HOU @ CLE: Despite another 30-point performance, Kyrie Irving committed eight turnovers trying to carry his tired team. Tristan Thompson (14 PTS, 18 REB) and Alonzo Gee (18 PTS, 6 REB) also played well, but the Cavs are simply not the same without Anderson Varejao, who may finally return from a bruised knee on Wednesday. The Runnin’ Rockets have now won four straight, the last two on the road, back-to-back. Undrafted sophomore Greg Smith had a double-double (11 & 11) in a season-high 26 minutes, but is no threat to Omer Asik, who simply had a rough night.
NOH @ DAL: Although Dirk Nowitzki (20 PTS, 6 REB in 34 minutes) made his first start of the year and Vince Carter had 17 off the bench, the Mavs lost in overtime. Eric Gordon (14 PTS, 4 AST, 2 BLK) started for the Hornets and played 35 minutes, but the story was Greivis Vasquez, who flirted with a triple-double (25 PTS, 9 AST, 7 REB) while turning the ball over just once. There’s no word of an injury to Anthony Davis, who played just 12 minutes, while Ryan Anderson (16 PTS, 7 REB) and Jason Smith (12 PTS, 7 REB) got extra run.
SAC @ BRK: As expected, the Kings were exhausted (four road games in five nights in two countries) but DeMarcus Cousins (28 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST) continued his improved play. Since being benched and briefly suspended by coach Keith Smart, Boogie has six straight double-doubles. The Nets romped and garbage time came early, so reserves like Andray Blatche (15 PTS, 11 REB, 2 BLK) and Mirza Teletovic (14 PTS, 6 REB, 2 BLK) got a chance to shine.
PHI @ SAS: Exactly as we predicted, the Sixers were exhausted and offered little opposition, so Tony Parker (20 PTS, 5 AST) and Tim Duncan (16 PTS, 8 REB, 4 BLK) were barely needed in the second half. Spencer Hawes had a game-high 22; nice for his owners but meaningless on the court.
UTA @ DEN: No surprises here. Ty Lawson (14 PTS, 4 AST) started, Danilo Gallinari was hot (26 PTS, 5 REB) and the Nuggets were on cruise control all night, easily pulling away in the second half. The Jazz backcourt of Jamaal Tinsley and Randy Foye combined to go 4-for-14 and as a team, they shot under 36% in their second road game in 24 hours.
GSW @ LAC: My Magic 8-Ball said tossup; you can’t believe those things. Chris Paul turned in an MVP performance (27 PTS, 9 AST, 5 REB) and completely shut down Stephen Curry (10 PTS, 5 AST), while Blake Griffin (20 PTS, 7 AST, 5 REB, 3 STL) destroyed David Lee (10 PTS, 5 REB) as the Clippers led by as many as 36 points. The rout was sweet revenge for losing in Oakland a few nights earlier.