Line of the Night: December 16th

LBJ had another near triple-double last night and earned Line of the Night.

LBJ had another near triple-double last night and earned Line of the Night.

The Brooklyn Nets finally looked like that playoff team they are supposed to be last as they rolled past the short-handed 76ers behind a franchise record 21-3-pointers and a big game from Joe Johnson.  Johnson led all scorers last night with 37 points, 29 of which came in one quarter. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers continued their struggles as they fell to the Hawks.  The T-Wolves continued their inconsistent play as they dropped a game to the Boston Celtics.  The Orlando Magic defeated the Bulls by the narrowest of margins, despite a game-high 26 points coming from Luol Deng.  The Spurs got embarrassed by the Clippers last night, despite a solid performances from Tim Duncan.  Alec Burk (?) came off the bench for the Utah Jazz to score a game-high 31 points, but it was not enough to beat the Miami Heat who handily defeated the visiting Jazz. LeBron James was, again, 1 assist and 1 rebounds short of a triple-double.  Carmelo Anthony posted a game-high 32 points against the Wizards, but he came up one basket short of what the Knicks needed to win as they lost to the Wizards by a single point. And in the main event (at least for Detroit fans), the Pistons bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Portland Trailblazers in which they lost by a basket, to beat the Pacers, the team with the league’s best record.  Josh Smith has his second straight 30+ point performance (though, who wouldn’t when they take as many shots as Smith), and Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond controlled the glass while they were on the court.  Lance Stephenson led the Pacers with 23 points and 6 assists.

 

Ankle-breaker Joe Johnson posted an evening-high 37 points as he led the Nets to a win.

Ankle-breaker Joe Johnson posted an evening-high 37 points as he led the Nets to a win.

My pick for Line of the Night goes to LeBron James.  Joe Johnson was brilliant for the Nets, but his all-around game and percentages weren’t nearly as impressive as LBJ’s.  Though names like Durant, Aldridge, and Paul have been flying around for the MVP award already, LeBron James is quietly putting together a historic season.  Never before in the history of the NBA has a reigning MVP shot such a high percentage from the floor whilst not only being on a team that every other team circles on their calendar, but also being the focus of their defences.  His minutes are down slight, so his averages are as well, but he is still not only playing at an extraordinarily high level, but he is also continuing to improve his game and is making NBA history in the process. 

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 Performers:

The electrifying Blake Griffin has been playing under the shadow of MVP candidate Chris Paul, but the Clippers' success is dependent on performances like the one Griffin offered up last night.

The electrifying Blake Griffin has been playing under the shadow of MVP candidate Chris Paul, but the Clippers’ success is dependent on performances like the one Griffin offered up last night.

Lance Stephenson: 23 points (9/14), 7 rebounds, 6 assists

Josh Smith: 30 points (13/29), 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist

Carmelo Anthony: 32 points (12/20), 5 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists

LeBron James: 30 points (13/17), 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal

Alec Burk: 31 points (12/17), 7 assists, 4 steals, 3 rebounds

Chris Paul: 23 points (8/13), 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals

Blake Griffin: 27 points (8/14), 9 rebounds, 2 assists

Tim Duncan: 17 points (5/12), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal

Jared Sullinger: 25 points (7/14), 11 rebounds, 5 assists,

Kevin Love: 27 points (9/26), 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal

Joe Johnson:  37 points (13/20), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Deron Williams: 13 points (6/8), 13 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal

Al Horford: 19 points (9/17), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block

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