Highlights of the Week: NBA

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Photo courtesy: Nathan Denette/AP

Kevin Durant and James Harden have big games Monday

James Harden had a monstrous offensive game in the Rockets 135-131 OT loss to the Wizards on Monday. The reigning MVP put up 54 points, 8 rebounds and 13 assists. The big downside to his performance however was him having 11 turnovers. It was a big game for Harden, but with no Chris Paul he was unable to lead his team to victory.

Another big performance came from Kevin Durant, who has been trying to put the Warriors on his back since Steph Curry has been out of the lineup and while the team has been struggling more than they’re used to. on Monday, Durant was able to put the team on his back in a comeback win over the Magic. Durant went for 49 points and 9 assists and he was helped out by 29 points from Klay Thompson.

Russell Westbrook ties Jason Kidd in triple-doubles

Russell Westrbook is starting to become historic when it comes to triple-doubles and that really got put on notice Wednesday when he tied Jason Kidd with his 107th career triple-double in the teams 100-83 win over the Cavaliers.

Lillard sets a franchise record

The Blazers have been slumping since their hot start, but their star Damian Lillard made sure to do his part in making sure they didn’t lose to the Magic on Wednesday. Damian Lillard went for 41 points, which isn’t too out of the ordinary for him, but he hit a franchise-record 10 threes.

Jazz trade for Kyle Korver

The Utah Jazz have been one of the more disappointing teams in the league this season and need to find a way to start winning games. They went out and got Kyle Korver from Cleveland for two second-round picks and Alec Burks. This likely won’t be a move that sparks some magical run, but they clearly are willing to make moves to build off of last seasons momentum.

The Celtics are starting to gain momentum

Coming into the season, the Celtics had big expectations because they got to game seven of the conference finals last season and this year they were getting Gordon Hayward back after he only played in one game for the team last season. They got off to a really sluggish start this season, but now they are starting to gain some momentum, having won three games in a row, including two road wins over the Pelicans and Timberwolves. It’ll be interesting to see if this little stretch springboards their season.

Raptors continue dominance

It’s clear at this point in the season that Kawhi Leonard is just as good as he’s ever been and he’s made the Raptors, who had the one seed in the East last season, a better team. This year they are sitting at 20-4 and have a decent lead in the East for this early in the season. They are currently on an eight-game winning streak and this week included wins over the surprising Grizzlies and the Warriors. The Raptors are showing no signs of slowing down and there’s no reason to think they won’t be different come playoff time with Kawhi Leonard on the roster.

Power rankings

  1. Raptors
  2. Bucks
  3. Nuggets
  4. Thunder
  5. Warriors
  6. Clippers
  7. 76ers
  8. Thunder
  9. Pistons
  10. Grizzlies
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