After getting John Walled on Tuesday, the Sixers bounced back in a strong way against an Indiana team that brought zero offensive firepower to the table last night. Andre Iguodala (11 points, 9 boards) shut down Danny Granger (7 points, 2-14 FGM-A), while Elton Brand led the way for Philly, scoring 25 and collecting 12 rebounds. Other notable numbers: Jrue Holiday swiped 4 steals, Marreese Speights grabbed 11 boards, and Evan Turner went for 12 points in 23 minutes off the bench.
Up 10 and with five minutes to go in the fourth, the Nets really looked like they had this one. But the ‘Cats stormed back, and D.J. Augustin drained a pair of free throws with 30 seconds to go that put them ahead for good. The Nets had their fair share of opportunities, as including a missed jumper from Travis Outlaw with 10 seconds remaining that would’ve tied it up. After the rebound bounced around the paint, Outlaw got the ball back, and instead of pulling back out or calling a timeout with five or so ticks still remaining, he forced a contested J that didn’t fall in. Why Always Boris Diaw led Charlotte with 24 points, and Gerald Wallace put up an efficient 20 and 11.
Momentum is a terrible thing to waste. Or something like that. The undefeated Hawks (5-0) took down the all-defeated Pistons (0-5), staying close in the first half and then jumping ahead in the second. Josh Smith led the team with 22 points (also: 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal), and Al Horford scored 18 in the win. Ben Gordon (now averaging 20.24 ppg) continued what’s been a great season thus far with 22, but was the only bright spot on an otherwise rough night for Detroit. Their next opportunity for a first W comes tomorrow against Charlotte.
The Magic scored 78 (!) points in the first half against the TWolves, and had this one all but wrapped up by halftime. Dwight Howard put up a monstrous 18 point, 16 rebound, 8 block performance in only 23 minutes, and was also one of seven Orlando guys who scored in double figures. Minnesota is going to struggle a lot this year, but against teams that can dominate down low, it only gets worse. Let’s just move on.
This isn’t a huge early-season storyline (yet), but it’s been pretty damn awesome to have Chris Paul back and healthy. CP3 scored 25, dished 8, and stole 4 in the W, putting in 13 of his 25 in the game’s final three minutes. Between the returns of Paul and Lil Wayne, November is shaping up to be a nice-looking month for Nawlins. Just sayin’. Also, don’t look now, but the Hornets (4-0) haven’t lost yet. On the contrary, the Rockets (0-4) haven’t won yet, which is kinda disappointing, given their talent and potential. Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin both scored 18, while Yao Ming had 15, but there’s only so much one can do when limited to 24 minutes per contest. Luis Scola grabbed 16 boards, and I’m continually satisfied that I scooped him up in my fantasy draft. Keep it up, my dude.
Last night’s first nationally broadcasted competition was a great one, with the Celts and the Bucks battling past regulation and into extra time. Carlos Delfino curled around a screen, found a seam in the paint and put in an open lay-up with 10 seconds left in the fourth to force overtime, but Paul Pierce’s strong OT earned Boston the victory. Pierce drilled two free throws—the first of which gave him 20,000 points—to put his team up four and seal the deal with a minute to go. I’m seriously dumbfounded by how he did that; after nailing the first to give him 20K, the crowd erupted, The Truth showed them love back, and then, through all of the emotion, he somehow focused hard enough to hit a second freebie and give the C’s a two-possession lead. Definitely a cool moment. Andrew Bogut led Milwaukee with 21 points and 13 rebounds, and it’s nice to see him getting back on track after struggling with injuries at the end of ’09-10.
In a battle of West Coast contenders, the Mavs sweated this one out and barely held on. Carmelo Anthony (20 points, 15 boards) found some space against Caron Butler with the clock running down, and put up a jumper that was thiiiis close to falling in and getting the Nugs a W. With Nene, Birdman and Kenyon Martin all out, Gary Forbes got his first NBA start and scored 12. For Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki had a beastly night, dropping 35 points and grabbing 12 boards. They’ve got Denver again on Saturday.
After jumping out to a 41-22 first-quarter lead, the Jazz held on in the second half and upped their record to 2-2. Deron Williams had 22 points and 14 dimes, while Al Jefferson scored 27 and Paul Millsap went for 21. For the Raps (1-3), Andrea Bargnani’s (26 points, 9 boards) statistical domination carried on and Sonny Weems added 23.
Was really hoping this would provide some better competition, but not mad at all at the Clips getting on track. Eric Gordon scored 27, while Eric Bledsoe—filling in for Baron Davis—put in 17 and distributed 8 assists in a quality effort. Kevin Durant (16 points, 6-24 FGM-A) didn’t come with the fire last night, and LAC had a good handle on the game by the beginning of the fourth.
Another great one between West Coast contenders. Tim Duncan dominated the inside with 25 points and 17 boards, while Richard Jefferson made it rain—mostly from the left corner—and had 28 on the night. Plus, the Spurs won in Arizona for the first time since January 2009, which had to feel good.
Monta Ellis has been bringing the pain, and he held it down with 39 points in a hell of a showing. Rudy Gay (35 Points) kept up, but the rest of the Grizz didn’t, and GSW was able to hold on. David Lee had a David Lee-esque 16 point, 15 rebound performance, and Dorell Wright added 25 in the W.
Kobe, apparently already in mid-season form, went for a triple-double (30-10-12), and the Lake Show banged this one home like we’ve come to expect. Pau Gasol had 22 and 11, and Lamar Odom kept his strong play going with 18 points and 8 boards. ‘Reke Evans led the Kings with 21, but it just wasn’t happening for Sacto. Maybe next time?
Performance of the Night: Definitely a few legitimate candidates, but I’m giving this to Superman, if only for the fact that he did it with so few minutes. Dwight Howard: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 blocks, 1 steal, 23 minutes.
Moment of the Night: Gotta be The Truth hitting 20k. Clap for him!