by Adam Figman | @afigman
Not sure what to tell the Sixers fans after this one. Philly is one of those teams that’ll dissappear for games at a time, but on the right night, they can play to a certain level and be one of the more exciting teams in the L. Last night was one of those nights. These two battled back and forth all game, and Andre Iguodala put in a runner with only a few seconds remaining to put the Sixers up one. Doc called a simple play off the in-bounds pass—a pick-and-roll with Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, who rolled to the hoop immediately after Philly switched (leaving him guarded by a smaller player)—and it worked to perfection. Rondo found KG on his way to the basket for an easy lay-up, leaving only a second or so remaining on the clock. Without a timeout, Philly was forced to throw it down the court, and Garnett intercepted the pass to seal it up. Jodie Meeks had a breakout game of sorts with 19 points, while Ray Allen led the C’s with 23. Rondo put up strong numbers as well, scoring 19, dishing 14 and swiping 3. The Celts have now won nine in a row, and they’ll attempt to hit double digits tomorrow night in Charlotte.
All Dallas Everything. They jumped out to an 11-point lead after one, and never looked back, remaining ahead for the rest of the contest and winning easily. They shot 54.7 percent, 13 percent better than the Nets did, and were led by Dirk Nowitzki’s 21 points and 10 boards. Dallas is now officially smoking hot, as the Mavs have won 11 straight. Tomorrow’s game—when they’ll host Utah—should be an intense one.
Dwight Howard certainly had fun—he scored a season-high 39, to go along with 14 boards and 3 blocks—but nobody else stepped up, as the next highest scorer on Orlando was Rashard Lewis, who had 11. The Blazers used a specific, smart strategy, letting Dwight go one-on-one with whomever was guarding him (usually Marcus Camby or Joel Przybilla), as the rest of the defenders locked down their men on the outside and prevented three-pointers at all costs. As a result, the Magic, who tend to rely heavily on triples, only hit six of them. The Blazers utilized their standard well-rounded offensive attack, led by Andre Miller (22 points, 8 dimes) and Wesley Matthews (20 points, 3 steals). The Magic have now dropped three straight, and it doesn’t get any easier from here—they’ll be in Utah tonight as their Western Conference road trip continues onward.
Performance of the Night: Despite the loss, Dwight Howard: 39 points, 14 boards, 3 blocks.
Moment of the Night: KG, for the win: