Saturday night’s NBA slate included seven games, two of which came down to the wire. LeBron and Co. continued their reign of terror, Danny Granger returned to the court and JJ Redick made his Milwaukee debut.
Let’s get caught up:
1. The Pacers (16) and Pistons (9) combined for 25 points in the first quarter Saturday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. That marked the fewest combined points in a first quarter between two teams in the NBA this season. Despite the slow start, the Pacers stayed hot against the Pistons claiming a 90-72 victory, Indy’s second win in as many nights against Detroit. But the bigger news here was that Pacers’ forward Danny Granger made his long awaited return to the lineup. Granger shot just 1-of-10 in 18 minutes.
2. The road to the NBA Finals will likely run through Miami again. The Heat won its 10th consecutive game Saturday night, defeating the 76ers 114-90 at the Wells Fargo Center. Miami now holds a commanding 5 1/2 game lead on the Pacers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James recorded his 35th career triple-double along the way, tallying 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Jason Kidd (107) is the only active player with more triple-doubles than James.
3. The Washington Wizards overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Houston Rockets 105-103 Saturday night, and have now won six of their last eight. Those wins include: Clippers, Knicks, Nets, Bucks, Nuggets and Rockets. All playoff teams. After a 5-28 start, the Wizards are now 10-10 since the return of John Wall. Wall finished with 12 points and 11 assists and is averaging 14.4 points and 7.4 assists per game this season.
4. In that same game, the Houston Rockets unleashed a torrent of 3-pointers, 46 of them when it was all said and done. Three of Houston’s 19 makes came from reserve guard Patrick Beverly, who tallied a career-high 15 points. The Rockets’ 46 3-point attempts were the most by any NBA team in a game this season.
5. Just two days after working tirelessly to acquire Josh Smith, the Milwaukee Bucks fell to the Hawks 103-102 after Al Horford sunk a hook shot with 5.9 seconds to play. Smith finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, including a clutch 3-pointer that cut Milwaukee’s fourth quarter lead to 100-99 with under two minutes to play. The Bucks’ trade deadline consolation prize, JJ Redick, finished with 16 points in his Milwaukee debut.
Ben Baroff is a sports journalist and marketing professional who blogs and writes columns for SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.