Didn’t watch sports on TV last night? Well TNT’s two primetime basketball games weren’t so competitive, so you didn’t miss much. But in case you’re curious:
Miami held Chicago to 67 points.
86-67 was the final, Miami picking up its 9th straight win, their longest streak of the season. But more importantly, the win put the Heat on the map in terms of quality Eastern Conference wins; coming in, they were 0-2 against New York, 0-2 against Indiana and 0-1 against Chicago. In his postgame interview, LeBron James still downplayed the victory. And, given Miami’s history of losing to Eastern Conference opponents in the regular season and smacking them around in the playoffs, this isn’t too much of a surprise.
But Miami proved that, when they want to turn on the defense, boy is it scary. Chicago’s leading scorer was Nate Robinson, with 14 points. They had a measly 39 points at halftime, and only managed an even less impressive 32 in the second half. LeBron James, meanwhile, did LeBron James, scoring 26 points on 11-15 shooting to go with 12 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Spurs blew out the Clippers in Los Angeles.
At halftime, Vinny Del Negro unleashed an expletive-ridden motivational speech; the Clippers trailed 58-43, and Tony Parker was running circles around them. But by the end of the third quarter, Los Angeles trailed 92-64, which is to say that either Vinny Del Negro sucks at motivational speeches, or the San Antonio Spurs are really good. The latter probably makes more sense, considering they hold the NBA’s best record, and have been a regular fixture atop the Western Conference standings since forever. You’d think that one of these years they’d slow down or one of these years we’d stop discounting them; people forget that after the first two games of last year’s Western Conference Finals, they seemed to be a near-shoo-in for the NBA Finals against Miami. And even if they’ve choked on occasion in the playoffs, it would be more than foolish to count them out.