Best NBA photos from February: Anthony Edwards, Domantas Sabonis, Victor Wembanyama and more – The Athletic

Jeff MailletFeb 29, 2024

With the NBA All-Star break over and two-thirds of the regular season complete, the push to the postseason begins now.

The defending champion Denver Nuggets — along with many other contenders — are fighting for playoff positioning while others are pressing for postseason berths.

The Boston Celtics are the top dogs in the Eastern Conference and have the NBA’s best record. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder have been at or near the top of the Western Conference all season. The Golden State Warriors are 8-2 and the up-and-down Los Angeles Lakers are 7-3 in their last 10 games. And keep an eye on the LA Clippers. Will Paul George and Kawhi Leonard finally make a deep run together in the playoffs?

There are about 24 teams left in the race for 20 spots if the Play-In Tournament is considered. This should be fun, so catch a glimpse of some of the action in this month’s photo gallery. What are your favorites?

(Jason Miller / Getty Images)

Max Strus of the Cavaliers launches his game-winning 59-footer over Luka Dončić of the Mavericks in Cleveland. The Cavaliers defeated the Mavericks 121-119 on the amazing shot.

(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Dwight Powell of the Mavericks attempts to stop Tyrese Maxey of the 76ers on this drive to the basket in Philadelphia.

(Eric Thayer / Associated Press)

Michael Porter Jr. of the Nuggets uses a good pump fake to get Taurean Prince of the Lakers in the air on a shot attempt in Los Angeles.

(Brandon Dill / Associated Press)

Jalen Green of the Rockets swats a shot attempt by GG Jackson of the Grizzlies in Memphis, Tenn.

(Julio Aguilar / Getty Images)

Opponents have had trouble stopping MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Thunder this season. Wendell Carter Jr. of the Magic attempts but fails as he is whistled for a foul in Orlando.

(Ed Szczepanski / USA Today)

Rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama of the Spurs is averaging 3.3 blocks per game this season, but he got all of Domantas Sabonis’ face on this attempt in Sacramento, Calif.

(Matt Krohn / Associated Press)

Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves celebrates after a slam against the Rockets in Minneapolis.

(Dale Zanine / USA Today)

James Harden of the Clippers is thrilled (and scary) after making a 3-pointer against the Hawks in Atlanta.

(Rob Gray / USA Today)

Simone Fontecchio, formerly of the Jazz, pokes Tobias Harris of the 76ers in the face in Salt Lake City. Fontecchio was traded to the Pistons on Feb. 8.

(Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Incoming! The fans’ facial expressions are priceless as Brandin Podziemski of the Warriors dives into the State Farm Arena stands in Atlanta.

(Bill Streicher / USA Today)

A blow to the face never feels good, just ask Cam Thomas of the Nets as he’s fouled by Mo Bamba of the 76ers in Philadelphia.

(Alonzo Adams / USA Today)

RJ Barrett of the Raptors isn’t amused as Aaron Wiggins and the Thunder fans celebrate a 3-point shot in Oklahoma City.

(Bob DeChiara / USA Today)

Jaylen Brown of the Celtics dives and saves a ball from going out of bounds against the Wizards in Boston.

(Rick Scuteri / USA Today)

Domantas Sabonis of the Kings meets Jusuf Nurkić of the Suns at the top of his shot in Phoenix.

(Ken Blaze / USA Today)

Referee Michael Smith separates Coby White of the Bulls and Georges Niang of the Cavaliers with a foul to White’s throat in Cleveland.

(Eric Hartline / USA Today)

Cameron Payne and Buddy Hield of the 76ers surround (and probably foul) Trae Young of the Hawks in Philadelphia.

(Stephen Lew / USA Today)

Speaking of fouls, Kevin Love of the Heat gives Zion Williamson of the Pelicans a bear hug, which started a melee after Williamson crashed to the floor. The altercation resulted in four players being ejected, including Heat star Jimmy Butler in New Orleans.

(Petre Thomas / USA Today)

Hack-A-Zubac? Well, that’s exactly what Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Grizzlies did to Ivica Zubac of the Clippers in Memphis, Tenn.

(Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)

Who came out better on this play in Phoenix: John Collins of the Jazz or Nassir Little of the Suns? Collins is the correct answer.

(Bill Streicher / USA Today)

Donte DiVincenzo of the Knicks appears to be congratulating himself on this slam against the 76ers in Philadelphia.

(David Richard / USA Today)

Referee Ashley Moyer-Gleich doesn’t seem to be interested in what Moritz Wagner of the Magic is conveying to her during a break in Cleveland.

(Scott Wachter / USA Today)

Evan Mobley of the Cavaliers takes the quickest route to a loose ball by going through Victor Wembanyama’s legs in San Antonio.

(Kyle Terada / USA Today)

As part of the NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, Oscar Tshiebwe of the G League’s Indiana Mad Ants dunks over Walker Kessler of the Jazz during a Rising Stars semifinal game.

(Kyle Terada / USA Today)

The NBA has some All-Star Weekend issues to address, but Mac McClung of the Osceola Magic skies over former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal during the slam dunk competition in Indianapolis.

Parting shot

(Eric Thayer / Associated Press)

A statue honoring former Lakers star Kobe Bryant is unveiled during a Feb. 8 ceremony outside Arena in Los Angeles.

Related reading

How an NBA Getty Images photographer captures the perfect shot

Related viewing

January: Victor Wembanyama, Steph Curry, The Coyote and more

December: LeBron James, Giannis, Luka Dončić and more

November: Victor Wembanyama, Anthony Edwards, Draymond Green and more

June: Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray, Jimmy Butler, Victor Wembanyama and more

May: Jimmy Butler, Jayson Tatum, LeBron James, Joel Embiid and more

(Top photo of Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves / Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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Jeff Maillet is a senior editor of The Athletic NBA. He is formerly the managing editor of The Athletic Wisconsin and Indiana. He also worked 25 years at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, most recently as deputy sports editor. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_maillet