In case you missed it, this weekend was packed with must-see matchups and performances from superstars across the League. The Golden State Warriors are still a legit title threat, and they proved that after flexing their championship DNA and beating the League-leading Boston Celtics; Joel Embiid is knocking on that MVP window after dropping a 53-point dagger against the Hornets, and John Wall finally made it back to D.C. and received the love and adoration he so rightfully deserves from Wizards fans.
Let’s get it.
Golden State proves (AGAIN) that championship DNA matters:
Klay Thompson scored 34 points, and Stephen Curry added 32 on six triples to help Golden State beat the League-best Boston Celtics, 123-107, on Saturday. Thompson scored 12 of 34 in the first quarter and went into halftime with 24. The win over Boston came despite Jaylen Brown (31 points and nine rebounds) cutting Boston’s 17-point deficit to seven points after scoring five straight midway through the fourth quarter.
However, the Celtics weren’t able to capitalize. They missed their final seven shots and managed to score just four more points after Brown’s flurry of buckets. Boston has been held to less than 110 points just five times after Saturday. The Warriors held Boston’s League-best offense to 43.7 percent shooting, including 12-40 from the three-point line.
It was the sixth time Boston was held below 45 percent shooting this season and the sixth time there were limited to 12 made three-pointers. Boston’s 17 assists were tired of a season-low effort.
“I just thought we competed and did a really good job defensively, tried to make things as tough as possible for them. And we gutted it out,” Steve Kerr said, per The Athletic. “I thought we needed a game like that. We’ve been a little bit stuck in the mud. And it feels like we’ve gotten better over the last few weeks but not a whole lot to show for it. So this was an important win for us.”
Some wins mean more.
Stephen: 32 pts, 6 reb, 7 ast
Klay: 34 pts, 5 reb, 2 stl
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) December 11, 2022
Don’t forget about MVP threat Joel Himbiid:
Joel Embiid is a DAWG, and don’t you forget it. The five-time All-Star dropped 53 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists to lead the 76ers to a 131-113 win over the Hornets. Embiid is the third 76er to post multiple 50-point games in the same since Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain. It’s also the 30th game Embiid secured a 40-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Embiid scored 15 of his 28 first-half points over the final three minutes of the second half. Wells Fargo Arena showered Embiid with MVP chants as he became the first player in the NBA this season to score 50+ points after his League-best 59-point performance against Utah on Nov. 13.
“We have a saying that you have to feed the hot hand,” Embiid said, per ESPN. “You got to keep feeding them until the defense stops it once or twice or three times in that situation. I just kept scoring, and they just kept giving me the ball.”
53 PTS | 12 REB | 3 AST
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 12, 2022
Times may change, but one thing remains true. D.C. will always love John Wall:
An emotional John Wall received the standing ovation from Wizards fans that he expected during the offseason. The city’s favorite point guard returned to Capital One Center for the first time as a visiting player and posted 13 points, three assists, and two steals to help the Clippers win 114-107.
JOHN WALL is really like that pic.twitter.com/g2lSBKZ0he
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) December 11, 2022
The highlight moment of the night came when Wall hit a signature pull-up from mid-range. After Wall dropped the jumper, he yelled out that the nation’s capital is “still my city.” Although the former No. 1 overall pick said he wouldn’t say goodbye to D.C., he was happy the city showered him with love as their favorite son finally came home.
“This is something I’ve been waiting for four years,” Wall said per ESPN. “The first time I got traded, I came back with Houston; it was COVID, so you couldn’t be here. Then last year, I wasn’t playing. I’m glad I got the opportunity to appreciate it and be here, and get the love that I think I deserved. I feel like I got my flowers.”
John Wall on ‘Still My City’
“In that moment and electrifying the crowd. That’s what I’ve been doing for a lot of years in my career when I was here…. To see the crowd stand up, I’m like, ‘damn I might feel like I’m still in a Wizards jersey now.’ It was a dope moment for me.” pic.twitter.com/GuAcxqEURk
— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) December 11, 2022
Victor Wembanyama continues to solidify his spot as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft:
SLAM 240 cover star Victor Wembanyama is a force to be reckoned with, and the NBA is beyond ready to see him dominate in the States. The 18-year-old superstar has an eight-foot wingspan capable of blocking everything in sight and a deadly jumper that makes him uniquely equipped to thrive in today’s NBA.
This weekend, Wembanyama posted 27 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and three steals against Monaco. Despite the strong outing, Metropolitan 93 lost 95-82; their next game will be on Dec. 17 against Paris Basketball.
— NBA (@NBA) December 11, 2022
Brittney Griner set to announce her future plans soon:
Brittney Griner is back in the states and has no immediate plans to leave Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, according to her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas. Colas told ESPN Griner recently put herself through a light contest, with her first shot being a dunk. Griner will reportedly release a statement sometime this week, per Colas.
Colas revealed Griner isn’t ready to say when or if she plans to resume her WNBA career with the Phoenix Mercury.
“If she wants to play, it will be for her to share. She has the holidays to rest and decide what’s next without any pressure,” Colas said. “She’s doing really, really well. She seems to have endured this in pretty incredible ways.”
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