The Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets rallied to comeback wins in the NBA on Saturday.
All three Western Conference play-off contenders trailed, and trailed big at that, but fought back for victories to remind everyone why they are set to challenge.
For the Rockets, Houston trailed the New York Knicks 25-5 in the first quarter, and that was without Kristaps Porzingis or Enes Kanter. But it did not matter much to James Harden. The MVP candidate had 37 points on 12-of-27 shooting with 10 assists as the Rockets not only came back, but they turned it into a 117-102 rout.
The Warriors are the only team in basketball that score more points per game than the Rockets, so a 31-17 deficit at the end of the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans did not scare them. Not even a game in which Stephen Curry started 0-for-10 from the floor could put Golden State on edge. Curry finished nine-of-25 for 27 points and six assists as the Warriors came back for a 110-95 victory.
As for the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum set the tone. They got down 52-41 at the half to the Washington Wizards and were down by as much as 17 in the fourth quarter, but thanks to a 29-point night from Lillard and a 26-point night from McCollum, the Trail Blazers came back for a 108-105 victory.
Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell was great with 15 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds while J.J. Reddick was on fire from long range, going eight of 12 from beyond the arc as part of a 29-point night in a 130-111 win over the Magic.
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting along with 13 rebounds in a 121-108 loss to the Jazz.
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had 28 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in a 97-81 loss to the Mavericks.
Thunder forward Paul George had the worst shooting night of his short Oklahoma City career, going one for 12 from the floor while scoring just two points in an embarrassing loss to the now 5-15 Mavericks. George did have 10 assists and six rebounds.
It is unclear if the passing game can be perfected, but if any team is capable of doing just that it would be the Spurs. The ball movement in the first half of their 106-86 win over the Hornets was beautiful.
It's a beautiful game. pic.twitter.com/ypgmKSfjtF-- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) November 26, 2017
San Antonio Spurs 106-86 Charlotte Hornets
Philadelphia 76ers 130-111 Orlando Magic
Portland Trail Blazers 108-105 Washington Wizards
Toronto Raptors 112-78 Atlanta Hawks
Houston Rockets 117-102 New York Knicks
Boston Celtics 108-98 Indiana Pacers
Dallas Mavericks 97-81 Oklahoma City Thunder
Golden State Warriors 110-95 New Orleans Pelicans
Utah Jazz 121-108 Milwaukee Bucks
Los Angeles Clippers 97-95 Sacramento Kings
NETS AT GRIZZLIES
While teams may not respect the Nets, they can put up points in bunches and are third in the league for points per game (111.3) behind only the Warriors and the Rockets. Meanwhile the Grizzlies are sixth in the league in points allowed, so it is going to be a matchup of powerful offense against formidable defense.