Post Up: Kyrie Erupts
Wearing a more-than-noticeable protective mask, Kyrie Irving dropped 41 in MSG.
by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz
Last night, the Cavs wasted a mammoth effort from Kyrie Irving, the T-Wolves and Bulls won nail-biters and Nate Robinson made an unbelievable block.
Bulls (13-9) 83, Nets (13-10) 82
The Nets led by four with two minutes left, but four points from Marco Belinelli and a bucket from Luol Deng put Chicago up 2 with 22 seconds remaining. Deron Williams missed a jumper with 6 seconds left, and Belinelli knocked down a pair of free throws to ice the game.
This was tight the whole way through. Chicago led by five at halftime and maintained that lead entering the fourth quarter. Belinelli led Chicago with 19 points on just six shots. He made 2 threes and 5 free throws. Joakim Noah double-doubled with 12 points and 10 boards, and added 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
Williams led the Nets with 24 points despite shooting just 5-for-13. He was 10/13 from the stripe. Brook Lopez posted 18 and 10 in just 25 minutes.
The highlights are directly below, and the video of Robinson’s block is under them.
Warriors (16-8) 115, Hawks (14-7) 93
After a letdown game in Orlando on Friday, the Warriors bounced back beatufiully last night. They dominated the second and third quarters (a combined 62-42 advantage) which led to the big win. Stephen Curry, David Lee, Harrison Barnes and Carl Landry each scored at least 18 points. Lee tallied 11 boards and 3 steals while Curry narrowly missed a triple-double with 11 dimes and 8 boards. He only connected on 6-of-20 shots.
The Warriors as a whole shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and an excellent 10/24 from downtown.
Josh Smith played an absolutely miserable game for Atlanta, making just 1-of-12 shots from the floor. He did grab 7 boards and block 2 shots, but he just couldn’t get things going to say the least. Jeff Teague wasn’t much better, as he made just 3 shots on 11 attempts. Al Horford was the team’s leading scorer with 19 on 7/11 shooting.
Magic (10-13) 107, Bobcats (7-16) 98
Charlotte wasted a 32-point effort from Kemba Walker last night. The second-year man hit 11/20 shots along with a pair of threes and 7 dimes. Charlotte trailed for most of the game, but led by one with four minutes left. From there, though, Orlando went on a 8-0 spurt to seal the game.
Nikola Vucevic double-doubled for the second consecutive night. He posted 13 points and 13 boards. Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis each scored a team-high 20 points for the Magic. Rookie Mo Harkless blocked four shots for the second time in as many nights.
Knicks (18-5) 103, Cavaliers (5-20) 102
This was very close for the entirety of the game. The Knicks seemed to have the game iced when they led by six with 31 seconds left, but a Kyrie Irving three cut the lead to three. Raymond Felton canned a pair of free throws, but another Irving three made the lead just two with 15 seconds left. After JR Smith split free throws, Irving made a pair to make it a 102-101 game with ten seconds left.
Steve Novak hit the first of two free throws, but missed the second and Anderson Varejao pulled down the board. Varejao was fouled and sent to the line with a chance to tie the game with a second left. He hit the first, but missed the second, brutally ending the comeback attempt for Cleveland.
Varejao finished with 9 points, 8 boards and 5 assists, but Irving was the story for the Cavs. He made an incredible 15-of-25 shots, including 5 threes, on his way to 41 points. He was amazing all night, adding 5 assists and 5 rebounds. CJ Miles chipped in 17.
Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton both played well for the Knicks, scoring 23 and 25 points, respectively. Chandler added 10 rebounds while Felton handed out 7 assists. Smith scored 16 points, but it took him a Jordan Crawford-ian 20 shots to get there. New York is now 10-0 at home.
Heat (15-6) 102, Wizards (3-18) 72
After the Wizards stunned the Heat in Washington a couple of weeks ago, the Heat made sure they dominated this one. They led by 14 points at the break, and after allowing the Wiz to score just ten points in the third quarter, took a 33-point lead into the fourth quarter.
LeBron James totaled 23 points, 10 boards and 5 dimes in 31 minutes. No other individual numbers stood out—probably because all 13 Heat players scored.
Speaking of Jordan Crawford, the shoot-first, second and third guard went 2/12 from the floor. Bradley Beal shot just 6-of-18. Cartier Martin, coming off of a sweet game against the Lakers, was the team’s best player. He made 6-of-9 shots on his way to 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He was a +2 in 27 minutes—a very impressive feat in a 30-point loss.
Pacers (13-11) 88, Pistons (7-19) 77
The Pacers were in control for most of this game, though Detroit cut it to a two-point game with about 7:30 to play. Indy finished on a 20-11 run, though, sealing the game.
David West was the best player on the floor, as he hit 11/16 shots for 23 points. George Hill went 5-for-7 and added 18 points and 7 assists. Paul George made just 6-of-16 shots from the floor and 1-of-7 from downtown, but totaled 15 points, 8 assists, 8 boards, 4 steals and a block.
Greg Monroe was Detroit’s high-man with 18 points and 8 boards. Andre Drummond posted 11 points, 9 boards and 3 blocks off the bench.
Timberwolves (12-9) 114, Mavericks (11-13) 106
This game was tied at 102 with 35 seconds in regulation when OJ Mayo missed a go-ahead jumper. The T-Wolves got the ball, but missed four consecutive shots, sending the game into overtime.
The Mavs came out flat in OT. Minnesota opened the fifth period on a 10-0 run, putting the game away.
Nikola Pekovic led Minnesota with 21 points and 9 boards. Andrei Kirilenko scored 14 points and gathered 10 rebounds. Derrick Williams was productive off the bench, hitting 5/9 shots on his way to 16 points. But the best news of all for T-Wolves fans was the return of Ricky Rubio. The immensely talented point guard posted 8 points, 9 assists, 4 boards and 3 steals in just 18 minutes. That’s one hell of a comeback. Kevin Love didn’t play due to illness.
Mayo and Derek Fisher were Dallas’ leading scorers with 20 each. Shawn Marion scored 14 points and tallied 10 boards, 3 assists, 1 block and 1 steal.
The Mavs hit 7/14 threes compared to 6/23 for the Timberwolves, but Minnesota committed fewer turnovers (20 to 16) and won the rebounding battle (48 to 41).
Clippers (17-6) 111, Bucks (12-10) 85
This one was never in doubt. The Clippers made 14 more shots than the Bucks on one less field goal attempt. That should tell you everything you need to know.
Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul all double-doubled for LA. Matt Barnes, though, was the game’s leading scorer. He made 8-of-10 shots in 29 minutes on his way to 21 points.
Milwaukee’s leading scorer was Marquis Daniels. I repeat: Milwaukee’s leading scorer was Marquis Daniels.
Spurs (19-6) 103, Celtics (12-11) 88
The Spurs led by just three entering halftime before pulling away in the second half. They outscored Boston by five points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth.
Tony Parker led all scorers with 22 for San Antonio. He tacked on 8 assists and 4 steals. Gary Neal dropped 20 while Tiago Splitter drew the start and posted 16 points, 8 boards and 4 dimes. Manu Ginobili left early with a bruised quad and did not return.
Paul Pierce was Boston’s leading scorer with 18 points. Rajon Rondo posted 6 points and 9 assists while committing 7 turnovers. He has now turned the ball over 33 times in his last 6 games. He committed just 9 turnovers in the six games prior. Something’s not right.
Grizzlies (15-6) 99, Jazz (13-12) 86
One night after losing a tough game against the Nuggets, the Grizz picked up a tough road win. Utah is a strong home team, but Memphis handled them in the second half last night.
The Jazz held a 10-point lead at halftime, but the Grizzlies dominated the third quarter. They outscored Utah, 28-10, in the third, giving them an 8-point advantage entering the fourth. The Jazz never got close in the final period.
Zach Randolph was huge for Lionel Hollins’ team, posting 25 points, 16 boards and 3 steals. Marc Gasol scored 16 points along with 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
Al Jefferson played a nice game for Utah, scoring 21 points (including a three!) with 8 boards. He didn’t get much help from his teammates, though. Paul Millsap was the team’s second-best scorer with 12 points.