by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
After last night’s 16-point drubbing of the Wizards, the Bobcats are now 3-3 and have won back-to-back games for the first time since the last game of the ’10-’11 season and the first game of last season. Charlotte won convincingly, leading by 13 at the half and never letting the Wizards get within seven during the last two quarters. Ramon Sessions stepped in for Ben Gordon, who missed the game due to a family issue, off the bench and led Charlotte with 21 points. Charlotte held the Wizards to a pitiful 29.8 percent shooting and outscored them 46-24 in the paint. The Wizards are just plain awful right now and only had one player (Trevor Ariza) score in double-digits.
— MKG followed up his career best Saturday night with another strong showing of 15 points and 8 boards.
— Kemba Walker shot 5-13 for 17 points.
— The Bobcats scored 19 points off of 17 D.C. turnovers.
The Magic didn’t let the Knicks walk all over them for their fifth straight win to start the season. Orlando played the Knicks tough in front of their home crowd, but New York’s defense held Orlando to a 13-point fourth quarter to start the season 5-0 for the first time since ’93-’94. The Knicks built a ten-point lead early in the second quarter ater Ray Felton, Steve Novak and J.R. Smith all hit three’s. The Magic then got hot, scoring 30 in the second to take a four-point lead into the intermission. The two teams continued to battle throughout the second half and the game remained tight until Jason Kidd nailed a three-pointer with under nine minutes to go in the fourth to give the Knicks a two-point lead. New York only gave up nine more points in the quarter and were able to pull away for the win.
— Carmelo Anthony finished with a game-high 25 points and 8 boards.
— The Knicks haven’t allowed 40 points in a second half this season.
— New York forced 20 turnovers while only giving the ball away nine times themselves.
— J.R. Smith had a big third quarter, going 5-5 with a three for 12 points. He finished with 21 overall.
One night after playing an exhausting triple overtime game against the Jazz, the Raptors traveled to Indiana and played another tight game but this time walked off the hardwood victorious. The win was even more remarkable considering how poorly Toronto played in the second half. During the third and fourth quarters, T.Dot shot 6-33 (18.2 percent), turned the ball over seven times and only scored 28 points. Basically, this game turned into a contest to see who could suck a little bit less and still win. The Pacers jumped out to a 13-4 lead but quickly went cold and were outscored 40-17 over the next 18 minutes as the Raptors built a 14-point lead. In the fourth, George Hill did all he could to overcome the deficit and lead the Pacers to victory, scoring eight points during a 13-3 rally that made the score 74-72 in favor of Toronto with a minute to go. After Amir Johnson bricked a three with 40 seconds left, the Pacers had four chances to win or tie the game but missed all of their shots to lose and fall to 3-5 on the year.
— DeMar DeRozan, who played a combined 100 minutes over two nights, led the scoring charge with 15.
— Jose Calderon had a triple-double with 13 points, 10 boards and 10 assists.
— Hill led all scorers with 18 but shot 8-20.
— Paul George scored 12 points on 3-14 shooting and really has not stepped up the way many expected he would with Granger out.
Brooklyn withstood a career night from Anderson Varejao (35 points, 18 boards) and cruised to an easy 13-point victory. BK outscored the visiting Cavs 35-12 in the second quarter thanks to a 24-6 run led by the bench to take a 22-point lead into the half. Though Cleveland dominated the third quarter and got a 34-point, 8-assist effort from Kyrie Irving, the lead was never really challenged and the Nets got a big second half from Joe Johnson to make for an easy night’s work. The three Nets stars played like stars; Deron Williams scored 26 and dropped 10 dimes, Joe Johnson scored 25 and dished out 6 assists while Brook Lopez scored 23 and grabbed 7 boards.
— Brooklyn shot 54.5 percent from the field.
— Kyrie went 14-14 from the stripe.
— Brooklyn outscored Cleveland 23-8 on fast break points which was only the huge stat discrepancy of the game.
— Brooklyn’s bench outplayed Cleveland’s, outscoring them 28-6.
Playing the Kings seems to be the remedy for a losing-streak and Portland ended their four-game skid last night by beating up on Sacramento. Led by Dame Lillard’s 22 points (5-6 from three) and 9 assists, all five Portland starters scored in double-figures. After getting within four, Sacramento broke down and allowed the Blazers to go on a 19-2 run over a five minute span in the third quarter. Portland outscored the Kings 28-16 in the third en route to a sixteen point lead which they eventually pushed to 22 early in the fourth making for an anti-climactic finish, just what the Blazers needed.
— Free Boogie Cousins.
— The Kings shot 9 percent from three.
— LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points, J.J. Hickson finished with 10 and 13 boards, Nicolas Batum scored 15, grabeed 7 boards, dished out 5 assists and tallied 3 steals, Wes Matthews scored 18 on 6-9 shooting.
— The Blazers bench continues to struggle and they were outscored 46-19 by Sacramento’s.
With the Lakers on the verge of notching their biggest victory of the season, San Antonio hit clutch shots down the stretch to pull out a closely contested victory on the road. Neither team shot the ball particularly well but the Spurs were able to hit shots when it mattered and played their normal brand of methodical basketball while the Lakers relied on setless offensive possessions to get their buckets. After Antawn Jamison’s three-pointer put the Lakers up one with two minutes and change to go, Tim Duncan responded with a jumper to give San Antonio a one-point lead. Pau Gaosl then hit two free throws and a 16-foot jumper to go up three. Duncan then responded with a hook shot and Metta World Peace missed a jumper on the other end to give the Spurs a chance to put Los Angeles away. On the Spurs next trip down the court they dd just that. After working the ball around, a wide open Danny Green nailed an ice-cold three-pointer to give San Antonio an 84-82 lead with the clock winding down. The Lakers had a chance to tie or win the game but Pau Gasol missed a three-pointer and Tiago Splitter was able to grab the rebound to preserve the win.