The Friday night NBA games (Dec. 8) featured a dominant second-half by Pacers' guard Victor Oladipo and another quintessential performance from Warriors' superstar Kevin Durant. Two games went into overtime, while the Celtics and Spurs played down-to-the-wire.

NBA Saturday marquee matchups (Dec. 9)

76ers (18-8) vs Cavaliers (13-11)

LeBron James proved to the 76ers who was still king of the Eastern Conference in their victory in Philadelphia on November 27. The Sixers are two games over .500 but have lost four of their last six and their last two to the Lakers and Suns.

Joel Embiid continues to perform at a high-level, averaging 23.5 points and 11.1 rebounds in 30.2 minutes per game. He's also making guys look silly in the post.

The Cavaliers had their 13-game winning streak snapped Friday (Dec. 8) to the Pacers. Cleveland's play often correlates to their motivation, so it’ll be interesting to see what they bring against Philadelphia in the second game of a back-to-back.

Rockets (19-4) vs Trail Blazers (13-11)

The Rockets are red hot. Since Chris Paul returned from his injury, Houston is 8-0, and Paul is averaging 13.0 points and 10.1 assists in just 29.7 minutes. The Rockets easily took care of business against Utah on Thursday (Dec. 7). Houston's offense is humming; they've scored at least 112 points in each of their previous six games.

After a successful east coast road trip (4-1), the Trail Blazers will step onto the court having lost their last three games at home. The offense has been dreadful. Twice in the last three games, Portland has scored 92 points or less.

The rest of the NBA Saturday matchups

Heat (11-13) vs Nets (10-14)

The Nets earned an impressive victory on Thursday (Dec. 7) night, coming from behind to defeat the Thunder in the second half.

They also got an infusion of talent with a trade that brought over Jahlil Okafor. Okafor’s defense is lacking, but he can score, which is something the Nets desperately need. After acquiring D’Angelo Russell in the off-season, Brooklyn now has the second and third overall picks from the 2015 draft on their roster.

Miami exists in Eastern Conference purgatory and needs to figure out which way they are going.

They’ve lost to the Warriors and Spurs in their two previous games, but need to beat teams like the Nets. Having Hassan Whiteside out injured makes a difference, but Erik Spoelstra is a good enough coach to find other ways to win.

Wizards (14-11) vs Clippers (8-15)

Wizards guard Bradley Beal has been phenomenal, scoring 51 points and 34 points, in his previous two games. Washington has played three games (2-1) so far on their five-game road trip. A win against Los Angeles will put the Wizards fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Clippers have been the opposite of phenomenal all season long and especially since losing Blake Griffen. With Lou Williams firing away from all spots on the court, the Clippers are capable of scoring, but they can't stop an NBA soul on defense.

Lakers (9-15) vs Hornets (9-15)

The Lakers earned a big win over the 76ers Thursday (Dec. 7) night. Brandon Ingram has taken a major step in his second season. Ingram is averaging 16.2 points for the season but has pushed that number to 21.6 points over his last five games.

The Hornets continued their slide to the bottom of the standings with a loss to the Bulls Friday (Dec. 8) night. They've lost six of seven games, but do have some talent on their roster. Kemba Walker is playing at a borderline All-Star level and Dwight Howard has improved his game from a disappointing past couple of years. But it may be time to start looking to see if any of their guys have trade value on the market.

Magic (11-16) vs Hawks (5-19)

These two teams are running it back after having just played on Wednesday (Dec. 6).

D.J. Augustin sent that game into overtime with a clutch three-pointer, where the Magic ultimately earned the win. Atlanta has lost four of their last five; the one bright spot continues to be Dennis Schroder, who is averaging 20.5 points and 6.5 assists. The Magic were defeated handily by the Nuggets Friday (Dec 8) night at home. Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 17 boards in the loss.

Knicks (12-12) v Bulls (4-20)

Kristaps Porzingis is obviously the straw that stirs the Knicks’ drink. New York struggled without him while he was out with an ankle injury, but the Knicks beat the Grizzlies immediately upon his return. The Bulls are the franchise that every opposing NBA player loves to see on their schedule, but it's a game that needs to be won.

Jazz (12-12) vs Bucks (14-10)

After winning six straight games to get back into the playoff picture, the Jazz have dropped their last two against the Thunder and Rockets. Rookie Donovan Mitchell has been a scoring machine of late. He’s averaging a whopping 28.6 points over his last five games.

Milwaukee beat Dallas Friday (Dec. 8) night, but found themselves down early. In took impressive second-half performances from both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton to earn the victory. The Bucks have won five of six and are on the heels of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Central Division.

Spurs (18-8) vs Suns (9-18)

Manu Ginobili got it done versus the Celtics Friday (Dec. 8). The 40-year-old knocked down the game-winner to defeat Boston.

It'll be interesting to see who plays for the Spurs against the down-trodden Suns on the second night of a back-to-back. The Suns are still without Devin Booker. Their prospects weren’t that good with their best player, so without them, it’s a wonder how they’ll win.

Thunder (11-13) vs Grizzlies (8-17)

The Thunder are reeling. Oklahoma City blew another second-half lead versus Brooklyn on Thursday (Dec. 7). While Paul George sat out with an injury, a team with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony should be able to beat the Nets. Anthony either needs to flat-out play better or take a step back in the offense. He’s averaging just 11.8 points on 33 percent shooting over his last five games.

The Grizzlies lost to Toronto Friday (Dec. 8) night, which means they’ve lost 13 of 14. Until point guard Mike Conley returns, it’s going to continue to be a struggle for Memphis.