MIA @ PHI: Not everyone plays 31 minutes with a sore knee. Very few put up a triple-double. LeBron James (16 PTS, 11 AST, 10 REB) took a seat after the final rebound and Dwyane Wade (33 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL) was the only starter on the floor in the fourth, as Miami won handily. The struggling Sixers got some good news, as Andrew Bynum (knee) practiced 5-on-5 yesterday and Thaddeus Young (hamstring) is healing fast. Jrue Holiday (21 PTS, 6 REB, 6 AST) can sure use some help.
ATL @ MIL: Helluva game. Al Horford (23 PTS, 11 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK) hit the winning bucket and Jeff Teague (23 PTS, 9 AST) was very sharp. Devin Harris (21 PTS, 4 AST) started at SG and drained four 3-pointers. For Milwaukee, J.J. Redick (16 PTS, 7 AST) played a surprising 35 minutes as the sixth man; he cut into the playing time of Mike Dunleavy (9 PTS in 21 minutes) and Brandon Jennings (11 PTS, 5 AST in 30 minutes). Larry Sanders (12 PTS, 19 REB) blocked only one shot, which is news.
UTA @ LAC: The Clippers broke this one open in the third and cruised home. Caron Butler (21 PTS, 5 REB) was their top scorer, Blake Griffin (18 PTS, 7 REB) was solid and Lamar Odom (18 PTS, 6 REB) played a great 23:29 off the bench. Chris Paul (11 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST) played only 27:35 as the outcome was settled by a 23-4 run right after halftime.Utah’s starting backcourt went scoreless, as sixth man Gordon Hayward (23 PTS, 8 REB, 3 AST) led the way, with Paul Millsap (19) and Al Jefferson (16) fairly quiet on the boards.
February 24 Game Previews
LAL @ DAL: This is a 1:00 EST start on ABC, so be sure to set your lineups early. Both teams still have playoff aspirations; The Lakers are ninth and Dallas tenth in the West, with Houston three games ahead of L.A. for the eighth spot and the Jazz trying to hang on in seventh. Kobe Bryant usually rises to such occasions, and Dwight Howard can dominate any of the Mavericks’ centers, but Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter are also in must-win mode. Neither team plays outstanding D; expect a high score.
GSW @ MIN: Another matinee at 3:30 Eastern) that won’t count in the many DraftStreet leagues closing at 6:00. The Warriors got back in a good groove with a pair of home victories this week, but oft-injured Andrew Bogut (back) is out indefinitely. Nikola Pekovic should have room in the middle, and the battle between Stephen Curry and Ricky Rubio is worth watching. Some pretty good guards come off the bench, too — rookie Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea for the Wolves, and Sixth Man of the Year frontrunner (at least on my scorecard) Jarrett Jack for Golden State.