The first weekend of basketball in the 2019-20 NBA season restart is well underway.
Five games were on the slate for Saturday. In the early game, Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat took care of business with a convincing win over the Denver Nuggets while the gameday was capped off by the defending champions sweeping the season series against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Every contest in Orlando impacts the playoff race. What about Saturday's five games?
Find out below:
Miami Heat 125, Denver Nuggets 105
Down Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Will Barton, the Nuggets didn't have the firepower to keep up with the Heat.
Miami's All-Star duo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 22 points each. Butler added seven assists, four rebounds and three steals to his stat line while Adebayo added nine rebounds and six assists to his. Kelly Olynyk put on the finishing touches with a 20-point fourth quarter, making him the first Heat player since Dwyane Wade in 2009 to score 20 points in the fourth quarter of a game.
Butler & Bam lead the @MiamiHEAT!@JimmyButler: 22 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL@Bam1of1: 22 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST pic.twitter.com/y3gXBMY3yo- NBA (@NBA) August 1, 2020
With the win, the Heat improve to 42-24 on the season, putting them only 1.5 games behind the Boston Celtics for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat will have an opportunity to close that gap further when they take on the Celtics in their third seeding game next week.
As for the Nuggets, they're still at No. 3 in the Western Conference, but the Jazz, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are making ground on them.
Oklahoma City Thunder 110, Utah Jazz 94
The Thunder got off to a strong start and never looked back.
It was a team effort for Oklahoma City, as a number of players scored in double figures. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 19 points, Chris Paul came close to a triple-double with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, Steven Adams finished with a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double, Danilo Gallinari chipped in with 15 points and Dennis Schroder put up 13 points off the bench.
Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson had a rough outing for Utah, combining for 24 points on 9-for-32 shooting from the field.
CP3 & SGA power OKC! ⛈️@CP3: 18 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL@shaiglalex: 19 PTS, 6 AST, 3 STL pic.twitter.com/rNAW9MLjuO- NBA (@NBA) August 1, 2020
A loss moves the Jazz a game behind the Nuggets for the No. 3 seed and puts them only 0.5 games ahead of the Thunder and Houston Rockets for the No. 4 seed. There's still a lot up in the air when it comes to the middle of the Western Conference.
LA Clippers 126, New Orleans Pelicans 103
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George put on a clinic in this one.
Whereas Leonard did a little bit of everything with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists, George exploded for 28 points on 8-for-11 shooting from 3-point range.
The Clippers as a team couldn't miss from the perimeter, going 25-for-47 from deep.
⬆️, ⬆️, ⬇️, ⬇️, ⬅️, ➡️, ⬅️, ➡️, 🅱️, 🅰️, Start- LA Clippers (@LAClippers) August 1, 2020
📺 @FoxSportsWest | @Yg_Trece pic.twitter.com/bkdHcA4RuM
The Clippers look like they're going to finish the regular season with the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference at this point.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, are at risk of falling out of the race for the No. 8 seed. Back-to-back losses to open the season restart moves them four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, 1.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers, one game behind the San Antonio Spurs and 0.5 games behind the Sacramento Kings.
Indiana Pacers 127, Philadelphia 76ers 121
Both teams entered this game with identical records of 39-26.
At the final horn, the Pacers walked away with the season series 3-1 behind a career-game from T.J. Warren. The 6-8 forward knocked down a career-high nine 3-pointers en route to scoring a career-high 53 points, the third-most in Pacers' NBA history.
▪️ 53 PTS (career-high)- NBA (@NBA) August 2, 2020
▪️ 9 3PM (career-high)
▪️ @Pacers W in Orlando opener
T.J. Warren GOES. OFF. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yUoipSf1EE
MORE: Warren becomes talk of NBA with 53-point outburst
His performance helped the Pacers overcome big games from the stars of the Philadelphia 76ers - Joel Embiid (41 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks), Ben Simmons (19 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists), and Tobias Harris (30 points).
With this win, the Pacers hold the tiebreaker, should they finish with an identical record as the 76ers at the end of the 76ers.
Toronto Raptors 107, Los Angeles Lakers 92
The defending champions won their opener in Orlando behind a masterclass from their leader Kyle Lowry.
🙌 @Klow7 does it all in the @Raptors W over LAL! #WholeNewGame- NBA (@NBA) August 2, 2020
33 PTS | 14 REB (career high) | 6 AST | 5 3PM pic.twitter.com/qyvf6sPfKs
MORE: 8 observations from Raptors win vs. Lakers
OG Anunoby chipped in with 23 points as the Raptors held the Lakers' All-Star duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis to 34 points, 16 rebounds, and eight assists. Trailing the Bucks by 6.5 games, the Raptors probably won't be catching them but the win helps them build a four-game cushion over the third-seeded Boston Celtics.
Meanwhile, the Lakers will have to wait to mathematically clinch the West's top seed. They need a win or a Clippers loss but with neither happening on Saturday, it's on the next matchday for them. They still hold a comfortable 5.5 game lead at the top.
|1||x - Milwaukee Bucks||54||12||-||1||x - Los Angeles Lakers||50||15|
|2||x - Toronto Raptors||47||18||6.5||2||x - LA Clippers||45||21||5.5|
|3||x - Boston Celtics||43||22||10.5||3||x - Denver Nuggets||43||23||7.5|
|4||x - Miami Heat||42||24||12||4||x - Utah Jazz||42||24||8.5|
|5||x - Indiana Pacers||40||26||14||5||x - Oklahoma City Thunder||41||24||9|
|6||x - Philadelphia 76ers||39||27||15||6||x - Houston Rockets||41||24||9|
|7||Orlando Magic||31||35||23||7||Dallas Mavericks||40||28||11.5|
|8||Brooklyn Nets||30||35||23.5||8||Memphis Grizzlies||32||34||18.5|
|9||Washington Wizards||24||41||29.5||9||Portland Trail Blazers||30||37||21|
|10||San Antonio Spurs||28||36||21.5|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||28||38||22.5|
x - Clinched Playoff berth
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