by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
The Wizards won their third straight in blowout fashion over the Magic. John Wall played 20 minutes in his second game back from a knee injury and scored 12 points and dished out 6 dimes. The Wizards shot a season-high 56 percent from the field, scored a season-high in points and had it’s largest victory of the season and led wire-to-wire. The Wiz were up by 19 with under two minutes to go in the first half before Orlando closed the second quarter on a 13-0 run to cut the deficit to six. In the third quarter, the Wizards scored 37 points and led 96-77 heading into the fourth which made the final quarter a formality. Emeka Okafor scored 19 and grabbed 11 boards, Brad Beal scored 17 and Kevin Seraphin scored 18 off the bench. Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 19 points and 12 dimes.
Rajon Rondo came through with a 17-point, 12-assist, 1o-rebound triple-double as the Celtics cruised to a double-digit victory over the Bobcats. Boston opened the game on a 13-2 run and never trailed, leading by as many as 18. It was Boston’s sixth straight victory. Paul Pierce scored 19 and Avery Bradley scored 16 as he continues to make an impact after sitting the first half of the season recovering from shoulder surgery. Hakim Warrick and Ramon Sessions each scored 16 while Kemba dropped 12 on 4-16 shooting.
Nothing to see here…
With Chris Paul sitting on the bench, the Clippers ran through a Grizzlies team playing sans Rudy Gay. The Clippers went up 32-19 before Memphis went on a run to cut the deficit to six. But the Clips responded with a 17-4 run to take a 19 point lead at the half. Los Angeles kept the foot on the gas in the second half, opening the third quarter on a 15-6 run to push their lead to 16 as they breezed through the third and fourth quarters. Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes each scored 16 off the bench and Eric Bledsoe scored 14 and dished out 4 assists. Z-Bo led the Grizz with 15 points and 12 boards.
Six different Maverick players scored in double-digits as Dallas used a balanced attack to beat the T’Wolves. Dallas led by 23 in the fourth quarter but the Timberwolves came back to cut the deficit to single digits after J.J. Barea’s (21 points, 5 dimes) three with just over three minutes to go. The Mavs called a timeout and on the ensuing possession, Darren Collison (23 points, 9 assists) hit a three to push the lead back to 11 and the game out of reach. O.J. Mayo scored 20 points, dished out 9 assists and grabbed 7 boards and Elton Brand scored 20 on 10-13 shooting off the bench. Nikola Pekovic scored 20 points and grabbed 12 boards.
The Heat’s road struggles continued last night as they lost a tough one to the Jazz. The Jazz owned the Heat on the glass, outrebounding them 40-23 and in bench scoring as Utah’s reserves outscored Miami’s 47-26. Miami trailed by 21 in the third quarter but stormed back to cut the deficit to two to make for an entertaining fourth quarter. LeBron, who finished with 32 points, 6 dimes, 4 boards and 2 blocks, made a few crucial mistakes down the stretch that allowed Utah to hold on for the win. First he was called for goaltending and on the ensuing possession he was called for an offensive foul. He then missed a three-pointer with 2:19 to play. Gordon Hayward (22 points) provided the dagger when he hit a 14-foot fadeaway with 40 seconds to go. Al Jefferson scored 23 points and grabbed 11 boards while Paul Millsap scored 17 and grabbed 9 boards. Chris Bosh scored 16 points and Rashard Lewis scored 13 off the bench.
With last night’s win over the Suns, the Thunder became the first team to win 30-games in the ’12-’13 season. Kevin Durant was downright dominant as he scored 41 points (including 27 in the second half), grabbed 5 boards, blocked 2 shots and had 0 turnovers. Russell Westbrook was no slouch either as he went for 36 points , 8 boards, 5 dimes and only 1 turnover. The Suns closed the third quarter with a 14-4 run to cut the deficit to four as they held OKC scoreless over the final five and a half minutes of the quarter. In the fourth, Durant was a one-man wrecking crew, opening the quarter with a layup, a 19-foot jumper and a three-pointer to put the Thunder back up seven. Later in the fourth, Durant’s assault continued as he hit a three followed by a 19-footer, a layup and a final dunk over Marcin Gortat to put an exclamation point on the performance and the game completely out of reach. Shannon Brown scored 21, Mike Beasley scored 14 and grabbed 11 boards and Gortat finished with a 19-15 double-double.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 26 points, 14 boards and 6 dimes to help the Kings end a four-game losing streak with a dub over the Cavs. Late in the game, Kyrie Irving (15 points) turned the ball over on consecutive possessions which led to fast break layups by Marcus Thronton (20 points) and Cousins to put Sacramento up nine. Dion Waiters (33 points, 5 assists) hit two straight three’s to cut the deficit to three. After the Kings hit one of two free throws on the next possession, Waiters missed on the other end and Boogie grabbed the rebound and was immediately fouled. He hit both freebies on the other end to seal the game. Tyreke Evans scored 18 points on 6-6 shooting and Thomas Robinson tied his career-high with 12 points. Tristan Thompson scored 17 and grabbed 15 boards and C.J. Miles chipped in with 17.