NBA Week 7
Tight at the Top
As Week 7 begins, the top seven teams in the Western Conference are separated by only two games. Four of those teams did not make the playoffs last season: the West-leading Los Angeles Clippers, who have won seven of eight and visit Sacramento Kings on Thursday; Memphis Grizzlies, who are already more than halfway to its 2017-18 win total; and Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, who face each other on Tuesday.
Raptors vs. Warriors
NBA-leading Toronto Raptors host two-time defending champions Golden State Warriors on Thursday on SONY TEN 1. The matchup marks the first time that Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard wil square off in a regular-season game since the 2016-17 season opener. At 17-4, the Raptors are off to the best start in team history. The visit to Scotiabank Arena is the first of five consecutive road games for the Warriors, who hope to have Stephen Curry back from a groin injury during the trip.
Several rookies are thriving with increase roles. Since joining the starting lineup, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton is averaging 19.6 points in his last eight games. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has helped the Clippers to an 8-2 record since becoming a starter, averaging 12.5 points in those games. Sacramento Kings’ Marvin Bagley III is averaging 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in 28.8 minutes in his last five games. Indiana Pacers’ Aaron Holiday, in the wake of Victor Oladipo’s absence, is averaging 13.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in his last four games after not appearing in the previous nine games.
OKC Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook needs just two triple-doubles to pass Jason Kidd for third place all time, then his milestone will become overtaking Magic Johnson in 2nd place with 138.
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