Eight teams were in action for the second last night of preseason action, with highlights coming in thick and fast across the league.
Kevin Durant, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis and LeBron James were all in action, so if you missed any of the news, we've got you covered with the main takeaways!
AD explodes in Lakers win over Suns
Much has been made of the short break for the Lakers since they were crowned NBA champions in October.
Aside from concerns about fatigue, perhaps the rest of the league should be concerned about a lack of rust from the team's stars.
Anthony Davis was at his dominant best against the Suns, unloading for 35 points in just 29 minutes of court time to go along with six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.
The Lakers claimed a 114-113 win, with a Quinn Cook floater giving Los Angeles the lead for good with 26.1 seconds on the clock. At that point, the reserves were on the floor, but the performance of Davis was a warning signal to the rest of the league, while LeBron James added 20 points in his 24 minutes of court time.
For Phoenix, who were without Chris Paul, Devin Booker led the way with 27 points.
😤 @AntDavis23 GOES OFF in the @Lakers #NBAPreseason finale!- NBA (@NBA) December 19, 2020
35 PTS (19 in 3rd) | 2 STL | 3 BLK | 6 3PM pic.twitter.com/ZvGgmCuRfo
Millsap's hot half helps Nuggets cruise by Blazers
The Denver Nuggets appear ready for the start of the regular season.
A blistering first half saw Denver take a 79-48 lead into the break with arguably the most impressive part of the explosion was the fact Nikola Jokic registered just four of those 79 points.
Leading the way was veteran Paul Millsap, who scorched the nets for a 24 points in the outburst in what will be a pleasant sign for Nuggets fans.
Averaging just eight points per game on 39 percent from the field during the postseason, Millsap will once again be expected to be a key contributor in Michael Malone's rotation.
Set to turn 36 in February, performances like this should not be expected, but if the Nuggets hope to make another deep playoff run, Millsap will likely be asked to play a role.
In the end, Denver cruised to a 129-96 blowout win, with Michael Porter Jr. also adding 20 points and nine rebounds to assist Millsap.
Strong finish to the preseason for MPJ!- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) December 19, 2020
3 AST #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/tTD5vrEa5R
Derrick Jones Jr. takes flight
It was a rough night for the Blazers without Damian Lillard, although a signature dunk from offseason acquisition made the game worth watching if you are a Portland fan.
Jones Jr. may be in different threads, but his ability to take flight remains unchanged with this dunk a contender for the best of the preseason.
New threads, same Derrick Jones Jr. ✈️🤯- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) December 19, 2020
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On sale now➡️https://t.co/9h8a5QRqHZ pic.twitter.com/Of88a4WmOD
Dwight's perfect night pushes Sixers over Pacers
No Joel Embiid, no problem for Philadelphia.....well, at least on this night.
Dwight Howard moved into the starting lineup to replace Embiid and put up a perfect night from the floor. Tallying 14 points in 16 minutes, Howard connected on all seven of his shot attempts.
Outscoring Indiana 29-24 in the fourth quarter, the Sixers were able to hold on to a 113-107 win.
Alongside Howard, Shake Milton (15), Furkan Korkmaz (14), Mike Scott (12) and Tyrese Maxey (11) scored in double digits for Philadelphia, while Domantas Sabonis put together a 26-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Pacers.
Kevin Durant is looking very much like Kevin Durant
The Nets have been cautiously placed among the Eastern Conference elite with the caveat being Kevin Durant's health.
In a delightful sight for basketball fans, the former MVP has looked like his old self in preseason action, and his performance against the Celtics only confirmed that.
Durant was efficient from all three levels in his 25-point outing, finishing 9-for-16 overall and 2-for-5 from deep. The 25 point night came in just 27 minutes while his All-Star partner in Kyrie Irving also produced an impressive line, racking up 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in 28 minutes.
25 points. 3 blocks.- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 19, 2020
📼 @KDTrey5 reminding us who he is on both ends tonight 📼 pic.twitter.com/65niI8BXFM
The Nets were ominously dominant from the outset, running up a 62-44 lead at the half to put the game away and will now head into their season opener at Barclays Center agains the Golden State Warriors full on confidence.
I have no doubt the rest of the league is taking note of Durant's return. It's been kind of hard not to.
Zion feats against Giannis-less Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the Bucks-Pelicans matchup with back tightness, paving the way for Zion Williamson to unleash a paint barrage on Milwaukee.
The former No. 1 pick compliled a 31-point night on 12-for-22 from the floor while also heading to the line for 11 free-throw attempts. You could certainly argue that some preseason level defence helped contribute to Williamson's night, but nonetheless the performance will be a warning sign for the league that Zion is ready to go for opening night.
The Pelicans ultimately took a 127-113 win, and will now prepare for their season opener in Tampa Bay against the Toronto Raptors.
Zion hoopin' 💪#WBD pic.twitter.com/2YNjIXrMOR- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 19, 2020
The game also provided the homecoming for new Buck, Jrue Holiday, with the marquee acquisition adding 15 points, four rebounds and five assists. Eric Bledsoe had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Pelicans in his first meeting against his old team.
Milwaukee will open their season in Boston, and Holiday told reporters postgame he is ready to go.
"I feel great, I feel ready to go. Even talking to some of the guys we kind of wanted to play a little more just because feel so great," Holiday said. "The coaches and staff are doing such a great job of managing our bodies....we really just want to lay it out on the floor"
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