What a great effort by the Trail Blazers to force overtime, where they came up just short. Ty Lawson played through an illness (24 PTS, 11 AST) and Kenneth Faried (21 PTS, 11 REB) crashed the boards as Denver overcame a 4-for-16 night by Andre Iguodala to prevail. Wilson Chandler (13 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL) looked good in his second game back from a lingering hip problem, even hitting the decisive 3-pointer. For Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had a game-high 28 (plus 8 REB and 6 AST) and Nicolas Batum (22 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST) was excellent. J.J. Hickson (19 PTS, 13 REB, 2 BLK) bounced back from three quiet games, but that weak bench was outscored 28-12, which is a familiar story.
Other January 15 Games
NOH @ PHI: As expected, Jrue Holiday (29 PTS, 11 AST, 5 REB, 4 STL) was great, but the rest of the Sixers didn’t perform like they can. Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets with 23 points and 9 assists, Eric Gordon added 19 and Ryan Anderson (14 PTS, 9 REB) hit a couple of 3-pointers as New Orleans shot 53% in a surprisingly easy road win. Finally at full strength, they are leaning more on veterans. Rookie Anthony Davis (10 PTS, 7 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK) played just 21 minutes and Austin Rivers has fallen behind even Xavier Henry (11 PTS, 4 AST, 2 STL in 15 minutes) on the depth chart.
IND @ CHA: That was too easy. Holding the tired Bobcats to 76 points, Indiana cruised to a 27-point romp while giving all their starters a bit of rest. David West (15 PTS, 8 REB, 4 AST) played less than 27 minutes and Paul George (16 PTS, 10 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL) was needed for only 31 minutes. Roy Hibbert (18 PTS, 7 REB, 4 BLK) had a nice line against weak opposition. Reality is setting in for Charlotte — they aren’t very good.
TOR @ BRK: The Nets’ backcourt of Deron Williams (21 PTS, 7 AST) and Joe Johnson (21 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL) is a big reason they are on a 7-game winning streak. Brook Lopez (22 PTS, 9 REB) is also playing well, and the bench is contributing. Our preseason sleeper Mirza Teletovic (10 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST) got extra run because Gerald Wallace (ribs) missed another game. Toronto was banged-up going into the game, and it only got worse. Although Kyle Lowry scored 19 of his 21 points in an amazing fourth-quarter flurry, he was doing it on a sprained left ankle, having returned only because Jose Calderon now has a hip pointer to go with his sore calf. Both could be in a lot of pain this evening.