If the Atlanta Hawks had been involved, they could’ve just called a re-do of the last minute. They really should’ve. Miami had an ugly missed shot and a turnover and were on the edge of falling behind for the first time all game. But Derrick Rose clanked two free throws, then got another chance after LeBron had clanked two freebies of his own, but was short on a floater. Forget the win/loss records, the Heat can hold the Eastern crown a little longer, 97-93. LeBron might’ve resorted to riding his bike to the arena, but his play was pure royalty yesterday (35 points, 11 rebounds), hitting pull-up jumpers at will in the second half and putting down one of the most unbelievable alley-oops we’ve seen. Rose (34 points) countered from the other side with some Houdini floaters. Seriously, on some of those shots, they should’ve awarded him five points. Nevertheless, it was unusual things that did Chicago in: missed layups and giving up 56 first half points … Carlos Boozer has been playing so bad that even his kids were cheering against him … LeBron might have a bike, but Kobe has a helicopter. And he wasn’t going to let James outshine him. 35 points and 14 rebounds, and the record (passing Kareem) for most field goals made in Laker history. He also swallowed his ego for a minute, and allowed Pau Gasol (28 points) and Andrew Bynum (21 points) to play high-low three possessions in a row in the final two minutes against Minnesota. Three buckets later, the Lakers had the room they needed to snuggle into a 106-101 road win … The Lakers were up 18 in the third before Ricky Rubio started throwing crazy lobs and hitting weird fadaway runners. Unique isn’t a strong enough word. This was the best five-point, eight-assist game we’ve seen, and his impact was enough to bring ‘Sota all the way back. But even with Kevin Love dropping a bomb (33 points, 13 rebounds), the Lakers were the ones creating the highlights in the final minutes, finishing the game off like this was 2009 … New Orleans got caught on the toilet, falling behind 27-6 to start the game against Atlanta, and the Hawks finished off the embarrassment, blowing out the Hornets in their own arena, 94-72. Jeff Teague tied his career-high with 24 … Keep reading to hear why Danny Granger nearly missed his game against the Magic …
Magic fans are finally sick of watching Orlando play with less effort than there was in the Pro Bowl, and serenaded their team with boos after Indiana stampeded right through them by 21. Dwight Howard heard scattered boos in the introductions for the first time all season, and then went out and had 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 missed free throws. There was a telling scene at the end of third quarter: Tyler Hansbrough scored on a putback at the buzzer over Howard and two other Magic players, and the whole Pacer bench jumped up. The Orlando guys on the court couldn’t have exited to their side any less excited. They looked like someone had just killed their dog … Danny Granger barely arrived in time for the game. He had to track down a jewelry bag he left in a cab. Then he went out and dropped 24 … Jason Terry knows all about making clutch baskets, and he did it again yesterday in the craziest game of the day. The Mavs won 101-100 in overtime over the Spurs after Terry first sent the game into the extra session with a midrange dagger, and then after he scored four game-deciding points in the final minute of OT. Nothing was safe in this one. The Mavs led by 18 in the second half before the Spurs’ bench went completely mental. Only Popovich would do something like this: keep his starters out of it, and ride his bench to 51 consecutive points in the second half. Three-point bombs from Gary Neal, Danny Green and James Anderson brought them back, and then a jumper from Green won it… until replays showed it barely came after the buzzer … Boston was up seven with three minutes left against the Cavs before Jesus (22 points) bricked a wide-open layup. From there, Andy Varejao (18 points, nine rebounds) scored twice, then scrapped for two consecutive offensive rebounds on one possession. We’re still laughing over Tommy‘s reaction: “These officials tonight…THEY SHOULD FIRE THEM!” Kyrie Irving (23 points) twisted the blade, spinning into the lane and hitting with just 2.6 seconds left to cap an 88-87 Cleveland win. A 12-0 run, and the Celtics were sulking their way out, still sitting under .500 … Did anyone deserve this more than Chauncey Billups? He got revenge on Denver, scoring a season-high 32 in the Clippers’ four-point road win … Toronto blew out New Jersey behind DeMar DeRozan‘s 27 points … And if we’re still talking UConn as a potential top-10 team, they lost again to Notre Dame yesterday by two after the Irish’s Jack Cooley outscored and outrebounded UConn’s Alex Oriakhi, DeAndre Daniels, Tyler Olander and Roscoe Smith combined. If you’re taking notes, that’s every frontcourt player the Huskies have outside of Andre Drummond … We’re out like Martell Webster‘s barber.
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