PHO @ SAS: OK, the Suns have improved under Lindsey Hunter. Jared Dudley (23 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST) had his best game since the coaching change, and Michael Beasley (25 PTS, 6 REB in 22:50) was outstanding off the bench. They simply aren’t as good as the Spurs. Tony Parker (31 PTS, 7 AST, 4 REB, 2 STL) was superb and Manu Ginobili added 20 points in 22 minutes as San Antonio didn’t miss Tim Duncan (knee) or coach Popovich (flu), who have been absent for three games.
LAC @ POR: Helluva game. Blake Griffin (24 PTS, 10 AST, 8 REB, 4 STL) did everything he could, but Jamal Crawford (19 PTS, 4 AST, 3 REB) missed a last-second jumper that would have been the game-winner. Nicolas Batum grabbed that rebound to complete a triple-double (20 PTS, 12 AST, 10 REB) and Damian Lillard also scored 20 for the Blazers, who begin the rematch tonight in L.A. assured of at least a split.
BRK @ HOU: Now that was Houston basketball. They run, they shoot and they challenge you to keep up. James Harden scoring 29 is no surprise, but Omer Asik (20 PTS, 16 REB) was terrific and Jeremy Lin (14 PTS, 9 AST, 5 REB) looks more comfortable. Deron Williams (27 PTS, 11 AST, 4 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK) showed no ill effects from his quad bruise and Brook Lopez (21 PTS, 7 REB, 5 BLK) had another good game, but the rest of the Nets were half a step slow. It’s of interest only in very deep leagues and dynasty formats, but rookie Royce White (anxiety disorder) will play in the D-League, a major step closer to the Rockets’ bench.
GSW @ MIL: A huge third quarter from Brandon Jennings (20 PTS, 7 AST, 6 REB) changed the momentum, and it was another memorable episode of the Larry Sanders Show — 16 PTS, 11 REB, 3 BLK — as the Bucks prevailed. Stephen Curry (26 PTS, 7 AST) and David Lee (12 PTS, 15 REB, 5 AST) led the Warriors, who played better than the previous night but came up short. Milwaukee fans and Ersan Ilyasova owners are breathing easier after another solid outing (18 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL), his fourth in a row.
SAC @ DEN: Yesterday I said it was “likely” that Denver would be up by 30 — it was 101-69 after three — but was wrong about the Nuggets’ bench taking over. It was the starting five, led by Ty Lawson (26 PTS, 6 AST, 3 REB, 4 STL) and Andre Igoudala (20 PTS, 7 AST, 3 REB, 2 STL) who did most of the damage in this mismatch. Third-stringers like Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton (8 PTS apiece) finished up. DeMarcus Cousins (3 PTS in 22 minutes) set the tone for the Kings, who should have conceded if they weren’t in the mood to compete.