Steve Nash lights up Houston; The old Sonics destroy the new Sonics

By: 04.14.12
Steve Nash

Steve Nash (photo. Nike)

Friday the 13th used to be known for harmless bad luck, but thanks to a psycho with a hockey mask and every movie studio deciding they have to release horror flicks on that date, now it’s become synonymous with blood and torture. Always thinking marketing, the NBA had its bases covered last night, Friday the 13th — giving a lot of unlucky fans a lineup of boring blowouts that were murder on the eyes … It was so bad we resorted to math: The average margin of victory for last night’s 12 NBA games was 15.6 points; four games reached 20-piece status; and one of them was a 38-point laugher that shockingly involved the Wizards … If you had to pick a headliner, it would’ve been Suns/Rockets. While there were playoff implications — Houston is clinging to one of the last postseason spots in the West and Phoenix wants it — ESPN’s announcers were trying too hard to sell it. We’ve never heard “playoff atmosphere” so often during a game that, well, didn’t have one … Phoenix led by five in crunch time before Steve Nash drew a charge on Courtney Lee, then dimed Jared Dudley on a three-pointer that made it an eight-point game with 36 seconds left. That should’ve been the dagger, but Luis Scola and his flopping genius kept it interesting. (Flopping Genius sounds like a garage band.) Scola was setting a screen on Marcin Gortat to free Chase Budinger for a trey, flopped to draw a foul on Gortat and fell back into Budinger, almost tearing Air Bud’s knee to shreds. OK, so the knee thing probably wasn’t part of the plan. The refs awarded Budinger three free throws, even though he wasn’t actually fouled by anyone, and he made them all to bring the Rockets back in range. Too bad Nash (18 pts, 10 asts) tends not to miss his late-game free throws either, because that was as close as the Rockets would get … Following high-profile losses to the Celtics and Bulls, the Heat needed a punching bag to get their swagger back. Cue the Bobcats walking into Miami’s gym like an ambitious young blonde walking into an elevator with Bobby Petrino and Bill Clinton, unaware they’re about to be ruined … Even Dexter Pittman went off in Miami’s rout, scoring a season-high 16 off the bench. LeBron had a breezy 19 points and Chris Bosh chipped in 18, while D-Wade sat out … The Pacers stomped the Cavs behind Danny Granger‘s 18 points in the second part of a home-and-home series. The first meeting was as forgettable as this one, except in that one, Cleveland’s mascot Moondog got injured while play-fighting with Dave West. That was dumb. Of all the guys on Indiana’s roster, West is the last one we’d even pretend to fight. He’s the type of dude who wakes up on Christmas morning with a scowl on his face after eye-gouging Santa Claus the night before … Hit the jump to read about Kevin Durant settling a playground dispute.

Page 2
Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Rob Hammer)

Oddly coincidental timing for a Thunder/Kings game: Earlier on Friday, news broke that Kings ownership sabotaged a deal with the city to build a new arena, and that the Hornets are being sold to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who will most likely keep them in Louisiana. So in Oklahoma City you had the old Seattle Supersonics playing what could very well be the new Seattle Supersonics — one team with two original Sonics on its roster (Kevin Durant, Nick Collison) and one with two Seattle natives on its roster (Isaiah Thomas, Terrence Williams) … And that was about as interesting as it got, because the game itself was a dull pounding by the Thunder. Did something happen on a DMV-area playground between Durant and Donte Greene that we don’t know about? Whenever Durant (29 pts) found Greene guarding him, he want at him hard. The highlights included a tomahawk dunk down the middle of the lane, and a baseline blow-by for a layup … So if Anthony Davis turns out to be exactly as good as Serge Ibaka (7 blks), would that be good enough for a No. 1 overall pick? Leading the league in blocks and contributing a few points and boards per night for a championship contender certainly isn’t bust material, but everybody wants No. 1 picks to be guys that carry franchises, not just contribute … Amazingly, DeMarcus Cousins and Kendrick Perkins guarded each other for an entire game and never came to blows. But they were throwing glares and mean-mugs at a rate Manny Pacquiao would admire … Kobe (shin) and Mike Brown (personal reasons) missed Lakers/Nuggets, but Matt Barnes (24 pts) played like a tatted, skater Kobe stunt double to help L.A. clinch its playoff berth. Barnes was hitting rainbow fadeaway buzzer-beaters, going spread-eagle on left-hand dunks, and he hit a huge three and a floater late in the fourth quarter before finding Andrew Bynum (30 pts) with a halfcourt alley-oop that put the Nuggets to bed. Not sure what had gotten into him, but Barnes didn’t even get buckets like that at UCLA … Other stat lines from Friday: Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 to help Dallas edge Portland; Eric Gordon poured in 25 points as New Orleans beat Utah; DeMar DeRozan scored 22 to lead Toronto past Boston; Kris Humphries put up 18 points and 13 rebounds in New Jersey’s win at Philadelphia; Brandon Jennings had 20 points and 10 assists in Milwaukee’s win at Detroit; Jannero Pargo had 17 points and 3 steals in Atlanta’s rout over Orlando; and J.R. Smith dropped 23 off the bench as New York molly-whopped Washington … In the midst of that debacle at MSG, John Wall caught a lob from Jordan Crawford and damn near hurdled Baron Davis for a two-hand dunk. Exactly how long do you think Wall has been fantasizing about the island vacation he’s going to take as soon as this season is over and he can get away from this clown college squad? Wall might be the only player in the NBA who doesn’t play as himself on NBA 2K12 — or maybe he does, but he traded himself to the Lakers months ago … We’re out like the Kings …

Around The Web

Featured

A Fact-Soaked Odyssey Through Kentucky’s Bourbon Country

This Woman Is Fighting The Stigma Of Sex Work In America In Hopes Of Getting Her Child Back

‘We Went To The Moon In 1969’: How The ‘Even Stevens’ Musical Episode Changed The Disney Channel Forever

Is There More To The Adam Walsh Story?

‘Rad’ Star Bill Allen Looks Back On Helltrack And That Iconic BMX Prom Scene, 30 Years Later

‘Veep’ Creator Armando Iannucci And Timothy Simons Explain Why It’s So Much Fun To Hate Jonah Ryan

By: and 04.25.16

A Firsthand Account Of The Earthquakes In Ecuador And The Aftermath

By: 04.21.16

The Cruelest Month: An Examination Of April’s Long History Of Terror And Violence

Meet The Marine Who Lost His Leg In Afghanistan And Is Running The Boston Marathon

A Look Inside The Final Days Of Extreme Championship Wrestling, 15 Years Later

‘Parking Lot Puddles’ — One Man’s Fight With Addiction

A Conversation With The ‘Bionic Model,’ A Woman Who’s Challenging Old Ideas About Beauty And Limitations