The Heat-Clippers showdown got undermined in the last three weeks by Chris Paul‘s hurt kneecap and a flu strain that made most Miami players sick before the game. Still, even with the whole Clippers roster (Jamal Crawford had 13 points, Paul had 3 and Blake Griffin had 13 in their respective returns) mostly healthy, shorthanded Miami bludgeoned its way to a rout made almost unwatchable it was so lopsided if it weren’t for LeBron James’ hypnotizing skills. He made his first six shots, then after missing, made up for it with a four-point play on a three taken from about 27 feet. Dude has officially turned off the difficulty sliders in real life like you might in a video game by making 37 of his last 47 shots, and he’s now at 55 percent for the season. Did we mention he scored 30 points on just 11 shots — and didn’t play in the fourth quarter, when the lead blew up to 30-plus? While that stands by itself as a jaw-dropping game, he did it when his own team was ailing from the flu and missing Chris Bosh and Ray Allen, while L.A. had back everybody. … LeBron also gave a chest-pass tutorial to a fan wearing his jersey right before halftime. … The Lakers’ low point of the season was being down 19 to the league’s worst team, Charlotte, Friday night. Gerald Henderson and Bismack Biyombo both threw down over Dwight Howard (12 points, 11 boards), who somehow was the last player down the floor on both ends. Kobe Bryant (20 points) couldn’t find a way to score even a single point in the first half. Then Bryant got it together to lead the Lakers’ comeback to win, 100-93. Bean had 12 points in the fourth quarter but was 0-for-2 from three all game. Did you know he’s 1-of-26 from deep since a win in Minnesota? … Kobe also makes hissing sounds when he wants the ball, which doesn’t even surprise us. … A game between two teams with a combined 20 wins isn’t exactly must-see TV. But, even though the Magic got their 12th straight loss but we watched Cleveland’s 119-108 win because of Kyrie Irving (24 points, six boards, eight assists) and Nikola Vucevic (25 points, 13 rebounds). After hearing about how Andre Drummond has a stress fracture in his back and will be out a month, we needed to see some young, fearless post play. Vucevic fits that bill. Meanwhile, Irving is still being Irving, meaning an All-Star. He shook Magic rook Andrew Nicholson twice on the first move of two, two-part filthy drives, and the latter’s subsequent glide-by of Vucevic for a layup was like listening to Charlie Parker play saxophone. … A dunk of the night candidate came from this one in the form of Shaun Livingston‘s poster in the fourth. … Back to Drummond, and how that injury is a nightmare for the Pistons even considering their 119-109 win over San Antonio. That was a win fueled by adrenaline after hearing the bad news, with Greg Monroe getting 26 and 16. The Pistons could be the least telegenic team in the NBA and now lost their only reason to watch on League Pass (Monroe is great, but not explosive). Tony Parker had 31 points and eight dimes … Hit the jump to hear about Rudy Gay’s clutch performances …
Smack / Feb 9, 2013 / 5:59 am
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