by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
The Celtics won their fifth straight last night behind a season-high 27 points and 10 boards from KG. The C’s trailed by ten in the fourth quarter but Garnett stepped up and scored 11 points keep the Celtics undefeated since they lost Rondo for the season. The Truth chipped in with 12 points and 11 boards, Courtney Lee scored 15 and Avery Bradley scored 11. Rudy Gay scored 25 and grabbed 12 boards, Amir Johnson scored 16 and grabbed 12 rebounds and Kyle Lowry finished with 17 points, 8 dimes and 7 boards.
Playing their third game in as many nights, the Pacers could have easily mailed this one in on the road in Philly. Instead, Indiana used their stout defense to hold the Sixers to under 70 points in a blowout win. Four different Pacers scored in double figures including Roy Hibbert who finished with 18 points, 14 boards and 5 blocks. Paul George, David West and George Hill each scored 15. The Pacers led 59-48 after three and continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, outscoring the home team 29-20 in the final quarter to put the Sixers away for good. Jrue Holiday scored 19 points on 7-22 shooting and had more turnovers than assists for the second time in three games.
After winning five-straight games, the Knicks laid an egg in D.C. and allowed the Wizards to shoot over 50 percent in a losing effort. The Knicks held a three point lead heading into the fourth but the Wizards kicked off the final quarter with a John Wall (21 points, 9 assists, 5 boards, 6 turnovers) four-point play and steamrolled the Knicks the rest of the way, outscoring them 36-23 in the quarter to run away with the win. The win was the first over the Knicks in ten tries. Martell Webster finished with 19 points and Nene had a 13-10 double-double. Melo led the Knicks with 31 points on 10-23 shooting while STAT scored 19 off the bench.
A beat up Clippers team got a nice break when they played an even more beat up Magic team last night in Orlando. Los Angeles went on a 16-2 run triggered by Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler early in the second half and led the rest of the game. Bledsoe scored a career-high 27 points, grabbed 6 boards and came away with 6 steals and DeAndre Jordan had another big night with 13 points and 14 board. Nik Vucevic scored 15 points and grabbed 14 boards and Jameer Nelson scored 18 in a losing effort.
Here’s an interesting stat: since the Cavs-Grizzlies trade, the Cavs are 5-2 while the Grizzlies are 3-4. DAMNIT, MEMPHIS, WHY DID YOU MAKE THESE MOVES!! Anyway, the Cavs were led by Kyrie Irving’s game-high 22 points and Marreese Speights’ had 11 points and 10 boards in their blowout win over the Bobcats.
Jeff Teague scored 22 and dished out a season-high 13 assists and Josh Smith scored 19 and added 11 boards, 6 dimes and 3 blocks as the Hawks beat the Grizzlies. Atlanta jumped out to a 19-point lead in the second half while Memphis missed their first 13 shots in the third quarter before Zach Randolph finally broke the field goal drought with a 22-foot jumper. By then, it was too late as the Hawks had already sealed the deal. Al Horford scored 17 and grabbed 11 boards. Z-Bo led the Grizz with 20 points and 7 boards.
Here is the best play of the season so far and the one that defines the Heat over the past two and a half seasons:
The Pistons led by 13 in the second quarter but the Nets cut the lead to six at the half and held Detroit to just 17 points in the fourth quarter. The Nets pulled out the win in the waning moments of the game and it was the first time the Nets had beaten the Pistons in 10 tries on the road. Brooklyn was up 89-88 with 20 seconds remaining when Brook Lopez backed Greg Monroe down in the post and hit a tough spinning layup to put the Nets up three with 17.8 seconds left. Greg Monroe came back with a layup of his own to cut the lead to one with 10 seconds left but Joe Johnson hit two free throws to ice the game. Lopez finished with 17 points and Monroe scored 23 and grabbed 10 boards. Deron Williams notched his 5,000th career assist. Salute.
Behind 19 points, 12 dimes and 4 steals from Greivis Vasquez, the Hornets snapped their four-game losing streak with a win over the Suns. New Orleans was down by one with seven minutes left in the third quarter but went on a 13-2 run and took a seven-point lead into the fourth. Phoenix eventually cut the lead to two midway through the second but a Ryan Anderson 3-pointer and Robin Lopez layup pushed the lead back to seven to put the game away. Anderson finished with 14 points off the bench and Al-Farouq Aminu scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Marcin Gortat scored 14 points and grabbed 7 boards.
The Warriors just aren’t clicking right now and were blown out by the Thunder last night. OKC led by as many as 26 but the Warriors used a 30-point third quarter to cut the lead to eleven heading into the fourth. The Thunder flew out of the gates in the final quarter and used a 16-4 run to push the lead back to 23. From then on, the reserves played out the rest of the game. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 25 and Russ Westbrook finished with 22 points and 5 assists. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes led the Warriors with 19 apiece.
Did you know that Vince Carter has hit the second most game-winners since 2003? Has absolutely nothing to do with this game, but I read that yesterday and was surprised. Anyway, Carter scored 17 points off the bench and O.J. Mayo led the way with 28 points and 5 assists in the win. Down 97-94 with 51 seconds left, Wes Matthews missed a three-pointer that would have tied the game and the Mavs ended the fourth on an 8-5 run to get the win. Texas native LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 27 points and 10 boards.
San Antonio–playing sans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili–kicked off their nine-game road trip with a nice win over the T’Wolves. Danny Green hit a career-high eight 3-pointers and finished with 28 points. The game went back and forth during the first three and a half quarters but the Spurs finally wore down the T’Wolves and went on an 11-2 run (Green scored all 11 points). Minnesota fought back and cut the deficit to three but the Spurs went on an 8-o run to go up by 11 with 1:21 left to win their 11th straight game. Tony Parker finished with 31 points and 8 dimes and Kawhi Leonard finished with 19 points and 10 boards. Nikola Pekovic finished with 21 points and 10 boards and Ricky Rubio had 11 dimes.
The Bucks were worn down on their second night of a back-to-back and stood no chance against Utah’s tough frontcourt after losing Larry Sanders to an injury. Al Jefferson scored 19 points and grabbed 11 boards, Paul Millsap finished with 19 and 6 boards and Enes Kanter came off the bench to score 17 points, grab 9 boards and block a career-high 5 shots. The Jazz scored 56 points in the paint and outrebounded Utah 50-37. Milwaukee took an early 12-point lead but a 21-4 second quarter run anchored by Utah’s bench gave the Jazz a 12-point lead with two minutes to go in the first half. From there, the Jazz ran away with the game, pushing their lead to as many as 16 while beating the Jazz up inside. Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova each scored 17 for Milwaukee.