Christmas Day served up its usual feast of NBA games and fans were filled up with basketball goodness by day’s end. Upset was the word of the day as Golden State and New Orleans toppled opponents with much better records. Here’s the best of yesterday’s holiday feast.
Warriors Tame Harden
Golden State’s season (8-24) hasn’t gone exactly according to plan. With a little innovation, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr managed to hold NBA scoring leader James Harden to just 24 points (he was averaging 39 a game). As a result, Golden State pulled off a 116-104 victory.
No Zion, No Problem
When the NBA’s 2019-20 schedule came out, fans were just waiting to see New Orleans rookie Zion Williamson on Christmas Day. That didn’t happen as the young Pelican has missed upwards of six weeks with a knee injury.
It didn’t matter on Christmas Day as Brandon Ingram carried to the Pelicans to a 112-100 victory over Denver (21-9), ending the Nuggets seven-game winning streak. The win was just New Orleans’ ninth of the season.
Lakers Lose More Than Game
It was the City of Angels showdown as the Clippers and Lakers battled it out on Christmas at the Staples Center. The Clippers Kawhi Leonard erupted for 35 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and had five assists to lead his team to a 111-106 victory. It was the Clippers second win of the season over the Lakers.
It was the Lakers fourth straight loss and they may lose star LeBron James for a period of time. James suffered an injured groin when he took a charge against Patrick Beverley. James finished the game with 23 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds, but he shot just 9-of-24 from the field.
James injured his groin in a game against Golden State last Christmas. That injury basically derailed the Lakers season. James had just recently missed a game sitting out to rest the groin and a thoracic muscle strain. James is listed as day-to-day.