by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack
I am thankful for Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. I needed something to make my night better and the Jazz/Thunder game did just that, until that blatant non-call on KD as he attempted a 3-pointer to win the game, but, we’ll focus on the good: Two teams battling it out, fighting for playoff positioning in a western conference where teams 2-5 are tied and the Thunder in the sixth spot are just 1.5 games back from the 2-5 pack. I hope you followed that, not sure how to better explain it.
Anyway, the teams had a lot on the line and they played like it. Leaving everything on the floor, I think this was my favorite NBA game this season, or at least, my second favorite, to the Melo/LeBron showdown. Or, the Miami/LA showdown in LA. Nah, I think this one took the cake. After SLAM fave Nick Collison hit the first 3-pointer of his NBA career at the end of the third quarter, the fourth was a back-and-forth, with the Jazz going ahead by 10, but Durant taking over, knocking down 3-pointer after 3-pointer and then Jeff Green nailing a huge three of his own to force overtime, it was without a doubt, the best quarter of bball I’ve seen in a long, long time.
In overtime, Deron Williams drilled a huge shot with 1.1 seconds remaining to give the Jazz a one-point lead and then the Thunder went to KD who was clearly fouled on his shoot attempt that fell way short and there was no call. He was furious, the announcers were irate and it just really kinda sucked. For a game that means so much with respect to the standings and that was fought so hard on both sides, it sucked for it to come down to a missed call. Regardless, it was awesome. And anyone watching saw why Kevin Durant is a stud. KD finished with seven 3-pointers and 45 points. Russell Westbrook had 29 points and nine assists. Green added 20. Deron Williams had a career-high 42 points to go with nine assists as Boozer put in 28 points and 15 rebounds.
It was a freaking awesome game and I wish it had been the NBATV fan night game. Feel sorry for any of you that missed it.
I also feel sorry for Toronto Raptors fans.
After going through one of the toughest home loses I can recall against the Warriors on Sunday, in the opening minutes of the Raptors game against Cleveland, Chris Bosh took an inadvertent elbow from Antawn Jamison and crumpled to the floor. As my phone started going crazy, blood started to flow and Chris made his way to the locker room where he would then be taken to the hospital for a CT scan.
Yes, in the middle of a playoff run, this would happen. Bosh has a maxilla and nasal fracture. He spent the night in Cleveland and we don’t know when/if he will play again. I’m sure he’s swollen and sore and would need a mask and to be medically cleared to even think about playing. With five games remaining –including tonight against the Celtics– I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see Bosh again this season. Yes, I’m saying season and leaving it at that. I’m not ready to think beyond that right now.
It just sucks. He deserves to be out there in the playoff race with his team. Andrew Bogut does, too. Da’Sean Butler’s torn ACL felt like it was simultaneously shredding my heart, yeesh. No more, please. I said it over the weekend and now that the tourney –Congrats Duke!– is over, it stands true: The moment that will stick with me above all else from this tournament is Huggins on the court with Butler, treating his player like he was his son.
Speaking of Duke, I saw Seth’s brother on Sunday and, man, can he play. Steph Curry, Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans. Give me any of them on my team and I’m happy. Between KD and Deron, a healthy Chris Paul, Melo, Bron, Kobe, Dwyane and then these rookies, wow, the league is in great hands. Oh yes, Shaun Livingston tied a career-high with 21 points tonight, on 9-for-11 fgs to go with eight assists. That was lovely.
Even if I’m still pretty bummed about Bosh right now.