Having Kevin Durant on your team is probably good for about 10 extra wins a year strictly based on his talent and his competitive streak. You’re going to win games you shouldn’t only because he’ll get pissed off for some reason or another and start raining Hell on whoever’s guarding him. It happened in the second half against the Hornets last night in OKC’s four-point win. Trailing by 11 late in the third quarter, Durant (35 points) took it to another level, and with a little help from role players like Reggie Jackson, the Thunder just barely survived … Anthony Davis rolled his ankle again last night. Is this going to be a year-long problem with him? Those ankles are always tricky … If you snagged Paul George in fantasy this year, get ready to start reaping the benefits. After a slow start to the season, the next Tracy McGrady has scored at least 22 points in four of his last five games. He put 27 on Cleveland last night in Indiana’s 96-81 win. The Cavs, hungover after their big win over the Lakers, scored all of 23 points in the second half. Kyrie Irving (nine points) looked drained, and C.J. Miles (28 points) used up all of his bullets during the opening 24 minutes. Miles had 16 points in the first quarter, torching Lance Stephenson by banging his first three triples during the opening minutes, and ended up with 23 points by halftime. So that meant in six quarters, counting the Lakers, he’d scored 51 points. In related news, it’s 2012 … Funniest moment of the night came in the first quarter when Tyler Zeller made his first entrance into the game. His younger brother Cody is a potential No. 1 pick in this summer’s draft, and he was in the stands along with their parents. As Zeller spent his first defensive possession getting called for two consecutive fouls, and then taking a hook shot bucket from Roy Hibbert in the mouth, the younger Zeller sat in the stands laughing at him. Don’t worry Cody. That’ll be you soon … We never thought we’d see the day when Kevin Love earned himself a few boos from the hometown Timberwolves crowd. But it happened last night after he voiced his displeasure with Minnesota’s management. Love says he heard them, even though he was pretty busy shooting 3-for-17 against the Nuggets. Amazingly, Minnesota still won because J.J. Barea scored 17, Nikola Pekovic went for 22 points, 11 boards and three mashed heads while Andrei Kirilenko (18 points) made some of the biggest plays of the night. Ty Lawson (17 points, 11 assists) had a chance at the end, but his triple was really ugly, and the Wolves walked away with a three-point win … One night after Blake Griffin turned Chicago into his own personal highlight tape, he did it again in Charlotte during the Clippers’ 100-94 win. Many of BG’s 19 points came on rim assaults, and he had one spin lob that he finished right over the top of Bismack Biyombo. It took him long enough to get the juices flowing, but it appears the old Griffin is back … And if you were checking out DimeMag.com yesterday, we posted video of Michael Jordan working out with the Bobcats, showing them a thing or two about how to score in the post. Thankfully, no “Michael is coming back!” stories started circulating about the 49-year-old, who’s more content at this point to smoke cigars and dress like an extra in a early 2000s Cash Money video. But seriously, could he take anyone on Charlotte one-on-one? … Keep reading to hear about the Warriors, the best team no one takes seriously …
Draymond Green may never hit a shot again to beat a defending champion team, so he should savor last night. It couldn’t have gotten much easier. With Shane Battier leaving him to hedge toward Klay Thompson, Green was left wide open underneath the rim, and his layup with 0.9 seconds left lifted Golden State to a 97-95 statement win in South Beach. Thompson finished with 27, and nearly matched LeBron. James, who went for 31 points, had a chance on the final possession, but even if his fallaway looked good, it didn’t fall … When was the last time a team started 15-7 and no one cared, no one took them seriously and no one even bothered to watch them? This Golden State thing is undeniably historic because even with “Mama There Goes That Man” Jackson as a coach, we’re all busy watching the Lakers self-destruct instead of the Warriors … It was kind of funny hearing Greg Anthony and Kenny Smith on Game Time last night trying to convince everyone that Goran Dragic‘s game-winner against Memphis was only possible because he’s European. To clue you in: Dragic went to the rim on Marc Gasol, got caught along the baseline, and pivoted three times until finding the room to roll it in around Gasol’s arm. It was just a great move, great footwork – had nothing to do with where the dude comes from … On the contrary, Memphis’ money play was throwing the ball to Rudy Gay 30 feet from the hoop and letting him go one-on-one. Even with the Phoenix announcers ready to propose to Gay – on his clutch play: “It’s like clockwork… It’s automatic” – the Suns played great defense, and Gay (21 points, 11 rebounds) looked like he was in Game 7 of the 2011 First Round all over again … In other games last night: Boston survived 24 points from O.J. Mayo, and beat Dallas by two in double overtime behind 16 points, 9 rebounds and 15 assists from Rajon Rondo; Orlando fell at home to Atlanta by six as Josh Smith had another solid all-around night (16 points, 11 boards, 5 blocks); Joe Johnson had 23 points and the Nets finally won a game, 94-88 in Toronto, despite the best efforts of the officials to block their free throws (Kris Humphries is probably still laughing about this one); Joakim Noah (21 points) was the difference down the stretch in Chicago’s 96-89 win in Philadelphia; The Bucks beatdown Sacramento by 13 as four different players (Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) all had at least 16 points; Houston and James Harden (31 points) ran through the Wizards, 99-93; and Mo Williams hit a bomb from deep at the buzzer to take out San Antonio, 99-96. Even though he made it, we have to say: it was a terrible shot – wasting four or five seconds to shoot a contested 25-footer. If you’re a Spurs fan, all you can do is laugh. In a game dominated by the big guys (Tim Duncan had 22 and 21 while Paul Millsap threw in 24 points, 12 boards and five dimes), to have it end like that was shocking … We’re out like a Jordan comeback.
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