While there were bigger games, there was no bigger moment Sunday than DeAndre Jordan‘s dunk over Brandon Knight. Yeah, we’re going to lead with this from the Clippers’ 129-97 destruction of the Pistons in L.A. because it’s the one thing everyone is talking about from Sunday, from your hoophead friend to your grandma. If you were on Twitter and had no clue about the NBA, you may have thought someone named Brandon Knight actually died Sunday in L.A. there were so many “RIP BK” Twitter comedians out there. It’s the dunk of the year, case closed, and all because Knight tried to jump for it and even got called for a foul. We saw people defending him with the sentiment that “at least he tried and didn’t run!” Well, that’s fine but you’re going up against a guy who’s 6-11 with a 40-inch vert and the wingspan of an 18-wheeler. No good will come from that; it’s wiser to pick your battles and thus not have your Wikipedia entry edited to say you were murdered by Jordan. … Not quite as good as the dunk, but nearly as excellent, was how Knight handled it afterward. Pro move. … Back to the game: This was over well before The Dunk, with L.A. up a dozen just nine minutes into the first quarter. Blake Griffin (22 in 21 minutes) displayed a pretty crossover to go baseline, too. Maybe the best part of his game’s improvement is how he’s not content to either just dunk at the rim or take 17-footers, but instead he’s working that space in the middle. … The biggest game of the day? Gotta be Miami’s 18th straight win to set a NBA season best, a victory that came at the hands of the East’s presumptive No. 2 seed, Indiana. The Pacers give the Heat fits with their size but got stomped by Miami, 105-91. It was an odd game that was single-digits at the half that ballooned into a 23-point lead in the second half. A huge key was getting Ray Allen involved because in a bizarre fact, he had zero points vs. Indiana this season in two losses. This time he got 11 points. LeBron James (13 points, seven assists, six boards) is pretty good, too, just in case you didn’t know, and it’s nice to see that just like everything Miami is doing, his chase-down blocks are on point. David West’s dirty work and 24 points couldn’t keep Indiana in this one as Miami exercised its Pacer demons. … Avery Bradley’s (12 points) brand of physical, lock-em-up defense was contagious among his teammates Sunday but still couldn’t keep OKC down long enough. The Thunder won, 91-79, but looked slightly out of sync. In the end, backcuts by OKC from the short corner block really stood out as back-breakers for Boston. Someone would drive (it happened four or five times) to the key’s center, draw in two guys, and a Thunder teammate a few feet from the low block would cut in, get the pass and convert. Serge Ibaka‘s dunk (seven points, seven boards) that way put OKC up 10 with 90 seconds left and ended it. … Hit the jump to see who just became the eighth seed in the West …
We’re hoping Kyrie Irving‘s shoulder contusion isn’t serious. The Cavaliers aren’t going to the playoffs, of course, but we still watch parts of Cleveland games because of him. When he left in the third quarter after running into Jonas Valanciunas on the baseline, the game tipped so far out of Cleveland’s hands (they’d actually had a 17-point lead) that Toronto walked away a 100-96 winner. Alan Anderson had 18 points for Toronto. You’ll remember the last time Irving was in Toronto, he drilled a game-winning three that was one of the season’s highlights. … Hornets-Trail Blazers was a League Pass must-see that went down to Ryan Anderson‘s layup (20 points, 13 boards) with 1.8 seconds left in a 98-96 win. But before that, Wesley Matthews (24 points, six threes) had crushed some trademark step-back threes and Damian Lillard (20 points) hit a clutch three with 11 seconds left to go up one. He left a little too much time. The Hornets have to like how Anthony Davis (18 points, 10 boards and a huge offensive board in the fourth that led to a bucket) is adjusting to the spotlight. … The Lakers are seizing that eighth playoff seed with the same speed they’d given up those playoff hopes earlier this season. A 90-81 win over Chicago in L.A. was led by Dwight Howard‘s 16 points and 21 boards as Kobe (19 points) didn’t steal the spotlight for once after the All-Star break. That was reserved for the Howard-Joakim Noah (17 boards, 10 offensive) rebounding battle. … Nikola Vucevic made his old team look bad for trading him away in the Howard-Bynum deal last summer by getting 14 points and 17 boards in Orlando’s 99-91 win over Philly. Awkward alert: L.A. plays in Orlando on Tuesday, approximately five days after Howard shot off his mouth about how his old Magic teammates sucked. Can’t wait for that pregame handshake between Dwight and Jameer Nelson (24 points, 10 dimes)! … Fear the Deer 2.0: The Bucks are dangerous, beating Sacramento 115-113 as they cling to a playoff spot thanks to Monta Ellis‘ 29 points. Just as Brandon Jennings has been clear he wants out, Ellis is showing with his play lately that he isn’t dead meat yet. … And Vince Carter had 22 points as Dallas tossed injury depleted Minnesota around like a rag doll, 100-77. … We’re out like Brandon Knight’s block attempt.
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