Some teams get rusty with a seven-day delay like Miami was coming off of. The Heat got nastier while still being down an All-Star with Chris Bosh gone. Portland got run out of its own gym, 107-93, as the team still trying to find itself ran into a buzzsaw of a team that’s discovering how vicious it can be. Dwyane Wade (33 points, 10 assists) had a big follow block that led to Mike Miller’s three on the other end to go up five in the second. If you liked that, the James-Wade combo platter included a two-on-one fast-break alley-oop to LeBron that had Portlanders covering their mouths. Without Bosh in the game there was an all-business, destroyer mode being staged by the pair. Wade finished with 22 points in the first half and LeBron had 19, seven assists and four rebounds. At the end, the count was 38 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and five steals … For good measure, LeBron cocked the ball all the way back to Salem on a third-quarter breakaway murder of a dunk. There’s also still chalk outlined on the Rose Garden floor where LeBron swatted Raymond Felton’s shot on a disgusting chasedown block. If you’re looking to poke fun at anything James did Thursday, TNT’s broadcast showed him adjusting his headband to cover his hairline for a good 15 seconds. Should Martell Webster and LeBron just hit up the barbershop the same day? … Nicolas Batum (17 points) did what few have been able to against Miami’s Shane Battier by shaking him clean for a baseline dunk … Joel Przybilla’s first game back in Portland wasn’t the feel-good win he wanted, but the Vanilla Gorilla had four points, and six boards in 19 minutes and was plus-10 … Kevin Durant had an excellent week in Orlando: He goes for 36 against the best in the world to win All-Star MVP on Sunday, then throws up 38 Thursday night to bring Oklahoma City back from 14 points down. The Thunder won, 105-102 … Durant dropped 18 in the fourth quarter and had this powerful one-handed oop on a two-on-one earlier … James Harden (13 points) came away with all limbs intact after dunking on Howard (33 points). Few men in the league can say that … The Thunder had to do some heavy lifting to get back into it, though. It wasn’t just in stretches where Orlando looked head-and-shoulders better than Oklahoma City. It was sustained in the first half and well into the second. Even with Howard sitting for about six minutes, Chris Duhon and Jameer Nelson (15 points, nine assists) found holes in the Thunder defense to exploit in the second, with Duhon catching Kendrick Perkins on a switch for a nifty pick-and-roll layup. Thunder coach Scott Brooks never looks like the happiest person, but a Nelson-to-Jason Richardson fast break dime had him downright pissed entering a timeout … Also something Brooks yelled at his team for was letting Ryan Anderson (15 points) step back for a straight-line three on consecutive possessions, using the same play. Anderson has cooled off since the season’s start but is still a nightmare matchup for other fours … Keep reading to hear about another insane dunk from Blake Griffin …
Smack / Mar 2, 2012 / 2:03 am
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