Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant nearly outscored Boston by themselves in the first half, and then put them out of their misery in the final few minutes. After Boston had cut the lead to two with around five minutes remaining, Durant (28 points) sent Paul Pierce sliding in his wheelchair with a step-back three-pointer, and then drove right down the middle for an easy tomahawk. Westbrook followed that up by assisting on a Thabo Sefolosha three and then hit one of his own. Finally, Westbrook hit the real dagger, a stupid “what the ffff…nice shot!” three in Pierce’s face. It was a phenomenal night of shooting from Westbrook (26 points) in OKC’s 97-88 win, hitting a bushel of shots that you wouldn’t even make with a piece of paper and trash bin … Paul Pierce, still working his way back into shape, had easily his best game of the season so far (24 points). Kevin Harlan said he looked like he had that “spring back in his step.” Even though the Truth did look great, there has never been an instance where Paul Pierce had a “spring in his step” … Rajon Rondo nearly had a triple-double: 12 points, nine rebounds, nine assists … Has there ever been a less accomplished individual player than Kendrick Perkins to get a standing O (and video montage) on his return, AND the leading segment on the halftime show? It’s not even that we don’t like the dude. He’s a great guy. But that’s just how they do it in Boston, which kinda makes you hate the fans if you aren’t one of them and makes you love it if you’re in the game up there … There’s a reason they call him Jesus. Mr. Shuttlesworth always comes correct with Jordan heat. Last night, it was some black and gold XIIs … As for Wall’s contemporary, Ricky Rubio nearly had a triple-double (nine points, eight rebounds, eight assists) while Kevin Love (33 points, 11 rebounds) did what he does in Minnesota’s 99-86 W over Sacramento … But Luke Ridnour was the difference (25 points, nine assists), and at one point put a pass off the backboard to Love for an easy layup. He’s obviously been watching a lot of Hedo and Dwight lately … Kyrie Irving (25 points, seven dimes) had his fifth straight game of at least 20 points in Cleveland’s eight-point win over the Bobcats … Portland got 22 and nine from LaMarcus Aldridge in a seven-point win over New Orleans … Syracuse is now 20-0 after finishing off Pittsburgh … He might not be nationally known right now, but whoever gets Thomas Robinson in the draft next year is getting a beast. He dropped 27 points and 14 boards as Kansas blew away previously-unbeaten Baylor … The Pistons had to have an emergency landing yesterday after there were some big problems with their team plane. Scary stuff … And Dime was on a conference call with Jerry Colangelo and Coach K yesterday as they announced the 20 finalists for Team USA. They are: LaMarcus Aldridge, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams. This team should have it all, including winners. At the start of the 2008 Olympics, the only player on the team who had a gold medal was Jason Kidd. Now, between the Olympics and the World Championships, this team has 18. Colangelo also acknowledged they are LOADED at point guard. We’re assuming Chris Paul will start with Derrick Rose as his main backup (Colangelo said he believes Rose has improved more than anyone in the past few years). But after that, there’s probably one spot being fought over between Billups, Westbrook and Williams … We’re out like stopping ‘Cuse.
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