🏀 Battle: Los Angeles

Plus, this young wing is sizzling

Hey! How was your weekend? Hopefully you didn’t do anything that made people around you look like James Harden here… unless it was actually a dunk. In that case, consider us impressed.

Today’s Lineup

⚔️ Duel in The Crypt
The Battle of LA came down to the very last second.

🙏 CP3 to Miss Time
A broken hand will sideline the Point God for 4-6 weeks.

🦸 Unsung Heroes
This wing is remembering how to do what he does best.

Sunday Fun

Lakers squeeze by Clippers 106-103 in Battle of LA

A game in early January can’t really be a “must-win” but Lakers (18-19) fans are undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief after beating the Clippers (22-13) at the Crypt behind 25/8/7 from LeBron James—who is also still dunking on people in 2024. A last-second Norman Powell leaning three just missed the mark and the Lakers held on.

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Banchero’s big day propels Magic over Hawks 117-110 in OT

After his first career triple-double on Friday, Paolo Banchero’s follow-up on Sunday was nearly as impressive. 35 points, 10 rebounds, another W for Orlando (21-15). Caleb Houstan also went crazy with a career-high 27 and seven made threes as the Magic discarded Atlanta (14-21).

Do you think Paolo Banchero should be an All-Star?

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Pelicans smash Kings 133-100, sweep season series in process

We’re not sure why the Pelicans have a vendetta against the Kings (except for CJ McCollum, apparently) but after a 133-100 win on Sunday, New Orleans (22-15) has outscored Sacramento (21-14) by 84 combined points and won all four meetings this season.

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Simons and Bridges battle as Blazers top Nets 134-127 in OT

It’s time for the general public to start appreciating how fun Anfernee Simons is. A cool 38 points and 11 assists from PDX’s young star was (just) enough to survive 42 points and a clutch late bucket from Mikal Bridges as Portland (10-25) stole one from Brooklyn (16-21) in OT.

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Barrett Goes Bananas as Raptors top Warriors 133-118

Could this trade have possibly worked out better for everyone involved? RJ Barrett scored a season-high 37 on Sunday (13-20 FG, 5-8 3PT) and Toronto (15-21) is playing a whole different brand of basketball lately (in a good way). Golden State, meanwhile, falls to 17-19.


  • If you woke up on Sunday and thought you were still dreaming because you saw that Sam Merrill scored 18 points and hit five threes in the first half… same. But he did! Cleveland (21-15) held San Antonio (5-30) off, 117-115.

  • Nikola Jokic apparently decided that he didn’t want to score Sunday… the 2X MVP shot just three times but dished 16 assists to help Denver (26-12) beat Detroit (REDACTED) 131-114.

  • The superstars did superstar things in Dallas. Kyrie Irving scored 35, Luka scored 34, and that was enough to lead Dallas (22-15) over Minnesota (25-10) even with Anthony Edwards scoring 36 of his own.

  • Two games for Memphis (13-23) this weekend, two sizzling performances for Jaren Jackson Jr. On Sunday, his 28/10/6, paired with Vince Williams Jr (19 PTS, 9 REB) providing huge minutes off the bench, helped the Griz down Phoenix (19-17) to the tune of 121-115.

Weekend Wrap-up

  • A season-best 23 three-pointers helped Memphis down the Lakers on Friday. Marcus Smart hit EIGHT of them. Taylor Jenkins also played lockdown defense.

  • A monster (even for his standards) 48-point, 17-rebound game from Giannis wasn’t enough as Milwaukee lost 112-108 to Houston who used the power of friendship.

🧠 Daily Trivia 🧠 

Who holds the record for most points scored by a Canadian player in an NBA game?

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Chris Paul Breaks Hand

The 2023-24 season just keeps getting tougher for the Golden State Warriors. On Saturday, point guard Chris Paul broke his hand and will require surgery that will keep him out for four-to-six weeks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Here’s to hoping CP3 can return in no time!

And a video of his best passes. Just because.

Unsung Heroes: Aaron Nesmith

While at Vanderbilt, Aaron Nesmith was a 41% three-point shooter. And in his first three NBA seasons, Nesmith did a great job carving out a niche but never shot the three as well as he did in college. Now in his fourth season, Nesmith is improving on all levels— including becoming the high-level shooter that made him such an intriguing prospect in the first place. He’s shooting 45.3% from deep, scoring more than ever before (11.6 PPG), playing the most minutes of his career, and posting a career-high steals clip (1.2), too.

Three in the Key

😮‍💨 Blocking Wemby Should Count Double
Jarrett Allen never backs down. Respect.

🚁DSJ That’s Just Plain Rude
When Vince Carter is calling your game… you gotta throw down.

🤯 DeAndre Jordan is Time Traveling
We’re having crazy deja vu right now...

What We’re Enjoying

The Golden Globes: Any The Bear fans out there? Two of the show’s stars, Jeremy Allen White and Ayo Edebiri, took home some hardware at the Golden Globes last night, along with Cillian Murphy for Oppenheimer and Emma Stone for Poor Things. Movies!

Signing Off

And with that… we gotta go. But we’ll be thinking about you until we next speak! Instead of thinking of this as just another week, do something you “haven’t gotten around to” doing. Yes, that thing. You’ll be happy you did. Talk soon!

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In your best Mike Breen impression, what did you think of today's newsletter?

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