Gordon Hayward is not coming back anytime soon for the Celtics, but Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum stepped up in his absence Tuesday.
The two No. 3 picks for the Celtics had fantastic nights against the Knicks as Brown finished with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting and Tatum added 22 points, four steals, four rebounds and two assists in Boston's 110-89 win over New York.
According to NBA.com Stats, Brown and Tatum became the first ever teammates to score 20-plus points at 21-years-old or younger. Brown turned 21 Tuesday. Tatum only believes the two will get better.
"We're gonna keep getting more comfortable with each other as time goes on," Tatum said.
While the Celtics have started to find their groove, the Cavaliers are beginning to approach their game in a new way as LeBron James started at point guard in a 119-112 win over the Bulls.
Running the offense is not new to the 32-year-old as he repeatedly took the ball down the court in recent seasons in a point-forward role, but that does not take away from the fact that he looked good in just his first start at the position since 2005.
James finished with 34 points on 13-of-20 shooting and added 13 assists as well.
"Ever since I was a kid I've always learned every position on the floor," he told reporters after the game. "The point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. And know all the plays, what they're doing and reads. Coach slides me to the 1, I know every set. If he slides me to the 5, I know the 5. I know the 4. I know the 3. I know the 2. I know every single play in every single position, so it makes the job a lot easier for me because I know where I should be and what my teammates should do."
Studs of the Night
Magic forward Aaron Gordon scored a career-high 41 points on 14-of-18 shooting, including a perfect 5 for 5 from beyond the arc. He also added 14 rebounds and two assists in Orlando's 125-121 win over the Nets.
With Anthony Davis out with a knee injury for the Pelicans, DeMarcus Cousins picked up the slack with 39 points on 12-of-23 shooting. He also added 13 rebounds and three blocks in the Pelicans' 103-93 loss to the Trail Blazers.
Pacers point guard Darren Collison scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, but more impressively he added 16 assists and registered a plus-21 in Indiana's 130-107 win over the Timberwolves.
Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen had a stellar first half as he went 5 of 6 from 3-point range and scored 17 points. He slowed down as the game went on in the team's loss to the Cavaliers, but a 19-point, eight-rebound night against Cleveland is more than respectable for a 20-year-old.
Duds of the Night
Knicks center Kristaps Porzingis was horrendous in the first half, shooting 1 of 12 from the floor. He finished 3 for 14 in the game with 12 points and five rebounds.
Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins was not paid the big bucks to score seven points on 3-of-9 shooting and miss five free throws. Wiggins grabbed just four rebounds and added two assists despite leading the team in minutes in a loss to the Pacers.
Jazz center Rudy Gobert is one of the best centers in the NBA. Blake Griffin does not care. Not one bit.
Rudy Gobert didn't jump. Blake didn't care. ? #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/1hq6yCvw2G— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 25, 2017
D'Angelo Russell has been a good addition to the Nets this season, and with passes like this one, people are going to notice.
D'Angelo Russell'dan Mozgov'a muhteşem asist ?pic.twitter.com/bfV5RxO8h3— Bilyoner.com (@Bilyoner) October 25, 2017
Wizards (3-0) at Lakers (1-2) 10:30 p.m. ET — Who doesn't want to see what happens when John Wall takes the court against Lonzo Ball? The four-time All-Star said he is going to show "no mercy" to the Lakers' rookie, whose father said the 19-year-old wouldn't lose twice in the same week. It's a bold statement especially considering the Wizards are one of just four undefeated teams remaining in the NBA.