Line of the Night: 1.8.14

James Harden led all players with 38 points and 5 steals to earn Line of the Night.

James Harden led all players with 38 points and 5 steals to earn Line of the Night.

Dwight Howard played his former team as the Lakers visited the Rockets.  The Rockets came away with the win, but Pau Gasol won the battle in the paint, at least on offence as he went 8/13 to Howard’s 5/14.  James Harden led all scorers with 38 points.  Washington earned a win in the Big Easy as Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza both posted double-doubles.  The Nets remain unbeaten in the new year as they won their 4th straight, defending their home court against the Warriors, who had a league-high ten straight wins going into the game.  Stephen Curry scored a game-high 34 points and Joe Johnson lead the way for the Nets with 27.  The Pacers demonstrated just how much they rely on Lance Stephenson as they dropped a game to the Hawks with Stephenson out of the line-up with a right knee contusion.  Paul George scored a game-high 28 points.  Detroit season got a little worse as they dropped a game to the Raptors.  Perhaps they’ve just decided to tank in hopes of keeping their conditional draft pick this season.  Former Piston Amir Johnson posted a double-double for the Raptors, as did Jonas Valanciunas.  Kyle Lowry scored one less point than Brandon Jennings in the

Blake Griffin led the Clippers past the Celtics.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers past the Celtics.

point-guard match-up, but he nearly matched Jennings’ total while taking 10 fewer shots.  It was a see-saw battle in Minnesota as the T-Wolves and the Suns went head-to-head, mirroring the see-saw battle the T-Wolves have struggled with to stay at .500 in the west.  The Suns, though, came out on top in this one, led by Goran Dragic who scored a game-high 26 points and handed out a game-high 9 assists.  Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic both posted double-doubles, but when for a combine 10/36 from the field.  One more made field goal would have given the T-Wolves the game.  The Portland Trailblazers hosted the Orlando Magic and treated them to a clinic.  LaMarcus Aldridge continues to put up MVP numbers, this time posting a game-high 36 points and pulling in 9 boards, while Nicolas Batum posted a triple-double in the win.  And Doc Rivers hosted his former team as the Boston Celtics visited the Staples Center.  Not too many familiar faces though, as Rondo was out with injury and Boston’s Big Three are not either playing in Miami or Brooklyn.  Despite missing MVP candidate Chris Paul, the Clippers beat the Celtics: 111-105.  Blake Griffin scored a game-high 29 points on only 14 shots and DeAndre Jordan gave the Clippers a double-double. 

Nicolas Batum posted a triple-double last night as the Trailblazers bounced back from a loss against the Kings.

Nicolas Batum posted a triple-double last night as the Trailblazers bounced back from a loss against the Kings.

My pick for Line of the Night goes to James Harden.  Aside from his evening-high 38 points, he also grabbed 5 steals, more than any other player last night.  His rebounding numbers were as good a teammate Dwight Howard or Paul George, and his assist numbers weren’t as impressive as Goran Dragic, but his point total and defence secure my vote for Line of the Night.  Honourable mention got to Nicolas Batum, who posted a triple-double in Portland’s win over Orlando.  A triple-double is usually a sure bet for Line of the Night, but his 14 points was more than doubled by Harden, and Harden had superior defensive stats as well, posting 5 steals to Batum’s 1 steal and one block.

To see how the readers at ProSportsDaily voted, go here, and cast your own vote.  And be sure to follow me on Twitter @JasonJHorn.

Paul George's game-high 28 points was not enough to lift the Pacers past the Hawks.

Paul George’s game-high 28 points was not enough to lift the Pacers past the Hawks.

Top Performers:

Blake Griffin: 29 points (9/14), 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals

LaMarcus Aldridge: 36 points (16/25), 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist

Nicolas Batum: 14 points (6/14), 14 assists, 10 rebounds, 1 steals, 1 block

Goran Dragic: 26 points (9/20), 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 steal

Paul George: 28 points (11/25), 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals

Stephen Curry: 34 points (11/25), 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals

James Harden: 38 points (14/23), 5 steals, 4 assists, 4 rebounds

Pau Gasol: 21 points (8/13, 12 rebounds, 3 assists

Dwight Howard: 20 points (5/14), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 block

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