The final Saturday of 2017 did not disappoint. Between Steph Curry's return, Donovan Mitchell's big night, and a frontcourt duel in New Orleans, there was plenty of exciting action.
Let's get into it.
NBA games for Saturday, Dec. 30
All times Eastern
- Heat 117, Magic 111 (Box Score)
- Pistons 93, Spurs 79 (Box Score)
- Knicks 105, Pelicans 103 (Box Score)
- Hawks 104, Trail Blazers 89 (Box Score)
- Jazz 104, Cavaliers 101 (Box Score)
- Warriors 141, Grizzlies 128 (Box Score)
- 76ers 107, Nuggets 102 (Box Score)
Steph Curry goes off for 38 in return
After missing 11 games due to a sprained ankle he suffered back on Dec. 4 against the Pelicans, Stephen Curry was back in the lineup for the Warriors against the Grizzlies. But, it certainly didn't look like he'd missed over three weeks, as he had an incredible night, pouring in 38 points on a highly efficient 13-17 from the field in the Warriors' 141-128 victory. He also hit 10 of his 13 3-point attempts, setting a single-game high for the entire league this season. Oh, and he did it all in less than 30 minutes.
Porzingis wins frontcourt duel against Davis, Cousins
Three of the best big men in the league were in action in the Big Easy, as Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks against Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, and the Pelicans. Despite leading by double digits in the second half, KP and the Knicks needed all 48 minutes to get the win, 105-103. Porzingis finished with 30 points -- including a personal seven point run in the final two minutes that put the Knicks in front -- seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks.
But even in defeat, Davis and Cousins were both impressive. AD had 31 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks. Plus this absurd poster jam on Ron Baker, which left the Knicks guard with a bloody mouth.
Cousins, meanwhile, had 29 points, 19 rebounds, and four assists.
Donovan Mitchell has another big night in win over Cavs
Mitchell continued to impress on Saturday night, finishing with 29 points, six assists, four rebounds, and three steals in the Jazz's 104-101 victory over the visiting Cavs. Mitchell also had his big night in style, dropping another of thunderous slams, and crossing over Dwyane Wade.
Nuggets disrespect Lil B, lose to Sixers
Early on Saturday evening, rapper Lil B named a number of teams who he said had the "BASEDGOD'S BLESSING." The Denver Nuggets were not one of them, and in a moment of folly, the team tweeted, "wait, who's Lil B?"
In response, the rapper said that the Sixers would beat the Nuggets because of the Nuggets' disrespect.
NBA SIXERS TONIGHT WILL HANDLE THE DENVER NUGGETS FOR THE DISRESPECT TOWARDS LIL B.. AFTER THE GAME BLESSINGS WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL!! LETS PLAY FAIR BALL!! GO SIXERS ! GO NUGGETS!!! BUT SIXERS WILL HAVE AN AMAZING SAFE GAME!! GO SIXERS!!!! - Lil B— Lil B THE BASEDGOD (@LILBTHEBASEDGOD) December 31, 2017
And, well, what did you expect? The Sixers won, 107-102.
After the game, the Nuggets made the wise choice to apologize to Lil B.
Ish Smith gets fancy with the alley-oop
Out on the fast break with Andre Drummond in the first quarter, Smith broke out some fancy moves. Taking off at the free throw line, Smith flipped the ball up to himself with some distracting arm movements, then tossed an alley-oop to Drummond, who finished with authority.
Kennard gets career-high in win over Spurs
Luke Kennard recorded his first 20-point game in the NBA, and it couldn't have come at a better time for the Pistons. Kennard's career-high was key in the Pistons picking up an impressive victory over the visiting Spurs.
Bismack Biyombo with the denial
Biyombo showed off his defensive abilities in the second quarter against the Heat, as he rose up to deny Jordan Mickey with the emphatic two-hand stuff.
Tyler Johnson has season-high 31 in Heat's win over Magic
For the second time in three games, the Heat beat their in-state rival, the Magic. On Saturday night, they did it thanks to Tyler Johnson, who poured in a season-high 31 points in Miami's 117-111 victory.
LeBron the birthday boy
LeBron James and the Cavaliers are in a bit of a mini-slump, having lost four of their last five games after Saturday's loss at Utah -- an on LeBron's 33rd birthday no less.
- Draymond Green got ejected after in the second quarter vs. the Grizzlies.
- Stanley Johnson will not play for the Pistons against the Spurs due to a hip injury.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo stepped out of bounds on his controversial game-winner vs. the Thunder. that
- The Jazz announced Rudy Gobert (knee) will be out at least two more weeks after being re-evaluated.
- An MRI on Austin Rivers' achilles was reportedly negative, and he is expected to be day-to-day moving forward.