Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Around the NBA


When Cleveland took on the Lakers back on the 11th of January, it was one of the ugliest games in Cavalier history. Cleveland scored just 57 points and lost by 55. They shot 29.9% from the field, turned the ball over 19 times, hit just 1 of 14 3-pointers and did not have a starter in double figures. The Lakers on the other hand, could do no wrong scoring the same amount of points in the first half as the Cavs did the entire game. And that's what makes what transpired tonight that much more ridiculous. Coming off back to back losses in Orlando and Charlotte, the Lakers looked to recapture some momentum heading into the all star break and this seemed like the perfect opportunity for them. But as Chris Berman would say, that's why you play the game. The Cavaliers, who just snapped a stretch of nearly two months without a win got their 2nd in 3 tries by upending the two time defending champs 104-99 for their 10th win of the year. Cleveland overcame 30 points and 20 rebounds from Pau Gasol by forcing the Lakers into 19 turnovers and holding Kobe Bryant to just 8 of 24 shooting. Ramon Sessions scored a season high 32 points and added 8 assists off the bench as Mo Williams was only able to play 3 minutes before suffering an ankle injury. J.J. Hickson had 13 points and 15 rebounds (9 on the offensive end), Anthony Parker had 18 points and 9 assists and Antawn Jamison had 19 points and 10 rebounds as Cleveland nearly doubled the amount of points they scored in L.A. a little over a month ago. So Cleveland has now beaten both Los Angeles teams in less than a week's time and head into the all star break on a high note. The Lakers meanwhile head into the break losers of 3 in a row and look nothing like the team that is trying to 3-peat. Still, at 38-19 it's not as though they're in crisis just yet.

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Andre Iguodala had his first triple double of the season and seven 76ers finished with double digit points as Philadelphia knocked off Houston 114-105. Iguodala was just 3 of 15 from the floor but finished with 13 points and added 12 rebounds and 10 assists to become the 19th player this season to record a triple double. The others? LeBron James (3), Russell Westbrook (3), Rajon Rondo (3), Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Stephen Jackson, Pau Gasol, Paul Pierce, Raymond Felton, Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, John Wall, Jrue Holiday, Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd, Hedo Turkoglu and Boris Diaw. Kyle Lowry scored a career high 36 points and hit a career high 6 3-pointers to lead the Rockets in a losing effort.

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Blake Griffin's Clippers won their season series against Kevin Love's Timberwolves 3-1 by taking game 4 98-90 in Minnesota tonight. Griffin finished with a game-high 29 points and added 8 rebounds and 5 assists to help lead the Clippers to just their 5th road win of the season as they improved to 2-6 on their 11 game road trip. Kevin Love continued to do what he does scoring 18 and picking up 18 rebounds for his 42nd straight double-double. Love now has 51 double-doubles this season. Here's how Griffin and Love stack up in their 4 games against one another this year:

Love  20.0 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 2.0 apg - 1 win
Griffin 26.5 ppg 10.8 rpg, 5.0 apg - 3 wins

Advantage Griffin.

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Well, I hope Deron Williams is happy now that Jerry Sloan has stepped down. The Jazz dropped their third game in a row tonight dropping a home game to the Golden State Warriors 107-100 and remain winless under new head coach Tyrone Corbin. Monta Ellis had 35 points and 7 assists for the Warriors who dealt the Jazz their 13th home loss of the season. The previous 2 seasons combined, the Jazz lost just 17 games at home. Williams has yet to break 20 points under Corbin averaging just 16 a game, well below his season average of 21.4 and has shot just 34.9% over the past 3 games. Al Jefferson had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Utah.

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