On the symbolic day of affection, two NBA powerhouses are wanting increasingly like they’re headed for a reunion— or rematch, if you happen to desire. Milwaukee and Phoenix are the 2 hottest groups within the league proper now, and it might be establishing a redemption arc for the Suns.

After beginning the season a really respectable 29-17, Milwaukee has rattled off 11 straight wins and are solely getting more healthy as they go. In the meantime on the Western entrance, Phoenix is 11-3 over their final 14 following an injury-riddled December/January, and Kevin Durant hasn’t even made his debut but.

The season remains to be loads broad open, however we’re beginning to see actual championship prospects and the squads with the championship juice are beginning to set themselves aside.

Poeltl wins middle battle in Toronto’s 123-113 victory over Orlando

Jakob Poeltl got here alive for the Raptors after scoring simply 12 factors mixed over his first two video games up north. In 37 minutes — probably the most he’s performed because the commerce from San Antonio — Poeltl completed with 30 factors (15-17 FG), 9 rebounds, and 6 (!!!) blocks. It was sufficient to outperform Orlando’s middle, Wendell Carter Jr., who occurred to steer the Magic in scoring with 26 (11-15).

Different spotlight performances from the evening embody 15 assists from Fred VanVleet and 24 factors (9-12) in 29 minutes off the bench from Jalen Suggs, 14 of which got here through the second quarter when Orlando outscored Toronto 43-30. The Raptors had been +15 within the second half to mitigate the poor second.

Milwaukee wants additional time to beat tremendous shorthanded Celtics 131-125

The Celtics had been with out 4 of their six main scorers (if you happen to don’t rely new addition Mike Muscala) — Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Sensible, and Al Horford — however their offense nonetheless hummed for a lot of the competition, scoring 95 factors over the primary three quarters.

Derrick White topped Sunday’s 23-point, 11-assist efficiency with 27 factors and 12 assists within the loss after being named final week’s Jap Convention Participant of the Week. In an ongoing story, White stayed in Milwaukee after the Celtics left to get his left ear checked by docs.

It was all the time a protracted shot to beat this Bucks squad with that kind of damage report, particularly when Jrue Vacation and Giannis Antetokounmpo (who flirted with a triple double) mix for 76 factors on 25-47 capturing with 16 assists. Their 11-game win streak is 4 video games higher than the league’s subsequent greatest (Cleveland).

Suns hit stride forward of KD debut in 120-109 win over Kings

Durant gained’t swimsuit up for Phoenix till after the All-Star break, however the three established faces on the workforce confirmed Durant why he made the correct selection in selecting the Suns. Devin Booker completed with 32 factors in 29 minutes with out even making an attempt a 3, Chris Paul dished out a season-high 19 assists, however Deandre Ayton was the perfect participant on the ground with 29 factors (13-17 FG), 11 rebounds, 4 steals, and two blocks.

De’Aaron Fox (35 factors) and Domantas Sabonis (24/15/7) every did their factor for Sacramento, however when Phoenix is getting 19 factors (8-13 FG, 3-4 3P) from Josh Okogie along with the celebrities clicking collectively, they’re robust to beat. They’ll solely be harder as soon as KD joins the lineup.

Clippers use 44-28 third quarter in 134-124 win over Warriors

The Clippers at the moment are 9-0 when Kawhi Leonard scores a minimum of 30 after he completed with 33 (12-17 FG), flanked by Norm Powell and Paul George combining for 44 (16-29). The Clippers’ new faces — Mason Plumlee, Bones Hyland, and Eric Gordon — every performed over quarter-hour and every made two pictures, combining for 21 factors.

Wizards go wire-to-wire over Blazers 126-101

Damian Lillard is a one-man band up in Portland this season so far as constant high-quality performances go, and that’s certain to have combined outcomes. Regardless of a 39-point evening with first rate effectivity (14-30 FG), the Blazers simply weren’t anyplace shut at any level. Wizards led the entire means by way of, outshooting the Blazers 51.5% to twenty-eight.6% from three.