Post Up: Coming Up Clutch

by January 26, 2015

Heat (20-24) 96, Bulls (29-17) 84

Miami jumped ahead early yesterday and held off a late Chicago surge to hang on for the road win. Hassan Whiteside was incredible, swatting 12 shots to go with 14 points and 13 boards. He’s been a revelation this season, and was just everywhere yesterday. Quite a find.

Dwyane Wade scored 26 for Miami and Chris Bosh added 20 and 7. Luol Deng scored 15 with 10 boards in his return to Chicago.

Derrick Rose led the bulls with 19 in the loss. Aaron Brooks was nice off the bench with 17 (4/5 from deep).

Cavaliers (25-20) 108, Thunder (22-22) 98

These teams were nearly equal through three quarters, but an early fourth-quarter run by the Cavs put them up for good.

Cleveland played perhaps its best game all year. LeBron led the way with 34, 7 and 5. Kyrie Irving (21 and 6), Kevin Love (19 and 13) and Tristan Thompson (10 and 16) had big games as well. It’s fun watching the Cavs come together.

Kevin Durant had a big shooting day, hitting 12/23 shots for 32 points to go with 9 dimes. Russell Westbrook nearly triple-doubled with 22 points, 11 assists and 9 boards in the loss.

Clippers (30-14) 120, Suns (26-20) 100

Phoenix led 57-55 at the break last night before (relatively) stalling in the second half. The Clippers ran away with it thanks to huge third and fourth quarters (34 and 31).

Chris Paul was dynamite, hitting 7/11 shots for 23 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds. Blake Griffin scored 23, too, and DeAndre Jordan posted 18 and 14. All told, LA hit 10/23 threes and nearly 50 percent of its shots.

Phoenix got a balanced scoring effort but couldn’t keep pace with Lob City. Isaiah Thomas led the game with 25 off the bench, while Eric Bledsoe (17), Alex Len (15), Marcus Morris (13) and Goran Dragic (10) all cleared double-figures.

Pelicans (23-21) 109, Mavericks (30-15) 106

The Pelicans opened up an eight-point lead with 9 minutes to go last night before Dallas answered with a 14-3 run to snatch the lead. NOLA battled back, though, and hung on when Monta Ellis’ game-tying try fell off the mark at the buzzer.

Anthony Davis dropped 28 with 10 boards. He hit 12/14 free throws and collected 5 steals. Tyreke Evans added 24 with 12 assists filling in for Jrue Holiday at point guard, and Ryan Anderson added 18 off the bench.

Ellis finished with a game-high 36 for Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki dropped in 24, and Rajon Rondo went for 17 points, 9 assists and 8 boards.

Hawks (37-8) 112, T-Wolves (7-36) 100

The T-Wolves actually hung around with the East’s top dog last night, but never really threatened to beat them.

Everybody chipped in for Atlanta, per usual. Paul Millsap (20) led the team, but Al Horford (8/9, 19 points), Kyle Korver (4 threes), Jeff Teague (15 and 7) and the rest of the squad played well, too. Atlanta hit a positively unfair 56.3 percent from the floor. Scary, scary stuff.

Veterans Thaddeus Young (26) and Mo Williams (20) led Minnesota in scoring. Andrew Wiggins was solid, too, with 12 points and 7 boards in 41 minutes. For a dude who was considered very raw offensively, his consistency as a rookie has been awesome to see.

Pacers (16-30) 106, Magic (15-32) 99

Orlando actually led by 9 early in the fourth last night before going ice cold. They allowed Indy to close on a 27-11 run over the final eight minutes.

David West led all Pacers with 20, and Damjan Rudez (18) and George Hill (17) were great off the bench.

Nikola Vucevic had another huge night for Orlando in the loss. He finished with 27 points and 7 boards with 0 turnovers in 34 minutes following up on a 34 and 18 effort in New York on Friday night. He’s gonna get paid this summer.

Spurs (29-17) 101, Bucks (22-22) 95

Credit the surprisingly steady Bucks for giving the Spurs a scare last night. They led by 8 at the break and were within a bucket in the final minute, but just couldn’t pull it out.

Tim Duncan (20 and 11) and Kawhi Leonard (19 and 14) shined in the win for San Antonio.

Milwaukee got nice contributions from a handful of guys, including Khris Middleton (9/14, 21) and Jerryd Bayless (15 and 5). On the flip side, Brandon Knight and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined for just 14 points on 6/20 shooting.

Raptors (29-15) 114, Pistons (17-28) 110

DJ Augustin juuuussstttt about led Detroit to a wild comeback W last night, but the Pistons fell a little short.

Each Raptors starter scored at least 11 points, led by DeMar DeRozan (25) and Jonas Valanciunas (20 and 11). Toronto shot 53 percent overall.

Augustin went off for 35 filling in for Brandon Jennings, and Greg Monroe went for 21 and 16. Augustin was great for Chicago a year ago, and should do a nice job at point guard for the rest of the year. We’ll all miss Jennings badly, though.

Warriors (36-6) 114, Celtics (15-27) 111

Any Given Sunday… almost.

The Dubs led by 14 with 8:45 left last night before a ridiculous comeback by Boston had them within three in the closing seconds. Klay Thompson proceeded to put the game away at the line.

Thompson had a big game, hitting 11/19 shots for 31 points. Seems pretty lame compared to Friday’s effort, though. Steph Curry added 22, and Andrew Bogut double-doubled with 13 and 13.

Jared Sullinger finished with 26 and 9, while Evan Turner dropped in 19 on just 12 shots for Boston.

Wizards (30-15) 117, Nuggets (18-26) 115

A bucket by Nene with 39 seconds left in regulation tied last night’s game at 105, and neither team could steal the edge from there. The Wiz snagged a quick six-point lead in OT, and pulled out the tough road win.

Kris Humphries came out of nowhere to drop 21 and 14 off the bench for Washington. Paul Pierce got to the line 14 times and finished with 19, while John Wall checked in for just another day at the office: 19 and 16.

Wall’s counterpart, Ty Lawson, erupted for 31 and 12 in the loss. Wilson Chandler added 20 and 9, and would make a sweet midseason acquisition for a contender who needs some help on the wing (as many of them do).

Rockets (31-14) 99, Lakers (12-33) 87

I’m not sure that anybody can shoulder an offensive load quite like James Harden. Last night, Houston’s other four starters combined for 30 points, only Harden cleared 12 points, and yet Houston nearly tallied 100. Credit Harden’s 37 and 5 for that.

The Lakers’ leading man was Carlos Boozer off the bench, while Nick Young saw only 8 minutes. The game wasn’t exactly a fair fight.