Victor Oladipo continued his dazzling stretch by dominating the Toronto Raptors. It just wasn’t enough to edge out the victory.
Victor Oladipo – 36 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals, three blocks
Victor Oladipo lost 200 pounds over the summer and is playing an entirely new man. Coincidence? I think not. His dismantling of the Toronto Raptors defense was on par from what we’ve seen this year, and Oladipo did a bit of everything despite Indiana dropping the contest 120-115. His aggressiveness picked up when the three-ball wouldn’t fall, and Oladipo created driving lanes by exploding past his defender, or by hitting them with a few dribble moves before finishing. We weren’t fortunate enough to see that last year.
Paul George – 36 points, nine assists, four rebounds
The Oklahoma City Thunder are better off when Paul George is putting up a lot of shots. On Friday, he had 21, tying him with Russell Westbrook for the team lead. George made 10 of those attempts. He’s a more versatile and more efficient scorer than both Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, and he showed that on Friday night. George was hot and made five of his nine threes, but also forced his way to the foul line 11 times and didn’t miss. Moreover, he handed out nine dimes, and that’s huge because it illustrates the ball movement that Oklahoma City doesn’t consistently play with.
Donovan Mitchell – 41 points, four rebounds, four assists
Blake Griffin in 2011 was the last rookie to score 40 points in a game. Donovan Mitchell now joins him, LeBron James and Kevin Durant as some of the most recent first-year guys to eclipse that benchmark. He also set the Utah Jazz‘s all-time rookie scoring record. It was a sensational evening for the 21-year-old. He needed 25 shots to reach his mark, and Mitchell looked like a seven-year vet last night. His triples fell with consistency, and he launched them with no reluctance. Mitchell’s cat-like quickness added to his lethality, and he blew by defenders all night long.
- Steven Adams – 27 points, six rebounds, 11-of-11 shooting
- Klay Thompson – 27 points, five assists, three rebounds
- Kevin Durant – 25 points, seven assists, four blocks
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