The NBA All-Star Game is a showcase normally reserved for the great players who actually win games, and yet we haven’t heard one complaint about how Jrue Holiday is going to Houston next month. He’s been so good this season (remember, this cat is still only 22 years old) that everyone forgets his team kind of sucks. In a 17-point beating of New York, Holiday had 31 points at the end of the third quarter, finishing with a career-high 35. He was a monster off the dribble, hitting pull-ups in New York’s face over and over throughout the first 36 minutes. Holiday saved his best for Pablo Prigioni. In the first quarter, Holiday isolated again Prigioni, then hit him with a fake jumper off the dribble, before spinning in the lane and hitting a wild, off-angled scooping layup with his left hand. Pablo is likely still in the arena searching for his ankles … In the second quarter last night, Amar’e Stoudemire (20 points) had his best sequence of play since returning from injury. He scored on two straight trips, once going off the dribble and nearly dunking on a couple of heads, and then catching a pass in transition and spinning around Nick Young for another layup. Then on the other end, Evan Turner got to the rack, where STAT sent his weak stuff back in his face. Finally, Stoudemire finished off the run with a putback after a timeout … Raymond Felton played for the first time in over a month, and rocking an ugly brace on his hand, his shooting was predictably shaky. He had one three attempt off the dribble that nearly put a hole in the backboard … Deron Williams (27 points, 11 dimes) had 20 quick points against the Rockets, making seven of his first eight shots. Maybe he just hates Jeremy Lin (14 points, nine dimes) – remember last year when D-Will splattered Linsanity’s remains all over Madison Square Garden? If he played Lin every night, we’d start calling Williams the best point guard in the league again. Williams didn’t score again until the middle of the third quarter as Houston jumped out by 18, and cruised from there, 119-106 … James Harden had 29 points on just 15 shots, easily winning the two guard matchup with Joe Johnson (13 points, six assists) … If you were starting a team today, who would you rather have: Omer Asik or Brook Lopez? Two completely different players, but both have their own specific set of skills. Asik (20 points, 16 boards) isn’t what you would describe as a “great finisher with a nice touch around the hoop,” yet he does everything else. Lopez (21 points, five blocks) is a beast at one end, but struggles with anything associated with rebounding and running fast … Speaking of Houston, Royce White has been reinstated. With the suspension gone, White is expected to be in the D-League on February 11 … In college ball, two top five teams dropped games yesterday. Syracuse lost to ‘Nova after Ryan Arcidiacono made a triple with under five seconds in regulation to send it to overtime, where James Bell made two straight from deep to close the door. Meanwhile, Louisville lost their third-straight game since being ranked No. 1, this time losing by two to Georgetown and Otto Porter Jr. (17 points, 12 boards) … Meanwhile, in Missouri’s 22-point blowout over Vandy, two former Dime interns faced off. Lucas Shapiro (Missouri) and Daniel Marks (Vanderbilt) are both student managers, and while we didn’t get a chance to grade their suit games or time who was quicker with the water bottles, we’re sure they repped the Dime name well … And Northern Illinois scored just four points in the first half of their loss to Eastern Michigan. That’s a NCAA record, breaking their own mark from earlier this season. Manti TeÊ»o scored more with his fake girlfriend … Then there was N.C. State. They put on a clinic against UNC, winning 91-83 in a game that wasn’t at all that close, as Lorenzo Brown had 20 points and 11 assists … Keep reading to hear about Uncle Drew’s game-deciding dagger …
The Bulls went 10 minutes of play between making baskets in the second half of their 86-73 loss to the Wizards, a truly mind-numbing feat of terribleness. We had to expect one of these nights from them before long – Joakim Noah (nine points, 17 boards, 10 dimes) had over half of their assists last night while their two best offensive players are hurt and as we’ll explain, Carlos Boozer‘s mind was obviously elsewhere. But it’s surprising it came to a head against the Wizards … Emeka Okafor (15 points, 16 boards) and particularly Nene (16 points) were abusing Booz inside. It got so bad that in the third quarter with Washington attacking Boozer wherever he was on the court, Boozer basically clotheslined Okafor out of frustration. A ruckus ensued, and Chicago’s power forward was standing there with this lost look on his face, clearing mouthing, “I don’t give a f— man.” … But what is going on with Okafor’s hairline? The top of his dome looks like a Kansas City Chiefs logo … The Clippers went to Jamal Crawford (19 points) twice on the last possession of their one-point loss in Portland, and twice he failed to deliver. It spoiled a great night from Blake Griffin (24 points, eight boards, 10 assists), but shows once again that the Clippers’ depth is crazy – going to a bench player with the game on the line. On the other side, Nic Batum had a triple-double (20 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) … Utah beat the Pacers by four in overtime as Al Jefferson (25 points) saved Gordon Hayward‘s ass. Hayward turned it over three straight times in the closing moments of regulation, before Jefferson went off for eight big overtime points … Up two with just seconds remaining, Paul Millsap (21 points) threw the inbounds pass off the backboard and the refs missed the call, which inadvertently handed Utah the game. Indiana should’ve gotten it back with one last chance to tie it up … In other storylines from last night: Kyrie Irving is a bad man. Down two in Toronto, Irving came down and popped a triple from about two feet beyond the arc with nearly no time left. The shot lit up Twitter, and left the Cavs’ broadcast team with a collective aneurysm. It capped a 32-point night for Uncle Drew; in a win over Minnesota, the Bobcats unveiled their new, unbeatable game-winning play. Here’s how it goes: loose ball is saved by MKG out to midcourt, Kemba Walker (25 points, eight boards, eight dimes) dribbles off someone’s foot and the ball goes to the opposite three-point line, and then Gerald Henderson (15 points) pump fakes 26 feet from the hoop before he drains a game-winning three-pointer. Unreal; Milwaukee got 20 points a piece from Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings in their 109-102 win over the Warriors; Tony Parker dropped 31 on Phoenix as the Spurs got it done, 108-99; and Denver and Ty Lawson (26 points, four steals) put a thumping on the Kings, 121-93 … We’re out like entertainment at a NIU game.
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