It’s the 13th day of 2013. Anybody need a primer on Triskaidekaphobia?
Not that we claim to be ahead of the curve here, but we did have Rudy Gay in the MVP rankings this past Sunday. And he made us look smart last night with a buzzer-beater against the Raptors for Toronto’s third straight W. Given the age of many members of our staff, we have a soft spot for dinosaurs — and will not be unhappy if the Raptors climb back into the race.
We’ll let Marvin Gaye take us on forward …. “Let’s Get It On.”
- One bucket, eight turnovers, four points. That was Kobe Bryant’s line in a 91-85 victory over Phoenix. Bryant didn’t attempt a shot in the first half and scored his first basket with 2:13 to play, finishing 1-for-8 in his lowest-scoring game since Jan. 13, 2005, when he left against Cleveland after six minutes with an injury. He had never played so many minutes (36) with just one field goal in his 17-season career.
- The best team in the Western Conference that no one talks about has been the Nuggets. But they were without Danilo Gallinari, Andre Iguodala and Wilson Chandler, then lost JaVale McGee (sore left knee) after halftime. Gay scored 13 points in the first quarter, got into foul trouble and finished with 17 in the 109-108 victory, his game winner from 17 feet coming with just under 5 seconds left.
- LeBron James’ incredible string of accuracy and proficiency continues. The King, who staff columnist Chris Perkins believes is a stronger MVP candidate than Kevin Durant, shot 11-for-15 and scored 30 points — his sixth in a row with 30 or more — as Miami defeated Portland 117-104. Miami blew two 14-point leads then closed it with a 14-0 run.
- The plus-minus numbers in the Blazers-Heat game were astounding. For Portland, Jared Jeffries was a plus-24 in 20 minutes, while All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge was a minus-31 and Wes Mathews was a minus-29 in 37 minutes apiece. Miami’s Norris Cole was a minus-28 in 16 minutes, while Mario Chalmers was a plus-41 in 33 minutes.
- Durant was called for the first flagrant foul of his career for body-checking Utah’s Alec Burks with 6 minutes left in a 109-94 loss at Utah. Durant scored 33 empty points on 11 for 16 shooting. OKC had defeated ts prior four opponents by an average of 25 points. Next up for them is an NBA Finals rematch at home Thursday night against Miami.
This feature is usually written by Stat Mann, who had the night off. For more news from around the NBA, including all the latest trade rumors, check out our latest blog.