Buckcourt Duo: In the fight for the permanent 8th seed in their respective conference, the Milwaukee Bucks’ backcourt duo triumphs over Utah Jazz’s front court duo of Paul Millsap (22 points, 14 rebounds) and Derrick Favors (23 points, 15 rebounds), who stepped in for the injured Al Jefferson. Monta Ellis had the best game of his season, going off for 34 points on 15 of 21 shooting, including clutch baskets down the stretch to get his team into the playoffs. Following his 19 assists performance on Saturday, Brandon Jennings exploded for 20 points (8 of 14), and dished out a just as impressive 17 assists. Jennings, down 3 with 13 seconds left on the clocks hits a tough three pointer to force over time. Enes Kanter had an opportunity win the game for the Jazz but he would miss at point blank range. Utah has gotten 0 points and little to no production from three of their starters for the second time in 5 games. It might be about time for some line up changes.
Of course, Brandon Jenning will shoot the tougher shot, and hit it. It is only natural.
Don’t Call it a Comeback: Down 22 mid way through the second quarter, the New York Knicks were a sure bet to lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers after Carmelo Anthony left the game with a knee injury late in the first half. But, who are we kidding, the Cavs are still Cavs and they would get outscored 72 to 45 by the Knicks after their superstar trips over himself. With no one near double figures in the New York starting line up, they relied on Amare Stoudemire’s 22 (10 of 15), and 6 boards off the bench. Kyrie Irving, who missed the last 3 games with a knee injury, returned for the first time last night. The Sophomore had 22 points (9 of 20), 5 rebounds and 6 dimes. Marreese Speights went off for a game-high 23 points on 10 of 14 shooting and 8 rebounds. Down three with less than a second to go, Kyrie had a chance to tie the game, but he would get blocked by Tyson Chandler, who may or may not have bribed the refs in the win.
Steve Novak was excited.
The Orlando Magic came back from a 17 point deficit against the New Orleans Hornets to win one on the road. Arron Affalo led his team with 26 points (10 of 20), 5 boards and 5 assists. Hornets rookie, Anthony Davis had a pretty good game, going for 17 points (6 of 13), 15 rebounds and 4 blocks.
Scorged: It was not LeBron James, but Dwyane Wade that carved up the Minnesota defense for 32 points (15 of 23), 7 rebounds and 10 assists. LeBron chipped in for 20 points on 9 of 16 shooting and 10 boards to extend the Heat’s winning streak to 15. They have won every game in the streak by an average margin of 12 points. Despite forcing their opponent into 24 turnovers, the Timberwolves could not hit anything, shooting 38 percent from the field. Derrick Williams scored team-high 25 on 22 shots and snagged 10 boards in their sixth straight loss.
For those who are interested, here is the full Ray Allen and J.J. Barea scuffle (NSFW language, if you can lip read).
Gun Show: Up by 7 before heading into the 4th quarter of the no defense exhibition between the Raptors and Warriors, everything looked good for Toronto. That was until they crumbled in the 4th, going 0 for 9 from three to allow the Dubs to score 42 points in the quarter, which were 14 more than the Raptors, to send the only NBA team in Canada on the road with a 5th straight loss. Andrea Bargnani had his best game since his elbow injury, going for 26 points (8 of 18) and 7 boards. Rudy Gay added another 26 points, shooting yet another inefficient 10 of 22 from the field. Amir Johnson on the other hand, went for a perfect 10 of 10, in his 23 points and 15 rebounds performance off the bench. For the Warriors, David Lee got himself 29 points (12 of 21), 11 boards and 5 dimes. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson dropped 26 and 22 points respectively.
A Few Notes: Denver improves to league best 26-3 at home in the win against the Atlanta Hawks at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets outscored the Hawks 70 to 42 in paint. Corey Brewer came off the bench for a game-high 22 points, hitting 11 of his 20 shots. Josh Smith scored his 10,000th point, while his teammate, Al Horford got 18 points (9 of 16) and 13 rebounds to end their 6 game road trip.
The least Javale McGee possession of Javale McGee’s career. Everything is downhill from here.
Seven Trail Blazers scored double figures as Portland hand the Charlotte Bobcats, their’s 7th straight loss. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists. Rookie, Damina Lillard went for 20 points and 7 dimes.