Tuesday night saw the Lakers and Thunder snag road wins, Damian Lillard deliver in the clutch and more.
Blazers 119, Cavaliers 116
Lillard certainly has a place in the MVP discussion. Last night, his Blazers played a close game in Cleveland. The two teams were tied at 116 in the waning moments before Illard drilled a three with under a tick remaining. Kyrie Irving couldn’t answer with a miracle game-tying try, and Portland advanced to a remarkable 22-4.
Lillard led perhaps the West’s finest team with 36 points (11/23, 8/12 triples) and 10 dimes. He added 8 boards and a block. LaMarcus Aldridge—an MVP candidate in his own right—added 26 and 15 as he seems to do nightly. Wes Matthews kicked in 19.
Cleveland got 25 from each of Kyrie and Dion Waiters while Andrew Bynum posted a strong 13 and 9 in 26 minutes.
Kings 87, Bobcats 95
Boogie Cousins was at it again last night, dropping 30 and 17 on the ‘Cats. He got to the line 15 times and converted on 12 free throws while adding 6 assists and 3 steals, but it wasn’t enough. Isaiah Thomas and Rudy Gay combined to shoot just 9/29 in the loss. Gay left early with right knee soreness and didn’t return.
Charlotte’s high-man was Kemba Walker with 24. He hit 7/13 shots from the floor and 6/7 from the stripe. Gerald Henderson dropped in 20 and Ramon Sessions added 16 off the bench in the W.
Lakers 96, Grizzlies 92
This game was tied at 67 entering the fourth quarter, but the Lakers opened up the final period on 12-4 run to create some separation. A buzzer-beating three by Jon Leuer made the final look a little bit closer than it really was.
Kobe played 33 minutes and finished with 21 points on 9/18 shooting. He tweaked his left knee at one point, but stayed in the game. Pau Gasol scored 21 as well, and added 9 boards and a trio of rejections. Swaggy P dropped 18 off the bench.
Zach Randolph posted 18 and 16 for the Grizz (though he needed 22 shots to get there). Tony Allen added 16 and 7 and Leuer finished with 13.
Thunder 105, Nuggets 93
OKC won each quarter of Tuesday night’s game in Denver, steadily turning this into a mini-blowout late. Guess which guys led the Thunder attack…
KD dropped 30 with 6 boards, Russell Westbrook narrowly missed a triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 8 dimes (his 8 turnovers had him closing in on a quadruple-double, too) and Serge Ibaka chipped in 17 and 10.
Denver got solid efforts from a pair of starters—20 and 14 from JJ Hickson and 17 and 13 from Ty Lawson—but it wasn’t enough. The Nuggets shot only 41.4 percent from the floor (5/19 from deep).
Pelicans 93, Warriors 104
Golden State led by 33 after three quarters last night. Stephen Curry (28 and 12) and David Lee (21 and 17) posted double-doubles in the blowout win. Andre Iguodala returned to the lineup from his hamstring injury, but struggled in 17 minutes. Still, his presence will be huge for a team that has really only been treading water this season.
Ryan Anderson scored a team-high 21 for the Pelicans. NOLA shot under 38 percent overall—Eric Gordon (1/9), Austin Rivers (4/12) and Jrue Holiday (4/9) all struggled, while Tyreke Evans sat out with a sprained ankle.
Bonus: Vintage Show Of The Day
This season, I’ll be posting a semi-random highlight video of a former baller at the bottom of my Post Ups. Today, Pistol Pete Maravich gets the honor—and in rare form. I couldn’t resist posting two Maravich videos.
The first video is a ‘simple’ Top 10 highlight reel—Nos. 9-1 are truly nasty (not totally sure how No. 10 made the cut even after re-watching roughly 825 times). The second is an absolute gem: a HORSE game from—I believe—1978 featuring Pistol Pete against the Iceman. I think Bob McAdoo and other players were involved in the game at some point, too (check out some more clips from the game here), but I’m partial to Gervin, so his section gets the nod.