High Altitude: In the game of the night, the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center for the chance to take a one game lead in their regular season series. Kevin Durant had 25 points on 9 of 20 shooting and 14 rebounds. Russell Westbrook erupted for 38 points (12 of 23), 6 rebounds and 5 assists in a tough loss to the Nuggets. Denver, with only one starter in double digits, relied on Wilson Chandler, who came off the bench for a career high tying 35 points (13 of 19) on 6 of 7 shooting from the three, for all of the offense. He contributed to a Nuggets’ bench that outscored OKC’s 71 to 11. With the game tied up at 103 in the last 11 seconds, Ty Lawson goes iso on defensive specialist, Thabo Sefolosha to hit the game winning shot that finally brought “Bernie” back into the general public. Thanks for making it cool again, short fella.
Saddle Down: Up 85-66 early in the 4th quarter, the visiting Dallas Mavericks were sure to defeat the Brooklyn Nets in their home. But then they became the Mavericks again, allowing the Nets to crawl back within 5 points in less than a minute to play. Fortunately, the Nets would just come up short in their comeback attempt. Deron Williams, who has started to look like himself in the last few games, had a game-high 24 points (8 of 18), with 7 turnovers. Brook Lopez chipped in for 19 points on 14 shots and 9 rebounds. Dirk and Vince Carter both got 20 points each in the losing effort.
Beard Fuel: James Harden powered his team to victory again, in the win against the Orlando Magic. The Beard finished with 24 points (7 of 18), 7 rebounds and 8 assists. While his teammates, Chandler Parsons and Carlos Delfino combined for 42 points (21 each) to lend the follicles on James’s chin some help. Newly acquired Tobias Harris of the Magic (former Buck), went off for a career high 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting, and 10 rebounds.
Burnt Bears: Despite LeBron getting only 4 points through 3 quarters, the Miami Heat still came out on top against the Memphis Grizzlies thanks to some late game heroics from the headband guy. That guy finished with a total of 8 rebounds, 10 assists and 18 points (4 of 14), 8 of which, were the last points of the Heat, including a 3 pointer in the remaining 24 seconds to ice the game. However, this poor shooting performance ends his 14 game streak of shooting 50 percent from the field. Dwyane Wade went for 22 points (9 of 16), and 8 assists. Marc Gasol led all Grizzlies with 24 points on 8 of 13 shooting, 9 boards and 4 dimes. This loss snaps Memphis’s 8 game winning streak, while extending Miami’s win streak to 13, the franchise’s longest in the big 3 era.
Capital: The New York Knicks, with only 2 players besides Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton in double figures, managed to take down the Washington Wizards in the Nation’s Capital. Melo got 30 points on 24 shots, and 6 rebounds. Felton added 23 points (9 of 18) and also 6 rebounds. Washington’s rookie, Bradley Beal was a monster for his team again, going off for a career high 29 points on 10 of 21 shooting, and 11 boards. With 4 made threes in this game, Beal became the Wizards’ all time rookie 3 point made leader.
Green Truth: Kevin Garnett passed Hakeem Olajuwon for 11th on the NBA all time rebounding list, with his 13 boards and 7 points (2-10) in the Celtics win. Paul Pierce led the way with 26 points (9 of 15), and 8 rebounds. Their opponents, the Golden Warriors could not make their shot fall last night, shooting 34 percent from the field. Stephen Curry did get 6 assists and 25 points, but he was 6 of 22 from the field and 3 of 11 from downtown.
Stinger: The New Orleans Hornets-Soon-To-Be-Pelicans don’t have much going for them right now, but they have quite a future ahead. Their Most Improved Player Award candidate, Marques Vasquez had his fingerprints all over the game with 9 assists (0 turnovers) and 25 points (8 of 15), 2 of which came in the last 12 seconds of the game to give his team a three point lead, to seal the game. Eric Gordon added 21 points on 6 of 18 shooting. For the Pistons, sophomore Greg Monroe had 27 points (11 of 22), and 10 rebounds. His fellow 2nd year teammate, Brandon Knight got 22 points on 10 of 18 shooting.
Fantasy Shoutouts: In his second start of his career, Enes Kanter of the Utah Jazz, went off for 23 points (10 of 22) and 22 rebounds in the 30 point win over the Charlotte Bobcats. The Turkish Center finished with only 2 rebounds short of tying the entire Bobcats squad, who grabbed a total of 24.
Sacramento King’s Marcus Thornton continues his hot shooting in the 28 point loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The shooting guard came off the bench for 25 points on 8 of 13 shooting and 5 assists. Meanwhile, Manu Ginobili of the Spurs goes for a career high 15 assists, which is the most off the bench in the franchise.
Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 24 points on 8 of 14 shooting (3 of 5 from three) to lead the Clippers to a 16 point win against the Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers.
Elder Abuse: Tim Duncan’s defense has no effect on DeMarcus Cousins.
Frequent Flyer: What did I say about not fouling Blake Griffin when he reaches for the ball in the air? You are only going to make his dunks cooler.