NBA Daily Notes: Kevin Durant, Paolo Banchero, and the Lights-Out Celtics

Kevin Durant came up big in the fourth quarter to lift the Brooklyn Nets to another win.

kevin durant

Clutch Kevin Durant and other takeaways (November 6)

  • Despite the off-court controversies that cloud their campaign, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant continues to be a dominant force on the court, as he showed in today’s 98-94 win over the Charlotte Hornets. With the Nets reeling from a Hornets’ unanswered run in the fourth quarter, Durant led a fightback that completely erased Charlotte’s 12-point lead at the sixth-minute mark. A KD three at the wing eventually gave the Nets a 94-92 lead, then the former MVP followed it up with a short stab at the baseline to seal the win. Durant had 27 points in the low-scoring game and chipped in four blocks on the other side of the ball. With Kyrie Irving suspended and Ben Simmons sitting out, KD is again lifting a heavy workload for the Nets.
  • Paolo Banchero’s shot-creating has been widely documented at the start of his rookie year, and he displayed that to a great extent in today’s heartbreaking 126-123 loss to the Orlando Magic. The 6-foot-10 Banchero put up a season-high 33 points (14-of-26 FG) and hauled 16 rebounds, and he also created tons of scoring opportunities for his teammates. He dished out four assists, including this nifty find for a Franz Wagner corner trey. Banchero’s all-around skill set has been scintillating, and he’s surely a frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award this season.
  • The Boston Celtics shooting stars put on a show in their 133-118 victory over the New York Knicks. Every player that head coach Joe Mazzulla fielded literally hit a three-pointer, with Jaylen Brown (six treys), Jayson Tatum (six), and Sam Hauser (five) leading the way. Overall, the Celtics shot a franchise-record 27-of-51 clip from three-point land. Three-point shooting has been at the focal point of Mazzulla’s playbook, as the Celtics currently rank fourth in three-point attempts (39.4) and third (14.6) in made triples.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks are still undefeated through nine games. Even without Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo today, the Bucks still cruised to a 108-94 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Bucks’ defense has been superb this season (league-best 101.5 defensive rating), with Brook Lopez (2.8 blocks) and Giannis (2.5 stocks) leading the way.
  • Keldon Johnson’s usage rate is at a high (26.9%) this season, and it’s doing wonders for his production. Johnson is averaging career-highs of 22.9 points and 4.0 assists, along with an excellent 40.8% clip (8.9 attempts) from beyond the arc. The San Antonio Spurs lost a 126-101 decision to the Denver Nuggets today, with Johnson’s 25 points pacing the Silver and Black squad. Johnson signed a four-year, $80 million extension last summer, and that is looking like a bargain deal for the Spurs front office.

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