by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
Ben Gordon was red hot in the second half, hitting eight three-pointers and his three at the end of the third gave the Bobcats a 75-70 lead and all momentum. Charlotte opened up the fourth with a 12-0 run with MKG and Gordon providing all the scoring. With just over five minutes left in the fourth, Charlotte held a commanding 18-point lead and were on pace to even their season record at .500. But the Blazers stormed back behind big second halves from Dame Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. Lillard scored 16 points after the break and Aldridge was huge down low, finishing the game with 25 points and 13 boards. Portland kept chipping away and after Luke Babbitt hit a clutch three with 22 seconds remaining, it was a tie ball game. On the next possession, Kemba had a good look at a game winner but missed and the game went to overtime. The ‘Cats were shellshocked and the Blazers continued rolling, never trailing during free basketball and notched a tough road win against the improved Bobcats.
— Walker finished with 22 points and 7 assists (17 and 5 in the first half). Gordon finished with 29.
— Wes Matthews finished with 19, 7 boards and 3 assists. Nicolas Batum scored 17, grabbed 13 boards and dished out 7 assists.
— Portland destroyed Charlotte on the boards, outrebounding them 48-28.
The Cavs road struggles continued last night in Detroit and they are now 2-10 away from their home court on the season. The Pistons got off to a hot start, scoring a season-high 30 points in the first quarter including seven straight from Kyle Singler (who has been playing well in his delayed rookie year ). Detroit closed the quarter with a 13-point lead and proceeded to lead by double-digits until midway through the fourth. The game was ugly all around with the Cavs shooting an abysmal 33.7 percent from the field and 15 percent from three.
— Cleveland was shorthanded, missing both Kyrie and Dion Waiters.
— Anderson Varejao finished with 17 points and 18 boards. He now has 15+ boards in nine straight games.
— The Pistons blocked 13 total shots, including five from Jason Maxiell.
— Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 17 while Singler and Tayshaun Prince chipped in with 15 each.
After a promising start, the Bucks have come down to earth and are starting to struggle. If this keeps up, I have a feeling Scott Skiles will be on his way out, it doesn’t seem like the players respond to his coaching tactics. Last night, the Bucks committed 16 turnovers–which the Hornets turned into 27 points–while shooting 38 percent from the field. New Orleans, on the other hand, shot 50 percent from the field and outscored the Bucks 48-34 in the paint. The Hornets trailed by two with eight minutes left in the third quarter when they hit their groove. After an Al-Farouq Aminu dunk, Robin Lopez scored the next 11 points of the game to give New Orleans a 71-60 lead after three. In the fourth, the Hornets shut down the Bucks, holding them to 14 points while scoring 25 themselves.
— Lopez finished with 21 points on 80 percent shooting. Ryan Anderson scored 22 and grabbed 7 boards.
— Jennings finished with 25 (on 23 shots) while Monta Ellis scored 17 and handed out 6 assists. Larry Sanders had 7 swats.
Behind 19 points from Corey Brewer, the Nuggets put away the Raptors in a game that was much closer than it should have been. The Nuggets were up by 17 midway through the fourth after a Kenneth Faried dunk but the Raptors stormed back. Toronto responded with an 11-0 run of their own to make it a six-point game. Toronto continued to keep it close and a three-pointer by Terrence Ross, followed by free throws from Kyle Lowry, made it a 105-104 game. Ty Lawson finally answered back with a three of his own and the Raptors missed their next three shots to fall behind 110-104. Lowry made it interesting by hitting a three with 14 seconds left. After two free throws from Iguodala, Amir Johnson hit another three with eight seconds to go to make it a two-point game. Faried hit one of two free throws on the other end but a three at the buzzer by DeMar DeRozan missed, giving the Nuggets a win and the Raptors another gut-wrenching loss.
— Lowry led the Raptors with 24 points and 7 assists. Hopefully he’s back to pre-injury form.
— Six Nuggets players finished in double-digits. Faried finished with 18 and 10, Kostas Koufous with 10 and 10, Lawosn with 16 and McGee with 17 off the bench.
— DeRozan scored 18 and Andrea Bargnani chipped in with 23.
Down ten in the fourth, the Clippers needed their leader to step up after a quiet first three quarters. And step up he did. Trailing 96-95, Paul hit a layup to complete the double-digit comeback and give the Clippers a 97-96 lead. On the next possession, former Clipper Mo Williams hit a desperation three with the shot clock winding down to give the Jazz the lead. Chauncey Billups drew a foul on a three-point attempt and went on to hit two out of three to tie the game at 99 with a minute and change to play. With 39 seconds to play and the game tied, CP3 came off a high pick-and-roll and hit a high-arching layup over Paul Millsap to give the Clippers the go-ahead bucket. On the next possession, Millsap had a chance to re-gain the lead but DeAndre Jordan came out of nowhere to block his shot. From there, the Clippers hit their free throws and handed Utah their first home loss since April.
— Blake Griffin finished with 30 and 11 boards which hopefully will help snap him out his early season funk.
— Paul finished with 14 and 9 dimes.
— Mo Williams led the Jazz with 20 points and 12 dimes.
The Magic are lovin’ their time out on the west coast and have now won two straight after last night’s victory in the Bay. Glen Davis and Arron Afllalo (who has been killing as of late) each scored 24 and the Magic outscored the Warriors 33-25 in the fourth quarter to get their second win in as many nights. Orlando went on a 10-2 run, highlighted by five points from JJ Redick, early in the fourth to give themselves an 82-74 lead. Golden State had no answer and the Magic continued to pour it on, eventually building a 14-point lead to put the game out of reach.
— Steph Curry scored 25, dropped 11 dimes and had 2 steals.
— The Warriors have a tough road stretch coming up playing their 7 games in the Eastern Standard Timezone.
— Redick finished with 22 off the bench.
— It’s fun seeing the Magic playing well.