It was a superstar showdown in Miami. LeBron James (28 PTS, 9 AST, 8 REB) and Kevin Durant (33 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST) did not disappoint.Russell Westbrook (21 PTS, 11 AST) had one of those shiny double-doubles that looks tarnished on closer inspection: 14 missed shots and five turnovers. Dwyane Wade (21 PTS, 5 REB) and Chris Bosh (16 PTS, 6 REB) made big contributions, but Mario Chalmers (20) hitting four 3-pointers was timely. Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin (15 PTS) was back after missing only one game with his sore quad. Much was made of this being a Finals rematch (and possible preview) but neither team wants to peak on Christmas Day.
Other December 25 Games
NYK @ LAL: The arithmetic was simple. Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant each scored 34, but the rest of the Lakers beat the rest of the Knicks by six. Despite the early start, J.R. Smith (25 PTS, 5 REB, 2 STL) was outstanding in defeat; Metta World Peace (20 PTS, 7 REB) has become just as valuable off the bench. Steve Nash (16 PTS, 11 AST, 6 REB) and Pau Gasol (13 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST) both showed off their passing skills as L.A. won its fifth straight to finally get back to the .500 mark, with better things ahead.
BOS @ BRK: To the disappointment of 17,732 Brooklyn fans, Deron Williams (10 PTS, 6 AST, 4 TO) was no match for Rajon Rondo (19 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST, 3 STL) and nobody else stepped up for the Nets. Boston took command in the second quarter; rookie Jared Sullinger (16 PTS, 7 REB) had his best game as a pro and Jeff Green added 15 off the bench. Sully isn’t an automatic pickup, but keep an eye on the Celtics rotation and if he gets 30+ minutes again, he’s fantasy relevant. Brook Lopez (15 PTS, 8 REB, 2 BLK) and Gerald Wallace (15 PTS, 6 REB, 3 STL) had the least-bad lines for the home team. It turns out Kris Humphries has an abdominal strain, so maybe he hasn’t been benched.
HOU @ CHI: Sorry I doubted you, Houston. James Harden (26 PTS, 5 REB, 6 AST) led four Rockets with 20+ points, Jeremy Lin added 11 assists and in his return to Chicago, Omer Asik (20 PTS, 18 REB, 3 BLK) became one of the few centers to outplay Joakim Noah all season. Clearly, the Bulls’ team D was unable to slow down the pace. Nate Robinson (27 PTS) pleased his fantasy owners by going off when the game had already been decided, and Luol Deng (15) now has a sore ankle in addition to his sore shoulder.