OKC & Minnesota Blow Up The Scoreboard; UNC Barely Survives

By: 03.24.12
Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Dime #43

It doesn’t matter if it took two extra overtimes, seeing a game end up with 289 points is crazy. Kevin Love channeled his recent anger to go berserk for a career-high 51 points, and yet the Thunder dominated the final overtime. Russell Westbrook scored the first points there and ultimately led OKC to a nine-point win with 45 points. Kevin Durant chipped in with 40 points and 17 rebounds, but as well as the Thunder’s big-name players balled, the rest of the team was non-existant. James Harden did his thing as well, but where was everybody else? They were busy making J.J. Barea (25 points, 14 assists) look like something other than a pretty good backup … Elton Brand scored 20 points to lead Philly to a huge divisional win over Boston, 99-86. Rajon Rondo had another one of those weird stat lines he’s famous for with three baskets and 17 assists … Behind Danny Green (18 points) of all people, San Antonio barbequed Dallas by 17 … Paul George has to be kicking himself in the foot today. He missed a free throw and then missed a layup that could’ve tied it in the finals seconds of Indiana’s 113-111 loss against the surging Suns. Danny Granger had 28, but it didn’t matter because no one on Indiana could stop Steve Nash. Darren Collison could’ve used some of his wizard skills – earlier this week, Roy Hibbert made the hilarious suggestion that DC was like a wizard because he just appeared at random times – because Nash went to work. The old vet had 17 assists and was playing the Pacers like a puppeteer. He was so dominant he even helped Marcin Gortat to wake up from his slumber to score 23 with eight rebounds … Doesn’t it seem like New York and Toronto are scheduled at least once a week? They played again last night, and this time, the Raptors hung a convincing L on New York’s forehead. The Knicks five-game winning streak under Mike Woodson was put to bed because they couldn’t stop DeMar DeRozan (30 points). To know how pathetic New York played offensively – the Raptors played a zone for most of the night – just know that Steve Novak was probably their best offensive player. Yeah, it was that bad … After spending much of the day tweeting support for an unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed recently by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer, the Heat went out and cooked and served Detroit, 88-73. Dwyane Wade had 24 in one of Miami’s easiest wins of the year … Andrew Bynum scored 28, and Ramon Sessions had 20 points and 11 assists in his first start with L.A. as the Lakers beat Portland 103-96 … And Utah ran away from Denver, scoring 121 points in a 19-point win. In the loss, JaVale McGee still did his thing, getting a couple of blocks, finishing a great oop, goaltending a shot and also committing a flagrant foul … Keep reading to hear how the top seeds were tested in the NCAA Tournament …

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Perry Jones

Perry Jones (photo. Matthew Minard/Baylor Photography)

You want drama? How about UNC trailing Ohio U of all places by four in the closing moments. With Kendall Marshall able to do nothing except sit on the bench and start up continuous slow claps, the Heels were looking mighty regular. Outside of Tyler Zeller (20 points, 22 rebounds), the rest of the squad looked lost or confused in the moment. Harrison Barnes looked like Matt Barnes rather than Kobe Bryant, repeatedly screwing up down the stretch by air balling triples or losing the ball in the lane (dude can’t score unless it’s a one-dribble pull-up). Eventually, their talent just overwhelmed Ohio. Carolina survived a last-second half-court shot, and then dominated in overtime … Baylor jumped out early and survived Xavier’s relentless guards, 75-70. Tu Holloway dropped 22 points, but missed a freebie – the only one he missed all night – at the worst possible time. From there, even a deep three from the senior guard wasn’t enough … Quincy Acy (20 points, 15 rebounds) had a beef with the rim, and wasn’t taking any s—. That dude had possibly the two best dunks of the entire tournament in one half. First he had a one-handed sledgehammer in the lane. Then he had one over the top of Kenny Frease on an out of bounds play that probably left Frease more black and blue than Yancy Gates did. Imagine if you put Perry Jones III‘s physical traits with Acy’s toughness? You’d have something. Instead Jones III can miss one shot, score 14 and you still sit there thinking he’s not fulfilling his potential … N.C. State did all they could, going on a late run to get a chance to beat Kansas. Too bad they came out of a timeout and ran one of the more high-difficulty plays we’ve seen. It ended in Scott Wood stepping out of bounds. From there, their last opportunity was a desperate heave from about 30 feet away as Kansas survived yet again, 60-57 behind 18 and 15 from Thomas Robinson Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (24 points) led a balanced attack as Kentucky asserted their dominance over Indiana, getting revenge on the Hoosiers in a 12-point win … Orlando beat Cleveland 93-80 behind 16 points and 13 rebounds from Dwight HowardGerald Henderson had one of the best games of his career with 29 points, and yet Charlotte was again blown out by Milwaukee … And Josh Smith (30 points, 12 rebounds) continued his incredible run in Atlanta’s nine-point win over the Nets … We’re out like hoodie-ism.

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