Philadelphia 97, Detroit 68: As usual, the 76ers’ reserves, led by Thaddeus Young (20 points, 8 boards) and Lou Williams (13 points, 7 assists) led the way. Philly opened up a 4-game lead in the Atlantic over the Knicks and Celtics. As usual, Greg Monroe was the only one to show up for the Pistons (20 points, eight rebounds). Everyone else on that pitiful team shot 18-for-63 (28 percent).
Cleveland 83, Boston 86: The Celtics needed a strong 4th quarter to vanquish Kyrie Irving and the pesky Cavs. Cleveland led by 1 with 81 seconds left, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Cavs have to be one of the league’s biggest surprises (13-19) despite the losing record. I really wish Boston had lost. They’d be a step closer to nuking that core.
LA Clippers 97, Minnesota 109: The Paper Clips ran out of gas in the 4th quarter and let the Wolves win for the second time this season in the Staples Center. It’s kind of scary that Minnesota can beat a 1st place team with Kevin Love only shooting 4-of-13 in 25 minutes. The Wolves were carried by reserves Derrick Williams (27 points) and Michael Beasley (27). I’m not worried about the Clippers yet, but we know what they’re getting from CP3 and Blake and DeAndre Jordan. What’s Caron Butler (1-for-10) going to do nightly?
New Jersey 93, Dallas 92: The return of Brook Lopez – 38 points in 36 minutes. Trade bait! Deron Williams, rattled by his return to Dallas, only shot 3-of-15 and 2-of-9 on 3-pointers. But he did have 12 assists. Perhaps of note: the younger brother of Deron Williams is going to prep school in Jersey next year. The plot thickens?!?!
Chicago 99, New Orleans 93: Carlos Boozer dunked on Chris Kaman. Derrick Rose scored 32 points. It’s official – the Hornets will never again make Ballin’ this season. The reason? Lance Thomas played nine minutes last night. Lance Thomas.