Steph Curry made history with a crazy career debut for the Warriors.
Meanwhile, Lakers coach Frank Vogel’s future with the team is on life support as Josh Giddey had a career-high shooting record.
Catch up on all the action of the day in our NBA-Wrap!
Sa, January 22nd
Saturday January 22nd
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Jokic stars in hectic OT finish! | 02:14
GIDDEY DROPS CAREER BEST SCORE GAME
After hitting the 19-point mark three times in his rookie season, Josh Giddey set a career-high 21 points against the Hornets, but it ultimately wasn’t enough as the Thunder lost 121-98.
The Hornets found plenty of breathing space in the first quarter, extending a 17-point lead over Oklahoma City.
Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier shone again for the Hornets as LaMelo Ball agonized to a triple-double, missing a rebound and missing two assists.
Giddey was 58.8 percent away from shooting and contributed nine assists.
He was assisted by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who lost 29 points, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
CURRY’S EPIC BUZZER-BEATER ON HORROR NIGHT
Curry started the game with just one of his first 10 attempted shots, a night after losing to the Pacers in overtime – a time Curry went 0 of 4 off the floor.
His frustration boiled over in the second half when he kicked a courtside chair during a time-out.
His struggles continued, finishing 6 out of 21 – but he got the only shot that really counted. “It’s about time I did one,” he said after the game. It was also the first game-winning shot for the Warriors since 2014. On that occasion, it was Curry who made the assist.
The Rockets remained scoreless in the last three minutes, missing their last four shots with two turnovers.
He said of his angry smack on the chair, “Sometimes you have to let out a little bit of emotion… You have to crank the engine a little bit. I hope I didn’t hurt anyone.”
Coach Steve Kerr said of Curry’s kick in the third quarter, “That’s probably the most underrated aspect of Steph, his competitive fire.”
Curry added a season-high 12 assists.
LAKERS SURVIVE GREAT MAGIC HORRIES
Despite going eight points down at halftime, the Lakers managed to defeat the modest Orlando Magic.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel’s future has been in serious question lately and being down at halftime wouldn’t have done him any favors, but an important 116-105 win might have bought him some time.
He must have said something to the team at the break as the Lakers came back to outplay the Magic by 15 points in the third quarter.
Turning back the years, Carmelo Anthony put on a classic performance for Los Angeles, hitting four threes from five tries on his way to a 23-point game.
Russell Westbrook also grabbed a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Again it was LeBron James who came in for the team with 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The Lakers, losers in four of their previous five games, improved to 23-23.
Vogel said that despite their inconsistencies, which have drawn criticism from the likes of former Lakers great Magic Johnson and led to speculation his job is in jeopardy, they believe they can be title contenders.
“We’re all committed to making sure this group gets the job done,” Vogel said of a team that is also counting on continued progress when Anthony Davis returns from a knee injury. “We still believe in what we can be.”
EMBIID EXPLODES BUT 76ERS FALL THAT SHORT
Who needs Ben Simmonds when you’ve got Joel Embiid?
The towering center was again at his most brilliant, but when the Clippers got going in the second half, it wasn’t enough to beat the 76ers by a single point.
The Clippers were 14 points behind at the main break but outplayed Philly by 62 points to 47 in the second half to secure the win.
While Doc Rivers’ team regretted a win, Embiid blew his mind with 40 points and 13 rebounds.
His teammates weren’t much of a help, however, as only Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris scored in double digits.
The Clippers showed the importance of teamwork as seven players scored double-digit points in the scoring column, with guard Reggie Jackson leading the way with 19 points.
NURKIC GOES BIG TO BRING CRAZY
Jusuf Nurkic threw himself in to help the Portland Trail Blazers as they defeated the Celtics 109-105 and earned the team’s third win in their last four games.
Nurkic led with 29 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, while CJ McCollum and Anfernee Simons came in with 24 and 21 points, respectively.
The loss for the Celtics was the second in a row and they are still fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
It was a disappointing loss for Boston, especially as they failed to land a shot in the final seven minutes of the contest.
HAWKS BEATING THEIR BELTS
The Atlanta Hawks enjoyed their third straight win after beating Miami by two points.
After a 6-16 run from late November through Jan. 15, the Hawks are amassing some much-needed wins to build their credentials ahead of the playoffs.
Once again, Hawks superstar Trae Young took center stage, dropping 28 points en route to the decisive win.
According to Young, it’s all about the never-satisfied mentality that will drive her to more wins.
“It shows that we just see it as a challenge,” Young said.
“We didn’t start well but like I always say you have another day and another opportunity to make amends and get better and I think that’s what we’re doing.
“We just can’t be satisfied and move on.”
MILLS WINS FIGHT FOR BOOMER
Aussie star Patty Mills bested Boomer Jock Landale as the Brooklyn Nets beat the San Antonio Spurs by 15 points.
Neither made much of an impression on the court, with Mills scoring nine points as he was unusually cold from three-point range and losing just one of his five tries from outside the arc in the 33 minutes he was on the court.
Landale had just six minutes and scored four points as Spurs struggled to contain a wild James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
Harden hit his eighth triple-double of the season with 37 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists while Irving had 24 points of his own.
Giannis helps Bucks hold on
In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Bucks defeated the Bulls.
Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points but couldn’t make a green three-pointer drop with 23 seconds remaining.
Bucks guard Grayson Allen was ejected in the third quarter for a flagrant foul on Alex Caruso, who drove to the rim and came down hard on the play.
MAGIC 105 Lakers 116
Give 98 HORNETEN 121
SCHNEIDER 102 Sixes 101
HEAT 108 HOOK 110
SIGNPOST 109 CELTS 105
Birds of prey 109 WIZARD 105
TRAIL 90 Dollar 94
NETWORKS 117 TRACKS 102
Grizzlies 122 Lump 118
PISTON 101 JAZZ111
ROCKETS 103 KRIEGER 105
Pacers beat Warriors in OT, Suns rise | 02:16