Well-rounded games are easy to appreciate, but it takes a special effort to impress with no variety. Carmelo Anthony had that special effort.
Third Star: John Wall (27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists)
Prior to March 12, Wall had posted 25 points, nine assists and five rebounds just three times in his career. Since March 12, he’s averaging those numbers.
Second star: Kobe Bryant (23 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks)
Kobe’s second triple-double of the season gives him his first season with multiple triple-doubles since 2008-09. And nobody had the points/rebounds/assists/steals/blocks numbers Kobe did since Latrell Sprewell in 2003.
First Star: Carmelo Anthony (50 points)
I don’t have the numbers to back this, but this must be the highest-scoring game without a single shot in the paint. I can’t imagine someone topping this, though I never imagined a player could score 50 exclusively outside the lane. Not only did Anthony not shoot in the paint, not a single one of his eight free throws came off an attempt to shoot in the paint. Anthony avoided the paint like it was a rebounds, assist, steal or block. He lasted 29 minutes before collecting one of those peripheral stats, but he never succumbed to that yellow area around the rim.
Anthony was absolutely in the zone when it came to shooting outside the paint, though. He shot 11-of-16 from mid-range (69 percent; season average: 43 percent) and 7-of-10 on 3-pointers (70 percent; season average: 38 percent). To hit those marks with such a high usage rate is basically unreal.
The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.
The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.
Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.
That was Washington’s last basket.
Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.
And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.
Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.
The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.
At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.
As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.
After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.
Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.
They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.
Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.
The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.
76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.
The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.