In their growth from complete garbage to a potential dynasty, OKC skipped over two or three steps. When they beat San Antonio in six in the Western Conference Finals last year, it certainly felt like they bloomed a year earlier than expected. Now, there’s no question: they’re the best team in the Western Conference, and proved it by giving it to the Spurs, 107-93. OKC’s big four scored all but four points for the Thunder in the first half, but it was probably Serge Ibaka (25 points, 17 rebounds) alone who made all of the difference. He made his first six shots, and had the announcers screaming, “Don’t touch him! Don’t speak to him! You might wake him up!” The big fella has really improved this year, being incredibly assertive offensively and not looking lost on the other end (even though he’s a great shotblocker, this is the first season where he’s actually been a decent all-around defender). Does Ibaka become an All-Star soon? It’s certainly possible … Later in the fourth quarter, the OKC cameras honed in on Wade Boggs sitting in the stands. The former 12-time MLB All-Star broke out an impromptu dance session, bussin’ and jivin’ with his fists out in front of him and shoulders moving to the beat. It was definitely strange, not just because it was Wade Boggs, but because it was Wade Boggs trying to cut it up … After seeing the way Kevin Love (23 points, 15 rebounds) and Nikola Pekovic (19 points, 12 boards) dominated in the first half in Orlando, we were surprised to watch them fall apart Jenga-style in the second half against the Magic, ultimately losing 102-93 after a 9-0 Magic run took Minnesota’s heart in the closing minutes. Big Baby exploded for 20 of his 28 in the second half, slapping high fives with fans in the process … When Memphis secured an offensive rebound, kicked it around the perimeter, and then Rudy Gay scored on a driving layup to put the Grizzlies up nine with two and a half minutes left, you knew their night against Chicago was pretty much over. A nine-point lead in this slugfest was insurmountable and in the end, it held up for Mike Conley (17 points) and Memphis, 80-71 … Phoenix stayed hot, beating Sacramento by 11 as everyone in the building was sadly forced to watch the Shannon Brown/Jimmer Fredette show. Both of them scored 22 points to lead everyone, showing once again why these two have no chance of climbing out of the lottery … And in college ball, Jim Boeheim racked up his 900th career win despite the best efforts of his team to blow it for him. Syracuse dominated Detroit, but then went seemingly hours between scores at the end of the game. They ended up holding on by four even as Juwan Howard Jr. – one of the few people in the world who might look older than Juwan Howard – dropped 18 points … We’re out like the Wade Boggs Shuffle.
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