Tuesday Night Tip-Dunk: The NBA's Newest Superstar
Cleveland Cavaliers 95, at Indiana Pacers 96
Do superstars get calls? Yes.
Is Danny Granger a superstar? Apparently.
With 0.8 seconds left in the game the Cavs, down by two, inbounded a desperation lob into LeBron James. As James elevated, Danny Granger cut into his hip drawing a deserved foul that brought down boos from Pacer fans.
Although James has been criticized for his foul shooting, he confidently put both shots down tying the game. James made 13-14 free throws on the night. It looked like the game was headed for overtime unless the Pacers could pull-out a miracle with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.
Indiana ran the same lob play on their end of the court, this time for Granger. As Granger elevated, James contacted him and spectators were having déjà vu as Granger walked to the free throw line.
When Bron was fouled it might have been a "superstar call" but the play when Granger was contacted it was much less of a foul.
Granger was just starting his jump, and more importantly the pass to him was underthrown. LeBron had a right to the area where the ball was going and it appeared James would win the battle for the ball had a whistle not blown.
If anyone got a “superstar call” Tuesday Night, it was Danny Granger.
Granger proceeded to hit his first foul shot and as he intentionally bricked the second attempt a tight-lipped LeBron stormed off the court.
This season the Pacers have played spoiler to some of the NBA's elite with a 21-32 record. Cleveland, Orlando, Miami, Houston, Detroit, the LA Lakers, and Boston have all fell victim to the Pacers cast of nobodies.
This is the Cavs first two-game skid of the season and it is one of the few blemishes on LeBron James' MVP resume.
Almost more telling than how a player plays in a close victory is how he plays in a close loss. James finished with 47 points on 15-21 shooting but he did commit seven turnovers.
Despite the turnovers, the loss does not fall on the shoulders of James. He was the only starter with a positive +/- (+7) while his All-Star teammate Granger finished at -7 with 16 points on 5-18 shooting.
Detroit Pistons 102, at Chicago Bulls 107
The Bulls refused to loose Tuesday Night and rallied 36-17 against Detroit in the fourth quarter for a five point victory.
The Pistons were without Allen Iverson who caught the flu that is mysteriously floating around the NBA. Arron Afflalo started in his place and Richard Hamilton logged 37 minutes and scored 30 points off the bench.
Young posts Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah both double-doubled and finally seem to be hitting their stride for Chicago.
Thomas is one of the most athletic players in the NBA and when he goes to the hole and draws fouls the 78.8 percent free throw shooter is hard to stop. This was the case against Detroit when Thomas hit 10-13 from the stripe on his way to 22 points.
Denver Nuggets 99, at Miami Heat 82
The Heat have lost five of their last seven games and the All-Star break cannot come soon enough for Miami.
Dwyane Wade is giving Miami his all but Denver is proving that it's teams, not individuals that win games. Wade finished with 33 points, outscoring 2003 classmate Carmelo Anthony who finished with 19.
Denver's team attacked had 12 steals and forced 19 turnovers that resulted in 27 points.
Behind the leadership of Chauncey Billups Denver has matured leaps and bounds up to this point in the season, and they are looking like a legitimate playoff threat with depth.
New York Knicks 127, at Golden State Warriors 144
The only teams that can outscore the Knicks and Warriors 263 point game earlier this season are apparently the Knicks and Warriors as they combined for 271 points Tuesday Night.
Defense was not a part of the game plan for either team, they both shot over 54 percent and Golden State had eight players in double figures.
Early-season tradees Al Harrington and Jamal Crawford both broke the 20-point mark against their former employers, to no ones surprise.
San Antonio Spurs 108, at New Jersey Nets 93
Once again Matt Bonner works his way into San Antonio's trio as he finished with 22 points on 8-10 shooting alongside Tim Duncan's 27 and Tony Parker's 20.
The routine third-member of the Spurs' trio, Manu Ginobili finished with a pedestrian nine points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Spurs made 52.6 percent of their shots, making them impossible to beat because of the way they control the game and play physical defense.
Vince Carter, Devin Harris, and Brook Lopez all played well for New Jersey but the Nets still lack a sharp shooter to keep them close with elite teams that are better at controlling the tempo.
Oklahoma City Thunder 98, at Los Angles Lakers 105
The Thunder continue to struggle against big men as Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol combined for 32 rebounds. The two bigs and Kobe Bryant were the only Lakers in double figures, led by Bryant's 34 points.
The Lakers' starters went 0-13 from behind the arc but the bench stepped up going 5-7 in anticipation of Adam Morrison.
Kevin Durant is climbing into the NBA's elite for the Thunder, who were only outscored in the second quarter, as he led his ballclub with 31 points.
Toronto Raptors 110, at Minnesota Timberwolves 102
In his first game starting at center for Al Jefferson, Kevin Love played good, but not great. The rookie out of UCLA had 15 points and 11 rebounds in 38 minutes for the ailing T-Wolves, his fourth double-double in February.
Love was heralded out of college for his elite offensive skills but in the NBA it's been his hard work and offensive rebounding that have stood out. He is the only player in the NBA averaging less than 30 minutes (23.5) and more than three offensive rebounds per game (3.5).
Chris Bosh was out with a knee-strain but Jermaine O'Neal and Andrea Bargnani filled his role with 22 and 18 points respectively.
Washington Wizards 90, at Atlanta Hawks 111
The Atlanta Hawks had all of their starters in the lineup for the first time in a long time and they were so effective that the bench outscored them 58-53.
The Hawks bench also outscored the Wizards starters 58-48.
Joe Johnson was the only starter to play over 30 minutes in the blowout, contributing a solid 22 points, six rebounds, and eight assists.
With the loss Washington is sent back to the drawing board but it seems they are out of chalk.
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