Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.
Russell Westbrook had to leave the game early in the third quarter with a knee sprain, but that's when Kevin Durant went to work. He scored 38 of his 51 after halftime, capping it with a dagger 3 in double-overtime as the Thunder overcame an eight-point deficit with 49 seconds remaining to stun the Raptors.
The Pacers have been curiously inconsistent lately, but looked like their early season selves against the Bulls, using a 19-0 third quarter run to take down Chicago 91-79. The defense was tremendous and Paul George went for a triple-double (10-12-10).
The Mavericks won, so the Suns needed to. And did, 98-92.
The Heat trailed by six with four minutes remaining, but finished with a flurry as Ray Allen led the way with 18. LeBron James struggled a bit coming back from his back spasms (15 points, 7-14 shooting), but Miami held on for a 91-86 win.
With the Raptors losing, the Nets have closed within a game and a half of the Atlantic division lead after beating the Celtics 114-98. Joe Johnson had 27, and Mason Plumlee made Kris Humphries' life a little worse.
|B||That's 12 straight for the Spurs. This one was over the Kings. Still counts as a full win, though.|
You've got to give it up to the Sixers. They almost won! Just one point this time!
It would've just been soooooo Knicks for them to lose their own winning streak by snapping the 76ers massive losing streak. But they held on, barely, to win 93-92 and take it to eight straight. And better yet: The Hawks lost.
To lose in the fashion they did, with Durant drilling a 28-footer... there's really no shame in it. But then again, they led by eight with 49 seconds left and lost by missing free throws. They played a great game, but lost.
The Wizards beat them 117-107, but Steve Nash returned and had 11 assists in 19 minutes, which is just fantastic.
It's not that the Bulls are slumping. They're just losing to some good teams. The Pacers were desperate to get right, and the Bulls happened to be the team standing in the way. The offense is slowly deteriorating though, as the Bulls scored just 36 in the second half.
The Suns and Mavericks won, but the Grizzlies did not. They blew a late fourth quarter lead in Miami, which there isn't much shame in, but the Grizzlies genuinely had this one. And Marc Gasol left the game in a walking boot, which seems bad.
Bad loss for the Hawks. Losing at home against the Pelicans, and giving up ground to the streaking Knicks. It won't be long until they start feeling the pressure.