NBA Christmas Day: Nikola Jokic, Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic shine in wins; LeBron James worthy of hat tip

The NBA’s five-game Christmas schedule remains in the books, and it ended up with a bang as the Denver Nuggets required overtime to last longer than the checking out Phoenix Suns, 128-125. 

In the day’s opener, the 76ers controlled the 2nd half to beat the Knicks, 119-112, which was followed by the Mavericks getting the Lakers, 124-115, behind a 51-point 3rd quarter. The Boston Celtics fled from the Milwaukee Bucks with a 139-118 win, and the diminished Golden State Warriors made a declaration with a 123-109 success over the full-strength Memphis Grizzlies. 

Below are the top Christmas Day efficiencies. 

Nikola Jokic: 41 points, 15 helps, 15 rebounds

Jokic is out here setting up Wilt numbers. For the 2nd time in a week he publishes a 40-point triple-double. (And because other video game, versus Charlotte, he had 27 rebounds.) He shot 64 percent from the field versus Phoenix, consisting of 2 of 4 from beyond the arc and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line. The Nuggets have actually won 7 of their previous 8, are now in sole ownership of the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, and Jokic needs to be the MVP frontrunner. 

Jayson Tatum: 41 points, 7 rebounds, 5 helps

When there’s a primetime match, you can practically rely on Tatum going off nowadays, and going head to head with Giannis Antetokounmpo definitely certifies. 

Tatum was deadly from all 3 levels on Sunday, striking 3 of 7 from deep, 3 of 4 from the midrange and 8 of 11 in the paint. He went 10 for 10 from the free-throw line, where he’s publishing a profession high 8.5 efforts per video game this season. 

Jordan Poole: 32 points in 29 minutes

Poole gone into Christmas balancing 28 points in video games Stephen Curry hasn’t played, and he continued that pattern on Sunday with 32 points in simply 29 minutes. Poole was plainly in cook mode early, jitterbugging all over to produce shots and moving without the ball for catch-and-shoots. He had a shot at 40 however was ejected for getting a 2nd technical nasty midway through the 4th quarter. 

Luka Doncic: 32 points, 9 helps, 9 rebounds

Doncic was determined in his common radiance, systematically piecing together this ho-hum night on simply 16 shots (12 of 16 totally free tosses) and keeping the Lakers at a range with 9 fourth-quarter points. This phony Doncic tossed on Wenyen Gabriel was rather entertaining. 

Joel Embiid: 35 points, 8 rebounds

Embiid ended up 12 of 22 from the field and got to the line 15 times, sinking 10. He was doing work from his workplace, putting the ball on the flooring from the free-throw line extended/elbow location, and he got his midrange jumper, which has actually been effective all year, opting for 15 third-quarter points prior to Philly made its relocation with a 24-9 run over the bulk of the 4th quarter. 

Harden has actually been playing fantastic given that going back to the lineup, and he once again made whatever go on Christmas for a Sixers group that has actually won 8 directly. He ended up with 5 3-pointers and matched Embiid with 10 made totally free tosses. Harden in choice and roll is still a practically ensured quality shot. Harden has actually tallied an exceptional 34 helps over his last 2 video games. 

Christian Wood: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 7 helps

Wood coming off the bench has actually been a significant point of conversation all season. He’s began the last 5, and it’s going to be difficult to send him back to the bench after video games like this. The 7 helps are a profession high for Wood, as are the 4 takes he contributed to his line. When Wood plays thirty minutes or more, he essentially averages 24 and 10 boards. Since ending up being a starter, he’s balancing 18 and 9. Dallas requires his firepower and the matching with Doncic is offensively perfect. 

Hat ideas in defeat

  • LeBron James: LeBron did all he might with Anthony Davis still sidelined, publishing 38 points, 6 rebounds and 5 helps on 13-of-23 shooting, consisting of 12 of 12 from the free-throw line. He devoted simply 2 turnovers and the Lakers were on the favorable side of his 34 minutes. LeBron has actually now scored a minimum of 30 points in his last 7 video games. 
  • Julius Randle: Randle came out on fire, striking 4 of his very first 6 3-pointers through a quarter and a half. He was locked out from deep after that by still ended up with 35 points and 8 boards. Randle has actually played well practically all season and has actually balanced 31 and 11 over his last 3, however the Knicks, after winning 8 directly, have actually dropped each of those 3. 
  • Ja Morant: Morant ended up with 32 points, 8 helps and 7 rebounds on much better than 50-percent shooting, however it wasn’t enough with Desmond Bane kipping down a nine-point proving on 0 of 7 from 3 in his 2nd video game back after missing out on 17 contests.

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