Thursday night was filled with exciting NBA games. Stephen Curry went bonkers against the Miami Heat, Joe Johnson drained a game-winner in Oklahoma City, Iman Shumpert dropped a career-high on the San Antonio Spurs and much more. Here's how the second day of 2014 NBA basketball went:
New York Knicks 105, San Antonio Spurs 101
Carmelo Anthony made his return to the Knicks after missing three games with a sprained ankle, but his triumphant 27-point return wasn't the story of the game. It was Iman Shumpert dropping a career-high 27 points on an incredibly efficient 10-for-13 shooting that stands out as the story of this one. He also made two critical shots down the stretch.
The first was a three-point shot with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter that gave the Knicks a three-point lead. The second? This incredible tip-in after Marco Belinelli tied the game after Shumpert hit the aforementioned three:
It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's an Iman Shumpert game-clinching tip-in after Carmelo missed a corner three. Shouts to Belinelli for scoring 32 points and almost forcing overtime.
Golden State Warriors 123, Miami Heat 114
Remember playoff third quarter Steph Curry? He made an appearance Thursday night, scoring 14 points against the Heat in the third quarter en route to a big road victory. Steph was on fire, grilling the Heat with a little bit of this:
And a little bit of that:
That's the Steph Curry America fell in love with. He finished with 36 points and 12 assists to lead the Dubs to a big win on the road.
Iso-Joe, we won't doubt you no mo'. Joe Johnson drained a game-winning, buzzer-beating, Thunder-fan-seating shot with in the final possession of this stunning game to send the Nets over the top on the road:
Paul Pierce was reallllly banking on that one going in.
The Nets needed a huge game from Deron Williams, who finished with 27 points, to get to this point though. Brooklyn rallied back from a 16-point deficit, outscoring the Thunder 29-16 in the fourth quarter. Brooklyn snapped a two-game losing streak and heads back home after closing out their three-game road trip with a win.
Portland Trail Blazers 134. Charlotte Bobcats 104
The Trail Blazers moved back into the first seed in the Western Conference in the only way they know how -- going absolutely bonkers on offense. They dialed in 21 three-point field goals, becoming the first team in NBA history to have two games with at least 20 made three-point shots.
Here's how that looks on a shot chart:
Wesley Matthews scored a game-high 25 points, draining five of his six three-point attempts. Damian Lillard scored 24 points on 13 field goals and was a perfect six-of-six from beyond the arc. Bombs away, Portland.
Memphis Grizzlies 99, Phoenix Suns 91
Speaking of fourth quarters and 12-minute bursts of scoring, how about Jerryd Bayless going off in the fourth against the Suns? He scored 13 points in the final frame of this one, helping the Grizzlies outscore Phoenix, 30-18, to close the game. When Goran Dragic dropping 33 points on 22 shots, along with seven assists, isn't enough to score a victory it probably just isn't your night.
Cleveland Cavaliers 87, Orlando Magic 81 (OT)
This game wasn't pretty, but the Cavaliers managed to emerge victorious in this one much thanks to Anderson Varejao. He finished with the ridiculous line of the night, scoring 18 points and grabbing 25 -- yes 25 -- rebounds. How did he get so many? The teams combined to shoot 36.1 percent from the field.
There were many rebounds to be had and extra time on the clock. Kyrie Irving did not play, missing the game after hurting his knee.
Chicago Bulls 94, Boston Celtics 82
The Bulls pulled out a victory despite shooting an abysmal 41.7 percent from the field, in large part, because the Celtics were even worse. They shot 39 percent, led (astray) by Jeff Green's 5-of-18 shooting. Joakim Noah finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
You could almost taste the triple-double.
Philadelphia 76ers 113, Sacramento Kings 104
Michael Carter-Williams had a rough night, going 3-of-11 for seven points, but his teammates picked up the slack. Thaddeus Young scored 28 points, Evan Turner finished with a double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and Tony Wroten scored 21 off the bench.
We live in a world where DeMarcus Cousins going off for 33 points on 10-of-16 shooting, and Rudy Gay scoring 18 on 7-for-11 shooting, isn't enough to secure a victory. Against the Sixers.
Utah Jazz 96, Milwaukee Bucks 87
Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors combined for 43 points and the Jazz outmatched the Bucks in a meeting of the worst Western and Eastern conference teams, respectively. Keep it moving folks, but if you want to stop and check something out as you pass by, Larry Sanders finished with 16 points on seven-for-seven shooting along with eight rebounds.