Post Up: Ball Drop

Kevin Durant and James Harden effortlessly drop the ball in the basket for wins on New Year's Eve.
by January 01, 2015

Last night’s buckets were a nice goodbye to the past 12 months of 2014 basketball. The new stuff starts tonight…but first, a recap.

Celtics 106 (11-18), Kings 84 (13-19)

The Boston Celtics won each quarter at home last night against the visiting Sacramento Kings. Led by Jared Sullinger who had 20 points and 11 boards for a double-double, the C’s maintained a lead throughout the game. A 10-point advantage at halftime grew to 28. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Boston won by a margin of 22. Darren Collison and Carl Landry led Sacramento with 14 points each. Their usual go-to guy DeMarcus Cousins had a rough shooting night. After starting 1-9, he finished 5-17 from the field. He also picked up a technical in the first, and another in the fourth with 7:31 remaining on the clock when he threw Marcus Smart to the floor:

Pacers 106 (12-21), Heat 95 (14-19)

After trailing by 9 at the half in a home game on New Year’s Eve, the Indiana Pacers decided to give the Miami Heat a #3rdQofDoom. They went on an 12-0 run and held the Heat to 19 points while adding 36 to their own score. A 3-pointer from David West (10 points and 6 rebounds) at the third quarter buzzer put the Pacers up by 8 heading into the fourth. George Hill (20 points) and CJ Miles (25 points) scored three 3’s with three minutes left in the game to give the Pacers a 13-point lead. Dwyane Wade (20 points and 7 assists), Chris Bosh (18 points and 8 rebounds), and the rest of the Heat team were unable to catch up.

Clippers 99 (22-11), Knicks 78 (5-29)

The streak stays alive! The New York Knicks lost their ninth straight game last night when they visited the Los Angeles Clippers. Already up by 10 points at halftime, the Clips opened up the third quarter with a 13-0 run to extend their lead to the biggest of the night. JJ Redick scored 20, while both DeAndre Jordan (14 points and 12 rebounds) and Blake Griffin (13 points and 11 assists) added double-doubles. This happened a lot:

Jordan Farmar, Jamal Crawford and Spencer Hawes added double-figs off-the-bench to help lift the Clippers over the visiting Knickerbockers, whose only double-figure scorer was Carmelo Anthony with 19.

Rockets 102 (22-9), Hornets 83 (10-23)

James Harden’s career-best eight 3-pointers lifted his Houston Rockets over the visiting Charlotte Hornets last night. He shot 8-11 from downtown (and 12-19 from the field) to rack a game-high 36 points.

Houston (17-43) outscored Charlotte (3-18) by 42 from the arc. With the win, the Rockets avoided losing three consecutive games. An 8-point Houston advantage heading into the fourth turned into a blowout victory. The Rockets outscored the Hornets 26-15 in that last period to secure their final win of 2014.

Bucks 96 (17-16), Cavaliers 80 (18-14)

This is probably the worst #3rdQofDoom of the night. Seven points for the Cavaliers in the third at home. They may be LeBron-less, Love-less, and Varejao-less, but…really? Without their own star in rookie Jabari Parker, the visiting Milwaukee Bucks still showed up. Brandon Knight scored the game-high 26, OJ Mayo added 15, and Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 14 to get the Bucks a road win that put them over the .500 mark hump. The loss was Cleveland’s fourth in five games.

Spurs 95 (20-14), Pelicans 93 (16-16) OT

Let’s start with the best part of this game last night—the final two plays in regulation from the favorite young guy in the L, Anthony Davis, and the favorite oldie in the L, Mr. Timmy Duncan.

That kind of stuff right there is what I love most about basketball, by the way. Oh also, congratulations to Timmy on becoming tenth all-time in rebounds!

The Spurs grew quite accustomed to overtimes in December, with last night’s game being their fifth. It was the only one they managed to win. Manu Ginobili scored 6 of his 26 in the OT to get the Spurs their final win of 2014, despite 21 points, 12 rebounds, and that tip-in from Anthony Davis.

Thunder 137 (16-17), Suns 134 (18-16) OT

More free basketball! Also, hey KD! I see you’re well.

Kevin Durant scored a season-high 44 points to go along with 10 boards in the Thunder’s overtime win at home against the Phoenix Suns last night. With the game tied at 128, Anthony Morrow (11 points) put up a 3-point shot that missed at the buzzer. In OT, he shot another one from downtown with 1:28 remaining that was good for not just three—but four points.

OKC played without Russell Westbrook (20 points) for the second half and overtime period of the game after he got hit with two technicals late in the first half. The first came after this scuffle with Alex Len:

The second came after he shared some words with the Phoenix bench when he drove to the basket for a lay-in plus a foul.

Eric Bledsoe scored 29 for the Suns, Markieff Morris added 25, and Goran Dragic contributed 21 in the loss.