Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo did not attempt a single shot from outside the key on his way to a dominant 31-point performance in Thursday's 115-110 win against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Adebayo also added 10 rebounds (four offensive) and four assists, shooting 14-of-21 from the field in a tremendously efficient outing as the Clippers' interior defense had no answers.
After failing to reach the 30-point mark in each of his first 13 games this season, Adebayo has now eclipsed the figure in four of his past 11 fixtures, raising his season average to a career-high 20.7 points per game.
He was supported in style by Jimmy Butler, who hit 10 of his 12 field goal attempts for a terrific game in his own right, posting 26 points, eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.
Paul George led the way for the Clippers, and was the only reason they were able to keep things close on the road while Kawhi Leonard was out for a scheduled rest day, scoring a team-high 29 points (10-of-20 shooting) with eight rebounds and seven assists.
The victory for the Heat snaps a two-game losing streak and pulls their record back to 12-14, leaving them 10th in the Eastern Conference, while the Clippers are ninth in the West at 14-13.
Another 30+ point performance from Bam. What else can we say pic.twitter.com/JlOhDtBtbl— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 9, 2022
Johnson and the Spurs win all-Texas showdown
The San Antonio Spurs received standout performances from Keldon Johnson and Tre Jones to defeat in-state rivals the Houston Rockets 118-109.
Johnson finished one point off his season-high with 32 on 14-of-21 shooting, hitting half of his six three-point attempts, while Jones' 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting was a new career-high.
Despite the loss, it was a strong outing from this year's third overall pick in the NBA Draft, with Jabari Smith Jr scoring a career-high 23 points on nine-of-13 shooting. The six-foot-11, smooth-moving wing showed off his special shooting stroke, hitting four-of-seven from deep.
KELDON JOHNSON FOR THREEEE pic.twitter.com/0rixxFxiRB— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 9, 2022
'Dame Time' not enough against the Nuggets
Damian Lillard scored 15 of his game-high 40 points in the final six minutes, but Jamal Murray had the last laugh as the Denver Nuggets outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 121-120.
Lillard, in his second game back from injury, looked back to his best late in the fourth quarter, hitting a contested step-back three with nine seconds on the clock to go up by two. He ended up shooting 12-of-22 for his 40 points and 12 assists, hitting at least nine three-pointers for the 10th time in his career.
But Murray would hit his own step-back game-winner with less than a second remaining, putting a bow on his 21-point, eight-assist showing, while reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic was a force with 33 points (14-of-25), 10 rebounds and nine assists.
JAMAL. MURRAY. pic.twitter.com/z8qTuj8679— NBA (@NBA) December 9, 2022