DimeMag

The Thunder Win A Playoff Rematch; Dwyane Wade Is The Closer

Who would’ve ever thought the most exciting game of the season would happen in Charlotte? The Bobcats dominated with energy in the first half as the Heat gave up 58 percent shooting and 60 points. But the real fireworks came late. LeBron James (35 points) had the best dunk ever that wasn’t, slamming a backdoor cut so hard that the ball hit a dude in the head and came back up and threw the net, as well as a ridiculous double-pump reverse IN THE LANE. Chris Bosh (25 points) had a monster smash down the lane that Michael Jordan probably felt from the bench, and finally Dwyane Wade (10 points) made the game-winning shot in the closing seconds to send the Heat out with a 96-95 comeback win. On the game’s final possession, it wasn’t LeBron – who was dominant all night – who Miami looked to. It was Dwyane Wade, the guy who hurt his foot earlier in the night and struggled. After Gerald Henderson had hit a three to put Charlotte up, Wade took Henderson (21 points) off the dribble and hit a tough push shot off the glass. Watching it on replay, we’re still surprised it went in: no arc, a tough angle… and oh yeah, Wade traveled … At one point, Bosh blocked a shot at the rim and James saved it by throwing a 70-foot pass as he was falling out of bounds to Wade for a dunk. Stupid … We don’t want to say we called the Spurs 115-90 demolition of the Clippers, but we kinda did. Manu Ginobili dropped 24, and San Antonio owned the third quarter, outscoring the NBA’s newest hype machine by 21 over that 12-minute span … Kevin Durant (32 points) led the Thunder to yet another classic win in Memphis, 98-95. Memphis missed their fist 11 shots of the game, but it wasn’t long before they were chipping away at OKC’s lead. In the second half, OKC’s offense started to break down (In the third quarter, everyone not named Durant combined for one basket.). But just as soon as Memphis came back to take the lead, Durant wetted a corner three and then James Harden swagged out from the top of the key. Two straight treys and a 14-1 run opened it back up … Z-Bo (24 points, 12 rebounds) was a monster at the end of the game, doing his “Shoot weird off-balance fadeaways that have no business going in” routine. On the other side, KD gave Rudy Gay (19 points, 10 rebounds) a pair of Russell Westbrook Jordan skates, breaking him down off the dribble multiple times before a beautiful step-back put the Thunder back up four in the final minute … But the real story was the argument between Durant and Westbrook, who reportedly got so heated they had to be separated during the middle of the game. Westbrook didn’t make a single shot the whole game and was clearly frustrated all night. This was the play that started it all when Russ flipped on Thabo Sefolosha for not shooting the ball … Keep reading to hear about what happened out in the Bay Area between the Knicks and Warriors …

New York has some work to do after all. After winning for most of the first half last night against Golden State, the Knicks fell apart defensively in the second half and started surrendering big nights to a bunch of scrubs. The Warriors scored 56 in the second half, and won by 14 behind Monta Ellis‘s 22 points and eight assists. The real damage was done by people like Kwame Brown (10 rebounds in 12 minutes), Ish Smith (11 points, six boards) and Brandon Rush (19 points). Here’s a great tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski: With the way Brandon Rush is attacking the Knicks, you’d almost think one of their scouts blew out his knee in an illegal predraft workout. You know, because that actually happened … There was one sequence in the second quarter where Ellis caught a steal and raced ahead for a hard breakaway dunk. On the other end, Amar’e took one baseline dribble and jammed on the whole Bay Area. During Ellis’ dunk, the announcers called him the fastest man in the league. Really? We’ll go with Ty Lawson … At least we know Denver’s gameplan: keep it close for most of the first half, and then blow it open just before the half. Last night’s blowout win over Utah marked the second straight game they followed the blueprint, this time with Nene leading the way. Nene dropped 25 and dunked enough that you could’ve filled an entire highlight with just his moves … Panic time in Boston? Even without Paul Pierce, when you not only lose to the Hornets minus Eric Gordon, but lose convincingly (97-78), you might want to put away the expectations and start thinking about right now. In the first quarter, Carl Landry was giving Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal the business (20 points, 11 rebounds). He rang up 15 (of their first 26) and seven with still 10 minutes to go in the second quarter. While Landry brought the early roundhouse, Jarrett Jack had the jabs flowing all night long. 21 and nine for the guy who was supposed to be one of the league’s best backup point guards until just a few weeks ago. All together, New Orleans forced 21 turnovers and won all of the hustle categories … Is there a worse three-point shooter who always seems to make threes at the shot clock/halftime buzzer than Rajon Rondo? He did it again last night in the second quarter. We swear he hits 70 percent of those … True story: We were skimming through one of our favorite sites on the net – NikeTalk – and stumbled on a thread where someone was claiming T-Mac will still be a top 10 player in the league. Not even Austin Burton would say some ish like that … Speaking of the Hawks, Atlanta beat up Washington last night 101-83 behind 18 from Joe Johnson. One game after complaining about not getting the ball enough inside, Andray Blatche made just one shot in the paint while finishing 2-for-13 for four points and four rebounds … Cleveland picked up a 15-point win in the battle of potential 2012 No. 1 pick destinations in Detroit. But the Pistons won the game within the game: Kyrie Irving‘s 14 and seven was out-shined by Brandon Knight‘s 23 points and six assists of the bench … Paul George (18 points) gave Toronto buckets early and then Danny Granger (21 points) and David West closed it out late in the Pacers 90-85 win in Canada. West made a jumper in front of Justin Bieber with nine seconds left to ice it. This was an actual statement made on NBA TV afterwards: “The David West legend in Indiana has begun.” After what someone said about West the other night, he’s gotta be feeling himself right now … And Bill Simmons tweeted that Phoenix is the worst team in the West. We’ll say they still have Steve Nash, but even Nash isn’t getting the PT he used to. This squad feels like something out of Robert Sarver‘s back pocket, all those years he seemed determined to sabotage winning teams. Well now they have a team that truly doesn’t have a chance. At the start of the second half against Philly, the 76ers took a shotgun to the chest of their lead, blowing the game wide open. Phoenix didn’t score for the first four minutes and by that time it was 59-34. When your two best players on the night are Hakim Warrick and Ronnie Price, you can see why you lost by 21 … We’re out like Blatche.

For breaking news, rumors, exclusive content, and contests sent right to your inbox, sign up here for the Dime Email Newsletter.

Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook

×