by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad

Just ‘Cause:

Danny Ainge NAILS Mario Elie in the face with the ball. I could not stop watching this and laughing. Fast forward to the 1:00 mark for the good stuff…

Sixers 100 (9-6), Mavs 98 (7-8)

Philly had plenty of chances to put the Mavs away and grab an easy dub but the Mavs kept fighting back and this one came down to the wire. The Sixers were finally able to create some  space with a 10-0 run in the fourth triggered by multiple Dallas turnovers. To cap off the run, Jrue Holiday stole the ball, drove the floor and hit a driving Thaddeus Young for the bucket plus one to give Philly a nine-point lead. VC finally ended the run with a three-pointer and the Mavs were able to cut the lead to five. Thad Young hit a mid-range jumper to make the gap seven and the Sixers forced another turnover on the ensuing possession but couldn’t capitalize. Instead, Carter responded with a clutch three to make it a four-point game. Vinsanity then hit a layup with 37 seconds to play and all of a sudden, the Mavs found themselves within two points with thirty seconds to go. The Sixers failed to score another bucket and with 2 seconds left, O.J. Mayo went to the stripe after being fouled with a chance to win the game. Surprisingly, Mayo missed both and a last second effort by Jae Crowder fell short sending Dallas home for their fifth road loss of the season.

Quick Hitters:

– Evan Turner scored 22 points (8-12, 2-4 from three), grabbed 4 boards and dished out 4 assists. He has been shooting the ball much, much better from beyond the arc this season.

– Jrue Holiday scored 18 and handed out 7 assists but also turned the ball over 6 times. He’s definitely stepped up his game this season but needs to cut down those TO numbers.

– Carter finished with 15, Kaman with 20 and O.J. Mayo with a quiet 11.

– Elton Brand made his return to Philly after falling victim to the amnesty clause. He was given a nice ovation when he hit the court.

Suns 91 (7-8), Cavs 78 (3-12)

The Cavs woes continue. While they kept it close and held a lead in the third, the rigor of playing their fourth game in five nights eventually caught up to them and the Suns were able to pull away for an easy victory. With three and a half minutes remaining in the third, Cleveland took a 59-57 lead on a Dion Waiters layup. That was the last gasp for Cleveland though as Phoenix went on a 14-0 run thanks to buckets from Mike Beasley, Jared Dudley and Luis Scola. The Suns took a 71-59 lead into the fourth and the Cavs only scored 19 points over the final 12 minutes to drop their twelfth game of the year.

Quick Hitters:

– Anderson Varaejo continues his stellar play. Last night, the big man went for 20 points and 18 boards and was called the, “best center in the East” by coach Byron Scott.

– Goran Dragic scored 19 and handed out 9 assists and Mike Beasley finished with 15.

– Dion Waiters scored 16 on 7-20 shooting.

Rockets 117 (7-7), Raptors 101 (3-12)

Behind 24 points and a career-high 12 assists from James Harden, the Rockets notched their seventh win of the season. Houston dominated for much of the game, leading by as much as 27 thanks to 53 percent shooting from the field. The Rockets took a 61-51 lead into the break and kept their foot on the gas to open the third quarter. Harden hit his second three of the game then Lin turned a steal into an assist to Harden for a fast-break dunk. Harden then hit another three that made the lead 18. By the end of the third quarter, the Rockets had hit 12 three-pointers. In the fourth, the Raptors made a small run to cut the lead to 15 but after a Lin steal and dunk put an end to their run, the Raptors had no hope of making a comeback.

Quick Hitters:

– Lin finished with 16 points and 10 assists, Patrick Patterson scored 22 and Omer Aski was huge inside with 13 points and 18 boards.

– Terrence Ross scored a career-high 19 points off the bench.

– Toronto has lost six straight in Houston.

– Houston scored a season-high 38 points in the third quarter.

Wolves 97 (6-7), Kings 89 (4-10)

Kevin Love was in straight beast mode last night snatching a thus far NBA-best 24 rebounds to go along with 23 points. After missing the first nine games of the season, Kevlar looks to be back in form which should have the rest of the NBA on notice. During last night’s game, the Wolves needed every bit of Love’s effort as the Kings hung around for much of the game and cut it to three in the fourth after an Isaiah Thomas three-point play. In typical Sacramento fashion, they couldn’t capitalize on their momentum and Love hit a seemingly impossible shot as the shot clock expired to give the Wolves an insurmountable six-point lead.

Quick Hitters:

– Sacramento didn’t attempt a free throw until four minutes into the third quarter. Yikes.

– Reke Evans had another strong game with 20 points, 7 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Cheering for that dude.

– Luke Ridnour scored 18 and dished out 5 assists, Andrei Kirilenko scored 14 and Nikola Pekovic scored 16 and grabbed 8 boards.

Pacers 79 (7-8), Lakers 77 (7-8)

An ugly and at times unwatchable game that saw: neither team shoot 40 percent, 38 combined turnovers, 30 combined assists and 155 missed shots was thankfully ended in regulation by Goerge Hill who hit a beautiful shot over Dwight Howard with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. Despite battling the flu, Kobe still dropped 40 and hi s three-pointer with 24 seconds remaning tied the game up. On the next possession, Hill let the clock bleed before manuvering around Pau Gasol and hitting the game-winner over Howard. Are the Lakers going to pick things up?

Quick Hitters:

– Last night’s 40-point showing was the 114th of Kobe’s career.

– Hill finished with 17 points and four blocks.

– At one point, the Pacers fell into a 1-23 slump and played over twelve minutes scoring just one bucket.