Post Up: West Coast Battles
Gallo and the Nuggets down Memphis while Lob City wins on the road.
by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
After going on an 18-2 run to close the third quarter, the Wizards were in prime position to earn their first dub of the season and put an end to Abe’s misery. In the fourth, Chris Singleton hit a jumper while getting fouled with three and a half minutes left in the game to get D.C. within one. Obviously, Singleton went on to miss the free throw and David West hit two straight jumpers on the other end to put Indiana up by five and out of reach while coach Randy Wittman stood in disbelief.
– West finished with 30 points on 10-14 shooting and 8 boards. The struggling Roy Hibbert scored 20 and grabbed 12 boards.
– Brad Beal led the Wizards with 18 off the bench, 17 of which came in the second half.
Two of the upstart teams in the League put on a great show down in Charlotte last night as Ramon Sessions led the ‘Cats to a hard-earned victory. Charlotte got off to a hot shooting start and Kemba Walker was on fire, making all six of his shots and finishing with 15 points in the first half . Kemba helped his team take a 55-54 lead into halftime. In the second half, Monta Ellis returned the favor. The streaky guard finished with 31 points in the game but did the heavy work in the fourth quarter. Ellis reeled off six quick points to put the Bucks up 11 and it looked like they had the game in tow. But the Bobcats battled back behind Ramon Sessions’ nine fourth quarter points. Charlotte also hit all 16 of their attempted free throws down the stretch.
Late in the fourth, Sessions hit a three to tie the game, then MKG hit two freebies to give the Bobcats a lead with two minutes to play. After Sam Dalembert missed a shot the Bobcats had a chance to build on their lead but Sessions turned the ball over with 19 seconds to go but Ellis missed a wide-open three that would have given the Bucks the lead. Sessions then hit two free throws on the other end to seal the game.
– Charlotte is now 4-0 in games decided by four points or less.
– Kemba finished with 19, Byron Mullens with 19 and 9 and MKG chipped in with 15 and 9.
– The Bobcats are a fun team to watch for the first time in a long time. As are the Bucks.
The Hawks were noticeably tired in the first half due in most part to a West Coast hangover and a few players getting over the flu. It took two quarters for ATL to get their legs under them but once they did, they ran the Magic out of the gym. In the third, the Hawks outscored their opponent 24-12 and broke the game wide open in the fourth after Ivan Johnson converted a three-point play to put the lead at 22. All in all, though, it was an ugly game.
– Josh Smith had a tough night, shooting 3-10 from the field for 6 points and only grabbed 2 boards.
– Atlanta scored 24 points off of 19 Orlando turnovers.
– Ivan Johnson grabbed a season-high 8 boards. Nicola Vucevic tied his season-high with 13 rebounds.
– The Hawks gave up 72 points and held Orlando to 37.8 percent shooting which were both season lows.
Denver beat Memphis at their own game last night, bullying them inside and taking advantage of their opponents’ mistakes. Denver dominated the boards, outrebounding the Grizz 47-33, outscored them 50-44 in the paint and scored 29 points off of 17 Grizzlies turnovers. Despite the statistcal gap, Memphis looked like they were going to grind out a win after Zach Randolph’s putback put Memphis up by four. The Grizzlies then turned the ball over on three straight possessions and Denver ripped off a 9-0 run headlined by Danilo Gallinari’s six points–including a three-pointer with 12.7 sedonds left to give Denver a four-point lead and put this one on ice. Denver’s win ended three three-game skid and Memphis’ eight-game winning streak.
– Gall0 finished with 26 points, Kenny Faried had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds while JaVale McGee chipped in with 15 and 8 off the bench.
– Zach Randolph tallied his tenth straight double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
– The last time Memphis lost at home was March 16.
A great game had an even better game within the game (follow?) with Steph Curry and OJ Mayo battling back and forth over the fourth quarter and OT. Steph scored 20 of his 31 points in over the course of the fourth quarter and overtime while OJ led Dallas with 27 and matched his counterpart bucket for bucket down the stretch. Mayo dropped seven of the last 10 Dallas points in regulation and all 11 of their points in the extra session while Curry had a hand in all 13 points of the overtime period with six of points of his own and three dimes. OJ tied it up at 99 with under a minute left but Curry responded with an assist to David Lee with 30 seconds to go in OT to give the Warriors a two-point lead. The Mavs had a chance to tie or win but Shawn Marion and Mayo both missed on their opportunities and the Warriors hit their freebies on the other end to finish the game.
– Harrison Barnes had a solid game with 20 points and 12 boards. David Lee chipped in with 17 points and 19 rebounds.
– Mayo has scored at least 18 points in 10 straight games.
– Why didn’t Mayo take the Mavs last shot during regulation?
Los Angeles was able to build a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Spurs in San Antonio and hung on for an impressive victory to open their four game road trip. The Spurs rallied back thanks to two three-pointers from Matt Bonner and another one from Tony Parker that cut the lead to three with two minutes remaining. But, Los Angeles scored five of the games next seven points including a masterful bucket by Chris Paul (see below) with 25 seconds remaining to give the Clippers a 91-87 lead. Paul finished with 19 points and 8 assists.
– Stephen Jackson is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a fractured finger. The Spurs are now very thin at the small forward spot with both Jackson and Kawhi Leonard missing extended time.
– Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Manu Ginobili scored 15 off the bench.
With James Harden limited due to flu-like symptoms, the Rockets didn’t have the firepower to keep up with the Jazz in Utah. The Jazz opened up the floodgates with a 13-0 run early in the second quarter and buckled down defensively to take care of business and win without much fight from Houston. Utah eventually stretched their lead to 23 and outmuscled the Rockets inside, using their big man rotation of Enes Kanter, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors. Jefferson had 14 points and 16 boards and the Jazz had 11 combined blocks. The Jazz played tremendous team ball, spreading the rock around and dishing out 30 assists on 37 made field goals, often passing up good looks for even better ones.
– Gordon Hayward scored 15 off the bench and Marvin Williams contributed with 12. Those two are giving the Jazz a nice boost off the pine.
– The Rockets went 0-3 on their road trip and have now lost four straight.
– Utah scored a season-high 61 first half points.
– Mel Mel the Abuser had 11 assists in 21 minutes.