Bloody Sun-Day

By: 01.15.10

Sundiata Gaines (photo. Kevin Couliau, Bounce)

Every good sports-movie plot twist came together at the right time to make Sundiata Gaines‘ game-winner on the Cavs last night feel like the Jazz had won an NBA championship and exorcised the Jordan-on-Russell demon all at once, not to mention getting a couple hundred starving screenwriters to crack open the laptop to get started on the Hollywood script. (Fredro Starr could play ‘Yatta. He’s got the NYC swagger and experience from Sunset Park, but him being 5-foot-2 might be an issue. To compensate, you’d have to get Don Cheadle to play LeBron and break out the 8-foot rims.) … With five seconds left, Utah was down two and missing Deron Williams, who’d re-injured his right wrist earlier in the fourth, plus Carlos Boozer, who’d fouled out. Going for the three and the win, Kyle Korver got the inbound, but immediately found a defender in his face. Kick it over to Ronnie Price, but just when he seemed destined to pull a Lou Williams Special and jack up a horrible 30-foot fadeaway, Price smartly passed to Gaines, who was spotted up and ready to let it fly over Anthony Parker. Bottoms, buzzer, ballgame. The Jazz mobbed the recent D-League call-up as the home crowd lost their minds … That capped a fourth quarter where Utah thrived in the running game even without Deron, getting buckets from Price, C.J. Miles, Wes Matthews and Gaines. LeBron (36 pts, 9 rebs, 5 stls) dropped 20 in the fourth, including back-to-back treys and two free throws in the final minute that had the Cavs ahead by six with 30 seconds left. But while Cleveland bricked crucial free throws after Utah was forced to foul, Price, Paul Millsap and Korver were able to get quick scores to set up Gaines for his big shot … From the “Where the hell did that come from?” files, Korver tracked down LeBron in transition in the first half and swatted his layup off the glass. That was about as likely as Mike Bibby dunking on somebody … While Sundiata only played about 10 minutes Thursday, Derrick Rose brought his Chicago playground game to the Celtics all night. It became clear early on that Rajon Rondo wouldn’t be able to keep Rose (17 pts, 8 rebs) out of the paint, but what kept Boston at arm’s length during crunch time was Rose’s aggressiveness and decision-making once he got there … Despite Paul Pierce (20 pts, 6-18 FG) and Ray Allen (8 pts, 4-10 FG) struggling with their shots — not to mention having Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich in their shirts — the C’s were able to make it close a couple times in the fourth, but Chicago always snuffed out the rally as Rose had nine points and three dimes in the quarter. He delivered what was essentially the dagger with 1:50 remaining when he smoked Rondo on a crossover and hit the lane going so fast he was almost behind the basket when he dropped in a layup to put the Bulls up 10 … Not to be outdone by Korver’s show of athleticism, did you see Brian Scalabrine score on a nice little drive and scoop shot in the first quarter? That might have been the greatest play Veal’s ever made in the NBA … When Tyrus Thomas went flying into the scorer’s table and took out the TNT announce crew, we thought we heard Doug Collins bark, “Get outta here!” Kevin Harlan showed a lethal first step to get out of his chair in time as Tyrus was headed right for him … As Georgetown was turning the screws into Seton Hall on ESPN, one of the announcers described the Hall’s backcourt performance as “an overabundance of mediocrity.” Or as we sometimes call it, a New Jersey Nets practice … We’re out like Scal and Korver on NBA Jam

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