The Pacers Steal L.A.’s Thunder; Paul Pierce Hasn’t Lost His Touch

By: 01.23.12
DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan (photo. Rob Hammer)

And we thought Paul Pierce was dead. In what had to be one of the oddest starts to a season in his career – first the injuries then the awful play then the out of nowhere trade rumors – Pierce erupted yesterday for 34 points, eight rebounds and 10 dimes, as well as 14 of the Celtics last 25 points in their 100-94 win over Washington. If only Boston could play the NBA’s worst team every night; they’ve already played the Wiz three times. You know you have an old team when even Ray Allen, who never seems to get hurt, rolls his ankle by stepping on someone’s foot as they’re setting a screen and has to leave. With Rajon Rondo already out, that leaves Pierce, a decaying Kevin Garnett and a whole lot of nothing. In the last minute of the third quarter, the Celtics’ five consisted of KG, Avery Bradley, Sasha Pavlovic, Brandon Bass and Marquis Daniels. It’s horrifying that’s half of an actual NBA roster seeing real minutes … John Wall had another monster night (27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists), and looks to have finally turned the corner, averaging 26 points a night over his last four games. He just needed some time to get rid of that celebrity game bug that infected him in the first few weeks … The single best play of the night was UNDOUBTEDLY DeAndre Jordan going all Mola Ram on Ed Davis and nearly boxing him up and shipping out his remains on a dunk. Ruthless stuff. Jordan was dominant all game (16 points, 16 rebounds) in the Clippers easy win over Toronto, 103-91. But even with the game starting rather stereotypically (Blake Griffin catching a backdoor lob on the very first play), it was the unknown man in L.A., Mo Williams, who probably won it for the Clippers. As Griffin (18 points, nine rebounds) had an average night, and Chauncey Billups piled up assists (14) while shooting like a blind Jim McIlvaine (1-for-9) Williams dropped 19 of his 26 points (including 17 straight) in the fourth quarter. Is any bench player cooking like Williams is right now? After not hitting the 20-point mark in any game this year, he’s gone off for at least 25 in three straight, and during that stretch, Williams has missed all of 16 shots … If we had told you that LeBron James would have his third 20-point half of the season and that Brandon Jennings would shoot 5-for-20 in South Beach and have the worst 23, six and six game possible (Milwaukee as a team shot only 35 percent), the easy prediction would’ve been a Miami blowout right? Thanks to a rough stretch of games, the Heat had the added-in energy excuse, and played it perfectly, sleeping through an ugly first half before going on to lose to Milwaukee, 91-82. The Bucks weren’t exactly lighting it up but Scott Skiles gave them a ton of time off this weekend and it showed last night. They won every loose ball fight, and held down everyone in white not named LeBron (28 points, 13 rebounds) or Chris Bosh (23 points) … The only time the Heat got excited was during a 30-second span in the first half where Mike Miller, Joel Anthony and assistant coach Ron Rothstein all picked up technicals … Deron Williams came within one rebound (19 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds) of a triple-double in New Jersey’s 97-87 win over Charlotte … And this move gets our vote for the nastiest crossover we’ve seen in a minute … We’re out like Billy Cundiff.

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