Despite trailing by as many as nine points in the final quarter, the Orlando Magic caught up, forced overtime and then forced a second extra period en route to a 129-121 win over the New York Knicks. That can also read: The Knicks let a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter slip against team that is clearly not concentrating on winning this season. Whatever suits you.
Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo led Orlando with 32 and 30 points respectively. The former sprained his ankle in he second overtime but provided much needed, efficient offense and the latter added 14 assists, nine rebounds and looked like a star in the embryonic stage. The rookie was feeling himself so much, he started doing things like this:
this pass by Oladipo..... https://t.co/VNcs9m1A5E— Tyler Lashbrook (@lashy) February 22, 2014
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 44 points, but New York gon' New York. This is basically the Knicks' season, summed up in one neatly packaged social media presentation:
Chandler Welp https://t.co/fdJ2FQcz2Q— netw3rk (@netw3rk) February 22, 2014
James Johnson is the funnest basketball player in the NBA right now. Drink it in, you guys.
The high-flier led Memphis with 13 points in the first half and finished with 15. The Grizzlies jumped out to a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Clippers eventually cut that lead to two. But Los Angeles could never climb over the proverbial hump and Memphis pulled away with the win, its fourth in a row.
This is about that team in the season where every other Western Conference team prays that they don't have to play the Grizzlies in the first round.
He isn't talked about nearly enough, but Al Jefferson is a pretty fantastic basketball player. He led the Bobcats against the Pelicans with 33 points and 10 rebounds and I learned in looking more into this game that Charlotte is 11-3 when the big fella scores at least 25 points. Keep doing your thing, Big Al.
Dallas Mavericks 124, Philadelphia 76ers 112
Apparently it is OK for NBA teams to count wins against D-League teams as wins on their regular season total. Because the Sixers--now without Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner and with the addition of 100,000 future second round draft picks--are a glorified D-League team masquerading as an Eastern Conference opponent. The Mavericks shot over 62 percent. I don't even...
Hey! The Cavaliers! There's a team that doesn't want to suck. Let's check in how Steve Hawes ahem Spencer Hawes did in his first game with Cleveland: seven points, 10 shots. There's 10 rebounds in there, though! It didn't matter against the Raptors, though, as Toronto is now five games over .500. That's a sentence I did not expect to write this season.
Detroit Pistons 115, Atlanta Hawks 107
This is the one night this season in which a loaded and top-heavy Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond front line actually worked. Each of the big men registered a double-double and led a Pistons squad that shot 54 percent from the floor. Soak it in, Detroit fans, because this is just a blip on a roster experiment that has otherwise failed miserably.
Chicago Bulls 117, Denver Nuggets 89
If you let Chicago--the league's third worst offense--score 117 points, then you just didn't try. No, seriously, the Bulls leading scorer (D.J. Augustin) only had 22 points and somehow they still scored one hundred and seventeen. They shot nearly 60 percent from deep, 50 percent from the floor and they registered 28 assists. Go home, Denver, you're drunk.
Apparently Nuggets coach Brian Shaw wasn't too pleased with his guys after the game:
#Nuggets coach Brian Shaw: "I felt like we had some guys that just decided they weren’t going to play tonight."— Denver Nuggets (@denvernuggets) February 22, 2014
Shaw cont'd: "It’s unfortunate. We’re professionals, and as a staff we have to beg guys to give effort when they play." #Nuggets— Denver Nuggets (@denvernuggets) February 22, 2014
Phoenix Suns 106, San Antonio Spurs 85
It's unbelievable, really, how good the Suns are this season. Their steamrolling over the Spurs on Friday was just another testament to how well things have turned out in Phoenix. Everyone's running, everyone's shooting and it just seems like every night is a team effort win with the occasional Goran Dragic takeover thrown in the mix.
SCROLL PAST THIS IF YOU'RE SQUEAMISH:
That right there is the death of the San Antonio long ball. The Spurs shot just 2-of-21 from behind the arc, which is not ideal.
Portland Trail Blazers 102, Utah Jazz 94
Playing without LaMarcus Aldrdige, Robin Lopez filled the middle for Portland, grabbing 18 rebounds, blocking four shots and adding 12 points. Damian Lillard led the way with 28 points and seven assists; in a stretch late in the fourth-quarter, he scored 11 straight points, capitalized by an alley-oop out of a timeout. Enes Kanter led the Jazz with 25 points and 10 boards.
Los Angeles Lakers 101, Boston Celtics 92
The Celtics looked like they were going to waltz away from the Staples Center with a win. NOT SO FAST SAYS NEW LAKERS ADDITIONS KENT BAZEMORE AND MARSHON BROOKS. Bazemore, Brooks, Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman played the entire fourth quarter, outscoring the Celtics 38-18 in the final period. They shot 16-of-23 in that stretch and held Boston to 33 percent shooting.