Coming into last night’s home game against Washington, the Thunder’s last three had been decided by three or less. One would think a visit from the Wizards would result in an much easier path to victory… but it would only get tougher. Washington was so, sooo close to getting that first road victory. They forced two overtimes, but that second OT is when Kevin Durant decided enough is enough. In other news, there were a couple other OT games, the Lakers lost to one of the worst teams in the West, and a fight broke out in Atlanta (a legit fight, not your usual NBA “fight”). Read on….
- Highlight Recap: Joe Johnson floats a lob to Josh Smith. Josh dunks without an assist. Not only can he dunk, he can also prevent dunks. JJ Hickson with the putback slam. JJ’s playing defense too. Anthony Parker lobs to Ryan Hollins. Amir Johnson drives and dunks. Jerryd Bayless cooks Keyon Dooling and finishes at the rim. Darrell Arthur drops the hammer. Andre Iguodala goes behind the back to Thad Young. Solomon Jones lobs to Paul George. Lamar Odom with an AND1-Mixtape-like dish to Pau Gasol. Serge Ibaka denies Kevin Seraphin. Trevor Booker is a beast. Last but certainly not least, check out this Rudy Gay slam and the expression it leaves on a young fan’s face…
That kid may have wanted to be a scientist or a fireman before the game, but you know damn well he wants to be an NBA basketball player now!
- Lowlight Recap: Sam Young scores on his own basket…
- Oklahoma City needed 40 points from Kevin Durant, a triple-double from Russell Westbrook, and two overtimes to take care of business… but take care of business they did. KD was not about to let the Wizards get their first victory away from home on his turf. He scored 10 of his 40 in the second OT, including a driving layup plus a foul after Nick Young had just knocked down a momentum-changing triple. Had either team been able to knock down freethrows this would’ve been a much shorter game. Oklahoma City, who leads the league is freethrow percentage, missed 10 of 41. Washington missed 9 of 28. What the Wizards did not do was turn the ball over. They gave it up just seven times, nine fewer than OKC. This allowed them to stay in the game while being outshot from both the floor and the line. Nick Young had an excellent game with 32 points (including the shot that forced the first OT). Trevor Booker, who is an incredible physical specimen, set career highs in both points and boards with a 21/12 effort.
- Normally I wouldn’t consider an 88-87 victory over the Pistons “getting back on track”, especially not for a team like Miami… but seeing as they were missing Dwyane and Chris, I suppose it’s fair to call this a solid victory. Following the disaster at Madison Square Garden, LeBron got back to what works for him and dropped 39/8/9 on 15-25 shooting. James didn’t get much help offensively, which is why the Heat eeked this one out by just one point even while holding Detroit to 38 percent from the floor. The rest of Miami’s starters went just 10-35, including six long-distance bricks from Mike Miller and four more from Mario Chalmers. Eddie House contributed big off the bench, though. His 15 points included the game-winning freethrows. Down 86-87 with seven seconds left, House pulled up for a jumper and was fouled by Ben Gordon. He made both, leaving Detroit with one final try for the win. Tayshaun Prince hit Austin Daye with a perfect lob on the inbound play, but he wasn’t able to throw it down because James Jones got there to contest the dunk at the last second. Foul (2:40)? Possibly… especially seeing as House had just been given freethrows.
- Being the G that he is, Shawne Williams wasn’t about to let the Knicks go down without a fight. Litterally…
To be fair, it does look like Marvin started it with the initial shove. I imagine Shawn must’ve said or done something to trigger the shove, though. As for the first 47 minutes of the game, ATL took the lead at the nine minute mark of the first period and would never trail the rest of the way. Joe Johnson scored a game high 34, and Josh Smith had 24. Said Amare Stoudemire: “We didn’t play hard. We didn’t play with energy. We played soft. We can’t afford that. I know we’re a young team, but I just hate seeing us not play hard to start the game off. We’ve got to do a better job of that.”
KG got himself ejected for making contact with Channing Frye’s private parts late in Boston’s 88-71 loss in Phoenix. See the video below…
I’ve been as critical as anyone when it comes to KG and his wanna-be-tough-guy tendencies… but did this really warrant an ejection? I don’t think so. Garnett wasn’t even looking at Frye when he made the slightest of contact, and nothing in the aftermath called for his tossing. I think a foul for the contact and a T for the stuff that followed would’ve sufficed. KG certainly hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt, but I feel like this could’ve been an accident. Like I said, Garnett wasn’t looking when he made contact… it’s not like he went all Reggie Evans on the guy. Laker fans who are looking for the automatic suspension from Sunday’s game for the “punch”, get real! That was far from a “punch” or a “slap” or any kind of “strike” that should get a guy suspended. As for the rest of the game… Marcin Gortat exploded for 19 points and 17 boards. No one played particularly well for the Cs, who shot 34 percent from the field, 2-18 from three, and 65 percent from the line.
Utah snapped their six-game losing streak without the help of Deron Williams. Earl “The Pearl” Watson filled in quite nicely with his 13 dimes in the 108-100 victory over the T-Wolves. Minnesota shot themselves in the foot with 25 turnovers, 20 of them coming on Utah steals. Paul Millsap, Andrei Kirilenko, and CJ Miles all had big nights with 30, 27, and 22 points respectively. Kirilenko had a ridiculous fantasy line with six boards, seven assists, five steals, and a block.
Flashback to New Year’s Eve of 2010… Stephen Jackson had a good look at a three to beat his former Warriors squad, but missed. He would redeem himself last night with this banker to send the Bobcats to OT in The Bay. The ‘Cats would go on to outscore the Dubs 20-12 in OT, resulting in a 121-113 victory. Jackson was the game’s leading scorer with 31, and DJ Augustin and Stephen Curry each had 27. Charlotte could’ve made this easier on themselves by making a few freethrows… they missed 12 of 31 (Kwame Brown 0-5).
The other games: Zach Randolph picked up his 13th consecutive double-double in Memphis’ 99-94 victory in Philly. The Bucks got 20+ from Maggette, Ilyasova, and Bogut in a 116-110 OT victory over Toronto. Mike Dunleavy dropped 30 on 6-7 from distance as Indy beat the sh!t out of the Nets (124-92). Brook Lopez scored 28 points… and grabbed ONE rebound. Cleveland made it 19 in a row against the Nuggets… Melo dropped 33 in the 117-103 Denver W. Orlando got 40 points out of Dwight Howard, but still insisted on firing threes (5-21) and lost to Chicago 99-90. Luol Deng lit up Hedo Turkoglu with 26 points. Sacramento built up a 14-point lead entering the fourth quarter and managed to fend off the Lakers despite 38 points from Kobe Bryant. DeMarcus Cousins dropped 27/10… and proceeded to do DeMarcus Cousins-like things. From the AP’s game recap: ”The Sacramento Kings seemed downright stunned by what they had just done, throwing towels and hollering with unfamiliar joy in Staples Center’s sparse visitors’ locker room. DeMarcus Cousins led the festivities, bubbling with jokes and busting on everything from Carl Landry’s shoes to Omri Casspi’s deodorant. “I feel like I won a championship now,” the big man said with a joking smirk.”
Quote of the Day: Byron Scott’s answer when asked if he could identify anything positive from last night’s loss…
“Yeah,” he said. “It’s over.”
Photo of the Day:
With a first kiss so awkward, I’d say the relationship was destined to fail.