Well, I don’t even know where to begin. I worked a night shift last night, as I did last week, so today will be more of one big recap rather than separate ones for each game. It’s currently 1:47 a.m. and my weak ass wrists are burning. Hate that. Anyway, what a night of NBA basketball it was.
First of all. Indiana taking down the Lakers 118-117 on a tip in from Troy Murphy at the buzzer. Danny Granger had 32 points, Rasho Nesterovic had 16 and 10 and T.J. Ford added 21 and 10 assists. We had this game on one of the big screens and I was watching it throughout since it was, A) the Lakers and B) close throughout. In the fourth it looked as though LA was in control as Granger was called for a flag-1, and Ariza was all over the place making things happen. One way or another, the game got flipped and the next thing I know a guy is coming out of an editing suite and he is yelling, “Pacers win at the buzzer! Pacers win!” I thought the guy was crazy, but unfortunately he was right.
These Pacers have defeated both the Lakers and the Celtics this year. Pretty impressive how they can rise to the occasion against good teams. That being said, the Lakers really didn’t play very well last night, from what I had seen, minus that fourth quarter push that apparently was short lived. They had 16 turnovers and lost despite shooting 51.3 percent from the floor. Kobe had 28, Pau Gasol scored 20 and grabbed 9 boards while Andrew Bynum added 17 points and 9 boards as well.
I know this is a basketball site and this will probably be the first and last time I ever mention the NHL on this space, but Sean Avery being suspended indefinitely by the league after commenting that he is sick of other players falling in love with his sloppy seconds was absolutely hilarious to me. Sloppy seconds = Elisha Cuthbert in this scenario. Who knew the NHL could be so funny?
Back to ball.
35-12. That is how the Wizards won their game against New Jersey last night. A 32-12 third quarter did the Nets in as they lost by 20 to the Wizards, 108-88. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison each scored 22 points with Caron adding 10 assists as well. DeShawn Stevenson scored 21 as well. Devin Harris returned to the planet Earth after his big game in Phoenix to finish with 18 points and only 2 assists as the Nets offense struggled. Vince Carter scored 16 points in the loss while Brook Lopez continued to impress with a 10-point, 9-rebound, 3-blocks line.
I think Andre Iguodala was listening to us in the Post Up yesterday because he sure came out to play last night, scoring 25 points and grabbing 9 rebounds as the Sixers defeated the Bulls in overtime, 103-95 after being smoked by Chicago this past Sunday. This was a win that the Sixers definitely needed. Already struggling, if they had dropped a second straight to Chicago, it would not have been a pretty scene in Philadelphia. In addition to Iguodala, Andre Miller scored 28 points while Elton Brand had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Sixers. Derrick led the Bulls with 24 points while Tyrus Thomas scored 14 points to go with 13 rebounds and 3 blocked shots off of the bench.
After their embarrassing loss to Portland on Sunday that saw their head coach reaming them out postgame, the Pistons got things back on track last night, with a victory over the Spurs, taking them down 89-77 behind a balanced scoring attack that saw Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace score 19 points apiece while Tayshaun Prince added 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Pistons dominated the final quarter, outscoring San Antonio 28-14 as they pulled away and took the win. Tim Duncan had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs while Tony Parker had 18 in the loss.
The Clippers came up just short against the Mavericks last night, dropping a 199-98 decision despite being outscored in the fourth 32-17. Zach Randolph was great for his new team, scoring 27 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the loss as LA lost despite shooting 49% for the game, getting 23 and 9 from Al Thornton and 22 points from Baron Davis. Their bench managed only 7 points while Dallas had only 7 points from their starters outside of Dirk Nowitzki’s 29. Jason Terry scored 26 points off of the bench for the Mavericks and Jose Juan Barea added 15 points and 6 assists in the victory.
With Deron Williams getting back into the swing of things the Utah Jazz defeated the Kings tonight 99-94 at Arco Arena. Continuing the trend of the night with a ridiculous fourth quarter, the Jazz outscored Sacramento 35-28 in the final period to hold them off and move to 12-7 on the season. While Deron Williams and Ronnie Brewer each scored 14 points, Paul Millsap had a strong night with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists and Kyle Korver scored 15 off of the bench. Brad Miller had 18 and 9 for the Kings as Spencer Hawes continued to impress with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Kevin Martin had 22 points off of the bench as he returned from injury, but it wasn’t enough for the Kings to grab the win.
Portland defeated the Knicks 104-97. Russ Bengtson was there and will have some notes for you!
As for the Raptors/Nuggets. Wow. A 39-point loss for Toronto and a game where the Nuggets shot 60% from the floor. Chauncey had 24 points and 14 assists and that sore elbow didn’t stop Melo from dropping in 23 points on the night while Nene had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Always great to see Nene out there. Not great to see the Raptors just fall apart like this. Everyone around me was calling for Mitchell’s head, but I’ve got to say that a loss like last night was not on the coach. Guys did not come out ready to play. At all. It was ugly. Bad. Disheartening. Sad. It also made me realize it is impossible to be around a team day in and day out (at least while they are home), and not develop an attachment to them.
It was the reaction of the players after the game that floored me. Yes, it was an absolutely horrendous loss, but it is only the beginning of December. It is still early. 9-8 is not the end of the world and yet these guys were looking like they’d just been eliminated from the playoffs. I’m happy to see that they care. I was very happy to hear Jermaine O’Neal say that they get paid a hell of a lot of money to play this game and if they think they can turn it off and on they are fooling themselves. That is one guy who gets it and I’m happy he’s on the Raptors.
Friday against Utah will be interesting. Lots on the line in that one.
Fill me in on what I missed last night. I tried to get you the most important info, but tell me the stuff I missed and what I need to know. Thanks!