And….. He’s back. The Sixers still lost, but damn, didn’t it feel right seeing Allen I. back in Philly? I hate to speak in cliches, but Philadelphia did look like a team inspired, at least through the first three quarters. Sam Dalembert was awesome in the first half, blocking five shots and being all over the floor, defensively. Andre Iguodala made sure to remind Philly there is more than one “AI” in town and he was fantastic, scoring 31 points in the loss.
In his debut, Iverson finished with 11 points, five rebounds, six assists, one turnover and one assist. He played 37:34 minutes.
Did anyone else sort of cringe when Eddie Jordan was interviewed pregame and said that he wouldn’t be the one taking Allen out of the game, that he would leave it up to Allen to tell him when he was tired or needed a break? Love the gesture, but I’m just saying, don’t give someone more room than you’re willing to allow them to keep.
In the victory for the Nuggets, Chauncey was the story. It was a rough night for Melo, shooting just 5-for-21 from the floor and finishing with 14 points, less than half of his league-leading 30.4 points per game. Chauncey stepped it up for his teammate, getting to the hoop time and time again, scoring 31 points on just 13 field goal attempts to go with eight rebounds and eight assists as the Sixers fell apart to start the fourth quarter.
While I wanted a Philly win for Allen’s re-debut, I’m just happy he’s back. Those seconds he spent kissing the court were so special to me and they’ll remained etched in my basketball mind.
Now, about this Utah/San Antonio game. When I flipped to it, the Jazz appeared to have everything under control in the fourth. Before I knew it, San Antonio came back and we had a great finish. Except for the part when the Spurs went to Matt Bonner down the stretch. Okay, I get it. He had 28 points and the hot hand. Bonner’s game is not driving to the hoop, yet that is exactly what the final play of the game for the Spurs was.
It left me with a frown, trying to figure it out. Deron Williams, though, his jumpshot to give the Jazz the lead with 22 seconds on the clock, that was awesome.
Starting out slow, the Oklahoma City Thunder used a third quarter burst where they outscored Golden State 29-18 to pull ahead and pull out the victory on their home floor last night. While KD had a rough first half before finishing with 28 points and nine boards, rookie James Harden had a huge night, scoring 26 points while shooting 13-for-14 from the free throw line. He also added nine rebounds, five assists and two steals without a turnover. He was solid off of the boost.
Corey Maggette was ejected from the game in the third quarter for arguing a call with the officials and from there, the shorthanded Warriors were unable to get anything going. While Monta Ellis scored 31 points, he also turned the ball over nine times. Devean George made a five-minute cameo in the game for the Warriors, according to the boxscore. I think that was his first bit of burn this season. Made me do a bit of a double check, since I don’t remember seeing him out there.
For me, second highlight of the night after Allen was getting to watch Shaun Livingston back in action for the Thunder. He didn’t score in his 17 minutes of action but he grabbed seven boards as the Thunder crushed Golden State on the boards, 57-37.
Don’t look now, but the New York Knicks are winning. Okay, they’ve strung three games together, but still. Wins. Three of them in a row. Last night, it was against the Portland Trail Blazers, taking them down 93-84. You have to feel for Portland. Without Greg Oden, they were also without coach Nate McMillan, both sidelined as they underwent surgery. Still, the Blazers fought as they always do, before succumbing to an NYC team that once again kept Nate Robinson on the bench.
Before you finish your lunch break or whenever you get a few minutes, check my boys from The Basketball Jones. Simply fantastic.