Line of the Night: 2.5.14

Brandon Jennings was 5/23 last night, and seems to be intent on helping the Pistons lose as many games as possible in order to keep this year's draft pick.

Brandon Jennings was 5/23 last night, and seems to be intent on helping the Pistons lose as many games as possible in order to keep this year’s draft pick.

Josh Smith has a solid night, posting a 20/10 game, and Andre Drummond posted a double-double, while every member of Detroit’s starting line-up shot over .500 with the exception of…. Brandon Jennings.  He was 5/23 from the field, leading the Pistons in field goals attempted despite the fact that he was EASILY shooting the ball worse than ANYBODY on the floor on either team.  So, despite strong performances from the rest of the squad, the ball-hogging Jennings torpedoed the Pistons’ team effort SO badly that they lost to the lowly Orlando Magic.  Is there a reason Maurice Cheeks isn’t pulling this trigger-happy albatross off the fucking court when he’s jacking up stupid shots like this instead of leaving him on the court for an evening-high 43 regulation minutes?  But I digress.  The Lakers only had 8 player suited up for the game, and started three guys I’ve never even heard of before, but apparently they weren’t bad enough to lose to the Cavs, topping the hosting Cleveland team: 119-108.  If Kyrie Irving can’t break 11 points when he’s being guarded by Steve Blake or Jordan Farmar, just do yourself a favour and trade him when he starts bemoaning that the ‘team’ is holding him back.  That said, Steve Blake posted a triple-double in the win. 

Tim Duncan played 40 minutes last night, and recorded a 30/10 game helping the Spurs top the Wizards and earning Line of the Night honours.

Tim Duncan played 40 minutes last night, and recorded a 30/10 game helping the Spurs top the Wizards and earning Line of the Night honours.

Jared Sullinger, Brand Bass and Jeff Green are not exactly Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Larry Bird any more than Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner are Moses Malone and Julius Irving but the Boston/Philly rivalry continued last night as the Celtics and the 76ers went head to head, with Boston coming out on top as rookie sensation Michael Carter-Williams got his first lesson on how to be an excellent point guard without being able to shoot from Rajon Rondon, who nearly posted a triple-double in the win.  Jeff Green came away with a game-high 36 points.  The Spurs got a little surprise from the Wizards in Washington, getting pushed into a double-overtime game before they finally secured the win.  Tim Duncan posted an impressive 30/10 game with solid defensive stats and managed to outscore John Wall by 2 points, despite taking 9 fewer shots.  Kevin Love was unavailable to play for the Timberwolves last night, and with Nikola Pekovic also out, that didn’t leave much in the front court for Minny, which lead to an easy win for the Thunder.  Kevin Durant look post a game-high 26 points. Paul Millsap and Anthony Davis went head to head, and both posted 25/10 games, but it was the Pelicans soared higher than the Hawks. 

Rudy Gay helped lead the Kings past his former team.

Rudy Gay helped lead the Kings past his former team.

Goran Dragic had another stellar game, but it was not enough to overcome Dwight Howard’s 30/10 performances as the Rockets topped the Suns.  Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Mavericks past the short-handed Grizzlies.  Nicolas Batum went up against Carmelo Anthony as the Trailblazers visited Madison Square Garden, where they embarrassed the Knicks on their own court.   Batum was kind enough to teach Anthony that an efficient 20 points with 10 rebounds is far more impressive than 26 points earned by taking 28 field goals.  Let’s hope Anthony carries that lesson over for the duration of his career.  The Toronto Raptors met up with their trade partners from early in the season and Rudy Gay dropped a 20/10 game on his former team, helping to lead the Kings past the Dinobots.  DeMarcus Cousins also chipped in a 20/10 game.  Larry Sanders (not to be confused with Larry Sanders or Colonel Sanders) posted a 25/15 game for the Bucks, but the Denver Nuggets came away with the win behind double-doubles from J.J. Hickson and Ty Lawson, as well as a couple of 20-point games from Randy Foye and Wilson Chandler.  Finally, in the main event, DeAndre Jordan scored 16 points and brought down 16 boards to go along with the 15 board Blake Griffin hauled in to go along with the evening-high 43 points that he scored.  Despite these stellar performances, the Clippers dropped the game to the Miami Heat: 116-112.  LeBron James posted a near triple-double with 31 points and 6 other members of the Heat broke double-digits, as was Duncan’s 30/10 game, which also came with some nice defensive stats. 

 

LeBron James and Blake Griffin went head to head last night.  Griffin came away with more points and more rebounds, but LeBron came away with the win.

LeBron James and Blake Griffin went head to head last night. Griffin came away with more points and more rebounds, but LeBron came away with the win.

There is a lot to choose from.  LeBron’s near triple-double with solid defensive stats is impressive, as are the number Tim Duncan posted, though he had a little more time on the floor.  There is, of course, the matter of Blake Griffin, who posted and evening high 43 points to go along with 15 boards and a solid 6 assists, but he posted not defensive stats and his FG% was a little south of .500 (though still very respectable).  Being a long-time Duncan fan, I have to go with him.  His FG% was a little better than LeBron’s, and his defensive stats were also a little better, though James has an edge with the rebounds and assists.  Griffin, James and Duncan are al solid choices, as is Dwight Howard (though the absence of assists hurts his standing), but I’ll have to go with Duncan for Line of the Night. 

 

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

 

 

Top Performances:

Anthony Davis helped lead the Pelicans past the Hawks.

Anthony Davis helped lead the Pelicans past the Hawks.

Ty Lawson: 18 points (6/14), 13 assists, 7 rebounds

Blake Griffin: 43 points (16/34), 15 rebounds, 6 assists

Jeff Green: 36 points (11/18), 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 blocks

Jordan Farmar: 21 points (8/15), 8 assists, 2 steals, 1 rebound

Steve Blake: 11 points (2/7), 15 assists, 10 rebounds, 3 steals

Kevin Durant: 26 points (11/20), 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal

Goran Dragic: 23 points (6/13), 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals

DeAndre Jordan: 16 points (6/8), 16 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block

Victor Oladipo: 20 points (8/10), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals

Nicolas Batum: 20 points (9/14), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal

Jordan Crawford: 31 points (9/21), 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals

Dwight Howard: 34 points (11/17), 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals

John Wall: 29 points (12/29), 9 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block

Rudy Gay: 24 points (7/17), 10 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists, 1 block

Josh Smith: 25 points (11/19), 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Kyle Lowry: 21 points (7/16), 8 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal

Paul Millsap: 26 points (10/20), 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

Anthony Davis: 27 points (9/14), 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Tim Duncan: 31 points (13/20), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals

Jared Sullinger: 19 points (6/11), 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 blocks, 1 steal

LeBron James: 31 points (11/20), 12 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block

DeMarcus Cousin: 25 points (8/19), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal

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