The Knicks and Warriors gave their fans a break from their “Les Miserables” recent struggles with wins, the Heat completed another fourth quarter comeback from their “Silver Linings Playbook” to defeat the Cavaliers again and the Thunder continued their “Life of Pi” with a dynamic defensive performance against the Bulls.
In honor of Tony Mendez, we present Sunday’s edition of Five Fast Facts.
- Kobe Bryant scored 38 points as the Lakers overcame a 30-point game from Dirk Nowitzki to beat the Mavericks in Dallas. The Lakers are 31–14 in regular-season games in which those two stars faced each other with Bryant (26.1 PPG) outscoring Nowitzki (23.3) over the course of those 45 games. Sunday’s game was only the second of those matchups in which both Kobe and Dirk scored 30 or more points and the Lakers have won both of those games. Over his last two games, Kobe Bryant has done something he had never before done: score at least 38 points while shooting better than 60 percent from the field in each game. Bryant is the oldest player in NBA history to score at least 38 points while shooting at least 60 percent in consecutive games. The oldest to do it previously was Artis Gilmore in January 1983. Kobe let his feelings concerning Mark Cuban’s comments about his future with Lakers known after the game in our “Tweet of the Night”.
- Dwyane Wade scored 15 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, as the Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-105. Wade was 7-of-8 inside the paint in the fourth after going 3-of-6 in the first three quarters. Dwyane Wade leads the Heat in scoring, rebounds and assists in the fourth quarter during the team’s 11-game win streak. In the first 43 games of the season, Wade was the third-leading scorer and ranked fifth in rebounds and fourth in assists. It was the Heat’s second home victory this season in which they trailed by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter and Cleveland was the victim in both games. On November 24, Miami beat the Cavs at American Airlines Arena, 110–108, after trailing by eight points with fewer than eight minutes remaining in the game. Miami has now won 11 straight games. Did LeBron stay atop SheridanHoops.com MVP rankings this week? Check it out.
- In Oklahoma, the Bulls shot just 29 percent (worst by any team in a game this season) in their 102-72 loss against the Thunder. Luol Deng and Nate Robinson (13 points each) were the only Bulls to reach double figures in their loss at Oklahoma City. It was Chicago’s eighth-straight game in which none of its players scored more than 20 points. That’s the longest such streak in franchise history, surpassing a seven-game span in 1998–1999, and it’s the second-longest streak of its kind for any NBA team this season. Kevin Durant scored 19 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and handed out six assists for Oklahoma City. It was the eighth time that Durant pulled down 15 or more rebounds in an NBA game, but it was only the second of those games in which he also registered more than five assists. Durant had 23 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists in a victory against the Trail Blazers earlier this season (November 2).
- Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and Amar’e Stoudemire added 22 as the Knicks downed the 76ers, 99-93 in New York. It was the 21st game, but the first this season, both Anthony and Stoudemire scored more than 20 points for New York. However, the Knicks are barely above the .500 mark in those games (11–10).
- David Lee scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors snapped a five-game road losing streak in their 100-99 win at Minnesota. For Lee it was his 21st game this season with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds (most in the NBA).
Stat Mann is the nom de guerre of our research statistician, who spends a lot of time watching basketball in central Connecticut. Someone would be angry if they discovered he was moonlighting here.