What you missed while undergoing virtual dolphin therapy…
Boston’s defense setting records against the Milwaukee offense was our game of the night.
Warriors 100, Timberwolves 77: Kevin Love’s double-double streak comes to an end — he scored just 6 points on 1-of-6 shooting (he still had 12 boards). Against the usually soft-in-the-middle Warriors. Did not see that coming, but credit David Lee with his second consecutive strong effort in the paint on defense. (Also, Love also was just off.) The Wolves were terrible on offense against one of the worst defenses in the league, shooting 36.6 percent. Michael Beasley was 5-for-12, Wes Johnson 1-for-9. On the other side the Warriors were not great but they did not have to be, they were good enough with Stephen Curry scoring 24.
Thunder 95, Cavaliers 75: OKC was in charge of this one from the opening tip and without Baron Davis the Cavs had no answer. The Thunder’s talent overwhelmed the Cavs as evidenced by Russell Westbrook’s 12 straight points in the third quarter. Not much to say, the Thunder were that good and the Cavs where that bad.
Bobcats 95, Raptors 90: D.J. Augustin came off the high pick of Boris Diaw and drove into the teeth of what passes for the Raptors defense all game long, especially in crunch time, and dominated the game. Diaw was 7-for-9 shooting, Gerald Henderson hit 7-of-13 shots for 18 points.
Magic 111, Suns 88: Without Steve Nash the Suns offense isn’t good. Their defense is never all that good. The result was Dwight Howard dominating the Suns front court with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting with 15 rebounds and five blocks, plus six other Magic players in double figures. Without Nash the Suns had no way of matching that firepower.
Pacers 106, Knicks 93: After six losses in a row and desperately trying to hold on to the eighth spot in the East after a Bobcat win earlier in the day, this was a huge desperation with for the Pacers. They did it without Danny Granger (and the Knicks lost with Chauncey Billups back). Indiana raced out to a first quarter first quarter lead as they knocked down 62 percent of their shots while the Knicks started out 1-8 from downtown (a key shot for their offense). Tyler Hansbrough had 13 in the third quarter when the Pacers took over.
The NBA acknowledged the attention-grabbing officiating error late in the Bulls’ win over the Kings on Saturday: DeMarcus Cousins shouldn’t have been called for fouling Dwyane Wade, who hit the go-ahead free throw with 14 seconds left.
But before Sacramento claims the referees cost it a win, the Last Two Minute Report reveals a more significant missed call that favored the Kings.
Cousins should have been called for travelling with 56.3 left as he drove for a basket, according to the league:
Cousins (SAC) moves his pivot foot. The official is looking for any illegal contact and does not pick up the pivot foot.
The non-call directly allowed Cousins to score two points. Wade made only one free throw.
The officiating errors in the final two minutes helped the Kings more than the Bulls.
(Sacramento center Kosta Koufos also got away with a shooting foul on Jimmy Butler with 37.8 seconds left, according to the league, but Robin Lopez tipped in Butler’s miss, anyway. The Bulls weren’t shorted any points on that possession.)
The Trail Blazers beat the Celtics on Saturday in an overtime thriller. The game provided so much action, there was little objection when what would’ve been one of the most exciting plays was waived off.
But it should have counted.
With Boston down one one and 11 seconds left, Marcus Smart stripped Damian Lillard under Portland’s own basket and immediately hit a go-ahead layup. Except officials called a foul on Smart – in error, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:
Smart (BOS) makes clean contact with the ball.
Lillard went to the line and made both free throws, and Terry Rozier made a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime, where the Trail Blazers emerged with a 127-123 win.
Portland still would’ve had a chance to answer, but with a correct call, Boston would have held the lead a much better chance of winning in regulation.
Jeremy Lin has been in and out of the Nets’ lineup due to a lingering hamstring injury. He has already missed 31 games, including the last 11.
The point guard hoped to return around now, but that’s not happening.
The following statement has been released by Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks:
“During the course of his rehab, Jeremy re-aggravated his strained left hamstring and will be out approximately three to five weeks as he continues to work towards a full recovery. We understand and appreciate Jeremy’s competitive desire to get back on the court with his teammates, however, we are going to be cautious with his rehab in order to ensure that he is at full strength once he returns.”
Of course, this improves the fortunes of the Celtics,who own the Nets’ 2017 first-round pick. Brooklyn, 9-34 and 4.5 games worse than anyone else in the NBA, appears even more certain to secure the No. 1 seed in the lottery.
The Nets have been bad with Lin this season and a little worse without him. With no first-rounder, the difference is negligible to them.
Isaiah Whitehead, Sean Kilpatrick and Spencer Dinwiddie will get more opportunities to develop. But Brooklyn is probably overburdening those young guards. Even with Lin, there was plenty of playing time available.
Robert Covington hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the 76ers’ 93-92 win over the Trail Blazers on Friday, but that wasn’t Covington’s only triple as Philadelphia overcame a four-point deficit in the final 40 seconds. He also buried a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left.
The catch: That shot came after Philadelphia should have turned the ball over, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.
Gerald Henderson missed a 3-pointer, and Dario Saric prevented the rebound from going out of bounds, saving the ball with a pass to Covington. Except Saric got away with stepping out of bounds with the ball with 42.1 seconds left, per the league:
Saric’s (PHI) left foot is out of bounds when he makes contact with the loose ball.
That would’ve given Portland the ball up four.
The 76ers overcome the odds to win this game. But a correct call might have produced too steep of a hill for Philadelphia to climb.