The Golden State Warriors notched an NBA-best 21st win and Steph Curry pulled within 10 3-pointers of becoming the all-time leader in career triples in beating the Portland Trail Blazers.
Although Curry and Co. were at the forefront, there was plenty of action across the league Wednesday night.
Kyle Kuzma played a pivotal part for the Washington Wizards in his return home to Michigan, James Harden’s Houston homecoming did not go as planned for the Brooklyn Nets, Joel Embiid had a big showing in Charlotte and the Oklahoma City Thunder took a trip north of the border that had an interesting ending.
Here’s what you might’ve missed from a wild night around the association:
Despite a valiant effort from a Portland team without stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Warriors pulled away from the Blazers late. Curry team-leading 22 points and Jordan Poole’s 20 were enough to hold off the Trail Blazers.
Golden State doesn’t play again until Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers and Curry’s brother, Seth, a Sixers guard, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. There’s a chance Curry could surpass Ray Allen’s record 2,973 career 3s with a virtuoso performance.
Play of the Game: Otto Porter Jr. had an efficient shooting night from deep, hitting four of his six shots from that range. One of them was a 4-point play and helped extend the Warriors’ lead in the fourth.
After blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead, the Wizards had to deal with overtime in the Motor City. No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham rose to the occasion as he was responsible for eight of Detroit’s 10 points in overtime, but it still wasn’t enough to take down Washington.
Kyle Kuzma led the Wizards with 22 of his 26 points coming after halftime. The Wizards are now 3-0 in overtime games this season, the best mark in the NBA, while Detroit dropped its 10th consecutive game.
Play of the game: Kuzma’s return to his home state had quite the storybook ending. He cashed in a go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left in overtime to secure Washington’s victory. His winner also caught the attention of former teammate LeBron James.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 9, 2021
James Harden made his return to fan-filled Toyota Center after being traded from the Houston Rockets last season. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as a tribute video from the team was played during the game.
Despite the pleasantries, the Rockets spoiled his Houston homecoming.
Rockets guard Garrison Matthews scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, and a key steal on Harden helped secure the win. Houston’s win streak extended to seven after the team lost its previous 15 contests.
Play of the game: Kenyon Martin Jr. was on the wrong side of a vicious dunk courtesy of Paul Millsap in the first, but the second-year forward made up for it later with an impressive throwdown over Jevon Carter to close out the third.
After snapping its eight-game losing streak against Detroit on Monday, Oklahoma City remained in the win column Wednesday with a close victory over Toronto. The Thunder’s two Canadian-born players, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort, led the team in scoring.
The victory came with its share of theatrics. After Mike Muscala’s go-ahead 3 gave OKC the lead with nine seconds left, Justin Champagnie appeared to tip in Fred VanVleet’s missed buzzer-beater for the win. However, after the play was reviewed, referees ruled that Champagnie’s would-be winner happened after the final buzzer.
Play of the game: From Muscala’s clutch bucket to Champagnie’s too-late putback, the end of this contest was not short on drama. Both plays are worthy of another look.
Philly came out on top against Charlotte for the second time in three nights. Embiid has notched 75 points and 23 rebounds in his past two games in the Hornets’ home arena.
According to Sixers Stats, it’s the ninth time he has tallied that total in a two-game span, joining Charles Barkley and Wilt Chamberlain as the only other 76ers to do so.
Play of the game: Embiid’s dominance was apparent throughout the contest, and this video-game-like play sums up his performance.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.