Kawhi Leonard has been impressive for the San Antonio Spurs this season, and he continued his form against the Miami Heat, scoring 24 points to help his team emerge victorious. Likewise, James Harden with 33 points played an integral role in Houston Rockets' win over Philadelphia 76ers. However, Oklahoma City Thunder lost to Detroit Pistons on Monday.
The Spurs have been one of the tougher teams to beat after starting the season with a win over the Golden State Warriors. What makes Spurs a strong outfit has been their all-round performance. Players such as the experienced Tony Parker and Pau Gasol have contributed in most of the games. The duo combined for 23 points against the Heat, while LaMarcus Aldridge finished the night with 18 points.
When such players stand up and deliver, it become difficult for other teams in the league to compete. Dion Waiters and Hassan Whiteside might have been brilliant, scoring 27 and 23 points, but it was not enough to defeat the Spurs.
The Rockets, after their loss to Spurs in their last game, looked a determined outfit and played some amazing basketball to hand 76ers a massive defeat by 27 points. The Rockets, right from the first quarter of the clash, outscored 76ers in all the four quarters, resulting in a huge win.
One has to applaud Harden, who has been terrific this season. The guard was quite good from beyond the arc as well, drilling four three-pointers. He led his team brilliantly, and the Rockets hierarchy will be counting on him to go all the way.
If the Spurs and Rockets had a great day, things were in contradictory order for the Thunder, who have been poor in their last few matches. After losing their last three matches, they were pitted against the Pistons, who outclassed them to their fourth-straight loss. Things might have started well this season, but their performance of late has been embarrassing.
Russell Westbrook has been incredible, and so was the case against Pistons with 33 points, but with lack of quality support from the rest of his mates, Thunder could not trouble their opponents much. It goes without saying that Westbrook is missing Kevin Durant, who signed for Golden State Warriors in free agency.