It’s not that Rashard Lewis isn’t clutch. Anybody who watched him take down the Cavs and scare the Lakers with some big-time shots in last year’s playoffs knows better than that. But the way Raw Lew sent the Celtics home last night — not with a corner three or a turnaround jumper, but with a strong drive to the cup past one of the best defenders in the world — it was the last thing you’d expect out of him … Falling behind by as much as 16 earlier in the game, the Magic rallied in the fourth quarter and tied it on J.J. Redick‘s three with 40 seconds left. After Ray Allen (20 pts) missed a trey, Orlando had the ball with 15 seconds left. At first it looked like a disaster, as Redick wound up stuck 30-something feet away from the hoop, outside of even his Duke range. But J.J. eventually got it to Rashard (23 pts, 8 rebs), who gave Kevin Garnett a little hesitation move to get past him along the baseline for the game-winning layup with 1.3 seconds remaining … Bad sequence for ‘Sheed (17 pts, 3 stls) at the end. He failed to close on Redick’s game-tying three, then failed to provide weak side help on Rashard’s layup, then he badly airballed a three at the buzzer on Boston’s last chance. ‘Sheed has the name and the playoff experience and all that, but if the Celtics could swap him for Carl Landry, you don’t think they’d do it in a second? … Also not a good night for Vince Carter (6 pts, 2-13 FG). In addition to his shooting woes, VC just didn’t seem into it; the most life he showed was one time when he got a late foul call and screamed at the refs. Vince didn’t even see the court in the fourth quarter until the last minute and a half, where he was relegated to an offense/defense sub with Marcin Gortat … Before Orlando made its comeback, it was looking like another frustrating night for Dwight Howard (19 pts, 10 rebs, 4 blks). He picked up two fouls in the first five minutes and had to sit down, and then picked up his third foul later in the first half. In Dwight’s absence, Gortat blocked some shots and impressed Reggie Miller. “He is channeling his inner Hakeem Olajuwon!” Reggie screamed, then immediately checked himself when he realized how crazy that sounded. (And that was before Gortat missed a wide-open dunk.) … Craig Sager interviewing Stan Van Gundy: In terms of their respective suit games, it was like Muhammad Ali sparring with Butterbean. Just a gross mismatch on every level. Sager wears some crazy s***, but at least he’s trying … You already knew Suns/Mavs would be a no-defense affair that went down to the final minute, so we’ll just pick it up there: With 1:00 to go, the Suns led by three when Jason Terry got a steal, but Dallas failed to capitalize. Steve Nash (19 pts, 11 asts) dusted Dirk Nowitzki on a crossover and laid it up to push the lead to five — did you know those two are friends? — and on the Suns’ bench you could see Goran Dragic doing the pee-pee dance while Robin Lopez‘s face looked like a 9-year-old who just got a new Xbox. Terry and Grant Hill traded free throws, then on a crucial Dallas possession, Jason Kidd threw an ill-advised crosscourt pass that was picked off by Jared Dudley, whose free throws iced it … Probably the key move for Phoenix was taking Nash off of Terry (21 pts), who was killing him in the first half, and having Hill guard him down the stretch … We love Amar’e Stoudemire over here, but seriously, he should be embarrassed that Lou Amundson was on the court in crunch time while he was on the bench. Amar’e (22 pts) had some nice dunks, but he only had ONE rebound in 26 minutes. ONE REBOUND! … Did you see JaMarcus Russell at the game wearing like 25 pounds of jewelry? He could feed NYC’s homeless with all that … In Thursday’s only other NBA game, the Raptors beat the Knicks at MSG behind Chris Bosh‘s 27 points and 15 boards … The All-Star reserves were announced before the Celtics/Magic game, although they’d been leaked by pretty much everybody hours before that. General consensus is that David Lee — who posted 29 points and 18 boards on the Raps last night — was the biggest snub, with Chauncey Billups right behind him. The most controversial pick? Al Horford … We’re out like JaMarcus at the Pro Bowl …
Smack / Jan 29, 2010 / 3:18 am
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