We could run dunk highlights from the All-Star Game all day long Monday (and there will be more) but this was one of our favorites.
The game itself wasn’t that interesting, it was an old-fashioned drubbing. The Charlotte Hornets go as Kemba Walker goes, and he was 2-of-13 shooting on the night. The Lakers have LeBron James… and Lonzo Ball.
LeBron has a triple-double Saturday with 24 points 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Lonzo Ball joined him in the triple-double realm with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Check out the highlights.
It’s been a while since teammates had a triple-double together: The last ones were Vince Carter and Jason Kidd as New Jersey Nets back on April 7, 2007.
The last Laker teammates to do it? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson back in 1982.
It was a fitting conclusion to an impressive second half of defense by the Detroit Pistons.
“I was thinking to myself as I was running. I’m like, if he gets this dunk, it’s going to ignite their entire team,” Drummond said. “I have to do something.”
There would be no late surge by the Celtics in the final minutes. Blake Griffin scored 27 points and Drummond added 19 points and 20 rebounds to help the Pistons win 113-104 on Saturday night, snapping the Celtics’ eight-game winning streak. Detroit also ended its own six-game skid with a solid 48-minute effort.
The Pistons took control with a 13-0 run in the third quarter and played well at the start of the fourth as well.
“They looked great. They were screening us, they were active, they were alert, they played great,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “We couldn’t match them shot for shot because the way we were guarding, that’s what we had to do, and we just couldn’t do it. So hats off to them. It’s not our best game. That’s it.”
Kyrie Irving led Boston with 26 points.
Both teams shot over 60 percent from the field in the first quarter, and the game was still tight at halftime, with Detroit up 57-56. Drummond punctuated his team’s 13-point run in the third with a dunk that put the Pistons ahead 76-66.
Boston closed the quarter strong and trailed by just seven after three, but a 10-1 run to start the fourth put Detroit up 95-79.
The Celtics missed their first seven shots from the floor in the final quarter and went over seven minutes before making a field goal.
The Pistons had 20 turnovers, including eight in the fourth quarter.
“The simple plays, just making the simple pass is the key,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. “The game gives you simple plays and for whatever reason we kind of get discombobulated.”
Myles Turner had to know this was coming.
Frustrated after fouling Joel Embiid under the basket and being taken out of the game, the Pacers’ big man flipped off some Sixers fans as he walked to the bench.
Saturday the league announced Turner was fined $15,000 for “making an inappropriate gesture toward the spectator stands.” The league, understandably, is not a fan of its players flipping off fans.
That fine is pretty much the going rate for these kinds of incidences.
Embiid went on to score 40 Friday night in a dominant performance, but the Pacers won the game 113-101.
Anthony Davis is the target at the top of the Lakers’ wish list.
He’s also at the top of the wish list for the Boston Celtics and about 27 other teams, too. But if Davis is put on the trade block — something that is not likely until this summer, New Orleans is working to keep him — the Lakers and Celtics will be at the front of the line.
Which is why, when reports that the Lakers would not include any of their young core in a trade for Trevor Ariza came out, it fit with the Lakers’ long-term thinking. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN discussed this on a special trade season preview broadcast Saturday morning (transcription via Real GM).
“Here’s the line [the Lakers] have to walk: they’re not going to give away picks and their top young players in some deal that makes them incrementally better this season because they have to save all those assets for Anthony Davis, a big trade this summer either pre or post free agency…
“The absolute dream scenario, people talk about (how) they can trade for Anthony Davis or sign a free agent. The dream scenario is they do both.”
The larger point also is valid — the Lakers are not going to beat the Warriors come the playoffs this season (assuming the Warriors are healthy) and L.A. should keep its powder dry for bigger battles. And Davis will be the biggest of battles.
New Orleans wants to keep Davis, they are actively trying to be buyers at the trade deadline, not sellers. Sources have told me the Pelicans’ plan is to win as much as possible this season and show Davis they are serious, then come July 1 offer Davis a designated veteran contract extension worth $230 million (or a little more, depending upon the cap). It’s roughly $40 million more than any other team can offer guaranteed. If Davis and his agent Rich Paul — the same agent as LeBron James — turn down that contract then the Pelicans will be forced to consider a trade.
If we get to that point, then all bets are off and the Lakers are all in. Until then, the Lakers are wise just to be patient.