Kevin Durant, Markeiff Morris

Kevin Durant with the vicious throw-down on Suns’ Morris (VIDEO)

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Showing highlights of one of the best teams in the league putting the wood to one of the worst seems a little crass, but when we’re talking about a play like this from one of the game’s biggest stars, it simply can’t go unnoticed.

Midway through the second quarter of a game the Thunder ended up winning by 31 points, Kevin Durant brought the ball up court, and sized up his options. After Michael Beasley was neutralized by a fairly innocuous screen from Hasheem Thabeet, Durant exploded off the dribble, with only Markieff Morris standing between him and the basket.

Durant elevated over Morris, and threw down a slam from the baseline that almost didn’t even seem possible from that angle.

It’s tough to tell if it was technically a dunk, or if it was simply a throw-down resulting from being too far out but yet high enough above the rim to get it to go down. But either way, it was two points in spectacular fashion for Durant in another easy win for OKC.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.