- Clippers 95, Heat 89 (OT) - The most entertaining game of the night doubled as the night cap here, with this one going deep into the night. Chris Paul was exquisite in posting 27 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and only 1 turnover, and leading the Clips to this win. Lob City also got 20/12 from Griffin, 20 points from Caron Butler (tuff juice!), and a big-time 8/11/6 block performance from Deandre Jordan including a flying 2-hand block that made me do a triple-take. For Miami, Lebron did Lebron-things (23/13/7), but shot just 9 of 17 from the line on the night, and 1 of 6 from the field in the 4th quarter and OT. There were rumblings of the "clutch" debate yesterday in the mainstream media, but I expect the return in full force today. All I will say is calm down. Please. At any rate, this is a big win for the Clips, and aside from the always pathetic coaching from VDN, the only negative to come out of this one is the play of Chauncey Billups (2 of 11) who thinks this is his team somehow. I can't even talk about it.
- Al Horford strained his shoulder last night. That doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize that a) he's the Hawks best player, and b) they have absolutely no alternative if he were to miss significant time. It's a seemingly minor injury so I'm not in full panic mode, but if last night's 96-84 loss to Indy is any indication, he needs to be back, soon. The Hawks shot just 37% from the field last night led by 2 of 10 from Jeff Teague and 1 of 7 from Radmanovic and the ineptitude crested with a 9-point 3rd quarter. For Indy, Danny Granger returned with 24 points in 27 minutes to be the engine for them. Alas.
- Lakers 90, Jazz 87 (OT) - This game gets its own mention because of the Kobe Bryant traveling road show. Kobe had 40 last night (on 14 of 31) and notched back-to-back 40 point games for the first two 40-point outputs of the entire season in the league this year. Big-time shout outs to German knee doctors.
- NBA Box Score Roundup - Demarcus Cousins is playing the best basketball of his career, but you wouldn't know that because all we hear about is Paul Westphal and trade demands. Cousins posted a 21-point/19-rebound thrashing last night in their win against Toronto, and is now averaging 16 and 11 on the season. The Sixers crashed back to earth with a 85-79 road loss to the Knicks. Carmelo had 27 points for NYK, and Philly's top 5 scorers all shot south of 50% from the field. Dirk had a ridiculous and-1 that put a lid on a Mavs road win in Boston with a 90-85 score. Nothing particular of note on either side in an uneventful/ugly-ish game. Kevin Durant (29 points, 10 boards) is good at basketball and the Zombies beat the Hornets by 10. Carry on. John Lucas III notched 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists last night. Quick, who does he play for?... waiting.... waiting.... The Bulls! Derrick Rose missed their 78-64 win over Washington and Lucas went to work on John Wall. The pathetic Wizards notched the aforementioned 64 points on just 31% shooting and got blitzed on the boards 62-46. I've been championing the John Wall bounce back from a rough start early, but you can't get blasted by John Lucas. Yikes. San Antonio is 7-0 at home (and 0-4 on the road) after a 101-95 OT win over Houston. Duncan put up 17 points and 11 rebounds in a game that saw him pass Larry Bird on the all-time scoring list. That's worth noting. New Jersey hit 20 three-pointers last night in Denver.... and lost. That's pretty tough to do, but when you allow 123 points and a 60/61/80 slash line to the opposition, that'll happen. 8 guys had at least 9 points for the Nuggets, but the game of the night has to be Jordan Farmar who had 26 off the bench in just 23 minutes of action. Gigantic accolades. And finally, Orlando outlasted Portland 107-104 despite allowing the Blazers to put up 36 points in the final stanza. 7 guys in double figures for Orlando was enough here despite Dwight taking only 9 shots and going 3 of 12 from the line. Eesh.
- I wouldn't want to be Mark Sanchez's PR person this morning. The Jets pretty boy QB has been lambasted at every turn for a solid week now, and the hits keep coming. Now is when the Peyton Manning rumors really start to churn.
- Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson will reportedly spurn baseball (he's a Rockies prospect) to try and make it as a QB in the NFL. This isn't entirely surprising because of how fantastic he was in Madison this year, but with his diminutive size, it's certainly a risk.
- The favorites all won in college hoops last night, but this gives me an opportunity to mention the 14-3 Michigan Wolverines, who eeked out a 2-point win at home against Northwestern last night. It's really nice to live in a world where U of M hoops is relevant again.
What to watch for on Thursday...
- NCAAB - #17 Virginia @ #6 Duke - ESPN 9:00 - This is the game of the young ACC season so far. Virginia is the only sure-fire tourney team in that league outside of the Big 2, and Mike Scott will come ready.
- NCAAB - #23 Gonzaga @ St. Mary's - ESPN2 11:00 - Long-time readers will know how I feel about the West Coast Conference (unabashed love), and this is always the matchup of the year in that league. Must-see TV for the college hoops diehard.
- NCAAB- Wisconsin @ Purdue - ESPN 7:00 - Rugged Big 10 hoops battle here pitting 2 of my favorite players in the country against each other in Jordan Taylor and Robbie Hummel.
- NBA - Bobcats @ Hawks - SportSouth 7:30 - I'm kind of sick of watching the Bobcats (and Nets) but it's not a bad time to catch Charlotte, especially with the injury bug that's hit the Hawks.
- NBA - Knicks @ Grizz - TNT 8:00 - This would be much more entertaining if Zach Randolph could go, but at any rate, not a bad game at all.
- NBA - Magic @ Warriors - TNT 10:30 - Dwight Howard vs. the always entertaining GSW front-court, and an opportunity to see either Jameer Nelson or someone of that ilk try to stay in front of Monta Ellis. Good times!