Oh hey, Luol Deng. A career-high 40 points on 14-19 from the field? Not too shabby. Derrick Rose was also solid, with 16 points and 13 dimes, and apparently he’s doing something right, because the Chicago crowd was raining down “MVP” chants as the third-year player shot free throws in the final minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge (33 points, 9 boards) was pretty great—though Joakim Noah’s foul trouble didn’t hurt—but nary a single other Blazer did enough to make this one competitive. Brandon Roy was their next highest scorer with 17, though it was one of the quieter 17-point performances imaginable; I watched the majority of the game and don’t remember him putting in more than a couple baskets. In other news, the Bulls might be really, really good this season. They’re coming together nicely, and DRose is living up to the hype—plus more. Like, a lot more.
Right off the bat, the Raptors jumped ahead with a 17-point lead in the first quarter—a lead Sacramento spent the rest of the night chipping away at. The Kings finally caught up in the fourth, led by Tyreke Evans (23 points, all but two after the first) and DeMarcus Cousins, who was able to manhandle Andrea Bargnani in the post. Bargs did put up 28 (dude’s a fantasy beast), while DeMar DeRozan tied his career high with 24. DMDR posterized Samuel Dalembert to put Toronto down one with 13 seconds left, but the Kings were able to hold on for the W. Anyone think Sacto would be 3-1 after four games? Yeah, they’ve had a relatively easy schedule (TWolves, Nets, Cavs, Raps—OK, “relatively easy” might be a slight understatement), but still, props to them for taking caring of business.
Despite some monster throwdowns from Clippers Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin early on, this one was pretty much all Spurs. Their attack was well-balanced, as every non-DeJuan Blair starter went for double figures, with Tony Parker’s 19 leading the way. Baron Davis, who’s been a mere ghost of his former self the past few games, sat this one out with a sore knee—though he basically admitted that “sore knee” means “out of shape”. For what it’s worth, big ups to Baron for coming clean about the situation, and hopefully he turns it around and gets back on the court asap. An 0-4 record is not a good look for a squad with so much talent and potential sitting around.
Performance of the Night: Luol Deng: 40 points (14-19 from field), 4 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal
Moment of the Night: Manu Ginobili gambles and fails, allowing Eric Gordon the opportunity to do something terrible to James Anderson. And better yet, the Clips’ commentator cuts off the sideline reporter to yell “OHHH ME OH MY,” which was both rude and hilarious.
A slightly more loaded schedule’s on tap for tonight, dudes and dudettes. Back tomorrow.