1. Remember those days when Charlotte only won seven games in a 66-game season? What you’re going to do is give Al Jefferson some sort of All-NBA team vote. He’s not LeBron, Durant or Blake, but if someone ever deserves at least ONE MVP vote, it’s Al. The Bobcats are 38-38 following a 91-80 win over Orlando, thanks largely in part to Big Al’s 29 points and 16 rebounds. Give Jefferson his just due, too. The Bobcats are a playoff team this year. Jefferson’s not the sole reason, but he’s arguably the main culprit going for 22 points and 10 rebounds on 50% shooting.
2. Rajon Rondo always has the most unique triple-doubles. The former Kentucky Wildcat finished Friday with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists. And the Celtics even achieved their goal by losing another game to the 76ers of all teams, 111-102, helping their draft stock in the process.
3. Denver turned the rock over 20 times, but it felt more like 40. Thanks to Zach Randolph’s 20 points and 15 rebounds, the Grizzlies won 100-92. Despite all that, Memphis remained in the top eight of the Western Conference’s playoff picture.
4. The Pacers are in a downward spiral they don’t eve know how to pull themselves out of apparently. Indy took a 102-94 L to Jonas Valanciunas and Toronto on the chin Friday night. But you know what? The loss didn’t even harm them that much.
5. That’s because Miami coughed away an opportunity stretch out the top seed in the Eastern Conference following a 122-121 double overtime loss to Minnesota. The Heat had opportunities to win the game but split chances between Mario Charlmers (24-6-6) and LeBron James (34-8-5-4). What did Miami over in the long run? Getting outscored 29-19 in points off turnovers, that’s what. On a lighter note, LeBron became the youngest player ever to score 23,000 points. He is also the first in history to top the mark before his 30th birthday. For what it’s worth, too, King James donned the world famous Pharrell hat following the game.
6. Speaking of marks, Kevin Durant did everything in his power to successfully extend his streak of scoring at least 25 points to 40 consecutive games, tying that cheapskate Michael Jordan in the process. Durant scored 28, but the Thunder lost to former teammate James Harden and the Thunder 111-107. In the victory, Houston clinched a playoff ticket and their first 50-win season since 2008-2009.
7. The Knicks. The motherf*ckin’ Knicks. With a chance to extend their ground for eighth in the conference, New York wasted a 32-point J.R. Smith performance with a 90-89 loss to the Wizards. Carmelo Anthony only logging 10 points would do the trick, but Bradley Beal once again orchestrating magic in the most famous arena in the world to the tune of 28 points would, too.
8. Thankfully for New York, however, the Cavs didn’t make the most of their opportunity to cover ground either following a 117-98 loss to the Hawks largely in part to Jeff Teague’s 20 points and 12 dimes. Ahhh, yes, the Hawks. Unfortunately for the Knicks, they now sit in the ninth slot in the conference, a game behind Atlanta with five games remaining in the season.
9. As for The Big Apple’s other squad, the Nets waltzed to a 116-104 dub led by the league’s favorite comeback player ever aka Shaun Livingston’s 23 points and six assists. As for the Pistons, that whole Josh Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond “big” lineup has been an overwhelming catastrophe this year. If Monroe is in Detroit by the start of next season, color me flabbergasted.
10. Joakim Noah went 2-14 from the floor, but managed to end up with 14 points and 13 boards. Chicago beat Milwaukee 102-90. That’s about all one needs to know.
11. Eyebrow Davis’ back only allowed him to suit up for 23 minutes. Without one of the game’s most promising and dominant players on the hardwood, the Jazz took full advantage of the chance led by Derrick Favors’ 20 points and nine boards on 75% shooting in a 100-96 win.
12. In the words of YG, a 30-13 fourth quarter will “do it to ya.” That’s why Phoenix secured an impressive and critically important road victory in Portland last night 109-93. Earlier this season I would’ve said Lance Stephenson was a lock for “Most Improved Player of the Year.” Now, that’s exactly how I feel about Gerald Green and his 32 points last night. The Suns are ninth in the Western Conference, tied for the same record with Memphis who sits in the eighth and final slot.
13. The only reason I can think of why the Kings lost 102-69 to the Warriors is karma for viciously fooling America into thinking the Boogie Cousins R&B album was a real thing. Another reason? Sacramento shot 1-10 from the land of three while Golden State went 10-30. Getting outscored by 27 points in one facet of the game is usually a key indicator of a blowout.
14. Dallas is two-for-two in the Staples Center the past two nights. The seventh-seeded Mavericks dismantled the (extremely) short-handed Lakers 107-95 led by Dirk Nowtizki’s 27 points, nine boards and five dimes. Fret not, Lakers fans, only six games remain left in this shipwreck of a season.