Post Up: Lakers Cruise

by Adam Figman | @afigman

Happy (belated) Halloween! Not everyone got to go trick-or-treating on October 31, you know. Some people had basketball games to play.

Miami 101, New Jersey 78

And the Heat keep getting better. Don’t think anybody really thought the Nets would keep this one close (except Franklyn?), and they didn’t do too much to prove the haters wrong. The Three combined for 55 of the team’s 101, led by a 20-7-7 performance from LeBron and a 17-6-7 one from DWade. (Sidebar: No more over-complicated nicknames that aren’t catching on, anyway. Around here, LBJ/DWade/Bosh are officially “The Three.”) When Miami shoots better than 50 percent (36-67 yesterday), they’re damn near unbeatable. For New Jersey, Brook Lopez dropped in 20 points, while rookie Derrick Favors went for 13 and 13. Take that “Draft bust” talk elsewhere, peeps.

Dallas 99, L.A. Clippers 83

Keeping up with the no-close-games-allowed trend, the Mavs went into the Staples Center and had their way. Jason Kidd’s strong season continued with an almost-triple double (13-9-7), and five other Dallas players scored in double figures. For LACBlake Griffin (16 and 9) and Chris Kaman (13 and 13) were solid, but the backcourt will need to be a lot better if the Clips are to have any chance at a playoff run. Eric Gordon’s been impressive, so we won’t hold one off night against him, but has anybody seen Baron Davis? These dudes need a veteran leader, and the team’s point guard is (well, should be) the perfect place to find such a presence.

Utah 120, Oklahoma City 99

Can’t say I saw this one coming. After two rough games, the Jazz went into Oklahoma City and just got it done, jumping ahead by 16 in the second quarter and holding the lead after halftime. Despite a set of NBA TV commentators who were rooting for the Thunder like proud parents at a JV game, Utah played with a confidence and chemistry that they’ll need to maintain and build upon moving forward. Deron Williams led the show with 16 points and 15 dimes, while Paul Millsap (30 points, 16 boards) and Al Jefferson (23 and 10) were straight up beastly down low. OKC will win a hell of a lot of games this season, but if they can’t deal with teams that dominate the paint (Lakers, Jazz, Spurs, Nuggets, etc.), they won’t last long in postseason action. Kevin Durant (28 points) was great, but the help didn’t show up yesterday.

L.A. Lakers 107, Golden State 83

With Steph Curry resting his recently re-injured ankle, the Lakers started things off with a huge first quarter and saw no reason to look back. Pau Gasol led the squad with 26 and 12, while the rest of L.A.’s starters were able to play under 30 minutes amidst the blowout. Monta Ellis scored 20 for the Warriors, and, sadly, David Lee didn’t score a single point in his 19 minutes on the floor. Also, props to Jeremy Lin, who got his first bucket to go along with 4 steals during clean-up time. The Lake Show is now 3-0 with Memphis on deck for Tuesday night.

Honest question: How much did Roger Goodell throw David Stern to make sure the NBA took zero spotlight off the National Football League on this Sunday afternoon/night? Damn, can a League Pass subscriber get a close game? Some competition? A buzzer beater? Well, at least this was cool.

Performance of the Night: Paul Millsap: 30 points (12-19 from field), 16 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal
Moment of the Night: In case you didn’t notice, Twitter blew up last night with incredible pictures of NBAers rocking their Halloween costumes. The Celtics were hilariousMo Evans said, “Fuck your couch!” and Zaza Pachulia pulled off Charlie Chaplin flawlessly. But, best of all, Shaq posted this video of him as, well, you gotta watch it. Shaqeeta FTW.

Hopefully the NBA reclaims the throne with some down-to-the-wire contests these next few days, because I don’t think I can handle any more snoozefests. See y’all tomorrow.