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Holly MacKenzie

Around the NBA: Wiggins helping Warriors set the pace



Nov 22, 2021

The Golden State Warriors have everyone’s attention. Opening the 2021-22 NBA season on an absolute tear, the Warriors have the best record in the league at 15-2. While Steph Curry has been sensational, as always, Andrew Wiggins has also played a key role in helping Golden State jump out in front of the standings.

In a methodical 119-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, Wiggins poured in 32 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot. He made 12-of-20 field goal attempts, including 6-of-8 three-point attempts as he finished a game-best +30 in the victory.

“We all know what Wiggs is capable of,” teammate Jordan Poole said after the game. “He’s an extreme athlete and he’s a really good player. Seeing the way he’s been playing the last couple of games, these last couple of weeks, has been huge for us, he’s done a great job.”

He’s right. This is nothing new for Wiggins this year. In 17 games this season, the eighth-year forward is averaging 19.1 points per game. Sunday's game was his second time topping the 30-point mark this season, following up a 27-point performance on Friday in a victory against the Detroit Pistons.

“Wiggs [is] figuring out his openings, being aggressive, being a part of the offence,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “I think he's really starting to get in the groove.”

Elsewhere around the league, veteran Cory Joseph scored a season-high 18 points in a Pistons victory against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, while Mychal Mulder scored a season-high 13 points in an Orlando Magic loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Mulder, who is on a two-way contract with the Magic, logged a season-high 16 minutes in the game.

It’s been an up and down start to the season for Chris Boucher. Needing to recover from a hand injury to start and then dealing with a sore back following a rough fall under the basket, Boucher has been working hard to find his footing. The 28-year-old had his first double-double of the season in a 108-89 blowout victory for the Toronto Raptors against the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Boucher finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds, adding two blocked shots and a steal. He followed that with another double-digit performance, this time finishing with 10 points in the aforementioned Raptors loss to the Warriors on Sunday.

Fellow Raptors big man Khem Birch also had a solid game against the Kings, narrowly missing out on a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. In the game prior, a Raptors loss to the Utah Jazz, Birch had his season-high, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

On the injury front, Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks recently made his season debut after recovering from a fractured hand. Brooks wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, scoring in double figures in each of his first four games back, including 18 points in a Grizzlies 120-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. While Brooks made his return, the Pistons learned they will be without Kelly Olynyk for some time as he recovers from a grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee.

With another week of NBA hoops ahead, be sure to check out all of the Canadians in action around the league as more highlight reels are sure to be made.