournament. Barring a complete collapse for the Nets and Magic, the Wizards won't have a chance at a play-in tournament series.


Denver Nuggets 132, San Antonio Spurs 126

Michael Porter Jr. (DEN): 30 PTS (5-9 3PT), 15 REB

Nikola Jokic (DEN): 25 PTS, 4 REB, 11 AST

Rudy Gay (SA): 24 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST, 2 BLK

Derrick White (SA): 23 PTS, 3 REB, 7 AST

Michael Porter Jr. exploded for 30-plus points in a second consecutive game, propelling the Denver Nuggets to another win.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

MPJ put him on skates Another 30-point game 🔥 https://t.co/bcmgBLDc8k

Porter put the ball on the floor and showcased his shooting range Wednesday. His ability to score anywhere on the court fills a void as Jamal Murray (hamstring), Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee) nurse injuries. More importantly, he worked well with Nikola Jokic, who dished out 11 assists.

Denver Nuggets @nuggets

Nikola ➡️ MPJ (again) https://t.co/fm2rjZU87G

Denver Nuggets @nuggets

🐁 in the 🏠 https://t.co/YdOr5somDs

With Jerami Grant logging 22 points off the bench, the Nuggets showed they're still viable offensively without two of their top three scorers, Murray and Barton.

The San Antonio Spurs kept the scores tight going into the final quarter with the game tied at 89. Rudy Gay recorded a team-leading 24 points off the bench.

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

🗣 RUDY, RUDY, RUDY! https://t.co/6IBg0pdYpu

Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan combined for 41 points and 15 assists. Individually, the other three Spurs starters scored fewer than 10 points. San Antonio's defense allowed the Nuggets to shoot 55 percent from the floor. 

This game featured a ton of free-flowing offense, and Denver pulled away midway through the final quarter.


Oklahoma City Thunder 105, Los Angeles Lakers 86

Chris Paul (OKC): 21 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST

Danilo Gallinari (OKC): 19 PTS, 7 REB

LeBron James (LAL): 19 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST

Despite locking up the No. 1 seed, the Los Angeles Lakers played LeBron James and Anthony Davis for 30 and 29 minutes, respectively. However, the duo shot a combined 10-of-30 from the field as the Purple and Gold looked out of sorts offensively.

Only two Lakers, James and Kyle Kuzma, eclipsed 10 points, while the Oklahoma City Thunder controlled the game from start to finish. Chris Paul dominated Los Angeles, using swift moves to shake defenders, shooting 8-of-12 from the floor and finding his teammates for easy buckets.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Lakers had no answer for Chris Paul 😳 https://t.co/HLENSniCBH

OKC THUNDER @okcthunder

Throw it down Hami ‼️ @hamidoudiallo | #ThunderUp https://t.co/xIG3kk8Yc5

The Thunder can make a run in the standings with two teams that have gone winless in the bubble coming up on the schedule in the Grizzlies and Wizards. They're tied with the Houston Rockets for the No. 5 seed just a half-game behind the No. 4-seeded Utah Jazz.


Toronto Raptors 109, Orlando Magic 99

Fred VanVleet (TOR): 21 PTS, 4 REB, 10 AST

Pascal Siakam (TOR): 15 PTS, 6 REB

Aaron Gordon (ORL): 9 PTS, 11 REB, 5 AST, 3 BLK 

The Toronto Raptors locked down the Magic, who shot 40 percent from the floor. The defending champions have the length to cover the floor and the quality depth to keep fresh bodies on the court.

Raptors guards Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet took the spotlight—each dishing out 10 assists. The latter topped all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting: 

Toronto Raptors @Raptors

Right foot up, left foot sliiide https://t.co/nDcAwepYNY

Toronto Raptors @Raptors

Rookie & the vet https://t.co/Vj0EnbFJPX

Toronto Raptors @Raptors

Told you @FredVanVleet layup package is elite https://t.co/6s1JiKRJcb

Toronto continues to roll through competition, winning its first three games. It sits in a comfortable spot as the No. 2 seed five games ahead of the Boston Celtics. The two squads will square off Friday.


Boston Celtics 149, Brooklyn Nets 115

Jaylen Brown (BOS): 21 PTS (5-9 3PT), 4 REB

Jayson Tatum (BOS): 19 PTS (5-8 3PT), 2 REB

Robert Williams III (BOS): 18 PTS, 5 REB, 3 BLK

Coming off an upset victory over the No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, the Nets tried to carry over that momentum against the Celtics. However, Boston didn't allow any hope for its opponent.

The Celtics outscored the Nets by at least nine points in each of the first three quarters. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum established their shooting rhythms and scorched the net from downtown, converting a combined 10-of-18 in three-point attempts.

Boston Celtics @celtics

JT heating up 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/FCziqKuvAk

Boston Celtics @celtics

🔥🔥🔥 @FCHWPO 🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/6qr2YMVNLT

Second-year center Robert Williams flashed on both sides of the court with a strong finish and a stop at the hoop.

Boston Celtics @celtics

TIME LORD INCOMING ⏰👑 https://t.co/Ey2xCYXYlv

Boston Celtics @celtics

REJECTED https://t.co/wg8mBFBLX0

The Celtics put together a dominant performance without Kemba Walker who had a rest day for his knee.

Williams could become a key component of the rotation going forward. With his interior defense, Boston may have someone to challenge Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler at the rim. He could see more minutes in the playoffs.


Updated Playoff Picture

Eastern Conference

1. Milwaukee Bucks (54-14)

2. Toronto Raptors (49-18)

3. Boston Celtics (45-23)

4. Miami Heat (43-25)

5. Indiana Pacers (42-26)

6. Philadelphia 76ers (41-27)

7. Brooklyn Nets (32-36)

8. Orlando Magic (32-37)

9. Washington Wizards (24-44)


Western Conference

1. Los Angeles Lakers (51-16)

2. Los Angeles Clippers (45-22)

3. Denver Nuggets (45-23)

4. Utah Jazz (43-25)

5. Oklahoma City Thunder (42-25)

6. Houston Rockets (42-25)

7. Dallas Mavericks (41-29)

8. Memphis Grizzlies (32-37)

9. Portland Trail Blazers (31-38)

10. San Antonio Spurs (29-38)

11. New Orleans Pelicans (29-38)

12. Phoenix Suns (29-39)

13. Sacramento Kings (28-39)