What you missed while wondering what to do with your PowerBalance bracelet…
Magic 110, Warriors 90: If new Golden State owner Joe Lacob petitions the league to shorten games to 24 minutes, you can’t blame him — the Warriors have led the Heat and Magic at the half in their last two games. And lost both. Hedo Turkoglu had a triple double in the win — Stan Van Gundy’s offense just utilizes him so much better than he was used in Toronto or Phoenix. He’s not a great player, he’s solid but put in the right circumstance (the ball handler on the high pick-and-roll, not spot up shooter) he has value.
Heat 96, Bobcats 82: Considering who was out for the Bobcats — Gerald Wallace, Nazr Mohammed and DeSagana Diop, which means you are starting Kwame Brown and counting on a big night from Tyrus Thomas — the fact they hung in this game for a quarter and a half is impressive. Then they missed 18 shots in a row (second and third quarters), and that will pretty much do you in against anyone, let alone the Heat.
LeBron James had 26 points and 9 boards in the second half alone, (38 points for the game) and after one big dunk stared right at Michael Jordan. You can imagine how impressed MJ is with big dunks in January.
Celtics 96, Timberwolves 93: Nobody shot well in this one — they Celtics were just missing some shots they normally knock down — and the Timberwolves grabbed offensive rebounds on 36 percent of their missed shots to keep themselves in it. Kevin Love finished with 24 rebounds, the most anybody has ever gotten in the TD Garden.
Minnesota took the “back off Rondo and let him shoot the jumper” strategy to the extreme — Rondo would be 16 feet out and Luke Ridnour was still six feet off him. In the final minutes that came back to bite them, Boston started isolating Rondo on the wing and on one play he got a bounce pass (and ugly bounce pass) through to Shaq for a basket, on another play he got a wide open floater from 8 feet to fall, and he got a wide-open 16 footer to drop. The book is to encourage Rondo to take a jumper but someone has to contest it. Also, he had 16 assists because he had time to work.
Hornets 84, Sixers 77: The Sixers bench shot 20 percent in this one. The entire Philly team shot just 34.1 percent for the game, but the bench was atrocious, led by Evan Turner’s 2-14 and Lou Williams 1-11.
Jazz 102, Pistons 97: Pistons are down three, 50 seconds left and Ben Gordon is on the bench. Why is that exactly? You may want your best three-point shooter on the floor when you need a three. Just a thought.
Key difference in this one is that the Jazz attacked — they got 11 more trips to the free throw and scored 13 more from the stripe in the win. Deron Williams with 22 and 10 to pace Utah.
Nuggets 114, Rockets 106: Denver got to the free throw line 19 more times than the Rockets, that was the real difference. Chase Budinger had 11 points in the second quarter alone.