by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
December hasn’t treated Philly well thus far and fans must hope that last night’s win over the Pistons gets them back on the right track. The backcourt duo of Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday came up huge for the Sixers and propelled them to victory. Turner was close to a triple-double with 18 points, 11 boards and 7 assists while Holiday finished with 25, 8 dimes and 5 boards. Despite the strong guard play from the Sixers, the Pistons still had a chance to tie it up late in the game but couldn’t capitalize. With Detroit trailing by three, Holiday stepped to the line with a chance to stretch the lead to five, instead, he missed both. On the next possession, Greg Monroe missed a tip-in off a missed shot and Holiday drilled a 19-footer to make up for his missed freebies and stretch the lead back to five with 40 seconds remaining. From there, the Sixers put it away with free throws.
— The Pistons shot under 40 percent from the field while the Sixers shot 53 percent.
— Has Jrue Holiday played himself into an All-Star spot this season?
— Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight each finished with 22 points.
Steph Curry was absolutely dominant against his hometown Bobcats and led the Warriors to an easy dub as they continue to play well heading into the dog days of the regular season. Curry finished with 27 points, 7 assists and 7 boards and absolutely killed it in the third quarter. With his five-month-old daughter and wife in the stands, Curry hit three three-pointers and went off for 15 points in the quarter. Golden State led wire-to-wire and were up by as many as 21 in the game to improve to 4-0 on their current east coast stretch.
— David Lee had another strong game with 25 points and 11 boards.
— Kemba scored 24 and MKG chipped in with 17.
— The Bobcats team defense is horrible. They have given up at least 100 points in six straight games and in nine of the last 10.
The Hawks were one of the NBA’s hottest teams coming into last night’s contest with the struggling Heat. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade made sure that the Hawks understood that the team to beat in the East this season still resides in South Beach. James (27) and Wade (26) combined for 53 points and the Heat shot 50 percent from the field as a team–the first team to shoot over 50 percent against the Hawks this season. The two teams were neck-and-neck throughout the first half but the Heat were able to pull away in the third quarter. The Hawks were clinging to a two-point lead in the third but the Heat reeled off a 17-4 run to turn that two-point deficit into an 11-point lead with a minute and half remaining in the third quarter. In the fourth, Joel Anthony blocked a shot that turned into a fast break with LeBron throwing down a huge alley-oop that sucked the life out of the Hawks and allowed the Heat to cruise to a victory.
— Josh Smith scored 22 points and Al Horford scored 20 and grabbed 11 boards.
— The two teams were virtually equal stat-wise except for the huge discrepancy in shooting percentage. The Heat shot 58 percent while the Hawks shot 42 percent.
— Miami is now 8-0 when holding opponents under 100 points.
On the same day Tony Parker compared his early career struggles to Jeremy Lin’s growing pains, the two point guards went head-to-head and put on quite the show during an overtime thriller in Houston. Parker tallied the first triple-double of his career, going for 27 points, 12 boards and 12 dimes while Lin scored 38 and dished out 7 assists with James Harden looking on from the sideline with a sprained ankle. Late in the fourth, a three by Manu Ginobili–who finished with 22–put the Spurs up by two but Omer Asik responded with a jumper to tie it up with 37 seconds to go. On the next possession, Parker missed a shot to give the Rockets a chance to end it in regulation. With the rock in Lin’s hands, Danny Green was on him like white on rice and forced a 24-second violation. The Spurs wound up with another shot but Tim Duncan’s shot was blocked by Carlos Delfino and the game went to overtime. In OT, the Spurs took over, outscoring the Rockets 14-6 and after a three-pointer from Neal was followed by a three-point play from Ginobili, this one was a wrap.
— Gary Neal had a career-high 29 points and went 7-10 from beyond the arc.
— Toney Douglas scored 17 points.
— Duncan finished with a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.
— Omer Asik scored 21 and grabbed 10 boards and Chandler Parsons chipped in with 20.
The Mavs blew this one open early by going on a 31-3 run in the first half and cruised to their 17th straight regular season win over Sacramento. O.J. Mayo led the way with 19 points to lead the Mavericks to their third straight dub and push them over .500 over for the first time since November 21. This one was an ass-kicking from start to finish.
— Dirk Nowitzki received the Naismith Legacy Award at the half. The award goes to players or coaches who further the values of the sport. Nowitzki is the first international player to receive the award.
— Francisco Garcia and Boogie Cousins each scored 25.
— Derek Fisher got the start and scored 11 points. Darren Collison came off the bench to score 15.
Andrea Bargnani went down, Kyle Lowry went down, Amir Johnson was tossed and to add insult to injury, the Raptors lost by 18 in Portland. LaMarcus Aldridge took full advantage of a depleted Raptors roster and scored 30 points while grabbing 12 boards and the Blazers led by as many as 18 in the second half. Portland went up 44-40 at the half and came out in the second half strong with a 9-0 run that pushed the lead to 12 midway through the third quarter. From there, the Raptors didn’t have a chance from there with three of their better players stuck on the bench due to injury or ejection.
— The Blazers were without Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews who sat with injuries. Last night was the first game Matthews has missed during his career.
— DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 20 points.
— J.J. Hickson finished with a 16-12 double-double.