Hornets “other” star storms the Thunder; Knicks end losing skid

The instruction book says Chris Paul is the alpha, omega, and everything in between for the New Orleans Hornets, but last night Dave West owned the most crucial moments of the team’s win over the Thunder. We reference shooting one’s face off here often, but D-West was the epitome on Monday. By the time he was done sticking daggers on OKC, eyeballs and noses were strewn everywhere like it was the prop room of “Nip/Tuck,” and the Hornets won their 9th in a row to take possession of third place in the Western Conference … After Serge Ibaka crammed on Emeka Okafor (“That was a power Serge!” yelled one announcer) and Russell Westbrook nailed a pull-up jumper, OKC led by four with four minutes left. That’s when West went to work. He scored every one of the Hornets’ points the rest of the way, hitting four jump shots from alternating sides of the key, and we don’t think any of them touched the rim. On the last one, New Orleans had the ball with 10 seconds left and the score tied. West (20 pts) squared up on Ibaka and tried to lull him to sleep, then tried to power past him, and when neither of those worked, West faded and nailed a jumper in Ibaka’s eye with 0.5 on the clock. On the Thunder’s last chance, the suddenly stingy Hornets defense took away every option but Thabo Sefolosha and Ibaka, and OKC’s two worst offensive players on the floor unsurprisingly produced a turnover … CP3’s biggest contributions down the stretch were on defense. A couple times Paul (24 pts, 9 asts, 3 stls) poked the ball away from Westbrook (18 pts, 10 asts) to create turnovers, and a couple other times he guarded Kevin Durant on crunch-time possessions to force KD into misses. Durant (22 pts, 8 rebs) was scoreless in the fourth quarter … After Okafor dunked on Durant one time, New Orleans announcer Gil McGregor screamed “In da face! In da face!” like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America … Speaking of the greatest comedy of all-time, Samuel L. Jackson was sitting courtside in New Orleans. The building was so loud you couldn’t even hear him yelling at everybody … Some of the Dime crew was at MSG for Knicks/Wizards, where the home team snapped its six-game losing streak and the other guys fell to 0-21 on the road this season … JaVale McGee poked the grizzly bear that is Amar’e Stoudemire with a sharp stick and he didn’t even know it. In one first-quarter sequence, JaVale scored on Amar’e, then got away with a foul on him, and then Amar’e turned the ball over, which led to a spectacular alley-oop to McGee from John Wall (18 pts, 7 rebs, 9 asts). Next possession, Amar’e (30 pts, 9 rebs) beasted McGee under the rim and dunked on him so hard he broke his goggles like Ralphie when he beat up Scott Farkus. That Knicks soon took the lead and never looked back …Read More>>

In the Wizards locker room before the game, JaVale was getting stretched out on a trainer’s table in the middle of the room while bumping his Beats by Dre headphones. Josh Howard (inactive) sat nearby with a plate of chicken tenders and waffle fries, so JaVale used one of those Mister Fantastic arms to swipe a fry. That led to a debate between JaVale and a team employee about whether the fries were cooked in lard or, as JaVale put it, “meat juice.” … The Cavs are just as bad as the Wizards on the road, and they don’t even have a John Wall (or McGee, or Nick Young) to look forward to building around. Last night in New Jersey, the Cavs were trying to avoid their 21st straight loss away from The Q, but Brook Lopez got in the way … Tied up with seven seconds left, the Nets had the ball. The last time we saw them try a game-winning play, Devin Harris and Jordan Farmar combined to make a mess out of a possession in a loss to Dallas. This time Avery Johnson ignored the complicated stuff and just went to his big man. Lopez (28 pts) got the ball in the post, turned around his left shoulder and hit a short jumper in the lane for the win … Rudy Gay‘s game-winning buzzer-beater last night looked exactly like the one he hit in Miami earlier this season — a full-extension fadeaway going toward the baseline while running to his right — except this one was in Toronto, and the role of LeBron was played by Julian Wright. And that’s why Rudy (21 pts) won’t get nearly as much attention this time … Other stat lines from Monday: Tyreke Evans posted 26 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists to lead Sacramento past Portland; Kurt Thomas had a 1994 flashback and dropped 22 points, 9 rebounds and 5 dimes in Chicago’s win over Milwaukee; Tracy McGrady went for 20 points, 7 boards and 5 dimes as Detroit upset Orlando; Thaddeus Young‘s 24 points, 7 boards, 5 assists and 2 steals helped Philadelphia knock off Phoenix; Tony Parker had 18 points and 11 assists in San Antonio’s win over Golden State; and Kevin Martin scored 34 to lead Houston past Minnesota … We’re out like meat juice …