Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Oklahoma City 113, Sacramento 107

A fantastic little game, Oklahoma City appeared to have dropped the ball defensively in the win, but I credit Sacramento's O more than I'd give the stick to Scott Brooks' crew. And the Kings made a goodly series of shots I wasn't exactly happy with. Francisco Garcia(notes) (this, sadly, had become the norm with him), Sean May(notes) and Beno Udrih(notes) hit a batch of long looks that the Thunder shouldn't be shaking their heads over.

Due to the slow night, I was able to see a lot of this game, and Kevin Durant(notes) was as good as that 39 and 10 line would suggest. This goes along with a whole heap of shots that I was surprised to see rim out or fall short on. He was a few bounces and spins away from 45. The guy is an absolute offensive wunderkind, and it's nice to see him do work alongside someone who deserves time alongside, like Russell Westbrook(notes).

RW worried us in the preseason and throughout the fall with iffy shot selection, but he remains the finest offensive rebounder the guard position knows these days (four on Tuesday, out of five total caroms), and he continually got to the basket in the win. The second-year guard had 30 points and 13 assists. A fabulous showing.

Tyreke Evans(notes) had 27 points, six rebounds, five assists, four turnovers and three steals in the loss. He had some clams, at points, but otherwise this was a sound night out. Seven-of-12 shooting for Carl Landry(notes) and, as you'd expect, the Kings have to find a better way to get this man the ball.

***

Boston 105, Detroit 100

The thing that crossed my mind during the first half of this game - just in case the Pistons won - was a little hook telling you that Nate Robinson(notes), dammit, needs to start acting like Nate Robinson.

Just a nice bit needed to save a four-game BtB. And then, darlings, Nate Robinson went ahead and acted like Nate Robinson.

Pulled up in transition. Pulled up and nailed four out of five three-pointers. Fourteen points in 15 minutes, no turnovers, heaps of Nate. Marquis Daniels(notes) missed all four of his shots in 20 minutes, and his minutes are still better served heading toward Quis than to Mike Finley. Just an aside. Glen Davis(notes) helped in one good run, and it was nice to see Shelden Williams(notes) take in minutes. After watching Rasheed Wallace(notes) slap at penetrators instead of actually moving his feet, for too long and up to and including this game, any bit helps. Free Shelden. [Forget] Rasheed.

Detroit enjoyed a significant rebounding advantage, especially on the offensive glass, but the team turned it over on a fifth of its possessions. The Pistons kept it close, at home; and despite Boston's recent issues, that's to be commended. Jonas Jerebko(notes) had 16 and 10, but every time I see him (even with a good TV, even with the difference in, uh, pigmentation levels) I still see the "33" and think "Grant Hill, what a swell guy. Who wants a Sprite and a box that says ‘FILA' on the side?"

***

Los Angeles Lakers 122, Indiana 99

We'll have more on the Pacers later in the week, but understand that the team had to play nearly perfect basketball (with Troy Murphy(notes) hitting on those delayed transition three-pointers) just to be in a two-possession game with the Lakers at the half. And that's with Josh McRoberts(notes) (who is way, way too young to have a double chin) dunking on Kobe Bryant(notes) and making Andrew Bynum(notes) look bad.

Ron Artest(notes) had five third quarter steals, and the Lakers completely ran away with things in the second half, turning this into a romp before the Pacers knew what hit them. I know what hit them. Indiana stopped hitting all those trailer threes, the Lakers shored up defensively, took advantage of those extra possessions, and started making shots. I was hoping for a game, disappointed I didn't get one, but I'm always applicative to see a great team play great basketball.

Nearly 126 points per 100 possessions for Los Angeles, with 33 assists. Also, Adam Morrison(notes) got in the game early, and though he was surreptitiously looking over to the Laker bench after screwing up an offensive (crowding Jordan Farmar(notes)) and defensive (bad rotation, bad foul) possession consecutively, he didn't look half bad. Save for the continued attempts at a goatee.

You're 26 this summer, Ammo. Stop.

***

Miami 110, Golden State 106

Just eight players on hand for the Warriors in this loss, with D-League Reggie Williams(notes) (not that Reggie Williams; though I just realized you're likely not nearly as ancient as me, and didn't watch the 1987 Draft in your parents' den, you don't remember spending time watching the Iran-Contra hearings on CNN that summer, or the way CNN used to use yellow block type. Sigh), actually contributing sound and solid play in his first game as an NBA pro.

Ten points, five assists, five rebounds, just one turnover for GSW's rookie in nearly 20 minutes of action. He had to guard Dwyane Wade(notes) for stretches, and acquitted himself well. But the Warriors just didn't have enough to keep up, they fouled too much, Ronny Turiaf(notes) bobbled a pass late that would have made all the difference, and Wade came through with 35 points, four steals, 12 assists, three turnovers and six rebounds.

Miami also cuh-rushed Golden State on the glass, 50-35, though it honestly didn't feel as if the Heat were playing too big the bully. Miami looked like the better, deeper team; though the Warriors were able to get theirs, especially early and involving a pretty two man game with Turiaf and rookie Stephen Curry(notes) (18 and eight assists in the loss).

Anthony Morrow(notes) scored 24 points in the loss, though his 2-10 mark from long range redeems my iffy feelings on his shot selection.

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