The biggest upset of the season? The Hornets, coming off a lopsided loss the night before (their seventh straight defeat) and at the end of four road games in six nights, had ‘no chance’ against the mighty Clippers. I expected New Orleans to be down by 25 at halftime. With superb rookie Anthony Davis (ankle) unavailable, who could possibly guard Blake Griffin?
Apparently, Ryan Anderson was up to the job. Griffin missed eight of nine shots, turned the ball over four times and eventually fouled out with four points, while Anderson (17 PTS, 5-of-9 from deep) was strong at both ends of the floor. Greivis Vasquez had 25 PTS, 10 AST and 6 REB, enough to excuse 8 TO and enough to negate Chris Paul (20 PTS, 8 AST, 4 REB, 4 STL, 3 TO). The only real positive for L.A. was a stunning 33 points (including nine 3-pointers) from Caron Butler, but even that wasn’t enough against the inspired underdog visitors. Austin Rivers, now the backup SG, had 14 points and 6 assists, while big Jason Smith (17) outplayed starting C Robin Lopez and was rewarded with 29 minutes.
The result ‘proves’ that no matter how certain we might be about a game, anything can happen on the court. It just did. Be sure to read my FanDuel Diary today and enter our $3,000 tournament, but first let’s see what else happened on Monday and preview all of this evening’s action.
Other November 26 Games
NYK @ BRK: Brooklyn fans got their money’s worth, and then some. Despite 35 points and 13 boards from Red Hook-born Carmelo Anthony, and an amazing night for Tyson Chandler (28 PTS on 12-of-13 shooting, 10 REB) the Nets forced overtime and won an exciting game in a playoff atmosphere. Deron Williams was great (16 PTS, 14 AST, 6 REB, 3 STL) and Raymond Felton was not — 3-for-19 with 5 TO — and while Brook Lopez couldn’t stop Chandler, he did have 22 points, 11 boards and 5 blocks of his own.
Jason Kidd (back spasms) didn’t play, Ronnie Brewer was no better at SG than he’s been at SF (then left early with a finger injury) and J.R. Smith was held to 5 points in 41:28; the best bench player on either team was 38-year-old Jerry Stackhouse, with 14 (including four 3-pointers) in 22 minutes. Gerald Wallace had season highs in minutes (41:52) and points (16) so the window to buy low on Crash may soon be closing.
SAS @ WAS: A perfect night for the Spurs, who used 13 players, got the Big Old Three some rest and still cruised to a 26-point win against the 0-12 Wizards. Nene (foot) did not play; perhaps the 29 minutes he was used in an attempt to win their previous game caused a setback. Not coincidentally, Kevin Seraphin (18 PTS, 7 REB, 4 STL, 3 BLK) had a good night. A.J. Price (11 PTS, 7 AST) was a surprise starter at PG as Shaun Livingston (shoulder) did not appear. Tiago Splitter (15 PTS, 12 REB, 7 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK) was fantastic in 23:17, six other Spurs scored in double figures.