Durant (52) & Westbrook (31) Stay Hot; Holiday (33) On Fire

It took overtime, 52 points from Kevin Durant and 31 by Russell Westbrook to finally subdue the Mavericks. KD’s career high came on 13-for-31 shooting, so it wasn’t a marvel of efficiency. Serge Ibaka (11 PTS, 14 REB, 2 BLK) played almost 45 minutes. Vince Carter (29) was the surprise leading scorer for Dallas, while Elton Brand (10 PTS, 13 REB) had another solid line in this see-saw battle. O.J. Mayo (18 PTS, 7 AST) hit a late 3-pointer to force the extra frame and Dirk Nowitzki (18 PTS, 9 REB) is progressing, though he’s yet to have a true ‘breakout’ performance.

Congratulations to ‘bigshot118’ who defeated 794 opponents in the Freeroll last night to win the $100 first prize with a well-balanced lineup. My team was 58 points behind in 210th place, mostly because I overpaid for centers.

Other January 18 Game Recaps

TOR @ PHI: Another heartbreaker for the Raptors, who frittered away a 19-point lead because they couldn’t stop Jrue Holiday, a deserving All-Star who matched his career high with 33 points, tied things up with a second left then completely dominated overtime. Thaddeus Young (27 PTS, 14 REB) was also a huge factor in the comeback. Three players had 18 for Toronto; Ed Davis added 10 rebounds and six assists, Alan Anderson is taking over at SF for ineffective starter Landry Fields, and high-flying rookie Terrence Ross has earned more minutes.

CHI @ BOS: That was a helluva show. Carlos Boozer stayed hot (19 PTS, 20 REB, 4 AST) and Richard Hamilton scored 20 as the Bulls won in overtime. Jimmy Butler (13 PTS, 4 REB) was a big factor off the bench after Luol Deng tweaked his hamstring injury. Rajon Rondo (30 PTS, 7 AST) was outstanding for Boston until fouling out with a minute to go in OT. Jared Sullinger (7 PTS, 15 REB) also fouled out; the rookie will be a beast once he learns how to stay on the floor.

HOU @ IND: Ho-hum, just another night at the office for Paul George — 31 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST, 5 STL) — as Indiana made it 11 in a row at home. David West (20 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST, 3 BLK) was also very good, and the Pacers held James Harden to 5-for-17 shooting and a modest 17 points. Omer Asik (22 PTS, 12 REB, 3 BLK) had a solid line against Roy Hibbert (12 PTS, 9 REB, 3 BLK) but nobody else stepped up for the weary Rockets, who have now lost six in a row.

CHA @ ORL: In one of my worst predictions of the season, I called this no contest, but Nikola Vucevic (11 PTS, 9 REB, 3 AST, 3 BLK) had about half the numbers I expected and it’s clear that Glen Davis (4 PTS in 24 minutes) is far from 100% healthy. The guards on both teams ran wild. Jameer Nelson (22 PTS, 7 AST, 5 REB) and Kemba Walker (25 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL) were particularly sharp and Gerald Henderson scored 17 in just 21 minutes as the Bobcats showed a lot more life than in their recent string of losses.

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