Post Up: Stars Shine Bright

LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Chris Bosh and Kobe Bryant carried their teams to victories on Tuesday.
by December 10, 2014

Cavaliers 105 (13-7), Raptors 101 (16-6)

Although the Toronto Raptors built a 14-point lead late in the third quarter in their road game last night, LeBron James (35 points) and the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to rally back in the final period to get their eighth consecutive win. King James had the game-high 35.

The Cavs allowed their guest Raptors only 13 points in the entire fourth quarter. They used the period to go on a 12-2 run which ended with a 3-pointer from Kevin Love (17 points and 9 rebounds) to tie the game at 97 with just under four minutes left on the clock. James hit a 3 too, and that one gave the Cavs a lead with 48.1 seconds remaining. Then Cleveland closed out on their home floor, despite a double-double from Kyle Lowry (16 points and 14 assists) and another five Raps in double-figures.

Trail Blazers 98 (17-4), Pistons 86 (3-19)

During last night’s Trail Blazers’ road victory in Detroit, LaMarcus Aldridge (23 points and 11 rebounds) claimed the No. 2 spot on his team’s all-time scoring list.

Aldridge recorded his sixth consecutive double-double in Portland’s fifth straight win, as the Blazers continue to dominate when playing the Eastern Conference teams. Rip City extended its 9-point halftime lead in the third, limiting the Pistons to only 16 points in the quarter. Double-doubles from Greg Monroe (22 points and 10 rebounds) and Andre Drummond (10 points and 15 rebounds) weren’t enough for the Pistons who suffered their 13th straight L—the longest current losing streak in the NBA.

Grizzlies 114 (17-4), Mavericks 105 (16-7)

Following his uncharacteristic 2-point performance on Sunday, Marc Gasol reminded everyone why he still deserves to be included in the MVP chats with his performance last night. He led his Memphis Grizzlies to a home win over the Dallas Mavericks yesterday with 30 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Fourteen of those points came in the first quarter alone, and one of those assists was this set up for Tayshaun Prince’s (11 points and 7 rebounds) poster dunk on Brandan Wright:

The Mavericks were hot from long range, sinking 18 shots from beyond the arc—and that was established early. The Mavs successfully hit seven 3-pointers in the first quarter. Chandler Parsons led Dallas with 30 points, but a subpar 17-point third quarter and 16 turnovers compared to Memphis’ five did nothing to help the Mavs’ cause.

Oh, by the way—this happened too:

Pelicans 104 (10-10), Knicks 93 (4-19)

The woes continue for the New York Knicks, who lost their ninth straight game yesterday night. Amar’e Stoudemire’s season-high 26 points couldn’t help the Knickerbockers secure the road win in New Orleans. The Pelicans dominated in the paint, outscoring the Knicks 54-40 and outrebounding ‘em 43-30. Tyreke Evans had a game-high 27 points to lead the Pels to their second consecutive win, Omer Asik put up the double-double (16 points and 14 rebounds), and Anthony Davis added 18 points—including this beauty:

Thunder 114 (8-13), Bucks 101 (11-12)

Welcome home, KD. The 2014 MVP put on a show in his first home game of the season last night, after missing the first 17 games of the season with a foot injury. With 23 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, Durant along with teammate Russell Westbrook (28 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) led the Thunder to a solid home win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks. Reggie Jackson added 18 points and 7 rebounds off the bench, including this powerful slam in the second quarter:

OKC dominated the glass, outrebounding Milwaukee 54-31. The Thunder were able to maintain their halftime lead, despite 12 points from OJ Mayo in the third quarter who finished with 18 in the game to lead the Bucks.

Heat 103 (10-11), Suns 97 (12-11)

In a close game between the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns, nine-time All-Star Chris Bosh dominated in the fourth quarter to get the road win for his team. Out of his season-high 34 total points, 10 came in the final period, including a 3 that put Miami up 97-91 with 1:49 left on the clock. The Suns didn’t go away easy though, as Gerald Green (19 points) and Marcus Morris (career-high 25 points) scored 3-pointers late as well. But Miami hung on thanks to another 3 from Luol Deng (23 points) and some missed shots on Phoenix’s end in the final 30 seconds.

All five of the Heat’s starters were in double-figures to break their four-game losing streak. The Suns turned the ball over 22 times compared to the Heat’s 11 in their third straight loss. They sank 17-35 shots from beyond the arc. Miles Plumlee had a relatively quiet night, but this single block of his hit Dwyane Wade (16 points and 5 assists) in the head, who was already dealing with a headache:

Jazz 100 (6-16), Spurs 96 (15-6)

Despite a double-double from The Big Fundamental, Mr. Timmy D. (23 points and 14 rebounds), the struggling Utah Jazz snapped their nine-game skid with a win over the defending champs last night at home. Derrick Favors (21 points and 8 rebounds) led Utah to the important victory, with help from Gordon Hayward (20 points) and a double-double from Enes Kanter (12 points and 15 rebounds). The Spurs went on a 10-2 run late in the third to tie the game at 69, but before the quarter was over, the refs hit Coach Gregg Popovich with two techs and threw him out of the game. The Jazz held on in the fourth, scoring on five straight possessions, to beat the Spurs for the first time in two years.

Lakers 98 (6-16), Kings 95 (11-11)

With each night, Kobe Bryant inches closer to Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time scoring list. After his 32-point night in the Lakers’ win over the Kings yesterday, the Black Mamba is just 30 points away from tying MJ for the No. 3 spot. While Sacramento only scored 14 in the fourth quarter, Kobe got 9 of his game-high in the final 3:12—including the slam below—to carry L.A. to its sixth win of the year:

Nick Young added 12 points off the bench, and 4 of those points were a result from this pretty step-back:

The Lakers joined many other players across the League and people around the world in solidarity with Eric Garner by sporting “I can’t breathe” shirts during warm-ups prior to their game yesterday.