Without James Harden, the return of Linsanity (38 points) was so necessary for Houston last night. The explosion of Toney Douglas (17 points) wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered, but hey, anything from him is a bonus. Houston got contributions from nearly everyone, and it just felt like a game they should’ve won. San Antonio’s announcer Sean Elliott said in the second quarter that “They look more like us than we do.” Houston was moving the ball, hitting threes and not doing anything stupid. It’s too bad they were playing San Antonio. The Spurs brought out their best McKayla Maroney face, clearly not impressed with what the Rockets were doing, and walked out with a win in overtime, 134-126. Because of all the craziness going on, Tony Parker had the quietest 27-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist night we’ve ever seen (also, unbelievably, this was the first triple-double of TP’s career), while Gary Neal had the weirdest stat line we’ve ever seen (35 minutes, seven triples, 29 points, zero rebounds, zero assists) … We love Omer Asik (21 points, 10 boards), but he might be the only player in the league who refuses to dunk. And he’d be a lot better off if someone would just get him to go after the rim like he does rebounds … We’re not sure O.J. Mayo (19 points) can play any better than he has over the last eight quarters. He had a dozen more first quarter points last night, as well as five boards, making everything look so easy. Juice is the best example of a player who looks completely different with confidence and the knowledge of what his role is – even when he missed a shot, like in an isolation on John Salmons to end the first quarter after yo-yoing between-the-legs and crossing over, it felt like it was going to drop no matter what. You could say the same things about Dallas as a whole. They clobbered the Kings at home, 119-96 … And there was another great lead guard matchup in Philly last night between Brandon Knight and Jrue Holiday. Knight had 22, but Holiday (25 points, eight assists) was the difference in the Sixers’ 104-97 win. He had 21 second-half points, a lot of them coming down the stretch on beautiful pull-up jumpers off the dribble. We love his pace. Even when he’s not, it always feels like he’s in control. If the dude doesn’t make the All-Star Game, we might have problems. Philly is now 11-0 this year when leading after three quarters – much of that has to do with Holiday’s big moment balls … We can’t overlook Dime favorite Evan Turner (18 points, 11 boards, seven helpers) either. He had three or four rebounds down the stretch that would’ve made Charles Barkley happy, just ripping them away from everyone else. Remember when he sucked? Not so much anymore … We’re out like the Texans’ swagger.
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