Post Up: Heat Hang On

by December 24, 2013

by Leo Sepkowitz | @LSepkowitzSLAM

Hawks 119, Heat 121

What an amazing game. The two teams played about evenly after Atlanta’s strong second quarter, and the game was tied with a few minutes left in regulation. 

Atlanta took a seven-point lead after Kyle Korver drilled a trey with 1:39 left, but LeBron responded with a personal 6-0 run over the next few possessions. Atlanta led by three with 14 seconds left, but DeMarre Carroll fouled Ray Allen shooting a three and he connected on each freebie to knot the game. The Hawks couldn’t convert a game-winner and the game went to overtime. 

In OT, the Hawks once again led by three, but Miami closed on a 5-0 run to win the game, with each point being scored by either Michael Beasley or Birdman. 

LeBron finished with 38 points, 8 boards, 6 dimes and one posterization of Millsap (below). He shot 16/28 from the floor and didn’t turn the ball over once in 46 minutes. Another day at the office for him. Allen added 19 starting in place of Dwyane Wade, and Anderson scored 12 with 9 rebounds off the bench. 

Jeff Teague (26 & 8), Paul Millsap (25 (7 threes!) & 10) and  Al Horford (21 & 11) were huge for the Hawks. Kyle Korver drained 5 threes in the loss. 

Pistons 115, Cavaliers 92

The Pistons rode Josh Smith (25 & 8) and Brandon Jennings (21 & 13) to a blowout win last night. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond each double-doubled, too, and Rodney Stuckey added 14 off the bench. 

Cleveland shot under 39 percent overall, aided by Andrew Bynum’s zero-for-eleven night. Kyrie Irving managed 21 and Tristan Thompson scored 17 in the loss. 

Knicks 103, Magic 98

New York led 24 at the break, but saw the advantage evaporate in the mid-fourth quarter. To their credit, though, the Knicks hung on for the W without Carmelo Anthony, who left in the second half with an ankle injury and didn’t return. 

Melo led the team in scoring despite playing only 24 minutes. He scored 19, while JR Smith came off the bench for 18 and 10 boards. Tyson Chandler added 10 points and 13 rebounds. 

Orlando got at least 12 points from each starter. Arron Afflalo kept his incredible season alive with 26 points (9/17), and Glen Davis scored 20 points with 7 rebounds. Nik Vucevic (14 and 12) and Jameer Nelson (17, 10 and 8) both posted double-doubles. 

Bucks 110, Bobcats 111

Milwaukee led by 18 early in the second quarter on Monday, but this game was tied midway through the third. Charlotte grabbed a three-point lead with 16 seconds left behind a Kemba Walker jumper, but OJ Mayo knocked down an equalizing three at the end of regulation. 

In OT, Charlotte again led by three in the waning seconds, and again, it appeared, the Bucks knotted things up at the buzzer. Only Khris Middelton’s game-tying three actually turned out to be a two, as his foot was on the line, and Charlotte narrowly escaped with a thrilling W. 

Kemba (25, 10 dimes and 9 boards) and Al Jefferson (26 and 9) were huge for the ‘Cats. Rookie Cody Zeller added 12 and 7 off the bench. 

Brandon Knight exploded for Milwaukee and finished with 26 points, 14 dimes and 8 boards. Middleton added 19 and Mayo kicked in 14 off the bench. The Greek Freak started and scored 12 points with 6 boards in 36 minutes. 

Mavericks 111, Rockets 104

Dallas erupted in the third quarter last night, outscoring Houston 36-21 in the period and setting up a not-so-close game in the fourth. 

Dirk led the charge with 31 points. He hit 11/18 shots from the floor and 8/9 from the stripe. Monta Ellis (18, 5 and 5), Jose Calderon (15 and 5), Vince Carter (16, 4 and 4) and Jae Crowder (11) were all solid in the win. 

Dwight Howard (29 & 15), Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin each cleared 20 points and Aaron Brooks added 18 off the bench, but Houston couldn’t buy a stop for most of the game. Dallas’ 11/22 shooting from deep was too much to overcome with James Harden sidelined with an ankle injury. 

Pacers 103, Nets 86

The Brook Lopez-less Nets actually hung with Indiana in the first half (45-39), but got blown out in the third and never recovered. Paul George (6 boards, 5 dimes) and Lance Stephenson (7 rebounds, 5 assists) each dropped 26 in the win. That’s a dominant two-way wing combination.

The Nets’ offense struggled badly, shooting 38 percent from the floor and 6/26 from downtown. Joe Johnson led the team with 17 points (7/13) and Kevin Garnett added 12. Deron Williams was just 3/9 from the floor and tallied 8 assists and 4 turnovers. 

Jazz 94, Grizzlies 104

This was a pretty close game throughout, but Memphis always had it in control. Zach Randolph led the team with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 7 dimes, and has been incredible since Marc Gasol went down. Jerryd Bayless (17) and MIke Miller (15) each made big contributions off the bench. 

Trey Burke and Richard Jefferson each scored 18 for the Jazz, while Gordon Hayward narrowly missed a triple-double: 16 points, 11 boards and 9 dimes.

Raptors 99, Spurs 112

Toronto was within striking distance early in the fourth quarter last night, trailing 82-77 with about 10 minutes left. But, as they have a habit of doing, San Antonio pulled away late. 

Tony Parker was the team’s best offensive player, scoring 26 points with 8 assists in 34 minutes. Manu Ginobili (18), Danny Green (14) and Kawhi Leonard (13) were solid on the offensive end, and Kawhi and Tim Duncan snagged at least 10 rebounds. Thirteen players got some run for the Spurs. 

Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross each scored 23 for Toronto. 

Warriors 89, Nuggets 81

Denver led at the start of the fourth quarter on Monday night, but scored just 15 points in the final period and let the game slip away. 

David Lee led Golden State with 28 and 10. Neither Stephen Curry (5/14, 14 points) or Klay Thompson (6/16, 13 points) were particularly sharp, but it was just enough in the low-scoring affair. Andre Iguodala scored 12 points with 6 rebounds in his return to Denver.

The Nuggets shot just 38 percent from the field (3/13 from deep). Ty Lawson (5/14), Wilson Chandler (4/12), Jordan Hamilton (0/4), Anthony Randolph (2/6) and Darrell Arthur (1/5) all struggled in the L. Lawson was the high-man with 16. 

 Lakers 90, Suns 117

Phoenix simply blew out the Lakers on Monday night, moving to 10-4 at home and 17-10 overall. 

Gerald Green led the team in scoring with 22 off the bench, but the starters were huge early on. Miles Plumlee exploded for 17 points and 20 boards, and has been really solid all season since coming over in the Luis Scola deal. Eric Bledsoe nearly triple-doubled with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 7 dimes and Goran Dragic scored 12 with 7 assists. 

In all, the Suns out-rebounded LA 62-39, and shot nearly 10 points better from the floor. 

The Lakers got 19 from Nick Young (6/17) and 18 from Jodie Meeks (6/15), but most of the team struggled. Pau Gasol managed just 10 points and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes. 

Pelicans 113, Kings 100

Tyreke Evans dominated in his return to Sacramento last night. He dropped 25 points (11/12 free throws), handed out 12 assists and grabbed 6 boards while leading his Pelicans to the road W.

Anthony Davis double-doubled with 21 and 11, and hasn’t missed a beat since returning from his hand injury last week. Jrue Holiday (10 assists) and Eric Gordon each scored 17.

Sacramento got 24 and 14 from DeMarcus Cousins and 21 points from Isaiah Thomas, but it wasn’t enough. Rudy Gay shot just 2/12 from the field. 

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. Today, Grant Hill gets the nod. Easy to forget how nasty he was in his prime…