Want to read seven thoughts on last night’s slate of NBA action? Of course you do. Ready? Here it go.
1. Quiet as kept, the Houston Rockets are 25-14, good for fifth in the Western Conference. Dwight Howard did the heavy lifting for H-Town on Monday and instead of torturing little kids on the block, he did it to guys his own size in a 104-92 win over the Celtics. D12 finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds, his fourth 30-10 game of the season (he only had three last year). On the flip side, Boston’s lost nine in a row, but at least Rajon Rondo revealed his return date in fancy mathematic fashion.
2. Upset of the night goes to the Utah Jazz who beat Denver by 15 without Gordon Hayward who missed his second consecutive game with a bad left hip. Thankfully, for Denver, Wednesday night is a slightly more manageable task as they take on the Warriors who’ve only lost twice since the week before Christmas.
3. Even with the Knicks surging, Toronto continues to keep a firm grip on the Atlantic Division. They 116-94 snoozer over Milwaukee ensured the Knicks remain 4.5 games out of the top spot. Jonas Valanciunas’ 23 points and 10 boards led the way as DeMar DeRozen’s 19-7-7 and Kyle Lowry’s 23 points and five dimes improved T-Dot’s record to 19-17. In more pressing Raptors news, when’s the next “Drake Night?”
4. Here’s something the majority of fans might not know. The only two players averaging more assists than John Wall are Chris Paul and Stephen Curry. Wall’s Wizards ended Chicago’s five-game winning streak 102-88 with the former Kentucky floor general completing an all-around game of 19 points, five boards, seven assists and four steals.
5. What a horrible month it’s been for the Pelicans already. Not only is their leading scorer Ryan Anderson out for at least two months with a herniated disc, but now they’re down starting point guard Jrue Holiday “indefinitely” with stress fracture in his leg. New Orleans stockpiling L’s might be the case over the next few weeks. Such was the case Monday night as a scrappy Pelicans team made life difficult for San Antonio, but ultimately fell short 101-95. Tony Parker’s 27 points and seven assists led the way, but somehow Tim Duncan fouled out while only playing 26 minutes.
6. What was the biggest factor in Dallas’ 107-88 victory over lowly Orlando? Their bench outscored the Magic’s 42-14. That’ll about do it.
7. Speaking of big nights, break up the New York Knickerbockers! They’re the owners of a five-game winning streak with the most recent victory coming in dramatic fashion. Phoenix was bailed out at the end of regulation with a cheap foul called on Kenyon Martin. This allowed Leandro Barbosa to nail two big free throws to force overtime.
With Melo’s legs giving out towards the end – evident by leaving several shots extremely short – Anthony still finished with a big boy double-double of 29 points and 16 rebounds as the Knicks escaped 98-96. And since we’re on the topic of Melo being winded, buddy doesn’t appear too pleased about having another game tonight after running 46 minutes last night.