We took a break from hitting replay on the new Game of Thrones trailer to catch the Toronto/Milwaukee game, and outside of the terrible jersey choices (when did this trend begin of both teams wearing away uni colors? It needs to end now), the matchup was surprisingly awesome. The Bucks won 122-114 after dominating the overtime period, mainly because Ersan Ilyasova (29 points, 11 rebounds) morphed into a Hall of Famer at times in the second half and OT, and because Brandon Jennings morphed into Magic Johnson. Jennings finished the game with 19 assists to just four turnovers. After Toronto scored 13 of the first 15 points of the fourth quarter and with just minutes remaining, Alan Anderson (21 points) had a bucket that the commentators called “a hoop and a Hershey bar.” J.J. Redick (16 points) countered with a double-pump layup. Then with the game tied in the final minute, the Bucks played awesome defense on DeMar DeRozan‘s drive to the rim and Redick was in the right place at the right time again for the steal. On the other end, Ilyasova tipped in a miss to put the Bucks up with 6.9 seconds left, but Anderson scored again, working Larry Sanders on the baseline, dropping him on his ass and then finishing with a two-hander at the rim to set up the extra session … Can we get some of whatever Ryan Kelly is drinking? He hadn’t played since January 8, but then showed up again in the Duke lineup last night against Miami, their biggest game of the season, and exploded for a career-high 36 points. Duke won the game by three, outlasting a late run from the ‘Canes that cut a 10-point lead in the closing moments to two, and Rasheed Sulaimon had the plays of the night, scoring on a drive then getting a steal and finishing on the break with 2:30 left to give Duke a cushion. But Kelly was the story. At halftime, after watching him pump in 20 points and five triples in the first half, the studio guys said it’s an understatement to call him a difference-maker. As incredible as it was, it says something about college basketball’s current state when the best player in one of the most highly-touted games of the year is Ryan Kelly. He’s like a homeless bum version of Andrea Bargnani, who himself is like a homeless bum version of any decent shooting big man. We’re longing for the days of Jason Williams … Russ Smith had 18 points in No. 12 Louisville’s five-point victory over ‘Cuse. The Orange have now dropped three in a row and are looking very mortal heading into the conference tourney. After watching them play with their pants down against Georgetown last weekend, and then coming out and only getting 53 against Louisville, we’re betting they’re one of the first Goliaths to go down earlier in the NCAAs. No real offensive breakdown talent. In a close, half-court game, they can struggle to get good shots … Creighton beat Wichita State 91-80, and Doug McDermott had flames coming out of his nose. The dude scored 41, and didn’t miss a single two-point shot or free throw. He’s projected to be a late first-round pick this summer while receiving approximately 350 Adam Morrison comparisons … And in an odd bit of news, Sacramento bought out Aaron Brooks, and he’s expected to sign with Houston, where he’ll be able to shoot three-pointers until his arms fall off … Keep reading to hear about another crazy Harrison Barnes highlight…
In their 104-97 win over the Warriors, the Sixers got their first lead on a 10-2 run late in the third quarter. Evan Turner (22 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists) dominated that quarter, but he might’ve been even better in crunch time. Rebounding. Bodying Klay Thompson (who was pretty good himself: 29 points, seven threes). Making pull-ups Js with that hideous-looking spin. And remember when we asked on DimeMag.com who was better between Stephen Curry and Jrue Holiday? Those two clocked in for two and a half hours of showtime last night. Holiday made his patented pull-up to put the Sixers up five with 41 seconds left, and then took Thompson to the rack on the following possession to ice it. He finished with 27. Curry was lights out in the first quarter, and went on to score 30. In his last four games, he’s scored 38, 54, 25 and 30 … We made this comment last week, and a few readers jumped on us, but the Warriors are now sitting at just 33-27, losers of five straight. There’s a legit chance they won’t make the playoffs, and if you go by point differential, this isn’t a playoff team anyway … The game’s first basket was an unreal baseline reverse layup from Harrison Barnes. His rep for dunking is growing so quickly that half the Warriors bench was anticipating a facial, and got more excited than Musburger when he laid eyes upon Katherine Webb. A few minutes later, David Lee got a rebound, dribbled down court, went behind-the-back to send Royal Ivey back to Texas, and then hit a cutting Curry for a layup with a one-handed bounce pass. The team’s bench was going absolutely nuts … If Brooklyn and Chicago somehow end up matched together in the playoffs, we’re not sure we’ll be able to make it through. Ugly, ugly basketball. If Joakim Noah is the most exciting thing you got going, outside of waiting patiently for that moment when Thibodeau finally loses it and feeds Nate Robinson to his dogs, then it’s safe to say you don’t have a lot going for you when it comes to riveting TV. The Bulls took care of business against Brooklyn, 96-85, running off 13 straight points near the end of the first half and then holding onto the big cushion in the second half. Seriously though, why doesn’t anyone ever mention Noah (21 points, 10 boards, five dimes, four blocks) when we talk about the best centers in the league? He’s been playing like a man possessed, and got the better of Brook Lopez (22 points, three rebounds) last night. He’s also one of the best passing big men in the NBA – watch Chicago play. Without Derrick Rose, they run a ton of their second half offense through Noah at the high post … And in Portland, Brandon Roy received a standing ovation in his return to his old home, while his teammates laid an egg on the court in a 109-94 loss. Damian Lillard led everyone with 24 points, and J.J. Hickson had 18 points and 16 boards … We’re out like college basketball’s superstars.
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