You can’t disrespect a Derrick Rose-less Chicago team that’s still leading the East despite him being gone for 20 games now this season with injury. The Heat couldn’t stop the Bulls without their MVP a couple weeks back, remember? This is to say that when West-leading Oklahoma City met East beast Chicago on Sunday in OKC, you knew the Thunder were going to give the Bulls a full run no matter what. That run turned out to be a 14-point win that came with serious style points. Russell Westbrook (27 points) and Kevin Durant (26 points) connected on a half-court alley-oop and Russ dropped a coda on the game by lighting up Omer Asik like the Fourth of July on his slam. The debate will be how much of an asterisk to put next to this win, which OKC led by as much as 30, but the defense by the Thunder was beautiful. Lockdown stuff especially came in the third quarter, keeping the Bulls to barely 24 percent shooting. Kyle Korver (14 points) was Chi’s leading scorer AND the only guy in double figures? That’s crazy against a team (with or without the MVP) as talented as Chicago. … Rajon Rondo made the ball an extension of his hands for Boston against Miami, just whipping the ball on dimes to KG and Paul Pierce (the latter with serious English) en route to the win and his fifth triple-double this season. That scoop under Mario Chalmers? Ridiculous. He had 16 points, 14 assists and 11 boards to put the Heat on their biggest loss of the year (Not the worst-looking though, for what it’s worth.). LeBron went for 23. … Kobe heard it all and then some about his horrific shooting night on Saturday (first 15 shots missed), so all he did was get 40 Sunday to beat the Warriors at Staples. We called him Tim Tebow after that and still hitting the game-clincher, so Sunday we’ll have to call him Drew Brees after he scorched the W’s. That’s his 112th career 40-point game. … Gasps were heard all around the greater L.A. area when Andrew Bynum turned his left ankle. He bolted immediately for the locker room and didn’t return after negative X-rays. … Our new favorite H-O-R-S-E shot goes to Dorell Wright (14 points) for his bizarre, bobbling jumper. … Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge (26 points), two of the best and most mild-mannered power forwards, got into it in Portland. Love (26 points, nine boards) took exception to an Aldridge block, then they got verbal on an entry pass turned physical on the other end. Portland won, yeah, but we like that forward matchup, especially with a little more sizzle to it. … The Raymond Felton Rejuvenation Tour continues: 10 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. … Phoenix decked New Orleans thanks to Jared Dudley‘s 21. We said here last night we love the way the Hornets play but this team was spent after hanging with the Lakers the night before. … Read more to hear about Sunday’s most bizarre finish in the NBA.
Oklahoma City Dominates An East-West Battle; Rajon Rondo Drops The HeatBy: uproxx 04.02.12
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