Vince Carter Tops Larry Bird; Kevin Garnett Says This Will Be His Last All-Star Game

It’s not often you hear Vince Carter‘s name mentioned with Larry Bird‘s. But before you start in with the “Wince” jokes, know that he’s been one of the most surprising players this season, playing like he’s 30 years old again. In Dallas’ 23-point thumping of Sacramento last night, VC hit for 17 in the third and 26 total to pass Bird for 29th all time in points. Carter did it during a second half onslaught that turned this one into a blowout. Next up on the scoring list: Gary Payton … Whenever we flip onto a Dallas game and see Mike James playing, we get confused, thinking we’re watching ESPN Classic … Crazy finish in the Spurs’ 96-95 win in Cleveland. Down one in the final seconds, the Cavs went away from Kyrie Irving because Uncle Drew (six points, 2-for-15 shooting) was looking like Grandpa Drew, instead giving the rock to Dion Waiters (20 points). The rook delivered with a step-back jump shot over Kawhi Leonard. Coming back on the other end with San Antonio down two, we said to ourselves, “Bet the Spurs drill a three right here. Watch it happen.” Sure enough, Tony Parker (24 points) scurried into the paint, drew Waiters off Leonard (13 points, 10 boards, four blocks) in the corner, and Kawhi drilled a wide-open look that proved to be the game-winner. Cleveland’s last chance fell apart when someone pulled out the Slip N’ Slide underneath Irving … Luc Richard Mbah a Moute isn’t known for much, but he does defend like a rabid animal, and that quality led to the biggest play of the night in Milwaukee’s two-point win over Philly. Off a jump ball in the final seconds of the Bucks’ 94-92 W, the African prince anticipated a pass, knocked it into the backcourt, and then kept it inbounds as time ran out. Milwaukee was led by Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, who both finally put in work in the same game. Yeah, they combined for 48 points on 45 shots, which isn’t efficient. But they both had at least 21, which is a start in the right direction, we guess … After we posted a Who’s Better? between Jrue Holiday and Stephen Curry, Holiday busted out for 12 dimes, yet shot 6-for-17 and missed a pull-up from midrange in the final seconds … In college ball, No. 2 Duke took care of business against UNC, working through a quick start from the Tar Heels to finish with a five-point win. Mason Plumlee was balling, at least once they actually started giving him the ball, finishing with 18 points and 11 dimes. And Quinn Cook dropped 18 of his own. Seth Curry‘s mom was hyped – she started pop-lockin’ in the stands … If you missed it on yesterday, the potential No. 1 pick in this summer’s draft, Nerlens Noel, is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. That’s a big loss for Kentucky and for Noel as both were just starting to round into shape. This will put him on the shelf for six to eight months, which means he’ll still probably be ready for the start of NBA training camps – should he leave. Do you think he’ll go? With an injury like that, it’ll probably drop his stock to perhaps top 15, but definitely still first round material … Keep reading to hear about the interesting stuff Kevin Garnett was saying about the rest of his career …

The most exciting part of Boston’s ugly 71-69 win over the Bulls wasn’t anything that happened on the floor. It was what Kevin Garnett said afterwards. KG told reporters this weekend will be his last All-Star Game. He had 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven staredowns with Joakim Noah last night, and his inclusion in the midseason classic wasn’t out of respect. He’s legitimately deserved it this year. Yet he’s going to be 37 years old in a few months, and some are already preparing for the day when Da Kid hangs ’em up for good. Does he mean he’s retiring after this year? Possibly. He told Jessica Camerato that he knows something we all don’t know (retirement?). It seems Garnett is accepting that All-Star selections are no longer sure things for him, whether he’s here next year or not … If you are a truly great player, you follow up a pathetic performance with a great one. Paul George did that last night, recovering from one terrible night by posting his second triple-double of the season (23 points, 12 boards, 12 dimes) as the Pacers ran right through Charlotte, 101-77 … Will Bynum was the difference as Detroit beat the suddenly professional Wizards, 96-85. Bynum dropped six late points, and dished out another nice assist, spearheading the game-deciding run for the Pistons. He finished with 20 points and eight assists in barely 21 minutes on the floor, despite getting clocked and hitting the deck twice in the last two minutes. The lil’ man could’ve been decapitated and no one would’ve noticed; there was probably 150 people in the stands and at least half of them were asleep … In other major story lines from last night: Josh Smith (30 points, 10 boards, five dimes) and Al Horford (26 points, 12 boards) baked the Magic into pies, eating them up in a 32-point Atlanta win; Portland took the night off in New Orleans, getting pounded 99-63 as Anthony Davis (21 points, 11 rebounds) had one of his best nights of the year; Alan Anderson (26 points) and Toronto – winners of four in a row – surprised New York by four. Carmelo Anthony built a mansion, shooting 5-for-24 while suffering a right arm contusion; Joe Johnson, C.J. Watson and Brook Lopez combined for 74 points in Brooklyn’s 119-108 win over the reeling Nuggets; Ricky Rubio was one rebound shy of a triple-double (18 points, 10 dimes, nine boards) against Utah, but the Wolves couldn’t stop Al Jefferson (20 points, 11 rebounds) or Paul Millsap (21 points), losing by four to the Jazz; while the Clippers beat Houston by 10 behind Blake Griffin‘s 20 points and 11 rebounds … And if you didn’t catch Eric Bledsoe‘s top 10 dunks that we posted on yesterday, do yourself a favor and check it out. Just make sure you’re not in a library or in the middle of a meeting – you can’t watch without turning into Stu Scott for a few minutes. By the way, this reminds us. Whatever happened to Jamario Moon? Remember when he was the flavor of the month? At the time, we joked he’d have a Chris Carr-like career – known only for dunking. Turns out even that was wishful thinking … We’re out like Nerlens.

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