No matter what apologies Josh Smith (1-game suspension) issues, he and coach Larry Drew are not getting along. Internal squabbles often inspire other players in the short term; I changed my DraftStreet lineups to include Zaza Pachulia (13 PTS, 11 REB, 8 AST) and he came up big. Al Horford (17 PTS, 13 REB) was also solid, but it was Jeff Teague — with a career-high 28 points and 11 assists — who led the fast-paced attack. Devin Harris (18 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB, 4 STL) also raised his game. Long-time Hawk Joe Johnson had a quiet night amid the boos (15 PTS on 4-15 shooting) but must be glad to have escaped the current soap opera in Atlanta. Brook Lopez (22 PTS, 9 REB) led the Nets, who were half a step behind all night.
Other January 16 Games
CHI @ TOR: Given that Carlos Boozer (36 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST) had his best game of the season, and Joakim Noah (16 PTS, 14 REB, 4 AST, 2 STL) outplayed a hobbled Amir Johnson, it’s amazing this one went to overtime, where Luol Deng (19 PTS, 7 AST, 6 REB) hit the game-winner. Jose Calderon (9 PTS, 6 AST) played through a sore hip and calf but lasted only 21 minutes; Kyle Lowry (26 PTS, 7 AST, 5 REB, 2 STL in 34:29) was tremendous off the bench despite a heavily-taped left ankle. One day after dental surgery to repair a broken tooth, Alan Anderson (27 PTS, 5 REB) matched his career high before fouling out.
IND @ ORL: In his second game off the layoff, Glen Davis (11 PTS, 4 REB in 24:42) asserted himself early, then seemed to tire. Make it eight straight double-doubles for Nikola Vucevic (16 PTS, 15 REB), who shows no sign of slowing down alongside Big Baby. Jameer Nelson (14 PTS, 6 AST, 4 STL) and sixth man J.J. Redick (14 PTS, 4 REB, 6 AST) helped the Magic lead wire-to-wire. Though they were no match last night in a back-to-back on the road, the future is bright for the Pacers if Danny Granger (knee) is at full strength for the second half. The new-and-improved Paul George (20 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST) will then be a 6’9” SG with more room to operate.
HOU @ DAL: Dallas took charge in the first quarter, with Shawn Marion (18 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST) and O.J. Mayo (18 PTS, 8 AST, 6 REB, 2 STL) leading the way. Dirk Nowitzki (19 PTS, 8 REB) helped them hold off the determined Rockets, with Elton Brand (11 PTS, 10 REB, 2 BLK) again chipping in off the bench. For Houston, which has now lost five straight, James Harden (20 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL) missed 15 shots including a crucial late layup that was blocked by Brand. Omer Asik (12 PTS, 15 REB, 2 BLK) and Chandler Parsons (18 PTS, 6 REB, 4 3PTM) played well, they just came up short.