Line of the Night: 3.5.14

Al Jefferson had another big night to help the Bobcats beat the Pacers.

Al Jefferson had another big night to help the Bobcats beat the Pacers.

After a disappointing loss to the Miami Heat, the Charlotte Bobcats bounces back and earned a convincing victory over the league’s best team, defeating the Indiana Pacers and successfully defending their home court.  Al Jefferson scored an evening-high 34 points against what may be the league’s best defence, going 16/25 from the field.  Dwight Howard and Terrance Jones both posted double-doubles as the Houston Rockets beat the Orlando Magic.  James Harden posted a game-high 31 points.  The Washington Wizards bolstered their record last night, at the expense of the Utah Jazz.  Mark Jackson was able to bring his bench out early as the Warriors built up a 20-point lead over the Boston Celtics.  The Brooklyn Nets managed to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot by beating the Memphis Grizzlies.  The Chicago Bulls visited the Detroit Pistons in a game that would have had some bad blood if the game were taking place in 1990 instead of 2014.  The Bulls, behind Joakim Noah’s 6th career triple-double and second in the last three games, managed to beat the Pistons.  The key to the Bulls success may have been keeping Andre Drummond, the league’s best rebounder, off the glass, limiting him to 7 rebounds in 38 minutes.   The Kings put down the Milwaukee Bucks as three of their starters all surpassed the 20-point plateau.  The New York Knicks finally ended their losing streak with a road win over the Timberwolves.  Carmelo Anthony posted a game-high 33 points.  The Denver Nuggets, losers of 11 of their past 12 games also earned a much needed victory as they defeated the Dallas Mavericks.  And finally, the Portland Trailblazers beat the Atlanta Hawks.  The game marked the end of Kyle Korver’s streak of consecutive games with a 3pt field-goal made.  Korver’s streak ends at 127 and should stand for a while. 

Joakim Noah posted another triple-double to lead the Bulls to a win over the Pistons.

Joakim Noah posted another triple-double to lead the Bulls to a win over the Pistons.

Part of me wants to award Line of the Night to Joakim Noah.  His all-around game has been so important to the Bulls’ success.  He is currently leading his team in rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, and everything he does allows them to remain competitive, despite losing a former MVP and trading away an All-Star for cap space.  If you had said two years ago that the Bulls would lose Derrick Rose, Luol Deng and Omar Asik and receive virtually nothing in return to replace these players, few would have thought that the Bulls would be able to pull off a winning season with the remaining roster.  But they have, and Noah is a huge reason for that (though kudos goes to the entire roster and coach Tom Thibodeau as well).  That said, Noah’s point total is often humble, and Al Jefferson more than tripled it last night, leading the Bobcats to a huge win over the team with the best record in the league right now.  My pick for Line of the Night goes to Al Jefferson. 

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:

James Harden showing he can play with his back to the basket.

James Harden showing he can play with his back to the basket.

Nicolas Batum: 14 points (5/9), 18 rebounds, 1 assist

James Harden: 31 points (11/19), 6 assists, 3 rebounds

David Lee: 18 points (9/16), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals

Isaiah Thomas: 25 points (9/16), 6 assists, 4 steals, 3 rebounds

Greg Monroe: 27 points (12.20), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals

Jimmy Butler: 18 points (7/15), 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals

Joakim Noah: 10 points (5/7), 11 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 blocks

Dwight Howard: 19 points (8/12), 13 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist

Carmelo Anthony: 33 points (14/27), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals

DeMarcus Cousins: 21 points (7/14), 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal

Josh Smith: 15 points (6/21), 9 rebounds, 6 blocks, 5 assists, 2 steals

Al Jefferson: 34 points (16/25), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

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