Dallas’ 116-109 win in Houston last night might’ve been the best game of the season. Seriously. It was full of wild scoring runs (the Mavs were up 19 early, then lost all of that lead only to completely erase a big Houston lead in the second half), highlights (Dahntay Jones crowned Patrick Patterson) and most importantly, a pair of young stars trading haymakers. James Harden (39 points – 30 in the first half – and nine dimes) played like an unleashed animal in the first half, repeatedly carving up Dallas’ defense off the pick-n-roll. But in the second half, he slowed, and O.J. Mayo (40 points, eight rebounds, one gigantic chest bump from Mark Cuban) took it from there. He hit a triple to stretch a late Dallas lead to six to cap a 18-3 run, and then did it again with a two-point game on the line when Houston made the ultimate mistake: leaving him open off an out of bounds play … One night after losing a game they should’ve won in Philly, the Celtics returned home and snuffed that same Sixers team in the mouth, 92-79. The standout performance didn’t come from their defense, despite holding Philly to 28 in the first half, or Rajon Rondo (seven points, nine boards, 11 dimes). It came from Tommy Heinsohn. At one point Kevin Garnett (zero rebounds for the first time in a game since 1997) was whistled for a foul after what may have been a clean block, and Tommy flipped on longtime ref Dick Bavetta, screaming, “If he keeps making calls like that, I’m not going to let him be 74 anymore.” It sure sounded like the Celtics announcer was threatening Bavetta’s life (the ref is actually only 72 years old). Tommy continued to embarrass himself by saying that with all that experience in the NBA, he figured Bavetta would know what a good block was … In other scores: in their 30-point blowout of Charlotte, San Antonio went off for seven triples in the first quarter alone. Danny Green was the catalyst, scoring his first 21 points from behind the line, before finishing with 23 … David Lee (24 points, 17 rebounds) and Golden State barely survived an unconscious Jordan Crawford (22 points, eight assists, a couple of impossible shots in the closing minute) to hold on in Washington, 101-97 … Down three in the final five seconds, Bradley Beal (17 points) perfectly executed the “make one, miss one” free throw routine, and then ended up with the rebound right under the rim. Only thing is he missed the wide open layup. That only happens to the Wizards … Brandon Knight had 30 in Detroit’s 104-97 dropping of Cleveland … Josh Smith (24 points) and Atlanta took control of the second half in Memphis by outscoring the Grizzlies 32-13 in the third quarter and walked out with a ten-point W … And behind 19 and 12 from DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings beat Portland easily, 99-80 … We’re out like Manti Te’o‘s Heisman Trophy.
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