Nets and Raptors Play the Game of the Year in London; Kevin Love Zeroes in on Moses Malone

By: 03.06.11  •  17 Comments

Deron Williams
It wasn’t surprising that the Nets and Raptors saved their best of the year for a game in London that no one outside of their respective fan bases was watching on a Saturday afternoon. That was expected. But what wasn’t expected was that it could’ve been the best NBA game all year … Maybe David Stern knew what he was doing when he scheduled an international matchup in London with New Jersey and Toronto. Two teams that were a combined 35-88 coming in ended up playing in an epic game that took nearly three and a half hours with the Nets finally getting the win. It wasn’t until Andrea Bargnani‘s (35 points, 12 rebounds) jumper was off in the third OT that New Jersey was able to survive as the winner. The game probably should never have gone as long as it did, but crazy shots from Sasha Vujacic (25 points) and Deron Williams (21 points, 18 assists) kept the game going into into the final extra period. From there, Travis Outlaw took over in the third overtime, scoring the last eight points of the night for New Jersey, including the winning free throws with only 12 seconds left … Some other big lines from the game: DeMar DeRozan (30 points), Kris Humphries (20 points, 17 rebounds) and Brook Lopez (34 points, 14 rebounds) … The game had four missed buzzer-beaters. But we guess that wasn’t enough for the English fans in attendance, as many of them left before the game was even over (reportedly to catch the final train rides home) … While it didn’t go three overtimes, Utah‘s seven-point overtime win against the Kings was exciting as well. For the final two minutes, the teams played through DeMarcus Cousins (18 points, 18 rebounds, 7 assists) and Al Jefferson (27 points) and the lead seemed to change hands on every possession. Marcus Thornton‘s (22 points) three with 14 seconds left forced OT. From there, Utah finally opened it up with a couple of long jumpers from Raja Bell, pulling away in the final minute. This was actually Utah’s first home win since they beat Charlotte on the final night of January. “The agony! The agony is over!” Utah’s color guy yelled … There was a period in the second quarter where Francisco Elson, Earl Watson, Darnell Jackson, Donte Greene and Gordon Hayward were all on the court together. It wasn’t one of the prettier moments of the season … In Washington, the Wizards got a big night from John Wall (18 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists) in a seven-point win over Minnesota (Check out Wall’s new TV commercial). The rookie carried Washington for most of the game, but late in the fourth quarter, Trevor Booker made the difference with two consecutive follow-up jams. The second one, which put the Wiz up by five, was just ridiculous. You hear this description a lot, but this time it is absolutely true: Booker was eye level with the rim. Don’t believe us? This guy will tell you … We were surprised Kevin Love (20 points, 21 rebounds) didn’t go off for 40 rebounds considering who he was playing against. The Wizards frontline, while very athletic and pretty talented, aren’t exactly beasts. Love still finished with his 50th-straight double-double, giving him the chance to tie Moses Malone’s all-time record in his next game Monday against Dallas. He also now has three straight 20-20 games … During the second quarter, the Wizards’ announce team started talking about Wolves Coach Kurt Rambis and his “mad man” days as a Laker. They said he looked like a mad scientist with the crazy hair and the rec specs. Then, the camera panned to a fan in the stands that looked exactly like Albert Einstein. Supposedly, the guy is at every game, but we laughed out loud seeing him in all of his bearded glory … Other headlines from around the league: a few night ago we asked if Mike Bibby was the least-deserving player ever to get a standing ovation. Last night in his return to Portland in the Blazers 24-point blowout of Charlotte, so did Joel Przybilla; Houston destroyed the Pacers by 17 behind Kevin Martin (20 points); and the Clippers beat Denver by six as Eric Bledsoe (20 points, 7 steals) dominated the fourth quarter and had one of the best blocks you will ever see when he met J.R. Smith at his apex on a fast break, catching all ball … On senior night against Duke, North Carolina jumped out early behind three walk-ons and never looked back, beating the Blue Devils by 14. Harrison Barnes (18 points) had a big night, Dexter Strickland had a sick dunk and Nolan Smith (30 points) was good despite the loss … Has there been a more disappointing college team this year than Baylor? Texas is very good and beat them last night by six. But still, this is a team that was hyped as a contender early in the year. Now, they are in danger of not even making the tournament … We’re out like the Brits.

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