by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
First off, let me give credit where credit is due and tip my hat to the Bobcats for their effort. They were down by as many as 16 and a year ago, they would have mailed it in and taken a 20-point L in stride. Last night though, they kept pushing and eventually tied the game at 85.
Unfortunately for them, Shannon Brown went on to play some of the best 12 minutes of his basketball life in the fourth quarter. With the game tied, Brown hit a jumper from the corner to break the deadlock and from then on, the Michigan State alum went off. Brown hit four straight three pointer’s and his three with a little over seven minutes to play gave Phoenix a 97-91 lead that proved to be insurmountable. For the night, Brown went 6-6 from behind the arc and finished with a team-high 24 points.
— Marcin Gortat played one of the best games of his career. The talented center scored 23 points, grabbed 10 boards and blocked 7 shots. Super Cool Beas tallied 21 points, 15 rebounds, 7 dimes and 3 blocks.
— Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessoins both had solid games at the guard spot. Walker, who started, had 17 points, 8 assists and 0 turnovers while Sessions came off the bench for 17 points and 9 dimes.
— Byron Mullens hit six three’s, scored 24 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
The Celtics eeked out a victory over the Wizards in D.C. but there is really no reason for them to be pushed to extra time by a Wizards team who was playing without John Wall and Nene. I understand it’s the NBA and on any given night a team can beat anyone, but c’mon man, the Celtics are by far a better team than the banged up Wizards right now!
The Celtics led by 11 with ten minutes to play after a Paul Pierce three-point play and looked as if they were going to coast to a victory. Instead, they took their foot off the gas and allowed D.C. to sneak back into the game and nearly pull off a victory.
The Wiz were Down 88-86 in the final moments of the game, but the C’s had a defensive breakdown and Chris Singleton took it right down the lane and dunked all over KG (see below). On the ensuing possession, Rondo missed a jumper and the game went to OT. In the extra session, Brandon Bass took over. After hitting a free throw to put the C’s up one, Bass scored on a tough layup then slammed home a breakaway dunk to put the game away.
With Danny Granger out for the next three months with a knee injury, Indiana is going to have to rally and get bigger contributions from their starting five if they hope to be in contention by the time he gets back. While it will take a full team effort, much of the pressure will fall on Paul George who is frequently touted as next up in Indiana. Last night, George didn’t do much to instill confidence in the Nap Town faithful as he shot 5-13, scored 13 points and grabbed 7 boards.
Despite George’s lackluster performance, Indiana led by as many as 14 but had a complete breakdown in the fourth quarter and fumbled this one away. In the final quarter, ATL went on an 18-0 run highlighted by Kyle Korver who scored eight straight points to cut the lead to one. After Jeff Teague hit a three of his own with a minute left, ATL finally took a two point lead and held on for a hard earned home victory.
— With their win, the Hawks have now won ten straight at home.
— George Hill shot 7-12 and finished with 20 points to go along with 5 assists. I love his game.
— Okay, Lou Will:
LeBron James finished two assists shy of a triple-double (20/12/8) and the Heat absolutely destroyed the visiting Nets last night. Miami smothered the Nets on defense, holding them to 37 percent shooting and forcing 19 turnovers. Conversely, the Heat shot 52 percent from the field and had a 25:12 team assist-to-turnover ration in their best performance of this very young season. Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 22 points and Rashard Lewis scored 13 off the bench.
— The Heat went on a 10-0 run early in the third quarter and it was never close again.
— Joe Johnson shot a putrid 4-14 from the field for 9 points.
— That Nets backcourt ain’t lookin’ too good.
The frontcourt duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol continues to terrorize opposing forwards and centers and in turn, the Grizz keep on winning. Last night the two combined for 32 points and 22 boards on 12-20 shooting to give the Bucks their first L of the season. While the Grizz’s frontcourt dominated, the Bucks were hoping to get a similar performance from the backcourt duo of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Instead, the two combined to shoot a pitiful 11-38 for 34 points.
Memphis led by as many as 23 in the game but the Bucks fought back to cut the lead to seven late in the third after a 21-6 run. With Milwaukee threatening, Memphis reserves Quincy Pondexter and Wayne Ellington closed the third by hitting a three-pointer each and the Bucks were unable to get closer than 11 in the fourth.
— The Grizzlies shot 53 percent from the field while Milwaukee shot 38.5 percent.
— Marreese Speights scored a season-high 18 points on 9-13 shooting.
— Tony Allen absolutely shut Ellis down, forcing him to shoot 1-10 over the first 22 minutes of the game. Ellis’ frustrations were evident as the talented two-guard earned a tech in the second quarter.
Just an ugly, ugly game all around. The Sixers forced 24 turnovers and held the Hornets to a franchise-low 62 points. The Sixers trailed by one at the half but went on a 10-0 run to start the fourth and led the rest of the way. Jrue Holiday held down Philly with 14 points, 12 dimes and 5 boards.
— Watching this game, reading the recaps and looking at the box score nearly put me to sleep.
In an entertaining game, the Nuggets outlasted Houston who continued to shoot themselves in the foot and cost themselves a victory. Both teams had trouble taking care of the ball and combined for 39 turnovers. Trailing in the fourth, Carlos Delfino nailed a three-pointer then James Harden scored in transition on two straight possessions to cap off a 20-7 run that cut the lead to four with two minutes to go. With momentum on their side and the Nuggets on their heels, it looked like Houston was primed to pull off a win.
Instead, Harden lost his footing on the next Rockets possession and missed a layup that turned inot an easy Andre Iguodala dunk and crushed any hopes of a comeback. Later, Kenny Faried threw a Harden layup back at him and put an emphatic stamp on the game. The Nuggets held Harden to 15 points.
— After their hot start, the Rockets have cooled off substantially and have showed their youth. Over the last three games, Houston has turned the ball over an average of 19.7 times and have shot the ball under 40 percent.
— Ty Lawson scored 21 and dropped 8 dimes. Faried had a double-double with 16 and 16. Brewer and McGee combined for 26 off the bench.
— Omir Asik left the game in the third to receive four stitches. Despite missing most of the quarter, he finished the game with 10 points and 13 boards to notch his second career double-double.
Minnesota won by 15 but it wasn’t even that close. The T’Wolves never trailed and led by 27 before handing the game over to their reserves with about five minutes to go.The Magic did cut the lead to five with about two minutes left in the third but quickly fell behind by double figures again after a 28-6 run from the T’wolves. The Wolves continue to pile wins while stars Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love recover from injuries.
— Minny held the Magic to 35 percent shooting from the field.
— Minnesota has won all three of their games by double-figures.
— Luke Ridnour led the way with 19 and Greg Stiesma came off the bench to score 12.
With both teams facing injuries to key players, the Mavericks were able to hold off a tough Raptors team to earn their third straight victory. Dallas got off to a quick start and took an 11 point lead into the half but the Raptors didn’t give up. Toronto trailed by 15 midway through the fourth quarter but cut the lead to give with a minute to play following a three-point play by Amir Johnson. The Raptors played their asses off but it was their fourth game in five nights and heavy legs prevailed. After Chris Kaman hit a jump hook with under a minute left, T.Dot was cooked.
Both O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman scored 22 to pace the Mavs who have now beaten the Raptors twelve times in their past thirteen meetings. Rebounding proved to be the key stat in this one. Dallas had a 47-8 edge on the boards and grabbed 16 offensive rebounds that turned into 21 second-chance points. It was a total team effort too: 10 Maverick players had at least 2 boards.
— Andrea Bargnani scored 25 and DeMar DeRozan had 24 but the Raptors but shot a combined 0-8 from three.
— The Raptors already really miss Kyle Lowry.
— Elton Brand missed the game to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Congrats to them.
— The Mavs and O.J. Mayo in particular have surprised the hell out of me.
— In their three-game homestand, Dallas never trailed by more than three points.
Oh man, another night, another Lakers loss. Los Angeles’ offensive woes continued as they shot under 35 percent from the field and an absolutely awful 17.4 percent from three-point range. The Lakers never led and fell behind by as many as 16. They committed 18 turnovers, were outscored in the paint 44-36 and only hit 69 percent of their free throws.
But enough of the Lakers negatives–the Jazz simply outplayed their opponent. After Utah suddenly went cold from the field, Randy Foye caught fire and carried the Jazz to a victory. Foye hit four three-pointers in a three-minute span, including back-to-back three’s that put the Jazz up by 11 with six and a half minutes to go that put the Lakers to bed for good. Utah’s bench manhandled LA’s reserves, outscoring them 36-12.
— The Lakers have the worst record in the Western Conference and are 1-4 for the first time since the ’93-’94 season.
— Al Jefferson finished with 18 points and 10 boards.
— Steve Blake is no Steve Nash.
Greg Monroe and DeMarcus Cousins put on one helluva show for the 100 people in attendance at Sleep Train Arena last night. Monroe finished with the first triple-double of his career after putting together a stat line of 21 points, 12 boards and 11 assists. Cousins had 21 points and 11 boards and helped the Kings win their second straight game.
Sacramento outscored Detroit 29-19 in the second quarter to take a nine-point lead into the break. The Pistons kept it close throughout, but they never gained the lead back and remain winless on the season.
— Seven Sacramento players and Six Detroit players scored in double figures.
— Thomas Robinson was ejected in the fourth quarter after elbowing Jonas Jerebko in the throat.
— Oh my goodness, Boogie:
Lob City led by as many as 28 and blew out the Spurs to hand them their first loss of the season. The Clippers led by six at the half and proceeded to hit their first seven shots of the third to push the lead to 12. When the subs came in, the scoring didn’t stop and LA went on a 10-2 run to take a commanding 20-point lead. DeAndre Jordan had a great game, finishing with 20 points on 10-12 shooting to go along with 11 boards and 4 blocks. Frontcourt mate Blake Griffin had 22 and 10 as the Clippers shot 55 percent from the field as a team.
Golden State took advantage of a depleted Cavs team who were missing Anderson Varaejao and Tyler Zeller in the frountcourt due to injury. David Lee dominated inside, scoring 22 points and grabbing 14 boards to tally his first double-double of the season. The Warriors were down by two late in the third but suddenly got hot offensively and ripped off a 17-4 run that put them ahead 85-74 heading into the fourth. Stephen Curry put together a nice game with 21 points, 6 dimes, 5 boards and 2 steals while Carl Landry hopped up off the bench and dropped 19 to go along with 9 boards.
— In a battle between lottery picks Harrison Barnes and Dion Waiters, Barnes got the best of Waiters. The Warrior Rookie finished with 14 points on 5-9 shooting while Waiters scored 12 on 5-15.
— Kyrie Irving has been unbelievable so far and continued his hot streak with 28 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. He has now scored at least 24 points in his last three games.
— The Warriors shot 53 percent from the field while Cleveland shot 42 percent.