by Leo Sepkowitz | @LSepkowitzSLAM

Cavaliers 120, Lakers 118

This game was close throughout, but Cleveland grabbed a nine-point lead with 2:40 remaining and the Lakers couldn’t make up the deficit in time. 

The Cavs were led by newcomer Luol Deng’s 27. He knocked down 9/15 shots overall and all 5 of his three-point tries. Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao each double-doubled, and combined for 33 points and 31 boards in the W. Kyrie Irving hit 5/12 shots for 13 points. 

LA got some big individual efforts, but bad work defensively and on the glass did them in (that will usually do teams in). Nick Young led all scorers with 28 points off the bench (10/10 FT), Jodie Meeks added 26 (6 threes), Pau Gasol went for 20 & 12 and Kendall Marshall continued his resurgence with 16 more assists. He’s posted 15, 17 and now 16 dimes in the Lakers’ three home games so far this month.

Each team hit 13 threes, but Cleveland launched just 17 (insane 76.5 percent) compared to the Lakers’ 34 attempts.

Knicks 98, Bobcats 108

The Bobcats led early and often last night, and were able to hold off a Knicks comeback attempt midway through the second half. 

Al Jefferson was dominant for Charlotte, hitting 14/20 shots for 35 points to go along with 8 boards and a block. Kemba Walker dropped 25 with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, and Gerald Henderson kicked in 17. In all, the ‘Cats hit nearly 51 percent of their shots and piled up 21 assists with just 5 turnovers. 

Melo scored 20 for the Knicks but needed 22 shots to get there. On the bright side, Amar’e Stoudemire continued his solid run with 17 points (6/10) in 22 minutes and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 in the loss. JR Smith picked up a Did Not Play, Woodson’s Decision. 

Kings 92, Pacers 116

The Kings managed to stay in this game for the majority of three quarters, but Indy pulled away early in the fourth. 

Paul George led Indiana with 31 points on 10/18 shooting. He hit 4 threes and knocked down 7/8 attempts from the stripe. David West added 16 and 8, and Lance Stephenson went for 13, 5 and 5. The Pacers shot 55 percent from the field in the win.

Sacramento got 31 and 13 from DeMarcus Cousins, but not much from anybody else. Rudy Gay shot 6/14 for 12 points, and nobody else managed 10 points. Still, they scored 56 points in the paint against one of the League’s premier defenses and that alone is something of a win. 

Thunder 87, Grizzlies 90

This game was close throughout, though the Grizz jumped ahead after a big third quarter. Memphis held a four-point advantage with 10 seconds left, but a Serge Ibaka trey pulled the Thunder within one in the waning seconds.

Courtney Lee responded with a pair of clutch free throws, and a Reggie Jackson prayer went unanswered at the buzzer, sealing the win for the home squad. 

Lee had a huge night in his fourth game as a member of the Grizzlies, finishing with 24 points (9/15) and 5 boards. Zach Randolph was dominant on the glass, snatching 13 rebounds while scoring 23 points (9/12 free throws). Mike Conley added a solid 19 and 7 in 37 minutes. 

Kevin Durant dropped a game-high 37 for the Thunder, but it evidently wasn’t enough.  Jackson added 17 (with 3 assists and 7 turnovers), and Ibaka made only 5/13 shots for 11 points, though he did grab 9 rebounds and block 4 shots. 

Bonus: Vintage Show Of The Day

This season, I’ll be posting a semi-random highlight video of a former baller at the bottom of my Post Ups. Enjoy comical elevation from a 5-7 guy.