by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
Well it looks like it’s a wrap for the Sixers this season as the players have given up on coach Doug Collins. The Magic, who had lost ten straight road games, came into Philly last night and routed the Sixers. Orlando led by as many as 21 and opened the fourth quarter on a 17-3 run to bury their opponent. Nic Vucevic led the Magic with 12 points and 19 boards, Arron Afflalo scored 16 and E’twaun Moore had a career-high 10 dimes. Evan Turner was the only Philadelphia starter to score in double figures as he finished with 10 points and 8 boards.
The story in this one is obviously the fight that broke out…which can be viewed below:
Okay, now that that’s out of the way…Indiana is playing great basketball right now and won their fifth straight game by double figures. Steph Curry scored 38 points on 14-20 shooting but the Pacers were able to weather that storm thanks to a balanced attack. Paul George scored 21 points and grabbed 11 boards, David West scored 28 and grabbed 7 boards, Roy Hibbert scored 13 nad grabbed 9 boards before being tossed and George Hill chipped in with 23 and 7 dimes to hold off the Dubs. In the third quarter, the Pacers went on a game deciding 13-0 run led by West and Hibbert that put Indy up 14. The Warriors never got closer than six the rest of the way.
Is it just me or does it seem like LeBron posts what would be another player’s career-best stat line twice a week? Last night, LeBron went for 40 points, a career-high 16 dimes, 8 boards, 2 steals and 1 block in 47 minutes to lead Miami to a 12th straight win. Dwyane Wade was no slouch either as he finished with a season-high 39 points, 8 boards and 7 dimes. In the fourth, Marcus Thornton (36 points) took over for the Kings and nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to pull Sacramento within two. Dwyane Wade missed two free throws and after a Sacramento miss, DeMarcus Cousins (24 points, 15 boards, 5 assists) outmuscled Chris Bosh (15 points, 8 boards) for the rebound and put it back in to force the first overtime. In overtime, the two teams played to a stalwart and Bosh missed a jumper that would have won the game. In the second overtime, the Heat forced their hand and went on an 11-3 run to put the Kings away for good. Tyreke Evans finished with 26 points and Ray Allen scored 21. Few more LeBron related bits and pieces (thanks to @tomhaberstroh):
— His stat line of 40 points, 16 dimes and 8 rebounds was the first time that has been accomplished since 1986.
— LeBron shot 64.06 percent for the month of February. The last player to shoot at least 64 percent during a calendar month? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in ’83.
The Bulls are in a slump and hit rock bottom last night with a loss to the Cavs, who were without Kyrie Irving due to a knee injury. Chicago has now lost seven of its last ten games. Shaun Livingston filled in for Irving and nailed a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter that gave Cleveland a four-point lead going into the fourth. The Cavs used that momentum and built their lead to nine points but the Bulls cut the lead to one behind eight straight points from Carlos Boozer. Down the stretch, Dion Waiters and Luke Walton both hit big shots that created space for Cleveland and Walton came up with the game-clinching steal with 15 seconds left. Waiters finished with 25 points on 10-16 shooting and Livingston scored 15. Boozer finished with 27 points and Luol Deng had 26 points, 7 boards and 5 dimes.
The Nets nearly let this one slip away after the Hornets chipped away at BK’s 22-point lead. But Deron Williams scored 11 straight points for Brooklyn down the stretch to lead his team over the Hornets. Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets in points (20), rebounds (8), assists (7) and steals (3). Brook Lopez scored 20 points and grabbed 7 boards.
Six Mavericks players scored in double figures but went cold down the stretch, missing eight of its last nine shots, to allow the Bucks to come away with the victory. With the game tied at 88, the Mavs had four different chances to score after grabbing offensive rebounds but couldn’t find the bottom of the basket. The Bucks went on to finish the game on a 7-2 run to snap a three-game losing streak. Monta Ellis scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, handed out 9 assists and had 6 steals to lead Milwaukee. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 21 points and 20 boards–his first 20-20 game in nearly a decade. Dallas shot 1-17 from three for the game.
An ugly game that saw neither team shoot above 40 percent went to overtime where the Suns pulled it off thanks to a crunch time effort from Marcin Gortat. Geez, man….this game was so ugly, I’m not even going to get into it. Basically, it’s what you’d expect from two teams that came in a combined 34 games under .500.
Blake Griffin scored 24 points–seemingly all on dunks–to lead the Clips to an easy win over the Bobcats. The Clippers ran away with the game with a 21-6 run that extended from the end of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth that made the score 91-63 in favor of the Clips. From there, Los Angeles cruised to the end. Lob City had a season-high 34 assists while the Bobcats had just 17. Chris Paul finished with 13 dimes and Matt Barnes scored 17 off the bench. Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 24 points.