Saturday night featured a terrible start by the Sacramento Kings, and Giannis Antetokounmpo took full advantage of their sluggishness.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – 33 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals
Despite losing by only five, the Sacramento Kings got off to a start that looked like the game would turn into a blowout. They were giving the ball away, and their defense was just awful. Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t let the night end without capitalizing on it. His 33 points led all scorers, and he needed only 15 shots to get there. Most of Giannis’ points came from the foul line, where he got 22 attempts and converted on 17 of them. Both his makes and attempts were season-highs, and it was the second time this year Antetokounmpo made double-digit free throws. The Milwaukee Bucks are now riding a three-game winning streak and are two games back from being a top-four seed.
Tyreke Evans – 31 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds
If you had told me in August that Tyreke Evans would be dueling LeBron James in November, I would’ve laughed in your face. After Saturday night, I’d apologize. This year has been a renaissance for Evans, and he’s figured out a way to not only be productive but also to dominate when the Memphis Grizzlies need him to. Evans has moved to the starting role the last three games, but the numbers haven’t changed much. It was his second time cracking 30 this season, and a porous Cavaliers defense let him do whatever he wanted, which was fueled by his lights-out three-point stroke (5-of-7). Memphis, unfortunately, didn’t escape with the victory. And it was because of LeBron.
LeBron James – 34 points, 12 assists, two rebounds
Down the stretch of this contest, James was just dominant. He scored the final 13 points for Cleveland, which included an and-one with 34.9 seconds left and then the dagger about 30 seconds later. It was an outstanding performance. He didn’t make a triple all night, but his passing was the most crisp it’s been in a while despite committing five turnovers. Time and time again, James slipped pocket passes with through the grasp of Memphis’ defenders and created an open shot for his teammate. It was LeBron’s third game with 30 and 10, one behind James Harden for the most this year. Overall, it was the 63rd such game in his career, trailing only Oscar Robertson (132) since 1964.