Any normal night, James Harden’s 27 points on two made field goals and 23 free throws in a win would garner its own coverage. An overtime thriller between the Blazers and Clippers with stellar games from Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge would, too.
Yet, leave it to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks to play the game of the night (and one of the best of the season). The Hawks are quietly a League Pass-worthy watch every night because of their ability to share the rock and find open shooters like clockwork. Nevertheless, 24 hours after Christmas, Jeff Teague and Kyrie Irving played Kris Kringle to all in attendance at Quicken Loans.
Twenty-two of Kyrie’s 40 points came in the two overtime periods, including 12 in the second OT. Uncle Drew also logged nine assists, yet it came in a 127-125 losing effort. That’s because Teague – a deserving All-Star come February – poured in 34 points and 14 assists of his own. Two of the 34 just happened to be a game-winner that seemed to hit every part of the rim before falling through.*
Someone buy number one Hawks fan Larry Luk a beer. In fact, make it two.
* – The injury bug bit the Hawks last night, in particular DeMarre Carroll (right hand) and Al Horford (right shoulder).