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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 at 9:00 am  |  29 responses

Post Up: Thunderous Finish

KD carries OKC past the Blazers and LeBron extinguishes the Suns.

by Alex Shultz / @AlexShultz

Oklahoma City Thunder 98 (42-12), Portland Trail Blazers 95 (36-16)

The surging Thunder used a 35-point third quarter to complete a come-from-behind victory on the road against the Trail Blazers, who led by 10 at halftime. Kevin Durant was his normal dominant self with 36 points and 10 rebounds and got some help from shooting guard Jeremy Lamb, who added 19 points of his own on 8-11 shooting. In four games against the Blazers this season, Durant is averaging 38 points per game.

Portland center Robin Lopez was arguably his team’s most valuable player with 17 points (7-9 shooting) and 14 rebounds, but the rest of the Blazer starters failed to show up. LaMarcus Aldridge was an uncharacteristic 5-22 from the floor, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Fellow all-star Damian Lillard was 5-15 and connected on just one three-point attempt in seven tries.

Since Jan. 20, the Blazers are 5-7 overall. Things only get tougher from here, as they head to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers on Wednesday.

Miami Heat 103 (36-14), Phoenix Suns 97 (30-21)

LeBron James put together a vintage MVP performance sans Dwyane Wade, scoring 37 points to go with 9 rebounds and 5 steals. Chris Bosh, meanwhile, was an efficient 8-11 for 21 points while also effectively keeping Phoenix’s big men from getting involved.

The rest of the Heat shot just 37 percent from the field, but the work of Miami’s “big two” was enough to get the job done. Gerald Green led the Suns with 26 points, cutting Miami’s lead to four with a little over a minute remaining. Bosh didn’t let Phoenix get any closer though, icing the game on the next possession with a three-pointer.

Memphis Grizzlies 92 (28-23), Washington Wizards 89 (25-26)

John Wall’s three-point attempt rolled off the rim as time expired and the Grizzlies escaped with a hard-fought victory over the Wizards on Tuesday. Memphis couldn’t contain the red-hot shooting of Bradley Beal, who set a new career high with 37 points. He didn’t get any help from his backcourt mate though, as Wall was held to 5 points and 5 assists.

Backup point guard Nick Calathes filled in admirably for Mike Conley, pouring in 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Marc Gasol matched Calathes with 18 and was able to get Marcin Gortat in foul trouble for much of the game. The Grizzlies improved to 3-3 since Conley sprained his ankle on Jan. 31.

Charlotte Bobcats 114 (23-29), Dallas Mavericks 89 (31-22)

The Mavericks entered Tuesday’s matchup against the Bobcats on a five-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents by an average of 109-96 over that stretch. Charlotte ended the streak with authority, in large part because of Al Jefferson’s 30 points and 8 rebounds. Anthony Tolliver had 22 points (and five three-pointers) off the bench, and the Bobcats were 12-24 overall from beyond the arc.

Dallas got a scare when Dirk Nowitzki appeared to injure his ankle in the second quarter, but Nowitzki was able to return and finished with 16 points. No players on the Mavericks scored more than that. The win was Charlotte’s second in their last 19 contests against Dallas. 

Cleveland Cavaliers 109 (19-33), Sacramento Kings 99 (17-35)

Yes, there was a real life Anthony Bennett sighting at the Quicken Loans Arena. Bennett recorded his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and the Cavaliers are now 3-0 since firing general manager Chris Grant on Feb. 6.

Cleveland got some balanced scoring from Luol Deng (22 points), Dion Waiters (20 points), the aforementioned Bennett and Tristan Thompson (16 points). DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 10 rebounds and point guard Isaiah Thomas added 16 points and 8 assists, but the rest of the Kings failed to show up. Sacramento is just 2-10 in its last 12 games and now has the worst record in the Western Conference.

Chicago Bulls 100 (26-25), Atlanta Hawks 85 (25-25)

Joakim Noah had 7 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists—in the first half. The all-star center finished with 19, 16 and 11, pacing the Bulls to their second straight win in which they held their opponent under 90 points.

Taj Gibson played all but two minutes, putting up 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. All five Bulls starters scored in double figures, and Chicago had just eight players enter the game.

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with only 15 points, and Atlanta has lost four straight games. The lone bright spot was Kyle Korver, who made a three-pointer for a record 119th consecutive contest.

Utah Jazz 96 (18-33), Los Angeles Lakers 79 (18-34)

In a battle of Western Conference bottom dwellers, the Lakers proved to be far more inept than their counterparts. Los Angeles got off to a 27-16 first quarter lead, but Utah quickly reversed the situation by outscoring the Lakers 32-10 to take a 48-37 halftime advantage. Alec Burks was on fire off the bench, contributing 24 points to lead the team. Gordon Hayward had a near-triple double with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

The banged-up Lakers got limited action from their guards—Steve Nash was only able to play for 17 minutes, while Steve Blake and Kendall Marshall were a combined 5-24 shooting. Chris Kaman recorded seven straight DNP-coach’s decisions before being thrust into the lineup on Feb. 4, but he led the team on Tuesday with 25 points and 14 rebounds. 

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  • ROSHIP17

    Yeah Bobcats.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    Tuesday Night Thoughts

    1.Anthony F’N Bennett

    2.Alec Burks can ball

    3.LOL at Micheal Beasley getting no playing time against Phoenix

    4.Al Jefferson best center in the east right now

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Mario Chalmers was the secret reason Miami won that game last night. he did a really good job of limiting Goran Dragic, keeping him from creating those fast breaks from nothingness that he excels at.

  • Armando

    No mention of Josh McRoberts 13 assists… Dude is passing the ball. 4.1 on the year, only trailing Noah of all bigs.

  • JJ Jones

    Yeah for once he was useful last night. Lebron looked incredible on defense yesterday the rest of the team not so much especially bosh.

  • JJ Jones

    I wonder what kd will finish with ppg wise by the end of the season his scoring is just effortless now gotta clean up those turnovers though.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    McRoberts leads all bigs in assist %, he’s been passing the ball really well all year

  • LakeShow

    He’s pretty awful at everything besides energy, and passing. Kind of reminds me of a PF version of Luke Walton. Not just because they are white… They actually play a lot alike.

  • LakeShow

    I placed the lofty claim before the season started of him averaging 30-8-5-1.5-1.5 on 50-40-90 this season.

    I’m a little off so far. He’s not going to get his blocks up to 1.5, but everything else just about matches up.

    31.2 – 7.7 – 5.5 – 1.4 – .8 on 51% – 42% – 88%

    He’ll finish right at 30ppg imo.

    Yes, those TO’s are an issue, but for him not having his PG for most the year and his dimes at a career high, those TO’s are somewhat excusable.

  • Rachel John

    he’s been passing the ball really well all year

  • spit hot fiyah

    mcroberts is much more athletic than walton ever was though

    i really like that u put “not just because they are white….” cross racial comparisons are so rare. it’s always guys who look alike. and lefties ALWAYS get compared to other lefties even if their games are not even that similar

  • LakeShow

    Yes they aren’t identical by any means. McRoberts is much more athletic. Walton was a much better shooter. Mostly it’s the single elite quality they possess in passing that makes me see similarities.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    Actually McRoberts is a good three point shooter as well but you wouldn’t know that since you don’t watch the Bobcats

  • LakeShow

    Seeing as how he was on the Lakers two seasons ago…. I do know about him.

    This is his first season of being a good 3 point shooter.

  • Nathan Shane Long

    And the Lakers FUCKED HIM and threw him away in the Dwight Howard trade and once he left Los Angeles you ain’t know or care about what he was doing in the league

  • LakeShow

    Jeremy Lamb is making himself a big part of the Thunders rotation. His shooting has been huge for them in a few wins over tough opponents. Reggie Jackson has been quite inefficient lately. 15ppg on 15FGA over the last 10… but for a back up PG, he has been great.

    Now I’m going to rag on LaMarcus Aldridge a little. Keep in mind I have stated and stand by that he has been the best PF in the L this season. But he really needs to start being more efficient. The Blazers need their best player to be efficient offensively.

    LA is having the least efficient scoring season of his entire career. And the least efficient of the elite PF’s. He is averaging 24ppg on 21FGA. His FG% is at .465. His TS% is 51%.

    Here is a comparison with other elite scoring PF’s:

    Kevin Love who is sitting at a measly .454 percentage on his FG’s. He scores 25.7ppg on 18.3FGA. He shoots the ball 3 less times a game and outscores LA by nearly 2ppg. His TS% is 59%

    Blake Griffin scores the exact same ppg (23.9) as LA. He only needs 16.6FGA to get to there. Let that soak in. 21FGA vs 16.6FGA for the same number of points scored. His TS% is .588.

    Dirk scores 22ppg on 16FGA. TS% 60%

    Anthony Davis: 21ppg on 15FGA TS% 58%

    David Lee: 19ppg on 14.5 FGA. TS% 56%

    Al Jefferson is a center, but he’s been playing PF a lot this season. He is a bit of a whipping boy for some of us around here. He’s notorious for being inefficient at scoring for a skilled post player. Al Jeff is scoring 20ppg this season. His getting those 20 points by shooting the ball 18 times. His TS% is the same as LA’a. 51%

    Just some food for thought.

  • LakeShow

    Sure.

  • Stepfan Raiford

    I’m going to give LA a pass for last night since he was playing with a groin injury. Don’t know how he got that many shots let alone run up and down the court.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    not to make excuses for LA, because he should be more efficient. But he is the cog that opens the floor for Portland, his decreased efficiency is the key to his teammates increased efficiency. That offense would fall to shambles if he wasn’t the center of it, (it already kind of does, 117 points per 48 minutes with Aldridge on the floor, 109 without him).

    .

    and defensively, Aldridge is still the best of those in the “best PF” conversation, and that to me is where he really does separate himself.

    (just for example)
    Aldridge – http://www.82games.com/1314/13POR13.HTM#bypos
    Love – http://www.82games.com/1314/13LAC15.HTM#bypos
    Griffin – http://www.82games.com/1314/13MIN13.HTM#bypos

  • LakeShow

    I never spoke about last nights game. Strictly speaking on the whole season thus far.

  • LakeShow

    You bet.

    I understand this.

    The margin is pretty small imo though.

  • Stepfan Raiford

    Ah. Read the entire post Stepf.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Oh definitely it’s marginally close, I’m just trying to make the argument for Aldridge look less ridiculous then it came off, because if we do look at just the stats it doesn’t look like a good argument at all

  • LakeShow

    I needed you to do that, because it seemed pretty harsh the way I laid it out.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah just wanted to put the case out there, i wasn’t trying to correct you, obviously you acknowledged you feel he’s the best in the league at the moment

  • guest

    Nation Admits It Would’ve Been Fun To Watch Marcus Smart Beat Absolute Sh*t Out Of Fan

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/nation-admits-it-wouldve-been-fun-to-watch-marcus,35250/

  • pposse

    4. cmon man its Noah hands down!

  • roship17

    Energy = heart, and it’s under appreciated given it’s value, there’s plenty of more skilled players lacking heart.

  • LakeShow

    Yeah, MMA is a great way to see that first hand. A guy like Uriah Hall, vs a guy like Kelvin Gastelum.

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