In part because Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons scored a career-high 43 points.
Afterward, Simons revealed his grandfather died the day before from cancer and said he thought about his grandpa throughout the game:
Anfernee Simons lost his grandfather to cancer the night before the game.
He finished with 43 points and 7 assists in the win against the Hawks. Speechless 🙏 pic.twitter.com/12o9TxVSOP
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 4, 2022
This is all him, honestly. I take credit to him. I dedicate this whole game to him. So, like I said, I can’t take credit tonight. That was all him.
It was a sad kind of day, but he would want me to play today. So, I wanted to go out there and play my game and play to the best of my abilities. I mean, that was all him that took over my body tonight.
The NBA season is long with too many low-meaning games. Especially this year, games have been devalued by teams scraping the bottom of the bin for replacement players with so many regulars sidelined due to coronavirus.
But there are still some special performances.