DimeMag

Karma comes back at LeBron in the form of flying Clippers

Apparently karma is is a b**** who gets you every time, even when you’re merely basking (publicly) in the misfortune of those who originally wished misfortune on you. The day after LeBron sent the tweet heard ’round the world, his Miami Heat found themselves doing a pretty good impersonation of the Cleveland Cavaliers — allowing the lowly L.A. Clippers to drop 44 points in the first quarter while shooting over 70 percent from the floor — on their way to a rare loss … Without Dwyane Wade (31 points), Miami might have been down 30 at the half. James (27 points) and Chris Bosh (26 points, 13 rebounds) joined the party in the third quarter, almost bringing the Heat all the way back despite another insanely great night from both Blake Griffin (24 points, 14 rebounds) and Eric Gordon (26 points). But then LeBron hurt his ankle and L.A. finished off what is so far their signature win of the year. If you’d only been watching the crowd and listening to the announcers, you’d think the Clips had won Game 7 of the NBA Finals … A sore ankle, an ugly loss to one of the worst teams in the West, getting his shot blocked by Eric Bledsoe — you have to wonder if LeBron wishes he could have that tweet back. At the end of the day, though, it’s not that bad. The Heat have still won 21 of their last 23 games and the Cavs still stink … Interesting question posed during the broadcast: Who is the best athlete in the NBA? LeBron, Blake, D-Wade and Dwight Howard were the candidates … The night after they devoured the Cavs’ beating hearts, the Lakers found themselves in the standard track meet that comes with visiting Golden State, and it turned into a one-on-one duel between Monta Ellis and Kobe Bryant … The Warriors led most of the way as Kobe played pretty casually, but in crunch time he entered Black Mamba mode. When Ellis (38 points) hit a three in Kobe’s grill late in the fourth, Kobe (39 points) countered with one of his own. Then he took Ellis off the dribble for a three-point play and a jumper before Ellis came back with a reverse layup. Still, Kobe was just too much, dropping another trey before finishing G-State off with some late free throws. By that time, the “MVP” chants for Kobe — in Oakland, mind you — were drowning out the boos … Down in the Big Easy, the Hornets needed and deserved to beat Orlando, but a couple of mistakes nearly cost them. Initially it seemed like N.O. was going to end it in regulation, but Jason Richardson (21 points) made two ridiculous treys to make it a ballgame again. The Hornets were up three on Orlando’s last possession of the fourth, and twice had the chance to foul Dwight Howard. They didn’t do it, and Hedo Turkoglu hit another three to send it to overtime. In the extra session, N.O. led by one in the final seconds before Dwight missed a pair of free throws and J.J. Redick missed a desperation three at the end …

In one stretch during the first quarter, Howard (29 points 20 rebounds) supplied his customary dunks, but also took three straight jumpers (making one) and scored on a Kobe-like reverse pivot off a pump fake. Now if we can just get him to play a little defense, he’ll be decent … After getting snowed out of their scheduled game against the Bucks on Tuesday, the Hawks found themselves in a crazy one against Toronto. Andrea Bargnani (26 points) broke out a couple of crunch-time moves that the Raptors announcers called “creativity off the bounce,” except one of them resulted in an airball and the other in an ugly fadeaway that was about four feet off. But Bargs also made two tough jumpers and banged a trey in Josh Smith‘s grill … The ending was predictably wild. Mike Bibby hit the game-winning three, then busted out his own “Blue Steel” pose before Bargnani missed a three at the buzzer … Who saw that move Leandro Barbosa (26 points) put on Bibby? You wouldn’t think there was any way Bibby could look any slower, but Barbosa found it … Remember that NCAA Tournament game a couple years ago when Derrick Rose ended D.J. Augustin‘s college career with an downright abusive performance? Oh wait, the NCAA told us that game never happened or something. Anyway, last night Augustin (22 points, 12 assists) surprisingly got the better of MVP candidate Rose (17 and 7) in Charlotte’s five-point win … Other headlines from around the League: Brandon Rush scored 20 points as Indiana knocked off Dallas; Zach Randolph went for 34 points and 17 rebounds in Memphis’ win over Detroit; Boston destroyed Sacramento as Paul Pierce (25 points) gave us the usual; San Antonio and Manu Ginobili (23 points) outlasted the Bucks; Oklahoma City withstood Luis Scola (31 points, 11 rebounds) and a big fourth-quarter rally to beat Houston behind Kevin Durant‘s 30 points; Utah held off the Knicks in a 131-125 shootout, as Deron Williams (24 points, 12 assists) was a beast again; and Steve Nash had 23 points and 16 assists to lead Phoenix past New Jersey in overtime … There was some controversy in that Pistons game, as Rip Hamilton sat through a DNP-CD that he said he had no idea was coming. That of course led to speculation that a Carmelo Anthony trade involving Detroit and Rip is imminent, or it’s just another crack in the shaky foundation that is the Pistons infrastructure. NBA TV’s Kenny Smith and Greg Anthony seemed extra offended by it, but that’s no excuse for whichever one of them said Rip should have played because he would have been a good defensive matchup against Rudy Gay … In college ball, undefeated No. 1 Duke went down in a loss at Florida State. FSU guard Derwin Kitchen was a beast, hitting shots from tough angles and getting the shooter’s bounce on huge buckets down the stretch. He scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half, and the Seminoles really just outplayed a Duke squad that couldn’t shoot … We’re out like karma …

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