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NBA Christmas: Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic headline early top performers; LeBron James gets a nod in defeat

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We’re 60 percent of the best way through the five-game Christmas slate. Within the opener, the 76ers dominated the second half to defeat the Knicks, 119-112, which was followed by the Mavericks taking out the Lakers, 124-115, behind a 51-point third quarter. 

Below are the highest Christmas performances thus far. This post will proceed to update throughout the night. 

Jayson Tatum: 41 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists

When there is a primetime matchup, you may just about count on Tatum going off lately, and going face to face with Giannis Antetokounmpo actually qualifies. 

Tatum was lethal from all three levels on Sunday, hitting 3 of seven from deep, 3 of 4 from the midrange and eight of 11 within the paint. He went 10 for 10 from the free-throw line, where he’s posting a profession high 8.5 attempts per game this season. 

Luka Doncic: 32 points, 9 assists, 9 rebounds

Doncic was measured in his typical brilliance, methodically piecing together this ho-hum night on just 16 shots (12 of 16 free throws) and keeping the Lakers at a distance with nine fourth-quarter points. This fake Doncic threw on Wenyen Gabriel was quite amusing. 

Joel Embiid: 35 points, 8 rebounds

Embiid finished 12 of twenty-two from the sector and got to the road 15 times, sinking 10. He was doing work from his office, putting the ball on the ground from the free-throw line prolonged/elbow area, and he got his midrange jumper, which has been efficient all yr, going with 15 third-quarter points before Philly made its move with a 24-9 run over the majority of the fourth quarter. 

Harden has been playing terrific since returning to the lineup, and he again made all the pieces go on Christmas for a Sixers team that has won eight straight. He finished with five 3-pointers and matched Embiid with 10 made free throws. Harden in pick and roll remains to be a virtually guaranteed quality shot. Harden has tallied a remarkable 34 assists over his last two games. 

Christian Wood: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists

Wood coming off the bench has been a serious point of dialogue all season. He’s began the last five, and it is going to be hard to send him back to the bench after games like this. The seven assists are a profession high for Wood, as are the 4 steals he added to his line. When Wood plays half-hour or more, he mainly averages 24 and 10 boards. Since becoming a starter, he’s averaging 18 and nine. Dallas needs his firepower and the pairing with Doncic is offensively ideal. 

Hat suggestions in defeat

  • LeBron James: LeBron did all he could with Anthony Davis still sidelined, posting 38 points, six rebounds and five assists on 13-of-23 shooting, including 12 of 12 from the free-throw line. He committed just two turnovers and the Lakers were on the positive side of his 34 minutes. LeBron has now scored at the least 30 points in his last seven games. 
  • Julius Randle: Randle got here out on fire, hitting 4 of his first six 3-pointers through 1 / 4 and a half. He was shut out from deep after that by still wound up with 35 points and eight boards. Randle has played well just about all season and has averaged 31 and 11 over his last three, however the Knicks, after winning eight straight, have dropped each of those three. 
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