Timberwolves Silence Thunder, Heat Is Hot & It’s Freeroll Friday

There’s another free fantasy contest tonight, just for Sheridan Hoops readers, with $300 in cash prizes to the top 15 finishers. Pick an 8-man lineup within the $100,000 salary cap and the best team wins a hundred bucks, no strings attached. For more details (and my picks) see the DraftStreet Diary, or click here to join right now.

December 20 Games

OKC @ MIN: That was fun to watch. My favorite player Nikola Pekovic (24 PTS, 10 REB, 2 BLK) had his third straight double-double, and TNT showed a national TV audience the uncanny resemblance (below) between Pek and fictional Kryptonian super-villain Non. Kevin Love (28 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 2 BLK) hit four 3-pointers and rookie Alexey Shved (12 PTS, 12 AST, 7 REB) bounced back from his recent shooting woes.

The dynamic duo for Oklahoma City put up huge numbers; Kevin Durant (33 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL) was flawless, but Russell Westbrook (30 PTS, 9 AST, 11 REB, 3 STL) committed 8 TO and missed 19 shots to tarnish a near triple-double. Serge Ibaka (14 PTS, 9 REB, 5 BLK) was the only other Thunder player worth owning, as they lost for the first time in 13 games. J.J. Barea was an inspiration off the bench for Minnesota with 18 points in 23 minutes. That exciting first appearance for Ricky Rubio has been followed by two mediocre ones; he was scoreless and out-of-sync in 18 minutes and a full recovery will take some time.

MIA @ DAL: No surprises here. LeBron James (24 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST) and Dwyane Wade (19 PTS, 6 AST, 5 REB) were too much for the injury-depleted Mavericks to handle. Chris Bosh (17 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL, 1 BLK) is a pretty good third option. The Heat shut down O.J. Mayo (8 PTS on 3-for-14 shooting) and Chris Kaman (8 PTS, 2 REB in just 19 minutes) as Elton Brand (groin), Derek Fisher (knee) and Brandan Wright (ankle) watched in street clothes. Darren Collison (11 PTS, 5 AST) started at PG, with Dominique Jones the likely backup until Fisher returns. Miami led by 36 before Jae Crowder (15) and Bernard James (12) led a meaningless fourth-quarter spurt.

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