As another new segment to the Pick and Pop diaries, we will be bringing you a daily recap of the previous nights action. If you miss a game, check in here for the key points. Last night we had 6 NBA games:
Trailing by three points at halftime, the Sixers opened the second half on a 14-0 run during which Jrue Holiday provided the offensive spark. The Pistons would reclaim the lead later in the third, but the back court of Holiday and Evan Turner proved to be much for the Pistons to overcome. Holiday paced the 76ers with 25 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Turner showed his all around game as well posting an excellent line of 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. Thaddeus Young chipped in 20 points and 5 steals. The Pistons were led by Greg Monroe and Brandan Knight, who each had 22 points. As a team, the Pistons shot only 39.5% from the floor.
Golden State Warriors-104
Well the score doesn’t quite tell the whole story here, as this game was a blowout going into the 4th, as the Warriors were up by 19 heading into the final period of play. The red-hot David Lee continued his torrid pace of late, scoring 25 points on 10-14 shooting along with not missing a free throw on his 5 attempts. He added 11 rebound as well. He has now averaged 24 points and 13 boards a game over his last 5 contests. Stephen Curry dropped 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists as he continues to feel more comfortable on his ankle every game. A woeful shooting night for the Bobcats as they shot only 37% as a team. Kemba Walker scored 24 points, but was a very inefficient 6-16 from the field including 3-9 from downtown. The lone bright-spot for the Bobcats was their first round selection from this past draft, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who scored 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting. The Bobcats have been playing better this year, but this performance was reminiscent of previous years.
In losing to the heat for the second time this year and seventh time in there last eigh meetings, the Hawks proved once again to be the Heat’s favorite opponent. Dwayne Wade shot 11-13, his highest single game shooting percentage in his career, and scored 26 points. Lebron was also highly efficient, shooting 10-16 for 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. The Heat benefited from some easy fast break buckets and were clearly a cut above the Hawks, despite the final score only being a 3 possession difference. Atlanta continued to get good play from Al Horford who scored 20 points to go along with 11 boards. Josh Smith chipped in 22 while going 4 of 5 from 3 point land (pretty impressive for how poor shooter he really is). Atlanta’s defense was invisible as the Heat shot nearly 60% from the floor.
San Antonio Spurs-134
While Jeremy Lin did his best to put the Harden-less Rockets on his back, his fatigue became apparent during the final stages of the 4th and overtime. Lin scored 38 points and added 7 assists in the losing effort. This was the best he’s looked for the Rockets and showed some of the promise that led to his free agent signing this summer. BUT the real story of the game was Tony Parker who recorded his 1st career triple-double with a line of 27-12-12. Parker was able to get his teammates involved early and often, including Gary Neal who scored 29 points with seven trifectas. In 35 minutes, Neal managed to get no rebounds and no assists, choosing to strictly be a shooter tonight and it actually worked. His teammates didn’t need help on the glass as they won the rebounding battle 49-40. Manu Ginobli scored 22 points for the Spurs as well. For the Rockets, both Omer Asik (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Chandler Parsons (20 points) reached the 20 point plateau. A great western conference battle was won by the better team. The Rockets have lost both of its games since Coach Kevin McHale has returned to the team following his leave of absence to deal with the illness and death of his daughter.
This game was never close. Dallas had 6 players in double-digits led by OJ Mayo who had 19 points on 6 of 9 shooting. They turned the ball over only 8 times compared to 19 by the Kings. The Kings had two players score 25 points (DeMarcus Cousins and Francisco Garcia) but dropped to 7-13 on the season. Marcus Thornton had a plus/minus of -29! Absolutely terrible. Elton Brand got to be on the opposite end of that spectrum with a plus 29.
Portland Trail Blazers-92
The Raptors kept this close until the 4th quarter when the Blazers took control. LeMarcus Aldridge paced the Blazers with 30 points and 12 boards. The real story in this game was injuries and an ejection. The Raptors “franchise” player Andrea Bargnani injured his elbow falling after a dunk. Raptor officials said Xrays were negative. Starting Guard Kyle Lowry injured his shoulder and did not play in the second half. OKAY NOW FOR THE REAL STORY: Amir Johnson was tossed from this game for refusing to give the ball to the ref after a free throw. Both the player and ref had their hands on the ball but Johnson refused to relent, leading to his hilarious ejection. He then tossed his mouthguard towards the officials, something the NBA will surely fine him for. Anyway, enough of me, watch the highlight above.