by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
John Salmons scored 21, ‘Reke Evans scored 17 and grabbed 7 dimes and Marcus Thornton scored 20 off the bench as the Kings bounced back from a double-OT loss to the Heat by smacking the Magic in Orlando. The Kings led by as many as 33 and snapped a six-game losing streak with the win. Tobias Harris led the Magic with 23 points and 6 boards.
With last night’s win over the Raptors, the Cavs finished the month of February with a 7-5 record–the first time they finished a calendar month with a winning record since March 2010. Progress. The Raptors trailed by as many as 15 but cut the lead to three with under two minutes to go. Dion Waiters, who has been playing great as of late, hit a jumper that killed Toronto’s momentum and Cavs ended the game on a 12-2 run. Waiters finished with 23 points and 6 assists while Shaun Livingston scored 15. DeMar DeRozan finished with 34 points on 10-19 shooting and Rudy Gay scored 24, grabbed 8 boards and dropped 6 dimes for Toronto.
Well, the Wizards broadcasters are not on top of the ball…
Behind a career-high 32 points from Brandon Knight, 26 points and 11 boards from Greg Monroe and 18 dimes from Jose Calderon, the Pistons snapped the Wizards three game win streak. With 34 seconds remaining, Trevor Ariza hit a three to pull the Wiz within three. On the next possession, Ariza came up with the steal and was fouled by Will Bynum. Ariza hit both of his free throws and the Wiz were within one. Detroit did everything they could to lose the game and gave the ball back to D.C. but Ariza’s last second 3-pointer drew nothing but air (as seen above) and the Wiz took the L. Ariza finished with 22 points and John Wall had a poor 6-point, 7-turnover performance.
Well that was ridiculous (and nationally televised). Where to begin…For starters, Tyson Chandler kicked off the game with 13 first quarter rebounds (he finished with a career-high 28) to set the tone for what would be a statisticians wet dream of a game. After the first quarter, Steph Curry took over. Cury finished with an NBA season-high 54 points (plus 7 dimes) on 18-28 shooting and hit 11 3-pointers all while putting on a spectacle for the Garden faithful and SLAM EIC, Ben Osborne, who was in the house to see his man Mark Jackson. Despite Curry’s spectacular display, the Warriors unraveled down the stretch and the Knicks somehow pulled off the victory. The much maligned Raymond Felton finally put the clamps on Curry with 1:28 to play when he blocked a shot attempt with the score tied up at 105. On the ensuing possession, J.R. Smith hit the tiebreaking shot and Jarrett Jack was called for a travel on the Warriors next play. Melo then hit a layup that put the nail in the coffin and the Knicks held on for the win in a helluva game. Melo finished with 35 points and a team-high 8 dimes and Smith scored 26 on 10-19 shooting.
Memphis had no business winning this game after they fell behind by 25. But giving up would not have fallen in line with the Grizzlies’ “Grit ‘N Grind’ mentality. The Grizz buckled down defensively after giving up 38 points in the first quarter and only gave up 22 points over the second and third quarters while they scratched and clawed back into the game. With their defense revved up, the Grizzlies were able to go on a 24-0 run and were up 62-55. From there, Memphis was able to play their normal game and held off the Mavs who are falling further and further out of contention while their beards grow longer and longer. Memphis was led by Z-Bo’s 22 points and 10 boards and Marc Gasol’s 21 points, 12 boards and 5 dimes. The Mavs were led by the Matrix’s 16 points and 8 boards.
This one was all knotted up at 105 in the final minute of regulation which set the stage for a wild finish. James Harden (25 points) was heading down the court for a fast break layup when Larry Sanders came out of nowhere and blocked his shot attempt. Sanders followed that up with a bucket on the other end to give Milwaukee a 107-105 lead. Harden came back with a layup of his own over Sanders to tie the game at 107 with 35 seconds to go. On Milwaukee’s next possession, Monta Ellis missed a pull-up jumper but snuck through the defense to grab an offensive rebound. Ellis threw it out to backcourt mate Brandon Jennings who couldn’t find an open shot. Jennings dished off to Ellis who threw up a prayer as the clock expired that somehow found the bottom of the net and the Bucks walked away with a huge win. Ellis finished with 27 points, 13 dimes and 6 steals (his second straight game with 6 steals). Ersan Ilyasova finished with 20 and 10. Chandler Parsons finished with 20 and Omer Asik finished with 16 points and 22 boards.
With Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis both sitting due to injury, this one got ugly fast…Sheesh. Kevin Durant notched the third triple-double of his career with 18 points, 11 boards and 10 dimes in just 27 minutes. Russ Westbrook finished with 29 on 8-17 shooting and Serge Ibaka scored 18 and grabbed 7 boards. Ryan Anderson led the Hornets with 14 points.
So the Spurs went to overtime and lost against the Suns…Yeah, it was that kinda night in the NBA.
Atlanta won their fifth straight road game last night thanks to big games from Al Horford and Josh Smith. Horford scored 34 points, grabbed 15 boards and blocked 5 shots while J-Smoove finished with 24, 14 boards and 7 dimes. Atlanta led by as many as 20 and only fell behind by a point as they shut the Jazz down in the second half. Al Jefferson scored 26 and grabbed 11 boards and Derrick Favors finished with 17 points and 15 boards.
The Nuggets and Blazers went back and forth down the stretch but Denver prevailed to win their third straight game. Dame Lillard put his team up 101-100 but Dre Iguodala and Ty Lawson responded with back-to-back buckets to put the Nuggets up 106-101. Wes Matthews retaliated with a 3-pointer and LaMarcus Aldridge hit a turnaround jumper to tie it up at 106 with 34 seconds left. On the next possession, Andre Miller hit the go-ahead layup to give his current team the lead and the win against his former team. Lawson finished with 30 points and 6 assists while Iguodala finished with 29, 8 dimes and 5 steals. Dame Lillard scored 26 points and J.J. Hickson scored 18 and grabbed 14 boards.