LeBron plays with House money to beat Detroit; Durant drops 40

By: 01.29.11  •  35 Comments
LeBron James

LeBron James

The Big Three was down to the Chosen One for last night’s Heat/Pistons game, which naturally meant for LeBron James that the role of fourth-quarter hero would fall into the hands of — Eddie House? … With five minutes left in the fourth, the Pistons were up three before House tied it with a corner trey. A few possessions later, House hit an off-balance jumper from the wing. Then after Austin Daye‘s triple with one minute left put Detroit up by one, House ended up with the ball in his hands with the final seconds ticking down. When the opportunity wasn’t there for a quick J, you figured House would pass it back to LeBron, but he was really feeling his Arizona State swag and decided to go to the rim, drawing a foul on Ben Gordon. House (15 pts) stepped to the foul line and hit the go-ahead free throws … We get on John Kuester‘s case for mismanaging his lineup and always finding new ways to alienate his team, but give the Pistons coach credit for drawing up a gorgeous play on their last possession. Daye ended up getting wide open for a lob at the rim, which Tayshaun Prince placed perfectly but Daye couldn’t finish … Tracy McGrady deserves some love, too. He was the best player on the floor for the Pistons, recording 14 points, 8 boards, 10 dimes and 4 blocks. In crunch time he was the go-to guy, scoring in the post and on hard cuts when he wasn’t finding open shooters. As one Miami announcer put it, “McGrady has put his footprint, his handprint, every print on this ballgame.” … Oh, and about LeBron (39 pts, 8 rebs, 9 asts): He dominated the game from beginning to end, carrying a squad that didn’t have Dwyane Wade (wrist) or Chris Bosh (ankle) and whose shooters couldn’t shoot. Mike Miller, James Jones and Mario Chalmers went 2-for-16 beyond the arc. It was like watching Barry Sanders work magic with Rodney Peete at quarterback and a crappy O-line … One time LeBron ran a pick-and-roll with Joel Anthony, but when ‘Bron threw an alley-oop guided by the eyes in the back of his head, Anthony never went for it because he was never looking for it. “He thought it was a shot,” said one announcer. “He’s not used to the ball.” … Kevin Durant didn’t have to worry about carrying the Thunder by himself — he had Russell Westbrook‘ 35 points, 13 boards and 13 assists helping him out — but KD did it anyway during the key stretches of a double-OT win over the Wizards. Durant (40 pts) scored five of the team’s seven points in the first overtime, then after OKC fell behind in the second extra frame, Durant went off: He skated past Trevor Booker for a layup and-one, hit a three, and iced two more jumpers to help the Thunder pull away … It probably wouldn’t have gone that far anyway if Thabo Sefolosha (knee) had played. James Harden tried his best to contain Nick Young (32 pts), but he learned that Young collects buckets like 50 Cent collects checks. When Harden fouled out, Scott Brooks dusted off Daequan Cook, who promptly gave Young a wide-open three before Westbrook was switched onto him …Read More>>

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