Post Up: Better Luck Next Time

The Grizzlies held off the Hawks in a possible Finals preview, and three games were decided at the buzzer.
by February 09, 2015

Thunder (26-25) 131, Clippers (33-19) 108

Lob City hung with the Thunder in the first half yesterday, but OKC opened the flood gates in the third quarter.

Kevin Durant dropped 29 to lead the team and Russell Westbrook double-doubled with 19 and 11. Mitch McGary came outta left field to dominate the paint, hitting 8/9 shots on his way to 19 points and 10 boards. He looked great during Summer League before suffering a leg injury and spending some time in the D-League. If he can play consistently well, there are some minutes to be had behind Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams.

Jamal Crawford led LA with 21 points, many of them coming in garbage time. Chris Paul handed out 13 dimes with just 1 turnover to go with his 18 points.

Cavs (32-21) 120, Lakers (13-38) 105

Cleveland’s Big Three played a nearly perfect game yesterday. Kevin Love was scorching hot, knocking down 7/8 treys for 32 points and 10 rebounds. Kyrie Irving hit 10/14 shots with 10 dimes and LeBron added 22, 10 boards and 8 assists.

The Lakers countered with Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington, Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black and Robert Sacre. On the bright side, Clarkson scored 20 and has had a pretty nice rookie season.

Grizzlies (38-13) 94, Hawks (42-10) 88

Two days after disposing of the Warriors, Atlanta juusstttt ran out of gas in Memphis. The teams were tied at 86 before the Grizz ran off eight straight points.

Mike Conley was awesome, hitting a few big shots in the fourth quarter on his way to 21 and 6. Marc Gasol scored 16 with 10 boards and Z-Bo posted 11 and 15. It’s just about impossible to beat Memphis in The Grindhouse, where 47 strong minutes doesn’t cut it. Maybe Atlanta will get another crack in June.

Jeff Teague paced the Hawks with 22 and 6. Al Horford and Paul Millsap were uncharacteristically inefficient, combining for just 10 points on 21 shots.

Pacers (20-32) 103, Hornets (22-29) 102

A go-ahead triple by Marvin Williams looked like it was gonna serve as the game-winner last night, but George Hill came up with an even clutcher bucket. Brian Roberts couldn’t answer it at the horn, and the Pacers hung on for a tight win.

Hill finished with 11. CJ Watson stepped up big time off the bench, scoring 22 in just 25 minutes.

Al Jefferson dominated to the tune of 30 points and 13 boards, but it wasn’t enough. Lance Stephenson’s revenge game never got off the ground — he hit 2/7 shots in 20 minutes.

T-Wolves (11-40) 112, Pistons (20-32) 101

Minnesota’s hardly the League’s most consistent team, but they’ve got enough talent to blow up on the right night. Last night was the right night.

Nikola Pekovic got to the line 12 times and finished with 29 points, while Kevin Martin put in 24. Andrew Wiggins added 18, 8 and 5 and Thaddeus Young chipped in 16. All told, the team shot 51 percent overall and hit 29/34 free throws.

DJ Augustin led the Pistons with 20, and Andre Drummond shot a perfect 8/8 on his way to 17 and 14.

Bulls (32-20) 98, Magic (16-38) 97

Orlando led 97-91 with a half a minute to play last night before falling apart. A clear path foul gave Chicago two easy points, a turnover led to a Derrick Rose three, another turnover gave Chicago the ball back and, finally, a Pau Gasol tip-in gave the Bulls the win. Orlando had a couple of chances at the buzzer, but couldn’t convert.

Jimmy Butler led the team with 27 points and 6 steals. Gasol finished with 25 and 15, and has double-doubled in 12 straight games, the longest such streak of his career. Rose scored 10 points (4/14) with 11 assists, and Joakim Noah scored 18 (7/10) with 9 rebounds.

Each Magic starter was in double-figures, led by Victor Oladipo’s 18.

Blazers (35-17) 109, Rockets (35-16) 98

This game looked destined to come down to the wire — sound familiar? — until Houston fizzled in the closing two minutes. The Blazers had no issue capitalizing.

LaMarcus Aldridge (24) and Damian Lillard (23) led the way for Portland.

James Harden dropped 45 in the loss. He hit a wild 19/23 free throws, but his supporting cast didn’t deliver. Dwight Howard is a little frustrating to watch offensively, but the Rockets definitely miss his production inside. Harden led the team with 9 rebounds.

Raptors (35-17) 87, Spurs (32-19) 82

San Antonio looked ready to steal a road win last night until James Johnson knocked down a go-ahead three with under a minute left. Toronto’s defense locked down from there, shutting out the Spurs over the final few possessions.

Johnson scored a game-high 20. DeMar DeRozan added 18 (10/12 FT) and Jonas Valanciunas snagged 16 boards and rejected four shots for the Raptors.

Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 12 and 12 in the loss. A win, of course, would have marked Gregg Popovich’s 1,000th.

Kings (18-32) 85, Suns (29-24) 83

Sacramento led by 11 in the fourth quarter last night before Phoenix snatched the lead with an extended 17-4 run. DeMarcus Cousins then responded by knotting the game at 83 with less than a minute left. Moments later, he iced the game with a buzzer-beating jumper, with help from a very favorable rim.

Boogie dropped 28 and 12 in 37 minutes. Ramon Sessions added 10 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in the win.

Isaiah Thomas started for Eric Bledsoe (personal), and torched his old team for 26. Markieff Morris had a terrible night, hitting just 3-of-20 shots. Phoenix has to have games like this if they want to hold off OKC and New Orleans for the West’s final spot.