Three hours before tip off, Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena was empty save for one cat and an assistant coach going through shooting drills. LeBron James wanted to be ready for Philly, and why not? He owns them, and as a team the Heat have the Sixers’ number, winning the last 11 times the two teams have matched up. So it really shouldn’t have been surprising to see ‘Bron go for 14 consecutive points in the fourth quarter of Miami’s 99-93 win. James looked dare we say comfortable without Dwyane Wade, running screen-n-rolls every time down, and pulling up for jumpers off the right side. The one time Evan Turner (who was balling… 26 points, eight rebounds) shut off his pursuit of a bucket, James (41 points) passed it off and went backdoor for a game-clinching lob from Mario Chalmers … Andre Iguodala left at one point to deal with an apparent eye injury, but before that he had three Earth-shaking dunks that we felt all the way up the East Coast … Need another crazy stat? The Heat have won 16 consecutive games at home. We feel bad for whoever gets that No. 7 seed in the East … Andrea Bargnani scored 30 last night in Toronto’s 92-87 dumping of the Bobcats. Charlotte might’ve lost by backup big man Byron Mullens put in work, going for 20 points and 14 rebounds. We hate to keep bringing this up, but isn’t this one of the cats that would get “destroyed” if Charlotte was to play Kentucky? Yeah okay, he just had 20 and 14 in an NBA game. He must not be very good … “How did that happen?” The announcers wanted to know. The Grizzlies somehow came from 12 down to win one of those games where they played like they had just had a full-course Thanksgiving meal. No enthusiasm. No energy. They had Jerome James-itis until a 13-0 run in the fourth changed everything. Behind O.J. Mayo‘s 19 and Mike Conley‘s 18, the Grizz won 98-92 over Golden State to push themselves another win closer to the playoffs … Gilbert Arenas didn’t miss a shot, and had 10 points for what seriously might’ve been his best game since before Gungate … Phoenix jumped back over .500 with a nine-point win in Sacramento. Marcin Gortat did damage with 20 and 10, and Steve Nash put the rumors about his back to sleep with 18 points … DeMarcus Cousins had his way with everyone, finishing with 41 points and 12 boards … Kobe Bryant didn’t have a killer night (24 points), but he made a crazy triple to ice a win without Andrew Bynum against the Nets, 91-87 … Keep reading to hear about the epic New York collapse …
With under three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the final frame scoreboard read like this: Indiana 27, New York 6. The Pacers had used a 17-2 run to come dashing back from the dead. Once down by 17 in the third, Indiana went on to punch the Knicks in the jaw, and watched them sink and drop, 112-104. J.R. Smith got ejected, Lou Amundson got freaky wit’ it on the boards and Carmelo Anthony just started shooting every time he touched it. You could just feel the collapse coming. In the fourth quarter, Danny Granger (27 points) got so hot, he wasn’t even bothering to dribble anymore, and after his fifth three-pointer of the game he mocked Steve Novak‘s triple celebration. It’s pretty sad the Discount Double Check is now being ripped away from one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL by an NBA bench player. When was the last time this happened? … After iso-ing the Pacers to death in the third quarter, Anthony’s (39 points, 10 rebounds) post game was flowing in the fourth, and every time he sensed a mismatch, he took advantage. But with 30 seconds left, ‘Melo pulled up for a triple with Leandro Barbosa on him, and the potential tying shot rimmed out … After the Lin era was so much fun, the Knicks were right back to where they were last year last night: an average team that just clears out every time down for Carmelo Anthony. They might be up and down, but at least ‘Melo is happy right? … The Spurs tied the Cavs up and ran them through the streets of Cleveland in a game that was never close, never in question. 125-90 was the final as San Antonio showed off the depth that suddenly has them looking like the deepest team in the league. Besides their big three, Danny Green had 19, Patty Mills had 20 and even Boris Diaw gobbled up six boards and nine assists … You know what’s weird? With Manu Ginobili sporting the new shaved, old man look, he’s looking a lot like Ernie Johnson … Without Dwight Howard or Ryan Anderson, Greg Monroe went to work against Orlando’s weak frontline, putting up 22 points and 11 rebounds in Detroit’s seven-point win. As a team, the Pistons used the Magic as a personal whoopee cushion, dominating in the paint to the tune of a 26-point advantage at the rim. Detroit’s Ben Wallace also surpassed 7,000 defensive rebounds for his career … A record was set in women’s college ball last night. During their 80-61 shellacking of Notre Dame to win the National Championship, Baylor is now the first team to ever finish a season 40-0. Physically, they were literally too big inside. Brittney Griner (26 points, 13 rebounds) was such a beast she had Robert Griffin III dancing awkwardly in the stands, and had Twitter ablaze with “She has more of a post game than Andray Blatche” comments. It’s going to be amazing to watch whenever she does get into the WNBA … We’re out like Greg “Elevator” Anthony.
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