Kevin Durant isn't of this planet. His blood is not red and he doesn't breathe oxygen. That's what to take away from his career-high, 54 point performance on Friday night to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Warriors, 127-121. He scored however he wanted: from behind the arc, on the drive, in the post.
He had a formidable foe in Stephen Curry, who finished with 37 points on 18 shots, but all eyes were on Durant as he had his way with the Warriors. Klay Thompson chipped in 26 points for the Bay Area squad, but it wasn't enough to keep Golden State in the mix late.
Portland Trail Blazers 109, San Antonio Spurs 100
The top two teams in the West met in San Antonio and the visitors came out on top. LaMarcus Aldridge and Wes Matthews were just unstoppable for the Trail Blazers in the final six minutes and the Spurs didn't have the scoring punch to keep up.
It's tough to say that the Blazers answered all the infinite questions that inevitably surround a team with such new-found success, but they've at least silenced their critics for now.
Oh, and Gregg Popovich got ejected from the game, which was something.
Washington Wizards 96, Chicago Bulls 93
Stop. Hold the phone. John Wall did what?
There were other things that happened in this game, I promise, but nothing else mattered.
Los Angeles Clippers 109, New York Knicks 95
What was likely scheduled at the beginning of the year as a marquee Friday night match up was ... not so much. The game was close until about midway through the third quarter, when the Clippers decided to stop giving the Knicks false hope. Carmelo Anthony played OK, though, finishing with 26 points and 20 rebounds, but he, uhh, shot 4-of-23 from the floor.
Miami Heat 101, Philadelphia 76ers 86
Take the two time defending champions and match them up with a franchise happy to lose games and this shellacking is what is expected. LeBron James was two rebounds short of a triple-double, that slacker! Oh, and nobody on the Sixers scored more than 13 points.
Charlotte Bobcats 111, Orlando Magic 101
Al Jefferson dominated the Magic all night to the tune of 30 points and 16 rebounds. Orlando is still without 7-foot center Nikola Vucevic and without the big man in the middle, the interior defense has suffered. The Magic have now lost 10 games in a row, which is depressing and exciting at the same time, since, ya know, this year's draft is loaded.
OLADIPO SMASH https://t.co/aB7Q81F9Lx— Tyler Lashbrook (@lashy) January 18, 2014
That counts for something, right?
The Raptors are now 20-18 and the Timberwolves have slipped to 18-21. Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 24 points and the Raptors hit 11-of-24 from behind the arc. Kevin Love scored just 16 points on 19 shots, which is a really bad recipe for Minnesota's offense.
Los Angeles Lakers 107, Boston Celtics 104
There was a time when the Lakers and Celtics was the premiere match up in the NBA. This is not that time. But, hey, Rajon Rondo made his season debut and looked pretty great, so that's fun.
Utah Jazz 110, Detroit Pistons 89
Trey Burke led the Jazz with 20 points and 12 assists as they destroyed the Pistons in Detroit. He turned the ball over seven times, but he's a rookie and we'll forgive him for that nonsense. Meanwhile:
The Pistons are at home and find themselves down 24 points to the Jazz. More after the commercial break on Sick Sad World— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) January 18, 2014
Memphis trailed 88-81 with about four minutes left, but outscored the Kings 10-2 to close out the game and get the win. Is that Memphis winning or Sacramento losing? Is that a rhetorical question? What is life?
That's not life. That's some gravity bending vortex posing as a basketball shot.
Cleveland Cavaliers 117, Denver Nuggets 109
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 23 points, Tristan Thompson added 20 and Luol Deng chipped in 18 and Cleveland cruised past the Nuggets in Denver. The Nuggets really didn't play defense, but this happened:
KENNETH FARIED JUST DESTROYED LIFE. https://t.co/RWrzriXSmi— Tyler Lashbrook (@lashy) January 18, 2014
That right there, my friends, is basketball murder.
Dallas Mavericks 110, Phoenix Suns 107
After becoming the NBA's sweetheart, Phoenix has lost six of its last nine and is now clinging on to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. The Dallas Mavericks, led by Monta Ellis' 24 points, almost gave this game away late, but held on and is now a solid seven games over .500.