Illini in the NBA: Williams and Nets Fall to Thunder, Leonard and Blazers Escape Bobcats

Currently, there are two former Illinois players in the NBA. Deron Williams is a member of the Brooklyn Nets while Meyers Leonard is a member of the Portland Trailblazers.

Here is a rundown of  how Williams and Meyers are faring in the NBA so far this season.

First, the last game Deron Williams played was on December 4th against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It looked like the Thunder were going to blow out the Nets and led 61-48 at the half.

Dec. 4, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) dribbles the ball around Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams (8) during the second half at Barclays Center. Thunder won 117-111. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were Oklahoma City’s leading scorers. Durant scored 32 points and Westbrook scored 25 points in the game. The Thunder have scored over 100 points ten times this season. This is the first time a team has done that in 15 years.

Despite losing, Williams scored a season-high 33 points against the Thunder. He also led the team in assists with seven in the game. The Nets were playing without Brook Lopez and Reggie Evans. Brooklyn is now on a two game losing streak and had their six-game home winning streak snapped. Their last two losses have been against NBA Finalists, Miami and Oklahoma City.

According to ESPN, Williams said “We played tough at the beginning of the first half of the Miami game. So those are two teams that have been together for a couple of years. They’ve won at the highest level and they know how to play together. We’re still trying to figure things out.”

The last game that Meyers Leonard played was on December 3rd against the Charlotte Bobcats.The Blazers defeated the Bobcats 118-111 in overtime. Portland received big scoring from LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard who finished with 25 and 24 points respectively. Ben Gordan set a Bobcats’ franchise record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 29 points. He also scored his 10,000 career point in the game.

Leonard played 17 minutes off the bench and scored four points while recording three rebounds and a block. He is still listed day-to-day with a knee injury. However, Chris Haynes from CSN Northwest reported that Leonard will play against the Washington Wizards on December 5th.

Williams’ next game will be on December 7th as the Nets will play the Golden State Warriors in Brooklyn. Leonard’s next game will be on December 5th as the Trail Blazers will play the Indiana Pacers on the road.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.

Check out my other writings on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo.

Topics: Basketball, Brooklyn Nets, Deron Williams, Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers

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