by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
LeBron James has etched his name into the record books once again. After last night’s performance, LeBron became the first player in NBA history to score 30 points and shoot at least 60 percent in six straight games. James finished with an even 30 on 11-15 shooting. Over the last six games, James has hit a ridiculous 70 of 96 shots and is putting together one of the most impressive individual NBA seasons ever. With the game tied up at 99, LeBron drove to the basket and yammed right on Sasha Pavlocic. But Wes Matthews came right back and hit a three to give Portland their final lead of the game. The Heat scored the next 14 points to secure their sixth straight win. Chris Bosh scored 32 points and grabbed 11 boards and Dwyane Wade finished with 24 points, 9 boards and 7 dimes. Dame Lillard shot 10-18 and scored 33 points, Wes Matthews dropped 20 and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points but Portland got nothing from their bench which has been the case the whole season.
Marc Gasol scored 24 points and grabbed 12 boards, Mike Conley scored 22 and dished out 7 assists and Tony Allen scored a career-high 19 points as the Grizzlies won their third-straight game heading into the All-Star weekend. Memphis took an 84-73 lead into the fourth quarter but the Kings fought back and cut the deficit to six with 4:19 left. The Grizzlies didn’t face any sort of lapse down the stretch and hit their free throws to put the game on ice. DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points, grabbed 7 boards and had 5 steals and ‘Reke Evans scored 20 and grabbed 7 boards.
Oklahoma City committed 20 turnovers and the Jazz took full advantage and built a 21-point lead in a rare blowout win over the Thunder. The Jazz bench outscored the Thunder’s 49-25. Utah led by seven heading into the fourth quarter and went on a quick 6-0 run to blow the game open and cruise to the finish. Al Jefferson scored 23 and grabbed 7 boards and frontcourt mate Paul Millsap finished with 18 points, 10 boards and 6 dimes. Kevin Durant scored 33 points, grabbed 6 boards, dropped 6 dimes and had 4 steals. Russ Westbrook finished with 22 points, 5 dimes and 7 turnovers.
Kobe Bryant shot 1-8 and only scored 4 points but the Lakers still managed to win a close one against the Suns behind Dwight Howard’s 19 points and 18 boards. Kobe didn’t attempt a single shot in the first half and didn’t score his first basket until there was 2:13 left to play. He took this “distributor” role to a whole new level and passed up shots in the first half while doling out eight dimes. The Lakers trailed by six early in the fourth quarter but reclaimed the lead with 8:40 left after a Jodie Meeks layup. The Lakers were able to hold onto the lead the rest of the way and won their first game at home after their extended Grammy road trip. Mike Beasley scored 18 off the bench for Phoenix.
James Harden scored 27 points and grabbed 7 boards while battling a bothersome knee and Chandler Parsons came through with 21 and 9 assists to lead the Rockets to a road win over Golden State. The Warriors have been poor defensively over the last week and gave up 57 points in the first half and fell behind by 11 heading into the fourth quarter. Golden State cut the deficit to six early in the fourth quarter but Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris each hit 3-pointers to give the Rockets a 107-95 lead with 6:08 remaining. Steph Curry finished with 27 points, 5 boards and 6 assists in the loss.