Kevin Durant and Deron Williams Stage An Epic Shootout

By: 04.07.10  •  37 Comments

Deron WIlliams (photo. Christian Kozowyck)

You couldn’t have scripted it better for Deron Williams. A few hours before the Jazz hosted the Thunder last night, we asked the question on Who has been the NBA’s best point guard this season? D-Will was already the clubhouse leader (at least in our office), but then he went out on Tuesday and effectively ended the discussion, dropping 42 points (14-23 FG), 10 assists and the game-winner in overtime … Utah went up double-figures late in the third quarter when Carlos Boozer took a pass from Deron and crushed Serge Ibaka‘s inner soul, then stared him down so cold that Booz (28 pts, 15 rebs) got a technical despite not saying a word or even taking a step toward Ibaka. The Jazz were still up 10 midway through the fourth and had held Kevin Durant scoreless in the quarter until KD contracted a sudden case of Mad Buckets Disease. Durant (45 pts, 7 threes) scored 17 points over a five-minute stretch, tossing in off-balance treys like they were free throws and catching and-one dunks. With eight seconds left, a blanketed Durant found Jeff Green open for a three-pointer to force overtime … In the extra frame, James Harden put OKC ahead with a triple, but Utah tied it back up on a C.J. Miles layup plus-one. Deron (being guarded by Thabo Sefolosha down the stretch when it became clear Russell Westbrook couldn’t handle him) hit a corner three to put Utah on top in the final minute, then Durant made two free throws. The Thunder still trailed by one before Green hit a runner off the glass, giving Utah the ball with five seconds left. Deron ran around a curl and buried a fadeaway J over two defenders for the go-ahead bucket, and on Durant’s last-ditch trey attempt, Miles appeared to foul the hell out of him but the refs swallowed their whistles. Durant was PISSED about it, too; he had to be held back by coaches and teammates while he cussed the refs out … Nobody is gonna mistake Kurt Thomas for Andrew Bogut, but the cagey vet held down the middle for the Bucks well enough to get them past the Bulls. Thomas (14 rebs, 4 pts) made a handful of clutch plays over the last two minutes, including a baseline jumper to put Milwaukee up four and a huge offensive rebound that helped preserve the lead a few possessions later … Chicago was down three with 13 seconds left and tried a high post handoff between Brad Miller and Kirk Hinrich. But with Hinrich covered, Miller started to drive and tripped over his own feet, getting called for traveling. Brandon Jennings added a free throw to ice it …

Chris Bosh, Dime #33

With the Bulls losing, the Raptors could have put some distance between themselves and Chicago for that 8th playoff spot. But even though yesterday’s loss in Cleveland was a blown opportunity, Toronto’s biggest concern now is Chris Bosh, who got hurt two minutes into the game and had to be taken to the hospital … Bosh and Antawn Jamison were jockeying for position when Jamison caught CB4 with an elbow and broke a bone in his face. This shouldn’t be too bad; Jason Terry just had a similar injury and only missed a couple of games, but the Raptors can’t afford to lose their star for any amount of time … There were reports going into the game that LeBron would be given the night off to rest, seeing as Cleveland has clinched homecourt throughout the postseason. But LeBron played and dropped 19 points and 13 dimes. If you can make a good argument for anybody else being MVP this year, feel free … Other stat lines from Tuesday: Richard Jefferson scored 18 to lead San Antonio past Sacramento, while Tony Parker had 8 points off the bench in his first game back in the lineup; Kevin Martin put up 29 points to lead Houston past Memphis; Boris Diaw just missed a triple-double with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in Charlotte’s win over Atlanta; Charlie Villanueva went for 25 points off the bench to lead Detroit past Philly; JaVale McGee put up 25 points, 15 boards and 3 blocks as Washington beat Golden State; and Danilo Gallinari dropped 31 as the Knicks beat Boston, while Earl Barron had 17 points and 18 boards. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know Barron was even on the Knicks — just feel bad for Eddy Curry, who watched Barron pull down more rebounds on Tuesday than he’s pulled down over the last TWO YEARS … The UConn women completed their second straight perfect season, beating Stanford for the national championship and running their win streak to 78 games. The first half was utterly disgusting; Stanford led 20-12 at the break while both teams tossed up enough airballs and ugly bricks to make Mateen Cleaves cry. But Maya Moore took over in the second half, finishing with 23 points as the Huskies pulled away … We’re out like Bosh …

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