Stay Cookin’: Blah, blah, blah…The Miami Heat becomes the 4th team in the NBA to win 20 straight games in the regular season, to tie the third longest streak in league history in this victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. LeBron James went off for 27 points (8 of 19), 7 rebounds and 8 assists. His teammate, Dwyane Wade added 21 on 7 of 14 shooting and 8 boards, including a late tip in, to give the Heat a 3 point lead in less than 30 seconds to play. Spencer Hawes had a chance to cut it to one, but missed the lay-up on a well executed play. Philly had another go at it after Dorrell Wright hits a three in the corner to slash the deficit to 2, but with time running out, they had to play the foul game, which as you could tell from the result, did not go in their favor.
Sorrows: The Atlanta Hawks without Josh Smith, Jeff Teague and Zaza Pachulia came out on top in the final minutes to send the Lakers on the road with the loss. Despite Kobe going off for 20 of his total 31 points (10 of 31) in the third, the lack of touches among his teammates may have cost them the game. Al Horford of the Hawks kept the game close with 14 points (7 of 12), 14 rebounds and got 46 points worth of help from the ATL bench. The Lakers had multiple opportunities to win this game down the stretch but they would end up missing a few game changing layups. So Kobe did what Kobe does, he bailed out his team with a three that would cut the deficit down to 1. Unfortunately, the Mamba would miss the game-tying shot, where he severely sprains his ankle on the foot of Dahntay Jones upon landing. He will be out indefinitely.
Statement: The New Memphis Grizzlies gets their 6th straight, in this win against the Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis headed into half time with a two point, but came out to hold their opponents to only 33 points in the entire second half for the 11 point victory. Marc Gasol led the way with 21 points (10 of 14) and 5 steals. Not so newly acquired veteran, Tayshaun Prince scored his 10,000th point with his 18 points and 6 rebounds. Chris Paul also scored his 10,000th point in this game, becoming the 4th youngest in NBA history to achieve such a feat and have 5,000 assists in his career. He finished with 24 points (7 of 12) and 9 assists.
Spells: The Washington Wizards shot exactly 50 percent from the field and beyond the arc to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks at home. John Wall had 23 points (10 of 19), 6 boards and 10 assists. Martell Webster chipped in for 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting. The Bucks, down by 20 points in early the third, went on a 28 to 7 run to close it with a 3 point lead. But they would fail to keep the pressure on the Wizards, putting only 15 points in the 4th. Monta Ellis scored a game-high 26 points (12 of 19) and dished out 8 dimes.
Blow Outs: The NBA is not a place where talent is evenly distributed among teams, so sometimes we get nights like this, where 6 of the 12 games, will, well result in a blow out. Which, by definition is one team destroying the other by a large margin of points. And to save you time, I will just quickly list them out.
In Carmelo Anthony’s return to the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Nuggets, as the generous host they are, handed a 23 points loss to the New York Knicks. Ex-Knickerbocker, Wilson Chandler, who was part of the package deal for Melo, led all scorers with 24 points on 9 of 12 shooting. With this win, Denver extends their winning streak to 10 and 14 straight at home. To add to New York’s recent injury bug, Tyson Chandler left this game in the second quarter with a left knee contusion aftercolliding with Corey Brewer and it is uncertain when he will return. Carmelo also left this game with knee pain but did so later, and plans to drain his knee in New York. He will probably be out for at least a week. In older news, Amare has to go under knee surgery, which means he will be out for the rest of the season.
The DeMarcus Cousins-less Sacramento Kings did not hold anything back in the 121-79 beat down against the Chicago Bulls. Tyreke Evans had a game-high 26 points (11 of 13), 5 boards and 7 assists in the massacre. The Bulls shot less than 10 percent from the downtown, hitting only 2 out of their 21 attempts. Blood was everywhere.
The Oklahoma City Thunder sent the Utah Jazz home with a 23 point loss. Kevin Durant had 23 points (7 of 13), 10 boards and an unsightly 8 turnovers. While his wild partner, Russell Westbrook went for 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting, 7 rebounds and 9 dimes. Utah have now lost 2 of their last 8 games.
Donatas Motiejunas of the Houston Rockets goes off for a career high 19 points (7 of 12) and 5 rebounds in the 30 point win over the Phoenix Suns.
With news of Andrea Bargnani being out for the rest of the season with an elbow injury, you would think the Raptors would be much better off without their Black Hole, but Toronto has more than one of them. As their supposedly franchise savior, Rudy Gay shoots 7 for 19 from the field for 19 points and 7 assists in the 24 point Boston win. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both made history in the same night of the Celtics’ 10th straight home win. Pierce passed Charles Barkley for 20th on the all time scoring list and Allen Iverson for the tenth most free throws made. KG passed Jerry West for 15th on the NBA all-time scoring list.
Fantasy Shoutouts: Roy Hibbert scored a season-high 27 points on 12 of 15 shooting and grabbed 12 boards in the victory over the still very injury depleted Minnesota Timberwolves. The Pacers completely dominated inside, outscoring their opponent 52 to 24 in the paint. Ricky Rubio, coming off the triple double on Tuesday, went for 21 points (6 of 14), 6 rebounds and 10 assists in the losing effort.
Led by Stephen Curry’s 31 points on 11 of 17 shooting (5 of 7 from three) and 8 assists, the Warriors took down the shorthanded Detroit Pistons on a 57 percent shooting night from the field. David Lee added 20 points (9 of 13), 15 boards and 5 dimes for his NBA leading 43rd double double of the season and 24th 20+ point and 10+ rebound game.