Kevin Durant Rips the Heart out of the Mavs; Kobe Bryant Demoralizes the Knicks

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Greg Morris)

As long as the door’s open a crack, Kevin Durant can – and will – sneak attack you and steal a game. Last night in Oklahoma City, KD did just that. A back-and-forth game between the Thunder and the Mavs came down to a final two minutes dominated by big shots. With the Mavs down one, Vince Carter drilled a three from the top of the key off a Dirk decoy play with just 1.4 seconds to go. After a timeout, the Thunder inbounded to Durant, and despite everyone in the gym knowing he was taking the shot, the Mavs inexplicably A) let KD catch the inbounds pass cleanly and B) gave him some daylight to get off a shot. Buckets. Thunder win … Seriously, you let anyone take that shot other than Durant, right? Even a Russell Westbrook clean look is preferable … By the way, have you seen Russ’ MJ-powered skates?? … How’s this for efficiency? KD got 30, going 10-15 from the floor … We know there’s no substitute for NBA games and practices for players to get in game shape, but dudes who showed up to camp completely out of shape? No excuse. On last night’s TNT broadcast, Mike Fratello said that on the Mavs’ off day on Wednesday, the team made Lamar Odom come in for two hours of conditioning work. Then he had to come back early before the team’s shootaround on gameday yesterday for more … Interesting observation from Steve Kerr last night: The Thunder use a bunch of the same exact plays for James Harden the Spurs have used for years for Manu Ginobili … Twitter was abuzz yesterday about how Deron Williams and Dwight Howard had dinner in Orlando on Wednesday night. You can imagine what was discussed, but once the Nets/Magic game started, Dwight was in seek-and-destroy mode. The Magic stomped the Nets, 94-78, and DH went for a 16-point, 24-board, 3-block, 3-steal, 3-assist night. It was the 49th 20-rebound game of Howard’s career … In the first two minutes of the game, Howard sent a Memo Okur shot out to halfcourt and nearly 10 rows up the stands … Basketball cannot be fun for Deron Williams right now. He’s the only real offensive weapon on a bad team and is facing constant double-teams and it shows. Last night he had 10 points, on 2-10 shooting. It’s amazing that he came up with seven assists with the players he has around him. D-will’s on an island and the only guy he has to help him is Marshon Brooks (17 points) … We’re getting close to permanent-vacation time for Tim Duncan. The Hall of Fame-lock got benched last night in Houston as his Spurs got blasted 105-85. Duncan was a miserable 1-8 from the floor and finished with four points … Kyle Lowry was a monster for Houston, just missing a triple-double with 16 points, nine boards and eight assists … Click for more: Kobe demoralizes the Knicks, Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose battle in Sacramento

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Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

The rumors of the death of the Los Angeles Lakers have been greatly exaggerated. Also, it helps to host a Knicks team that has zero interest in defense, rebounding or passing the ball. The Lakers thoroughly outplayed New York last night, beating them 99-82. Kobe Bryant was the man, getting himself 28 points, and just doing horrible things to Landry Fields, Renaldo Balkman, and whoever else the Mike D’Antoni put infront of him. Bryant had one stretch in particular in the third quarter where he was just unstoppable, doing Kobe things. Naturally, as is D’Antoni’s way, the Knicks made zero adjustments and were content to let Kobe skewer Renadlo Balkman over and over again … The Knicks, for the most part, were deplorable. How can a team with front line athletes like Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony be so, so weak on the boards? We’re specifically talking about STAT. 30 minutes and just two rebounds? Come on, man … Spectacular point guard match up in Sacramento last night as Derrick Rose squared up with Tyreke Evans in a battle of speed vs. power. Both PGs finished with 19 points each (and a number of highlight-reel plays), but Rose’s Bulls cruised to a 10-point win, 108-98 … Remember this near-death experience? Derrick Rose almost re-created it with Jimmer Fredette last night, when he hit the rook with a crossover that sent Fredette flying. Video coming soon on dimemag.com … Hey Steve Nash, the good news is that management is bringing in an NBA All-Star to help you out on this miserable Suns team. The bad news is that he was an All-Star in 2004 … We’re out like Knicks’ heart.

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