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Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 9:00 am  |  21 responses

Post Up: Keep On Rollin’

Marc Gasol returns as the Grizzlies edge out the Thunder.

by Leo Sepkowitz | @LSepkowitzSLAM

Cavaliers 120, Lakers 118

This game was close throughout, but Cleveland grabbed a nine-point lead with 2:40 remaining and the Lakers couldn’t make up the deficit in time. 

The Cavs were led by newcomer Luol Deng’s 27. He knocked down 9/15 shots overall and all 5 of his three-point tries. Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao each double-doubled, and combined for 33 points and 31 boards in the W. Kyrie Irving hit 5/12 shots for 13 points. 

LA got some big individual efforts, but bad work defensively and on the glass did them in (that will usually do teams in). Nick Young led all scorers with 28 points off the bench (10/10 FT), Jodie Meeks added 26 (6 threes), Pau Gasol went for 20 & 12 and Kendall Marshall continued his resurgence with 16 more assists. He’s posted 15, 17 and now 16 dimes in the Lakers’ three home games so far this month.

Each team hit 13 threes, but Cleveland launched just 17 (insane 76.5 percent) compared to the Lakers’ 34 attempts.

Knicks 98, Bobcats 108

The Bobcats led early and often last night, and were able to hold off a Knicks comeback attempt midway through the second half. 

Al Jefferson was dominant for Charlotte, hitting 14/20 shots for 35 points to go along with 8 boards and a block. Kemba Walker dropped 25 with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, and Gerald Henderson kicked in 17. In all, the ‘Cats hit nearly 51 percent of their shots and piled up 21 assists with just 5 turnovers. 

Melo scored 20 for the Knicks but needed 22 shots to get there. On the bright side, Amar’e Stoudemire continued his solid run with 17 points (6/10) in 22 minutes and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 in the loss. JR Smith picked up a Did Not Play, Woodson’s Decision. 

Kings 92, Pacers 116

The Kings managed to stay in this game for the majority of three quarters, but Indy pulled away early in the fourth. 

Paul George led Indiana with 31 points on 10/18 shooting. He hit 4 threes and knocked down 7/8 attempts from the stripe. David West added 16 and 8, and Lance Stephenson went for 13, 5 and 5. The Pacers shot 55 percent from the field in the win.

Sacramento got 31 and 13 from DeMarcus Cousins, but not much from anybody else. Rudy Gay shot 6/14 for 12 points, and nobody else managed 10 points. Still, they scored 56 points in the paint against one of the League’s premier defenses and that alone is something of a win. 

Thunder 87, Grizzlies 90

This game was close throughout, though the Grizz jumped ahead after a big third quarter. Memphis held a four-point advantage with 10 seconds left, but a Serge Ibaka trey pulled the Thunder within one in the waning seconds.

Courtney Lee responded with a pair of clutch free throws, and a Reggie Jackson prayer went unanswered at the buzzer, sealing the win for the home squad. 

Lee had a huge night in his fourth game as a member of the Grizzlies, finishing with 24 points (9/15) and 5 boards. Zach Randolph was dominant on the glass, snatching 13 rebounds while scoring 23 points (9/12 free throws). Mike Conley added a solid 19 and 7 in 37 minutes. 

Kevin Durant dropped a game-high 37 for the Thunder, but it evidently wasn’t enough.  Jackson added 17 (with 3 assists and 7 turnovers), and Ibaka made only 5/13 shots for 11 points, though he did grab 9 rebounds and block 4 shots. 

Bonus: Vintage Show Of The Day

This season, I’ll be posting a semi-random highlight video of a former baller at the bottom of my Post Ups. Enjoy comical elevation from a 5-7 guy. 

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  • JJ Jones

    If westbrook proves to be injury prone then durant needs to seriously consider leaving okc. There isn’t a team in history that refuses spend and still win a title.

  • LLC#12

    I don’t want to detract too much from Marshall’s assist numbers, but we have to remember he’s the only healthy point guard in a system that can accentuate a PG’s numbers. In any system really, if your team scores 118 and you’re the only point guard, you should rack up quite a few assists.

    Ibaka’s inconsistency is disappointing, with Westbrook out, he should be getting more points than he has been.
    Offensively Amare has shown a lot in his limited minutes, I hope he can stay healthy now.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    I really like Nick Young’s scoring but he’s gotta give me more. He’s gotta crash the boards and get some assists.

  • AlbertBarr

    Until his knee injury last post-season he had never missed a game. How is that injury prone? It hasn’t even been one year since the injury.

  • i_ball

    Ibaka can’t create his own shot. He scores mid range jumpers off passes, lay ups/dunks off cuts and offensive boards. He is a poor mans Chris Bosh on the offensive end.

  • Kadavour

    Forget assists, they don’t bring him off the bench to “get other guys involved” – he’s there to score. Crash boards, play defense, score efficiently.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Well he’s definitely scoring but those last three things you mentioned I have yet to see on a regular basis.

  • LakeShow

    lmao…. That’s the most broken record of all time…

  • LakeShow

    Destitute. Not poor…

  • LakeShow

    I just feel bad for Durant.

    Like damn… That squad is so sh*tty.

  • Saleem Rainman

    The OKC thunder stay bad without Westbrook…

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Lol I just love replaying it though. It’s a timeless record.

  • spit hot fiyah

    same thing with ibaka in last years playoffs, if you’re the 3rd best player on a team and the 2nd best goes down, your numbers can’t stay the same

  • JJ Jones

    Im just saying IF as in worst case scenario. Knee injuries are no joke and he’s had 3 surgeries in one year

  • LLC#12

    It’s still puzzling how he scores though SO little. The things you mentioned alone should be enough for a guy with his ability to average at least 15, I mean, Blake averaged nearly 10 points more in his rookie season, when he probably had less tools offensively than Serge has now.

  • Mike

    If Durant does leave the thunder you think he’d actually end up in Houston? Are there any other teams better suited for him?

  • Nathan Shane Long

    Tuesday night thoughts

    1.Kevin Durant doing his best impression of LeBron from 2006 is not impressive to me at all with Westbrook being hurt the team has been exposed beside Durant who is a superstar the team talent level is mediocre at best and their head coach is subpar to be honest the 06′ Cavs had better talent then OKC right now

    2.Quick question who is the more worthless starter Kendrick Perkins or Jason Thompson?

    3.Kyrie Irving play zero defense he is the Melo of point guards

    4.MKG has the worst jumper in the NBA

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Golden State is better suited. But Houston looks like the most likely destination at this moment for when he is available in 2 years. But A LOT can change in 2 years.

  • davidR

    true, but blake had a lot more touch around the basket, even as a rookie. serge literally has no post game skills

  • davidR

    just goes to show, no matter how crazy good you are, you are going nowhere without a team.

    since kobe and lebron would get crucified for not being able to pull if off by themselves (with arguably worse teams), will durant get the same treatment? even moreso if durant leaves to go elsewhere. i wonder what everyone will say…

  • Mike

    I think Durant playing in golden state would be awesome. The only problem I see in Houston is how lazy Dwight and harden like to be sometimes. That is a good point though, who knows what will be going on two years from now

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