Good morning. Gotta go somewhere in a jiffy but still need to catch up on last night’s NBA action? Gotcha covered.
A 12-game slate Friday night did not see a lot of substance. In fact, only one of 12 games was decided by less than nine points as Brooklyn beat a depleted Chicago team 93-89. This isn’t to say there weren’t a few interesting tidbits worth mentioning.
To the facts!
- The Indiana Pacers became the second team to beat the defending champion Miami Heat twice this season after a 102-89 rout Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. In their two matchups this season, the Pacers have outscored the Heat by 23. This time was good for Indy’s 13th straight win at home as they shot a season-high 55.7 percent. During one stretch, David West made 11 straight baskets, becoming only the sixth player this season to make at least 12 field goals in a game.
- Who says the Boston Celtics need Rajon Rondo? After their longest losing streak in six seasons (6) the Celtics are a perfect 3-0 since the All-Star guard was sidelined. The Celtics had 30 assists as six players reached double figures in a 97-84 win over Orlando. The bad news for Boston is that they will also be without rookie forward Jared Sullinger for the rest of the season. Sullinger has the best plus/minus on the team at +42.
- The Bulls managed to shoot an abysmal 7.1 percent from 3-point range (1-14), but an ironically impressive 90.9 percent (20-22) from the free throw line in a 93-89 loss to the Nets. The Bulls were without their starting frontcourt, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, so Luol Deng (fresh off a hamstring injury) and Taj Gibson had to pick up the slack. The two forwards combined for a total of just four seconds on the bench. Deng currently is the league leader in minutes per game (39.6).
- Rudy Gay came off the bench in his debut for Toronto and quickly converted two alley-oop dunks en route to scoring 20 points as Toronto crushed the Los Angeles Clippers 98-73 — the Clippers’ largest margin of defeat this season. Tayshaun Prince hit his first three shots, then connected on a pair of fourth-quarter jumpers to finish with 14 points as the Grizzlies defeated the Wizards 85-76.
- Despite all 10 players on the active roster scoring, no Wizard could top 14 points Friday night. It’s easy to see why, though. The Wizards totaled just three free throw attempts as a team, the third fewest in a single game during the shot clock era. The Wizards have now lost three straight and are tied with the Bobcats (11-34) for the worst record in the NBA.
Bonus: In honor of the Lakers breaking their eight-game road losing streak, we’ll give them a quick mention. With their 111-100 victory over the Timberwolves, the Lakers extended their streak to 20 in a row over the T-Wolves, the longest active win streak for one team against a single opponent in the NBA.
Ben Baroff is an aspiring sports journalist and marketing professional who blogs and writes columns for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.