It took two overtimes, but Atlanta barely survived Detroit’s second unit, 126-119. Up 22 with under 11 minutes to go, the Hawks watched as Will Bynum (31 points), Andre Drummond (16 points, 12 rebounds, 167 gushing compliments from the ATL TV guys), and the rest of the Pistons’ bench unleashed Hell on them. That group somehow made eight of nine triples in the final period. When Al Horford (22 points, 10 rebounds) stepped up to the line with tap water in his veins and missed a freebie with 1.8 seconds left, we had overtime. Even with the Atlanta announcers pleading with their guys to play inside-out, it still took the Hawks about seven minutes of extra play to really get it going. Josh Smith (31 points, 10 boards, six dimes) stopped shooting airball threes, and Jeff Teague (17 points, 11 assists) decided he wasn’t going to get his shorts dropped by Bynum anymore, and after that, the Hawks had just enough to survive what would’ve been one of the most embarrassing losses of the season … Other notable stat lines from Wednesday: LeBron and Dwyane Wade pummeled Charlotte by combining for 56 points, 21 boards and 13 assists in a 13-point Miami win. The Heat celebrated in the locker room by serenading special guest Ric Flair with a collective Woooo; Kyrie Irving dropped 20 of his 26 points in the first half, and then Cleveland survived a last chance triple try from Jordan Crawford (17 points) to beat Washington by three; without Deron Williams, Brandon Jennings (25 points) took advantage of the reeling Nets, dropping pull-up J after crossover after three-point bomb in Milwaukee’s easy 108-93 win; the Grizzlies surprisingly fell by 10 at home. Dorell Wright exploded for 28 points in the Sixers’ mini lineup; San Antonio was paced by 15 from Tim Duncan in a 100-80 blowout over the Raptors; Steph Curry (23 points, eight boards, seven assists) and the Warriors took out Utah, 94-83; LaMarcus Aldridge (28 points, 12 rebounds) and Portland had no problems in a 18-point beatdown of Sacramento; And in Phoenix, the Knicks didn’t need Carmelo Anthony. They didn’t need Raymond Felton, either. They have J.R. Smith, and in his first chance to don the Dark Knight armor, Smith erupted for 27 points, five steals and the game-winning buzzer-beater as New York won, 99-97. Remember his game-winner against Charlotte earlier this month? This one looked almost identical, and Smith scored on both of New York’s final touches – he had to because Jared Dudley (36 points) played out of his mind. Outside of taking out Goran Dragic on a play that would’ve started a fight in pretty much any gym, Smith basically had a perfect night … We’re out like Indiana vs. Chicago.
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