The Clippers’ Worst Nightmare Resurfaces; The Lakers Are Falling Apart

The Clippers really don’t want to see the Warriors in the playoffs. We’d like it, but they certainly wouldn’t, not after Golden State beat them for the third time this season, 106-99. “There are shooters and then there are just the indescribable.” You could’ve hooked that phrase to Stephen Curry‘s after-shot prancing last night, but it worked with his shooting, too. He lit up the Clippers for 28 (with six triples) and now has 29 points in his last two fourth quarters. Yeah, Chris Paul‘s wobbly knee had him looking like a war hero, but Curry was still the difference after L.A. made a huge run to end the third quarter. There was a play halfway through the fourth quarter where Curry threw an incredible one-handed bounce pass on the break to Jarrett Jack (18 points, 10 assists), who finished with a wild reverse layup. Steph dropped a little Antoine Walker shimmy in celebration that could’ve landed him in a Justin Bieber video before they cut to the crowd and showed some white-haired dude who looked like he’d just taken three 5-Hour Energy drinks to the face … Where can we sign up to get seven playoff games of Nets/Knicks? Last night was the third game this year where they played to the wire, and after Brooklyn survived, 88-85, that makes this season’s bout 2-2. Brooklyn went up six in the middle of the fourth before going about five minutes without a bucket. But Joe Johnson, who had been making love to the three-point line all afternoon while going for 25 points, dropped a pull-up dagger on a final minute possession. The Knicks had two great chances to counter, but ‘Melo (29 points) shot an airball, and J.R. Smith‘s buzzer attempt just missed going in off the glass … Brook Lopez gets no love for his defense, but on two consecutive possessions in the clutch, he blocked Stat and then cuffed Anthony’s shot to the floor on the next trip … Brooklyn did win the game, but Kris Humphries still lost … In yesterday afternoon’s 114-105 loss in New Orleans, the Kings played one of the worst first halves we’ve seen all year. They always suck, but they’re such a dysfunctional family that it’s normally still fun to see guys go one-on-five, others completely ignore the coach, and the rest sit on the bench like they’re in the stands at a chess tournament. But against the Hornets, they had no energy at all. Just completely lifeless and boring. At least in the second half, they picked it up behind DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 13 boards), and the game wasn’t iced until Greivis Vasquez (19 points, seven boards and 11 assists) dropped a 30-footer with two minutes left … Ryan Anderson had 27 points and somehow found time to shoot 14 three-pointers off the bench. Our kind of guy … And in some terrible news for Cleveland fans, Anderson Varejao is done for the year after developing a blood clot in his lower right lung. This comes just a few weeks after he had knee surgery. He’s at least expected to make a full recovery, but in basically a month or so, Varejao went from a possible All-Star (and $1 million in extra contractual bonuses) to needing surgery to now being done for the year … Keep reading to hear about Atlanta’s unlikely hero …

Leave it to Steve Nash to turn Kirk Hinrich (22 points, seven rebounds, eight dimes) into an All-Star. Leave it to the Lakers to get put out of their misery by Jimmy Butler and Marco Belinelli. The Lakers fell apart in Chicago last night, giving up a 18-4 run in the final minutes. L.A. had no gameplan in the fourth quarter, and never looked like they wanted to be there, sleeping through the game’s first 16 minutes. You could even see it on Dwight Howard‘s face when Kobe (7-for-22 shooting) was ripping him on the bench. Dude was giving him the “aight man, whatever” look, the same expression Pau Gasol‘s been wearing since October … Best moment of the night came during halftime. EJ mentioned that Kobe announced he will soon be watching his 81-point game for the first time ever, and Ernie was immediately cut off by C-Webb saying, “Yeaaaaah riiiight.” Kenny added: “Yeah, first time this week” … While they were busy juggling the good (Al Horford) with the bad (Josh Smith), it was actually Jannero Pargo who came out of hibernation and started lighting up Minnesota in the second half of the Hawks’ 104-96 win. He had 14 after halftime, many of them on clutch three-pointers after Atlanta fell behind by 14 at the break … Even as Kyrie Irving has been busy claiming ankles and playing old men in commercials, Derrick Williams (17 points last night) hasn’t been given a shot to shine over the last two years. He has his chance now though. With Kevin Love out once again, Williams is getting big minutes for the Wolves, and is showing parts of his game we thought he’d left back at some dorm in Arizona. During the first quarter last night, he had a sequence where he scored on a pull-up J, a face-up J and a crossover and finish at the rim … Dominique Wilkins has to rank somewhere at the bottom among the NBA’s worst color commentators. He’s a cliche magnet. We’d almost rather have Lil Jon calling the Atlanta games. Can you imagine that? Jeff Teague makes a wild shot. WHAT?! Josh Smith gets a breakaway hammer. OKAY!! A mild scruff-up starts. DON’T START NO S*HIT, IT WON’T BE NO S*IT!! Okay, maybe not … One late possession in Indiana’s one-point slugfest win over Memphis summed up the whole game. With the Pacers up two with just seconds left, Tony Allen went to the rim and got rejected, ran down the ball and saved it inbounds. It ended up in Rudy Gay‘s hands, who missed a wild pull-up. Allen again saved the board from going out of bounds, and Mike Conley‘s eventual layup got blocked at the rim. Allen then stole the rebound away from Roy Hibbert and found Zach Randolph for a layup. Ugly, yet fun. It felt like someone spent the whole possession mashing on the turbo button for Allen. But George Hill ended up making a free throw seconds later for the final scoring. On Memphis’ last chance, Gay made a shot but it came after the buzzer … In their second matchup of the year, Paul George again got the better of Gay. Gay had that final play brain fart where he didn’t get a shot off in time, and finished the night 7-for-22. George was quiet, but was still good enough to put up a near triple-double (12 points, 10 rebounds, nine dimes) with zero turnovers … In other story lines from yesterday: Houston took out Charlotte by six despite Kemba Walker erupting for 35 points; Tim Duncan destroyed Philly for 24 points, 17 rebounds and five helpers in San Antonio’s five-point win; and Jordan Crawford‘s 32-foot triple in the last second beat Portland, 98-95 … We’re out like the Wild Thing.

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