Blockbuster Night

By: 12.20.08
Dwyane WadeDwyane Wade (photo. Chad Griffith)

When you watch multiple NBA games pretty much every single night during the regular season, you live for those times when you find yourself frantically flipping between a couple contest in simultaneous crunch-time, when you’re afraid to turn away from one game but don’t wanna miss a game-winner in the other. That’s how it was Friday with Jazz/Pistons and Lakers/Heat. At one point, Pau Gasol was stepping to the line with eight seconds left and L.A. down two, at the exact same time Utah was looking to inbound from midcourt with 1.4 seconds left in OT and the score tied … How did we get there? Like we saw in last year’s Boston series, Detroit saved themselves with some timely full-court trapping. After Rasheed hit a three to cut Utah’s lead to two with about a minute left, the Piston slapped on the press, denying Deron Williams the ball while swarming Kyle Korver and AK-47. Those two couldn’t advance the ball four feet up the court, and Rodney Stuckey turned a steal into an impossible circus layup to tie it up. Same score in the final seconds, and Deron busted Stuckey with a couple crossovers before handing him a turnaround J with 2.3 seconds left. Detroit ball, Tayshaun held it out of bounds for about 4.99 seconds until Rip Hamilton finally got open and nailed a tough shot over Korver to force OT. (That wasn’t the first time Korver got worked, either. One time Rip drove on him and scored a plus-one while Korver broke out his patented “I just saw a big-ass rat!!” defense.) … So on that aforementioned overtime play with 1.4 left, Deron (29 pts, 8 asts) got the ball and even had a step on his defender, but he dribbled one time too many and didn’t get his shot off in time. The Jazz eventually pulled away for the W in the second OT, though, after half the Pistons fouled out … When Stuckey got his sixth, he went to the bench and stopped directly in front of Kwame Brown, looking at him like, “Can I sit here?” Kwame (and Amir Johnson) pretended like he wasn’t there. Stuckey went and got his warm-up shirt and tried again, and again got stone-walled. Eventually he found a seat, but when Antonio McDyess fouled out a minute later, Kwame and Amir created a space for ‘Dyess before the whistle was done blowing. So apparently Kwame and Amir are playing petty seniority games with a kid who’s already better than both of them … Meanwhile, after Pau Gasol missed one of his free throws in the Lakers/Heat game, D-Wade missed one of his, giving the L.A. the ball with six seconds left. One guess on who got the ball, and here’s a hint: It wasn’t Josh Powell. With Shawn Marion draped on him, Kobe (28 pts) got himself a good look just inside the free throw line, but the ball went two-thirds of the way down before popping out. All Kobe could do was smile a frustrated smile, while the Heat could start breathing again … Wade had everything going for him. At the end of the third quarter he was trying to get past Trevor Ariza when Ariza dove at him and almost got a steal. Recovering from the scrum, Wade (35 pts) chucked a deep three that dropped at the buzzer. Wade even gave Ariza the cold “Take a knee” pose afterward …

Ray AllenRay Allen (photo. Jordan Brand)

Is it just us or does it seem like every time the Celtics and Bulls play in Boston lately, Chicago gets HAMMERED. Last night they gave up 126 points, lost Drew Gooden (their best big guy, believe it or not) to injury, got lit up by Kendrick Perkins inside (25 pts) and Ray Allen outside (27 pts), and were letting Tony Allen put on a dunk contest preview come garbage time … Usain Bolt was in the Boston crowd last night, after Michael Phelps took in their game the other day … Just when you thought he was losing a little bit of momentum in his All-Star campaign — some of which Rajon Rondo was outright stealing — Devin Harris went ballistic against his former squad. Devin hung 41 points and 13 assists on J-Kidd and the Mavs in a blowout, giving Kidd a Chris Paul flashback from the ’08 playoffs. Devin was so good he completely overshadowed Vince (34 pts, 10 rebs, 6 asts) and a surprisingly solid Yi “Check His I.D.” Jianlian (16 pts, 10 rebs) … Forget anything involving VC or the Denver shellacking that set the table for Sam Mitchell‘s exit, because the Raptors hit their rock-bottom yesterday by losing to the Thunder. Yeah, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green have been ballin’ as of late, and OKC gave the Mavs and Spurs some battles recently, but come on; they’d won SEVEN percent of their games going in. Green, Durant (on J.O.) and Des Mase (on everybody) were dunking all over the place as the Thunder owned the paint and the glass … Considering they were missing three starters (Danny Granger, Troy Murphy, Marquis Daniels) and starting two rookies (Brandon Rush, Roy Hibbert), you have to give the Pacers credit for hanging in there for two overtimes with the suddenly-hot Clippers. If you’re a fan of glacier-speed moves and four-inch verticals, this was your game. Zach Randolph put up 34 points and 16 boards, while Hibbert had 16, eight boards and five blocks for Indy … Apologies in case you’d happened to flip by Knicks/Bucks and thought Stephon Marbury had made his return. That wasn’t #1 Chris Duhon playing alongside #3 Steph in garbage time, that was #13 Jerome James finally getting some “run” … We’re out like Kwame and Amir …

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