Post Up: Game of the Year

It took two overtimes to decide the winner of the terrifyingly intense Rockets/Warriors game. Plus the Heat and Grizzlies each win a close game.
by December 02, 2016

Hornets 97 (11-8), Mavs 87 (3-15)

The Mavs were without Andrew Bogut, Seth Curry and Dirk Nowitzki for this game. And even with five players scoring in double-figures, they couldn’t overcome the Hornets in an ugly, sloppy matchup. Kemba Walker scored 18 for Charlotte, but he shot 7-19. The two teams only combined for 14 three-pointers and the Mavs were in it until there 41 seconds to play and Kemba hit the dagger three-pointer.

Bucks 111 (9-8), Nets 93 (5-13)

Milwaukee led 52-51 at the half and then they blew the game wide open in the third, leading by as many as 24. Giannis Antetokounmpo stuffed the stat sheet for 23 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. The Nets shot 12-40 from deep. Brook Lopez led them in scoring with 15.

Grizzlies 95 (12-8), Magic 94 (7-12)

Orlando had a 14-point advantage with just over 6 minutes left in the fourth. Marc Gasol led a 13-1 run and then he made the game-winning free throws with 12.2 seconds left. He finished with 25 points, backed up by the inspired play of Tony Allen, who had 9 points, 6 boards and 3 gimmes. Elfrid Payton committed a turnover with about 2 seconds left and the Magic didn’t even get a shot to win the game.

Clippers 113 (15-5), Cavs 94 (13-4)

Things turned in the second quarter of this one. JJ Redick was on fire. He had 21 at half, hitting timely shots from everywhere. Thanks in part to JJ’s 4 threes, the Clippers shot 13-31 from distance. Blake Griffin had a career-high 11 helpers. Chris Paul only had to play 24 minutes, still managing to collect 16 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds. Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford both contributed 12 points off the bench. It’s the second consecutive blowout the Cavs have suffered. Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 28.

Heat 111 (7-12), Jazz 110 (11-9)

This game was separated by only a few possessions for most of the 48 minutes. There were 8 ties and 8 lead changes. The Jazz made 17 threes, the Heat made 8. The Heat had 40 rebounds, the Jazz had 31. But Utah was without Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood and George Hill. James Johnson took advantage of the depleted Jazz, going off for a season-high 24. Goran Dragic added 27 for Miami and Gordon Hayward missed the game-winning bucket at the buzzer.

Rockets 132 (12-7), Warriors 127 (16-3)

In the best game of this young season, the Rockets and Warriors traded jabs throughout the fourth quarter. There were 13 ties and 14 lead changes, spurts of incredible shot-making and droughts of poor decisions and bricked attempts. Even though the play was roller-coaster-like, the intensity was high for all 58 minutes of action. These squads needed a pair of overtimes to figure out who would hit the crazier shots and make the bigger defensive stops. James Harden and Kevin Durant will get the attention for their big numbers–29 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists for the Beard, 39 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks for KD–it was the effort of Draymond Green and Ryan Anderson’s inability to be fazed that really stood out.

Before he fouled out in the second overtime, Green was everywhere, clogging holes on defense and pounding the offensive glass. He had 20 points, 15 rebounds and 9 assists. Anderson caught fire and stepped up every time Harden needed help. He torched GSW for 29 points, including a lot of clutch buckets.

Stephen Curry fouled out with 3:25 left in the second extra session. Soon after, Harden hit a 30-foot bomb to give Houston the lead and they never looked back.