On MLK Day in the NBA yesterday, we had nine exciting matchups that happened all throughout the day. Jayson Tatum had another epic 50-point performance for Boston, while the Cleveland Cavaliers fought back in the fourth to steal a game from the Pelicans. Rookie center Walker Kessler had a dominant performance vs the team that drafted him and LeBron finished out the night with 48 points and the win for LA. Next, we’ll take a look at the top 10 plays from Monday night’s games.
Updated standings are here 👀
— NBA (@NBA) January 17, 2023
Top 10 plays from Monday night’s NBA slate
10. Santi Aldama find Brandon Clarke for the monster two-handed jam
Down three points with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter, Santi Aldama took a bounce pass from Brandon Clarke. Aldama drew in the defense as he drove to the basket and he swiftly got the ball back to Clarke where he would finish it off with a monster two-handed slam. Memphis won the game 136-106 vs Phoenix and that was their tenth straight win.
9. Jordan Poole fools the Wizards defense with a shifty up-and-under for two points
The game was tied 41-41 mid-way through the second quarter and Jordan Poole had the ball in his hands for an isolation play vs a bigger defender. Poole fake a step back which caused Daniel Gafford to jump and the Golden State’s offensive weapon hit an effortless up-and-under that froze the defense. He had 26 points in the first half and finished the game with 32 points. Steph Curry lead the Warriors with 41 points to beat the Wizards.
26 points in the first half for Jordan Poole ⚡️
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 16, 2023
8. LeBron James takes the rookie Jabari Smith Jr. to work with the blow by rim-rattling dunk
With less than .45 seconds left in the first half of the Rockets vs Lakers game last night, LeBron had the ball and was one-on-one with rookie Jabari Smith Jr., who was not match for the four-time champ. James easily drove past Smith Jr. and got all the way to the basket for the rim-ratting one-handed dunk. He also finished the game with a season-high 48 points and the Lakers got a close win vs the Rockets.
7. Julius Randle takes the pass from RJ Barrett and throws it down on the Raptors defense
The Knicks and Raptors were locked in a close contest all game yesterday and it took OT to settle the game. With under a minute left in the third and a three-point Knicks lead, RJ Barrett baited the defense in with a drive to the basket and he found an open Julius Randle. The all-star PF bodied Scottie Barnes for position down low and then threw down a monster two-handed dunk on the Raptors defense. In the end, the Knicks lost by two points in OT.
😤 Ju with the Emphatic SLAM pic.twitter.com/UFkgs6ZOiC
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 16, 2023
6. Victor Oladipo floats to the basket for the reverse finish in mid-air
Atlanta and Miami played in a competitive game yesterday and the Hawks had a seven point lead with under six minutes left in the first quarter. Victor Oladipo drove to the basket and went right at the Heat’s defense without any hesitation. He jumped and floated by two defenders and contorted his body to finish the reverse layup. You love to see a player like Oladipo still be able to play at a high level like this as he’s gone through so many injuries in his career.
5. Kendrick Nunn jumps up and throws the southpaw jam on the Rockets defense
With a six-point lead in the first, the Lakers had the ball in transition and the Kendrick Nunn was driving to the rim. There were only two Rockets defenders who had a chance to stop Nunn and they would be no match for what happened next. He jumped in the air and threw down a viscous one-handed southpaw jam on the Rockets defense.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 17, 2023
4. Kyle Kuzma beats the buzzer at the end of the first with a half-court make
Washington showed some fight in the first quarter vs the Warriors who are still trying to find their groove this season. With less than four seconds left in the first, Kyle Kuzma took the inbounds pass and slithered past the Warriors defense to put up an attempt at a full-court shot and made it with ease. His three-pointer made it a two point game heading into the second.
3. Jayson Tatum throws the no-look alley-oop pass to Robert Williams for the two-handed jam
Jayson Tatum continues to show the rest of the league that he is one of the best young superstars in this league as he had his seventh 50-point performance of his career last night vs the Hornets. With just under ten minutes left in the third quarter, Tatum drove to the basket and stumbled, but was able to throw a no-look alley-oop to Robert Williams. These defense was froze at that point and Williams threw down the monster two-handed dunk with nobody contesting his shot.
Through the lane and up 🔝 pic.twitter.com/neUEu0sxgR
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 16, 2023
2. Brandon Clarke dunks all over Phoenix’s defense for the fourth quarter highlight slam
The Grizzlies has a resounding 27-point lead in the fourth quarter vs a Suns team who have been riddled with injuries this season. With seven minutes and change left in the game, Desmond Bane delivered a nice bounce pass to Brandon Clarke who was feeling bouncy last night. He elevated off the pass and threw down a monster dunk on Phoenix’s defense to put his team up by nearly 30 points.
1. RJ Barrett dunks over Scottie Barnes to force OT vs the Raptors
New York and Toronto were locked into a back-and-forth game yesterday and the Knicks needed two-points to send the game to OT. The Raptors missed a free-throw that would have put them up by three, but Barrett skied high to secure the rebound and then took the ball coast-to-coast and got to the cup. He elevated and threw down the south-paw slam over last seasons ROY, Scottie Barnes and sent the game to OT.
😤 RJ DROPS THE HAMMER 🔨
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 16, 2023
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