The Young Guns: The Houston Rockets looked like that had everything under control heading into the fourth quarter with the lead, but they were playing against the San Antonio Spurs and you can never count them out for a late run to take the W. Which was exactly what they did except for the winning part. The Spurs down 6 with less than 6 minutes to play, would hold the Rockets scoreless for the next 4 minutes, to go on a 10-0 run to take a 4 point lead with a little more than a minute to go in regulation. But that all ended, when James Harden decided to take matters into his own hands, after hitting a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 1, he would hit the eventual game winning 17 footer for Houston’s 3rd straight win. He finished with a game-high 29 points (6 of 16), 9 rebounds and 6 assists. San Antonio had two more chances to steal the win in the remaining 4.5 seconds, except that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili would both miss in their attempts. In his second game back from a severe ankle sprain, Tony Parker led all Spurs with 23 points (7 of 13) and 7 dimes.
Flaming Engines: Without Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat took on the fearsome Charlotte Bobcats in hopes to extend their winning streak to 26. Those hopes were soon dashed when the Bobcats opened the game up with a 19-8 run, but because they are the Bobcats, of course their lead would not last, as they watch the reigning NBA champions finish the game on a 101-58 run in the 32 point win. LeBron James registered for his 35th double double of the season, making it a career high. He had a near triple double, going off for 32 point on 11 of 14 shooting, 8 rebounds and 10 assists.
Too Close to the Sun: Despite Goran Dragic exploding for 31 points (10 of 19), 9 boards and 12 dimes for the Phoenix Suns, the lack of effort from everyone else was not enough to put away the Joe Johnson-less Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night. Down 12 at halftime, the Suns outscored the Nets 33 to 20 in the third, led by Wesley Johnson, who scored 17 of his total 21 points in the quarter to make this game watchable. But Phoenix would fall just short in the final 12 minutes, in the Brooklyn win. Deron Williams had 20 points (8 of 15), and 11 assists. His center, Brook Lopez added 21 points on 6 of 16 shooting and 5 rebounds.
A Few Notes: Do you know how bad things have gotten for the Minnesota Timberwolves? Even when they hit 50 percent (6 of 12) of their threes as the worst three point shooting team in the league and went 50 percent from the field, they still weren’t able to beat the Bulls, getting out rebounded by 20 boards in the Chicago win. Carlos Boozer was among two other Bulls with a double double, getting his 34th of the season, with 19 points (9 of 15) and 12 rebounds. Nate Robinson came off the bench for 22 points (9 of 16) and 10 dimes in the absence of Joakim Noah. Derrick Williams led the Wolves with 28 points on 11 of 18 shooting and 5 rebounds.
The Utah Jazz threw another one away, in the loss to the Dallas Mavericks. A few more of these and they will be officially out of running for the 8th spot that currently belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Fantasy Shoutouts: The Atlanta front court of Al Horford and Josh Smith caused all sorts of problems for the Bucks in the Hawks win. Horford had 24 points (10 of 16), 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Josh Smith added 23 points on 9 of 17 shooting and 9 boards. The Hawks ended the game on a 7-0 run in the final 40 seconds to complete the comeback victory.
Kevin Durant went for 24 points (10 of 17) and 10 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook chipped in with 21 points (9 of 18) and 9 dimes in the 20 point win over the Portland Trail Blazers. OKC held Portland to only 41 percent from the field, as the Western Conference Champs shot 52 percent on their home floor.