Orlando Runs out of Magic; Players Get Testy All Over the NBA Last Night

Friday night was the NBA’s version of a severe hangover. Both the Magic and the Heat, just 24 hours after their epic Thursday night battle that saw Orlando come back from a 24-point, second half deficit, were both sort of sleepwalking and it showed in the results … Orlando was hosting the Bulls, and while the Magic started off well, found themselves down 14 at the half. They battled back in the second half, but you could tell that they didn’t have the juice they had the previous night against Miami and the Bulls won by eight … The big news from the game came at the end of the first half when Dwight Howard was hit in the head by Kyle Korver as DH pulled an offensive board. The refs called Korver for a foul, but when Kyle then took a swipe at the ball after the whistle, Dwight threw an elbow and was hit with a T. That tech, assuming it’s held up by the league, would be Dwight’s 16th on the season – a $5,000 fine and an automatic one-game suspension (their next game is against Portland on Monday night) … At least the Magic were competitive; the Heat got cracked by the Spurs from the jump. Miami found themselves down 32-16 at the end of the first quarter, just being steamrolled by the clinic that was the Spurs’ offense. San Antonio got any shot they wanted, whenever they wanted it. Tim Duncan easy iso on the block? Sure. Tony Parker uncontested drive down the lane? Of course. Wide open Matt Bonner threes? Here you go. Mike Breen called it a “bludgeoning.” … The Heat’s frustration was personified in Erick Dampier when Parker blew past him on a break and Damp opted to give him a two-handed shove right in the back, sending TP flying into the cameramen by the basket. Dampier was booted, and Parker – who wouldn’t be a Spur if he didn’t – acted like he had just been smashed through the Spanish broadcast’s table at a WWE event and stayed face down on the floor milking the drama as long as he could before getting up smirking/smiling … Seriously, Knicks? We know Chauncey was out again last night, but losing AGAIN to the Cavs on your home floor? They are 0-3 against Cleveland this season … Near the end of the third quarter, J.J. Hickson went middle with the shot clock winding down and took a running hook shot that didn’t hit anything. It went over the entire backboard. When (arguably) your best player is doing that, that’s when you know there is no hope. Unless you’re playing the Knicks, of course … Questionable coaching and shot selection sealed New York’s fate. Down one with about 30 seconds to go in the game and Cleveland with the ball, Mike D’Antoni chose not to foul immediately and instead Jared Jeffries defended a pick-and-roll terribly and left Baron Davis wide open for a three. Amar’e answered with an improbable three of his own and then Ramon Sessions went 1-2 from the line to put Cleveland up two with under 10 seconds to go. Then Carmelo, who has scored approximately 250,000 points in his career on his nearly unstoppable pullup jumper, chose to awkwardly drive to the rim and was called for a charge. Game over … Kevin Durant wasn’t even supposed to play last night against the Hawks because of an ankle injury, but suited up and causally dropped 29 … The real story though was Russell Westbrook, who had 28 and nine dimes, and was personality-plus the entire time. He was talking all sorts of trash to Kirk Hinrich and then down the stretch hit a dagger three to close out the Hawks. On the way back on defense, he celebrated, shoving mock pistols back into their holsters. It definitely wasn’t anything really crazy, but the Hawks announcers took it like it was a personal attack on their manhood and freaked out, dragging Russell’s name through the mud for a solid two minutes … The Nets beat the Raptors in London yesterday. The only thing you need to know is that Deron Williams hit Sonny Weems with a crossover that saw Sonny hit the floor LIKE THIS … The Timberwolves lost to the Sixers in Philly, but Kevin Love was an animal, amassing 21 points and 23 rebound for his 49th consecutive double-double … 21 Mercer was the spot last night. For the Dime crew not at the Garden for Knicks/Cavs, we hit up 21 Mercer for the release of the Nike Dunk x Questlove Collection. Quest was signing shoe boxes and then later on in the night took over the turntables and killed it. Great seeing familiar faces for the party, and the line outside was crazy for the shoe release … We’re out like Dwight.