12 teams took the floor on Monday for Day 4 of the 2020-21 NBA preseason.
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram were firing on all cylinders against the Heat, while Chris Paul made his first appearance in a Suns uniform, and Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo went head-to-head in a battle of the MVP favourites.
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We've got you covered with all the big takeaways from Day 4 of preseason:
Exum powers Cavs past Pacers
Aussie point guard Dante Exum continues to make a strong case for rotation minutes at backup point guard with his impressive pre-season form.
🇦🇺 Dante Exum scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the 4th quarter to lead the @cavs past the @Pacers, 116-106 😤 #NBAPreseason- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) December 15, 2020
📊: 23 PTS | 5 AST | 4 REB | 7-11 FG pic.twitter.com/Py3wSrBubl
With Collin Sexton (ankle), Kevin Porter Jr. (personal), and Matthew Dellavedova (back) all out of the lineup, the 25-year-old Aussie came off the bench to score 23 points in 27 minutes, 15 coming in the fourth quarter alone.
He added five assists and four rebounds, shooting the ball efficiently, going 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from the 3-point line in their 116-106 win over the Indiana Pacers.
Raptors rookie Malachi Flynn shines
In just his second game as a pro, Raptors rookie Malachi Flynn recorded 17 points in 19 minutes on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.
The 29th overall pick in the 2020 Draft was aggressive attacking the rim, pulling up from deep, and making his presence felt on the defensive end in the 112-109 win over the Charlotte Hornets
That's confidence right there 👀 pic.twitter.com/mBiYhbY6tW- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 15, 2020
"I think a lot of it has come from my teammates just telling me to be confident," Flynn said postgame about his comfort level at the NBA level.
"They tell me to play my game, so that's what I try to come out here and do."
Zion & BI power Pelicans past Heat
The Pelicans' forward tandem of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are going to be a handful this season.
The duo were in rhythm leading the Pelicans to a 114-92 win over the Miami Heat, with Williamson recoridng a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Ingram added 22 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
😱 Ingram EXTENSION 😱- NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2020
📺: @NBATV pic.twitter.com/DzdWW1KnSW
"He took the game over on the offensive end," Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy said of Ingram. "Then in the second half, he was very active with his hands and created some turnovers. He should be able to do some things like that, with his length. He should be active and cause some problems for a lot of people."
Sophomore guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker added some offensive punch off the bench, knocking down four 3-pointers on his way to 14 points and five rebounds.
Coach Chris Paul
Chris Paul made his first outing in a Phoenix Suns uniform, recording five points and six assists in 17 minutes on court, but it was his leadership and veteran experience that stood out.
While he was on court, the 35-year-old was picking apart the Jazz defence, creating plenty of scoring opportunities for the likes of Deandre Ayton and co., but as the cameras panned to the Suns bench, Paul was routinely talking to his younger teammates, coaching them through the game.
His experience is going to be invaluable to this young Suns squad this season.
Masterclass with a legend.. Chris Paul coaches up @Suns rook Ty-Shon Alexander! #NBAPreseason pic.twitter.com/mhypreExlc- NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2020
MVP contenders duel
Luka Doncic vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo.....a matchup between the two favourites for this season's Most Valuable Player award did not disappoint.
The Greek Freak filled it up in his 27 minutes on court, recording 24 points, 14 rebounds four assists, and three blocks, but it was Doncic who had the last laugh, powering the Mavericks to a 128-112 win.
15 in the 3rd for Luka! 🔥@dallasmavs x #NBAPreseason- NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2020
📲💻: https://t.co/QYhIeWqSiu pic.twitter.com/g6glze07xG
After the Bucks took a 69-59 lead into half-time, the Mavs hit right back in the third, with Doncic scoring 15 of his game-high 27 points in the period. He added eight rebounds and four assists, while newly-acquired swingman Josh Richardson impressed with 23 points and seven rebounds, going 5-of-6 from the 3-point line.
That was the theme for whole Mavs squad as they connected on a scorching 22-of-46 from beyond the arc.
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