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NBA Fast Break: Chicago Topples Toronto, Love And Melo Drop 42

By 02.20.14

Exiting the All-Star break, the Toronto Raptors found themselves in a rare position: sitting at the head of their divisions. A Tuesday night win over Washington definitely aided the Raptors’ cause to ride the fourth-best defense in basketball towards a fun playoff run.

For at least a night, Chicago had other plans. The Bulls, riding Carlos Boozer’s 20, Joakim Noah’s 13 assists and some timely Jimmy Butler defense, dropped the Raptors 94-92. The win marks Chicago’s fourth straight in the W column, the game itself a showcase for some of the best teams that the Eastern conference has to offer.

As exciting as an Oklahoma City/Golden State shootout? Hardly. But don’t be surprised when we’re treated some gritty, rough-and-tumble six or seven-game playoff series.

Dimes

Nice shot buzzer beater, Trevor Ariza. If you were a fan (instead of a pro), you’d definitely win a new car, $10,000 or have LeBron tackle you in celebration.

Look at Charlotte! The Bobcats continue to win, dropping Detroit 116-98. Their record is 25-30, good enough for eighth in the Eastern Conference with one and a half games separating them from the fifth seed. If only some distinguished, handsome writer had given them props over the summer. If only…

Look away, Lakers fans. Dwight Howard had a solid 20-13 stat line, and James Harden added 29 as the Rockets added another embarrassing L to the Lakers’ season, 134-108. That sound you heard was a Chris Paul jersey getting exchanged for a Kobe, at some hypothetical jersey exchange spot.

Six straight for Cleveland. Kyrie did his thing in dropping 22 points and seven assists, but he wasn’t alone. Every Cleveland starter chipped in with double-digit points, and the Magic fell, 101-93. It should be noted that the Cavs have been eating some cupcakes during their winning streak, but their next three games – at Toronto, hosting Washington and hosting Toronto – should serve as a good litmus test.

The playoffs are still in reach (they’re only three spots out of eighth, because Eastern Conference), despite the team’s inherently streaky nature.

Kevin Love had a hell of a night, dropping 42 points, 15 rebounds and knocked down five three-pointers were made, his second game posting a stat line so heavy. In fact, there have only been three games in history with those numbers…and Love owns two of them. His numbers were a big reason why the ever-in-limbo Timberwolves dropped the Pacers, 104-91.

The result probably isn’t indicative of anything; the Pacers will bounce back, and the Wolves won’t make the playoffs. Love can definitely get his buckets, though. The performance marked eight straight games with 25-10.

Melo went off, too. His forty-two points led the way to a 98-91 victory for New York over the Pelicans. Looking at the box score is kind of funny, the disparity so great: no other starter added more than six. Thank God for J.R. Smith! Those 19 points were much needed.


TAGSBasketball HighlightsCARMELO ANTHONYCHICAGO BULLSCLEVELAND CAVALIERSHouston RocketsKEVIN LOVELOS ANGELES LAKERSNBA Fast BreakSPORTSSPORTS VIDEOSTORONTO RAPTORS

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