Line of the Night: 2.25.14

James Harden scores 2 of his 43 points on a fast break against the Kings.

James Harden scores 2 of his 43 points on a fast break against the Kings.

The Toronto Raptors earned a win on the road as they visited the Cleveland Cavaliers.  DeMar DeRozen’s 33-point game topped Kyrie Irving’s 25 points and 9 assists.  The Indian Pacers are now even with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the best record in the league after a win against the Lakers.  Frank Vogel brought his bench out early to finish the game after the Pacers built up a comfortable lead.  The Washington Wizards are back over .500 after a win over the Orlando Magic.  Four starters for the Wizards managed 20+ points, while Nikola Vucevic grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Jeff Teague scored a game-high 26 points for the Hawks, but it was not enough to overcome the Bulls and a 20/10 game from Joakim Noah, who celebrated a birthday with a win.  Within less than a week of recording his first triple-double, Kevin Love came within a single assist of recording his second as he led the Timberwolves past the Suns, bringing the Timberwolves to within one win of a .500 record.  The game marked Love’s 6th straight game with 30 or more points: a franchise record.  Markieff Morris led the Suns with 24 points off the bench, and starter P.J. Tucker grabbed an evening-high 16 rebounds.  Kevin McHale pulled his starters out early as the Rockets ran up the scoreboard against the King, winning by nearly 30 points.  James Harden scored an evening-high 43 points in only 31 minutes, his highest total of the season, while Dwight Howard posted the only double-double of the game.  And finally, the Denver Nuggets lost their eighth game in nine outing as the Portland Trailblazers earned victory over Denver despite missing MVP candidate LaMarcus Aldridge.  Damian Lillard scored a game-high 31 points and Robin Lopez had another huge on the defensive end, leading all players with 7 blocks.

Kevin Love works the post to score 2 of his 33 points, marking his 6th straight game of 30 or more points.

Kevin Love works the post to score 2 of his 33 points, marking his 6th straight game of 30 or more points.

There were a few solid performances last night.  Lillard’s certainly deserves some recognition for lifting the Trailblazers to a win in Aldridge’s absence, while teammate Robin Lopez’s 7 blocks is a noteworthy performances as well, but ultimately Line of the Night is a two man race between James Harden and Kevin Love.  James Harden gets the edge in the scoring department, outscoring Love by 10 points while taking 2 fewer shots, meaning he got to the line a lot.  But Kevin Love has a clear edge when it comes to assists and rebounds.  Love’s total number of assists and rebounds sits at22 on the night, compared to Harden’s 10, meaning Love more than doubled Harden’s numbers in that respect.  The defensive stats are as close to a wash as one can get: Love recorded 2 blocks, Harden recorded 3 steals.  The impressive thing about Harden’s performance is that he scored those 43 points in 31 minutes, while Love played full starting minutes, but the discrepancy between the assists and rebounds gives Love the edge in my opinion, so I’m going with Love for Line of the Night. 

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

Robin Lopez puts himself in position to block a shot, something he did 7 times last night.

Robin Lopez puts himself in position to block a shot, something he did 7 times last night.

Top Performances:

Jeff Teague: 26 points (10/20), 7 assists, 2 rebounds

Marci Gortat: 21 points (9/13), 10 rebounds, 2 assists

John Wall: 27 points (11/19), 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal

Kyrie Irivng: 25 points (10/22), 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals

Kevin Love: 33 points (10/22), 13 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks

Joakim Noah: 20 points (9/13), 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals

James Harden: 43 points (11/20), 8 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds

Dwight Howard: 20 points (7/9), 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks

DeMar DeRozen: 33 points (12/25), 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal

Robin Lopez: 12 points (4/10), 10 rebounds, 7 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist

Damian Lillard: 31 points (8/20), 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block

Nikola Vucevic: 19 points (9/14), 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

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