Top 10 games of the NBA season: Part 1
With live NBA basketball on hold until further notice, it's a great time to look back at the best games of the 2019-20 season so far.
The following list was determined by theScore's basketball news editors. Factors taken into consideration were competitiveness, statistical importance, historical meaning, and outright memorability, but voters were able to use whatever criteria they desired when casting their decisions.
10. Lakers def. Celtics, 114-112
Feb. 23, 2020
Jayson Tatum has had a few coming out parties so far in his career, but his 41-point performance for the Boston Celtics in a road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was noteworthy. The problem was, he only scored four in the fourth and was called for an offensive foul against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a potential game-winning trey.
9. Lakers def. Pelicans, 118-109
Feb. 25, 2020
Everyone awaited the first career meeting between LeBron James and Zion Williamson - and it didn't disappoint.
Despite eight teams separating the New Orleans Pelicans from the Lakers in the standings, the Pels erased multiple double-digit deficits and gave L.A. fits. It took a season-high 40 from James to put New Orleans away for good.
This one also had a ludicrous swat by Alex Caruso on Lonzo Ball in the fourth, which helped sway the momentum in Los Angeles' favor.
8. Heat def. 76ers, 117-116 (OT)
Dec. 28, 2019
Even after squaring off twice in 2019-20, the Jimmy Butler factor made for heightened tensions heading into the rubber match between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers.
The Heat trailed by five with a minute to go, but a quick turnaround - sparked by a pair of Butler steals and a huge Tyler Herro three - actually had them ahead with seconds to go before some heroics from 76ers point forward Ben Simmons.
However, the Heat held on in overtime. A free throw by Butler with 2.3 seconds left was the final margin of victory for the home team.
7. Bulls def. Hornets, 116-115
Nov. 23, 2019
A night after being benched by head coach Jim Boylen, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine drilled a buzzer-beating triple to cap a thrilling comeback over the Charlotte Hornets. LaVine was fantastic in the final frame, scoring 27 fourth-quarter points - including 7-of-9 shooting from deep - en route to a career-high 49 points.
His 13 triples overall set a new single-game franchise record and tied Stephen Curry for the second-most threes made in an NBA game. Meanwhile, Charlotte also played a role in its demise, committing four turnovers in the fourth quarter and squandering a five-point lead in the last eight seconds.
6. Mavericks def. Pelicans, 127-123 (OT)
March 4, 2020
A matchup between two of the game's young rising stars in Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson certainly lived up to its billing, with the Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans going head-to-head in an epic regular-season clash.
Doncic finished with another sensational line of 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists, surpassing Jason Kidd's franchise record with his 22nd career triple-double in the process. On the flip side, Williamson poured in 21 points in the Pelicans' losing effort. NBA fans should be salivating at the fact this was only the first meeting between these two phenoms.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2!