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Smack / Mar 23, 2010 / 1:15 am

Ibaka Flocka Flame: Durant’s 45 not enough to beat San Antonio; Stoudemire’s best dunk ever

Kevin Durant (photo. Jared McMillen)

Right after Kevin Durant‘s showcase of savage bucketry, it was Serge Ibaka who almost got the Thunder over the hump against the Spurs last night. Throughout the fourth quarter, Ibaka was giving Tim Duncan all kinds of problems on the defensive end: taking charges, poking the ball away, and swatting his shots. And with every big play, Ibaka (10 pts, 8 rebs, 3 blks) would pump up the crowd and had OKC’s arena on the verge of exploding. After the rookie forced Duncan (14 pts) into a big turnover in the final two minutes, one of the announcers yelled, “Get on your feet, folks! Serge Ibaka is in the building!” … Durant (45 pts, 15-24 FG, 14-15 FT) tied it up on a runner, but Manu Ginobili got to the line and put San Antonio back on top with 30 seconds left. Russell Westbrook then appeared to give the game away when he stepped out of bounds on the ensuing inbound play (and cussed out the ref just like Serena Williams), but Ibaka spiked Duncan’s layup off the backboard and bought the Thunder another chance. The Spurs weren’t allowing Durant a clean look, so he hit wide-open Thabo Sefolosha, but his three-pointer rimmed out. Manu (21 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts, 2 stls) hit another free throw to make it a three-point margin, and Westbrook missed a halfcourt heave at the end … Did you ever think you’d be watching Joe Johnson and John Salmons trade crunch-time buckets in an important NBA game? Don’t look now, but if the East playoff standings hold up, Hawks/Bucks will be a first-round matchup and you’ll get that for multiple games. Johnson (27 pts) and Salmons (32 pts) put on a show Monday, mixing drives, fadeaways and pull-ups down the stretch … The Hawks had the upper hand for most of the fourth quarter, but Salmons tied it up at the line with a minute to go, and after Johnson got caught mugging him trying to deny an entry pass, Salmons gave Milwaukee the lead with two more free throws. Joe missed a short floater, and after Luke Ridnour split a pair of free throws, Atlanta had no timeouts and about five seconds to make something happen. When the Bucks’ color commentator realized Jamal Crawford had the ball, he groaned, “Oh no. Please no!” When Crawford launched a prayer, the same guy screamed “SHORT!” as it fell short …

Chris Paul

Chris Paul is back. He started in the Hornets’ win over Dallas, and while he went scoreless and looked pretty rusty in the first half, CP finished with 11 points and three assists in 20 minutes. Darren Collison put up 16 and 8 in what might be his last time to shine for awhile, but Marcus Thornton is still free to be a beast. Thornton dropped 28 points, and for every one of them it seemed he was either sprinting toward the rim, using his speed to set up a pull-up jumper, or hitting spot-up threes over defenders who gave him too much space because they were worried about his speed … Following Terrence Williams‘ 50-foot bomb, the Nets were actually leading Miami at halftime before eventually/predictably losing again. NBA TV’s Brent Barry was killing ‘em for it, too. “Many people are wondering why the New Jersey Nets are struggling,” Bones said after they showed T-Will’s highlight. “Well, this is one of the plays in their offensive set.” Barry also said the Nets should give out prizes to the fans if they’re leading at halftime … D-Wade posted 27 and 12 dimes in the win, while Brook Lopez had 26 points for the losers. It almost feels wrong to bash Lopez for anything this year, but he’s gotta do better than grabbing ONE rebound all night. If Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t above criticism, neither is Brook … Speaking of, PLEASE tell us you saw what Amar’e did to Anthony Tolliver. As Dime’s Austin Burton put it in a text: “Somebody call CSI: Oakland cause he left nothing but body parts on the floor.” Late in the fourth, Amar’e (37 pts, 8 rebs) caught it on the break and just obliterated Tolliver when he tried to challenge the dunk. It was so nasty, half the G-State crowd was in shock while the other half was booing Amar’e. Phoenix won the game in a typical shootout … Other stat lines from Monday: Deron Williams put up 22 points and 11 assists to help Utah snap Boston’s four-game win streak; Dwight Howard posted 23 points and 15 rebounds as Orlando beat Philly; Derrick Rose had 27 points, 7 boards and 8 assists to lead Chicago past Houston; Zach Randolph had 25 and 12 boards as Memphis beat Sacramento; and Chris Bosh went for 21 and 10 in Toronto’s win at Minnesota … Not hoops-related at all, but did you see Pete Rose guest-hosting WWE Raw? Honestly, it was kind of sad. Pete looked like somebody’s grandpa who got lost on his way to the racetrack, and the crowd had zero reaction to him, mostly because anybody under the age of 25 never saw him play and barely knows who he is. Maybe if they’d held the show in Cincinnati or Philly it would have meant something, but otherwise it was a flop … We’re out like Kiki’s playbook …

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  • MELOISTHESHIIIIIIT

    talk about early smack!

  • sh!!!!!!!tfaced

    Damn early smack. Barry Brent was the shit last night. It was pure sit-down comedy. He’s got some of that humor we’ve been missing since Danny Ainge left and Steve Kerr after him.

  • Bill

    Amare’s dunks on Kandi man and foyle are still way better then what he did tonight.

  • Sambuu

    Amare’s dunk was nice, but best of his career?

  • weng santos

    Always knew John Salmons could play.

  • weng santos

    And Crawford has no conscience. He never stops to think of the consequences.

    It’s his gift and curse.

  • quest???

    I NEED SOME SMACK BIRD!!!

  • ab_40

    phoenix gs a typical shootout? it was a free throw contest a very very very bad free throw contest but amar’e his dunk was nice. spurs doin it to the young team. hawks and celtics brainfarting their way to the playoffs

  • Dagger

    Amare’s dunk was pretty great:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrxL8GGNtX4

    Although I think the crowd reacted to the strutting and jersey popping when they booed.

  • Coop

    Hahaha @ post 7

  • Chise

    Amare’s dunk was just ridiculous. Dunk of the year.

  • Rafa23

    I think amares dunk over stromile swift is better than yesterdays slam.

  • That’s What’s Up

    Amare, am’are, Amarie…is 6’10”. Dunk of the Year??? sure, but in the D-League or WNBA. that dunk could maybe land in the top 10 plays of the night, that’s about it.

    That’s Tolliver’s career highlight. He had to have something to show his kids he was actually in the NBA

  • Rafa23

    lol@ hating, blind spurs fans

  • the_don_mega

    lol @ today’s poll… “Michael Redd’s knee”… cold…

  • rangerjohn

    the thunder need new commentators, those guys dont know anything they are talking about.

    at one point one of them said “pop says manu is playing as well as he did when they won all those championships”. then went on to say “back in the 90’s.” they had good stuff like that all night last night.

    on a side note, the spurs tried everything in the book to let the thunder win that game but the thunder made so many silly mistakes they took themselves out of it. i cant remember the last time i saw a turnover from stepping on the line while throwing the ball in.

  • Kermit The Washington

    Amare’s dunk was sick.

    “Elevates…and DETONATES!”

    Great line.

  • Fraz

    Dime, you guys gotta put up something on the comments from Bob Johnson as he’s exiting Charlotte. First black NBA team owner leaves and has some pretty harsh words for the city and the business community. Not to mention as a billionaire I’m sure dude was easily the biggest fish in the city. Think you guys should put up something.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    There was a moment in Hornets/Mavs when Marcus Thornton stood dribbling outside the 3 pt line with Dirk on him, which meant there was a mismatch somewhere else. He looked around for it for a sec, then gave up, stared down Dirk, crossed him up, drove to the rim, and pulled the ball around Haywood to lay it in. Kid is ice cold. Very un-rookie-like. It was my fave moment of the game.

    This kid has looked like something special since the preseason. I still can’t imagine how Byron Scott didn’t see it. He’s just going to be a flat out scorer. He’s got a nose for the ball and has only one intensity level. What he has, you can’t teach.

  • LakeShow84

    Lol @ Todays Poll.. Cold cold cold..

    And Lol @ OKC announcers.. damn thats HOMERISM.. them foo’s were blurting out shit like “OH THATS A HOLD!!!”.. and literally SCREAMING into their mics.. comedy.. Sup with Timmy going under Ibakas arms and not getting that late 4th call?? Timmay be gettin shafted nowadays..

    Speakin of shafted.. those Warriors get NO LOVE from the refs..

    Bucks are my new favorite underdog team in the playoffs.. bigups to Salmons.. was beastin in Sac, went to Chicago and fell asleep but right back on track with Deers of Fear lol

  • Claw

    Amare’s dunk over Duncan in the playoffs was better, cmon dunking on Tolliver?

    @Lakeshow – Bucks are winning and Bogut has sucked a** the last two games and they still win. THey have a sick record since getting Salmons, something like 15-2.

    Where in the hell did Marcus Thorton come from?
    You can take one: Collison or Thorton, who do you choose?

  • the cynic

    spurs are going to stink without Manu next year

  • da_griff

    Collison.

    Thornton is just another shooting guard. They’re like a dime a dozen.

  • Diego

    Always actually thought Salmons was overrated, but he has really impressed me with Milwaukee, and I am a convert. Hawks just could not stop him in 4th last night. Seems to have a similar big guard style as JJ too.

    JJ’s foul on Salmons was too stupid. JJ was all over him. At least make the Bucks shoot! With no such dumbass foul, game is tied; shot clock is running down and Hawks will get ball back to win (if there is a stop) or tie.

    The Bucks are a tough team to beat.

  • http://hornetshype.com ticktock6

    @Claw

    As a Hornets fan, I take Thornton. The team REALLY needed a shooting guard. Everyone else… you all feel free to take Collison tho.