by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack
It happened on a Monday night with just three games on the schedule. Vince Carter shook off every single piece of his awful January that was still hanging around, breaking out to score 48 points. 48 points on 19-for-27 shooting. In a 123-117 Magic victory and a comeback from 17 down in the second half. Yes, I’m serious. No, I was not watching old Raptors games from 2000.
It was crazy, insane and awesome. I can’t tell you the last time I saw Vince in a zone like that, or, more importantly, the last time I saw him wanting to be in a zone like that. He was hitting everything from everywhere, including six 3-pointers. layups. fadeaways that were so pretty you kinda just stood there replaying it in your mind. Hitting 40 field goals for the entire month of January, Carter connected on 19 in that single game. Crazy (word up to @bothteamsplayedhard for that little stat).
I felt young again. With the All Star game coming up this weekend, it made me think about Vince in the dunk contest in 2000. Crazy that it was 10 years ago. Now the Raps have their rookie DeMar in the dunk-in. As much as I love Shannon Brown and his ups, it would be pretty fun if a Raptor won again. Maybe I just want to have a fun story to write about.
So, yes, the Magic came back, thanks to 34 second half points from Vince Carter. What’s important not to lose sight of, however, was the performance of rookie Darren Collison in the loss. Collison just keeps on putting together big performances as he plays in place of Chris Paul. Last night he finished with 27 points, nine assists and four steals. If nothing else, he’s gotten a chance to show his stuff, build his confidence and earn some minutes, proving that the team can actually rest CP3 and give him a breather when he’s tired.
In Golden State, the Warriors fell to the Mavericks, 127-117 as the teams played each other for the second time in a week. Scary moment for Golden State when Monta Ellis got his foot caught when he came down on a drive to the basket and ended up on the floor, holding his knee awkwardly before limping off to the bench. Here’s hoping he’s okay.
Huge, huge, huge night from Jason Terry with 36 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Who says he’s better off of the bench? He looked awesome last night and the Mavs needed him. For Golden State, Anthony Morrow was showing that sweet stroke, finishing with 33 points on 12-for-20 fgs to go with 11 boards. It was an odd victory for the Mavs with Dirk attempting just nine shots and scoring only 15 points. Josh Howard and Drew Gooden combined for 49 points off of the bench. Monta had 27 and Steph Curry added 25.
Thought it was pretty cool to hear Mark Cuban say Rodrigue Beaubois is all but untouchable yesterday. I’m with that. I think he’s got a shot to be a really special player in the league. He’s so long and quick. My first memory of Beaubois will always be from summer league when a heckler in the crowd yelled to Brandon Jennings that he wasn’t even the best #3 on the court. The other #3 was Beaubois, of course.
With Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum out of the game, the Lakers were still able to stifle the Spurs, 101-89. Pau Gasol had a fantastic game, finishing with 21 points, 19 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots. Not too bad, right? My goodness. This also happened on the evening when Popovich called Gasol the most skilled bigman in the game. Ouch for Tim Duncan having to hear that. It was true last night, though. Lamar Odom had 16 points to go with 10 rebounds.
For the Spurs, Duncan finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds an assist and four blocked shots. Richard Jefferson continued to not be very good, shooting just 2-for-9 from the floor. DeJuan Blair added 11 points off of the bench and McDyess added 15 boards.
Now, I think I speak for a lot of us when I say, where the hell is Monta Ellis when it comes to this H-O-R-S-E comp? I’m all about Durant, I feel like Rondo’s got some tricks up his sleeve (at the very least, he’s a pro at banking in 3-pointers), but Casspi? I’m a big fan, but our boy better show us something in this comp.
Wow, I’m just so pumped over the performances put in last night. Pau was awesome, Jason Terry was fun and Vince was just insane. The good kind of insane.