OKC @ BRK: Joe Johnson had a rough first half against Thabo Sefolosha and Gerald Wallace disappeared against Kevin Durant, but Deron Williams (33 PTS, 7 AST) kept his team in the game and led a spirited comeback. JJ finished with 17, Crash had 14 (including four 3-pointers) and the Nets had fans hollering “Brook-lyn” as they erased most of a 16-point deficit. Andray Blatche (19 PTS, 11 REB) had another strong start for Brook Lopez (foot), and Kris Humphries (12 & 12) double-doubled. The Thunder ‘big three’ were great. KD (32 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST) and Russell Westbrook (25 PTS, 9 AST, 3 STL) got help from Serge Ibaka (18 PTS, 6 REB, 3 BLK) but Sefolosha (14) also hit a couple of critical buckets to preserve the win. With only six games last night, there was plenty of great entertainment.
PHO @ MEM: This would have been almost as big an upset as the Wizards beating the Heat, but the Suns blew a lead and lost in overtime. Zach Randolph was simply incredible; he ‘always’ gets a double-double, but 38 points and 22 rebounds is two double-doubles in one night. Randolph also blocked three shots and fans chanted “Z-Bo” in the fourth. Marc Gasol (14 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST) and Rudy Gay (14 PTS, 7 REB, 3 BLK) were content with supporting roles. Goran Dragic (19 PTS, 7 AST) outplayed Mike Conley (11 PTS, 5 REB) in the first half and the Suns’ reserves kept up the pressure. Luis Scola (16 PTS, 8 REB) and Jared Dudley (13) are playing well of late, and Jermaine O’Neal (quad) added 12 in a surprise appearance. On the other hand, Michael Beasley (6 PTS in 29:47) is a stiff. Tony Allen (groin) sat out again; Wayne Ellington started at SG, though Quincy Pondexter (16) took over and finished.
IND @ CHI: Going to Paul George (34 PTS, 9 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK) early and often, the Pacers found the winning recipe. Luol Deng (17) played well, but Joakim Noah (9 PTS, 7 REB, 3 BLK, 5 TO) did not exactly dominate Roy Hibbert (10 PTS, 11 REB, 2 BLK) and the Chicago guards were awful. Richard Hamilton (foot) was inadequately replaced by Marco Bellinelli (6 PTS in 24 minutes) and Jimmy Butler (4) didn’t take advantage of his 30 minutes. Nate Robinson (19) took over from Kirk Hinrich (5) in the fourth, but made a couple of costly turnovers. This wasn’t pretty, as George Hill (8 PTS, 5 AST) shot 3-of-16 and David West (10 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST) got fewer touches with Paul George as the focal point.
December 5 Games
NYY @ CHA: The Knicks’ backcourt is banged up, but Jason Kidd (back spasms) and Raymond Felton (left hand) are listed as probable. They can rely on Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler against Byron Mullens and Brendan Haywood, so even if Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon have big nights, I can’t see the Bobcats winning.
POR @ IND: Usually, the Blazers avoid using their bench and fantasy owners can play all five starters with confidence. However, J.J. Hickson was terrible in Charlotte — yanked after just 12 minutes — and rookie Meyers Leonard has a chance to turn C into a timeshare. Portland has an extra day of rest, Nicolas Batum can keep George from scoring another 30, and Damian Lillard will try to force a fast pace. After starting this long road trip 0-4, they have a decent chance to win their third straight.