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Clippers & Miami Play A Thriller; Kobe Bryant Goes For 40 Again

By 01.12.12

Chris Paul (photo. Zach Wolfe)


You talkin’ about playoffs? The atmosphere in the Clippers overtime win over Miami felt like an NBA Finals game. Down the stretch, we can’t remember the last time we’d seen so many bodies hitting the deck. Miami really should’ve won it during regulation. But LeBron (23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists) fouled Chauncey Billups on a three, as well as going half n’ half at the line two times in a row at the end of the game (Damn he looked uncomfortable at the end of the game). It stayed close all the way through the overtime until Mario Chalmers (18 points) missed a three. With the Heat down three, they couldn’t get a foul, DeAndre Jordan (six huge blocks) got a wide-open jam, Erik Spoelstra flipped out and got tossed and the Clippers had a 95-89 win … In the second half, Chris Paul (27 points, 11 assists and about 32 flops) turned the game into his own personal showcase. We know it’s not PC, but THAT looked like the real CP3, and he hasn’t been around a whole lot this year. Still, the Clippers nearly shot themselves by going too often to Caron Butler (20 points) on isolations against LeBron, and allowing Chauncey Billups to put up every 25 footer he had a chance at … We don’t want to put a damper on a great game, but there was some shady officiating down the stretch. Were they trying to set a record for the most late calls in one quarter? It was one makeup call after another … After 47 minutes of making Dirk Nowitzki look completely human, KG got beat. Bad. In the final 25 seconds, with Garnett bodying up close enough on Dirk that they could’ve been at a middle school dance, Dirk (16 points) beat him off the dribble, and finished an and-1 layup to put the Mavs ahead for good. The Cs got one last chance, but Rajon Rondo turned it over on the other end (Great idea, Rondo: when Jesus gets open late, throw the ball at his feet) and, with Dime in the house, Dallas (5-1 in their last six) prevailed, 90-85 … Aside from his game-ending turnover, Rondo was money, single-handedly keeping the Celtics alive in the first half. “This is his team right now,” Doc Rivers said of Rondo, who finished with 24 points and seven assists, both game highs. Still until Paul Pierce gets back to his old self (literally), the Cs are going to continue to struggle. According to Doc, the first step for Pierce is getting back in shape. Before Dallas and Boston squared off, Pierce spent an hour on the treadmill, which could help explain his seven points. He did tie it up with a three with 25 seconds left, just as the Notorious J.V.G. was saying the Celtics passed up a shot to tie it. Amazingly, it was the first time the Truth had spoken since the first quarter … Damn, Atlanta is flip-flopping more than The Game this year. One night they have it together and beat Miami. The next, they’re getting blown out in Indiana as Jeff Foster of all people is stroking threes. Danny Granger broke out of his season-long timeout chair to drop 24 points on 16 shots as Indiana ran all over the Hawks, 96-84. In the third quarter alone, it was 27-9 Indiana … There was a Lance Stephenson sighting last night. Right as we switched on the game, the former Dime cover boy was in the middle of launching two shots on one possession. You gotta show him a little love though. Young fella scored seven in a row for the Pacers and had 12 for the game … Portland loves messing with us, don’t they? The “best team in the West” came out like butterflies last night, and even a miraculous late run wasn’t enough to avoid a home loss to Orlando, 107-104. Jameer Nelson (15 points) had two stupid turnovers in the final seconds: A travel 40 feet from the hoop, and then let Wes Matthews rip it right out of his hands for a dunk to cut it to three. But when they needed it, the Blazers went to Matthews, who missed a trey, instead of Jamal Crawford (24 points, and his NBA record 34th career four-point play), who was cooking everyone … Keep reading to hear about another one of Kobe’s big nights …


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