Do you believe in Philly now? You should. The 76ers turned the stove temperature up in the third quarter and started grilling Chicago. It was like the visitors got caught up in a storm they couldn’t get out of. The defense was suffocating. Andre Iguodala (19 points) had a cuff dunk that only five or six people in the world could’ve pulled off. And Jrue Holiday (17 points) capped it all with a corner three right before the quarter ended. 26 to 11, they mauled the second-best team in the East in the third, and ended up winning 98-82. Every time you looked up, Philly was on some kind of fast break, whether it be off a turnover or due to the general attack mode they were in all night. It’s honestly one of the best performances we’ve ever seen out of Iguodala. He was loose and having fun … Russell Westbrook did his best to make up for all the playoff screw ups he had in Dallas last year, completely destroying the Mavs with 33 points as OKC got back on track with a big 95-86 win in Big D. This thing would’ve gotten out of hand in the second half if it wasn’t for Jason Terry, who scored 25 to help make up for Dirk hardly showing up (2-for-15 shooting) … If Serge Ibaka could actually score a point or two, he would’ve had a triple-double because dude went OFF with 10 blocks … Rick Carlisle seems like he’s in better shape than half his team. At one point, he kicked the ball out of frustration into the stands and nearly took a few people out behind the basket … Tim Duncan dropped 25 in another one of those “turn back the clocks” nights, but really, it was a stretch in the third quarter where he won it for the Spurs. Houston had been up by as much as 18, but the Big Swim poured in 16 himself during the frame to get the lead back within working distance. From there, it was Gary Neal – who’s come out of nowhere to turn into a fourth quarter assassin – who hit floaters and threes in the fourth (15 points) to finish off the Rockets, 99-91 … Portland got a combined 69 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, Gerald Wallace and Jamal Crawford as they murdered Charlotte bad enough (112-68) that fans should’ve gotten their money back … It was the best and worst of times for Al Jefferson (27 points, 12 rebounds). Down four in the final 30 seconds, Jefferson hit what seemed like his 10th hook shot of the game to cut the Clipper lead to two. But after Blake Griffin broke the press, Big Al didn’t wrap him up hard enough and Griffin’s (31 points, 14 rebounds) three-point play gave the Clippers the space they needed to win, 107-105. L.A. got their third straight big Western Conference win behind a huge fourth quarter from the “basketball genius” (as Chris Mullin said last night) Chris Paul (34 points, 11 assists) … Griffin had enough highlights for an entire hour of Sportscenter within the first few minutes. We swear, after maybe the second dunk, Utah just said forget it and started escorting Griffin to the rim for repeated slams. Seriously, the whole league is now shook after what took place the other night. No one wants to become the next Kendrick Perkins … DeAndre Jordan had one of the sickest follow-up slams we’ve seen this year … Keep reading to hear how Brandon Jennings outplayed LeBron James down the stretch of Milwaukee’s surprise win …
Smack / Feb 2, 2012 / 1:28 am
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