With each team having played at least one game in the NBA scrimmages, we are starting to see teams get more serious about their play. Superstars are no longer sitting out major portions of the game and the physicality in the games has also increased.
Houston Rockets come back to win the NBA scrimmage against the Memphis Grizzlies
James Harden showed us why he is one of the most lethal scorers of the game, with 31 points and 9 assists in the Houston Rockets' 119-104 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies. Contrary to what the score may suggest, the game was quite competitive.
The Memphis Grizzlies took off in the second half and had a 12 point lead during the third quarter, and the Rockets had to make a run in the fourth quarter to regain the lead. The Rockets were constantly in foul trouble, with P.J. Tucker and Robert Covington fouling out of the game.
Russell Westbrook struggled throughout the game, shooting just 3-14 in 27 minutes. It was the Rockets' bench, led by outstanding three point shooting from Ben McLemore, that was their saving grace in this NBA scrimmage. The Rockets will hope to find their chemistry before the season restarts to improve their seeding before the playoffs.
OKC Thunder stun the Philadelphia 76ers with yet another magical comeback
Judging by the first half of the NBA scrimmage, the Philadelphia 76ers were on course for a massive victory. In the third quarter, they led by as much as 22 points. However, the Oklahoma City Thunder valiantly came back in the fourth quarter, behind back-to-back threes from Andre Roberson, to clinch a 102-97 victory.
The Philadelphia 76ers were missing Joel Embiid, who sat out as a precaution after right calf discomfort in the previous scrimmage. However, the 76ers, who have title aspirations, would have hoped to close out the game and gain momentum. The biggest positive for the 76ers was Al Horford's return to form. He shot 4-5 from beyond the arc and had 9 rebounds.
Elsewhere in the NBA scrimmages
The Toronto Raptors cruised to victory against the Portland Trail Blazers with a final score of 110-104. Led by Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam, the Raptors looked very comfortable out on the basketball court.
The Blazers were missing their superstar Damian Lillard, who is suffering from a foot injury. The Blazers have been plagued by injuries this season and their chance to qualify for the playoffs sorely depends on Lillard's health in the coming days.
An all-round performance from Luka Doncic was not enough to stop the Indiana Pacers from winning the scrimmage 118-111. This should not concern the Mavericks too much since they were missing Kristaps Porzingis, who is currently in quarantine after missing a mandatory coronavirus test.
The Celtics cruised to victory against the Phoenix Suns in yesterday's NBA scrimmage with convincing performances from Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward. Jayson Tatum struggled initially before finding his rhythm. Kemba Walker had only a 9 minute game but his presence was a morale booster for the entire Celtics squad.