What Happened Last Night: The Clippers Kept On Winning, The Thunder Held On, And Baylor Rolled
You know the deal. Let’s do this.
Around the Association…
If the Clippers look unbeatable, it’s because right now, well, they are. They overwhelmed the Celtics last night 106-77 for their 15th win in a row, pushing their NBA-best record to 23-6. Once again, the Clippers brought a balanced attack, with no player scoring more than 21 points… and the guy who id score 21, Matt Barnes, isn’t even one of the team’s top players. Everyone brought something – Jamal Crawford had 17 off the bench. Lamar Odom scored just four points but had 13 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks. Eric Bledsoe had six steals. Chris Paul struggled shooting but had his customary 11 assists, and Blake Griffin posted 15 points and eight boards in just 26 minutes.
The Clippers are a deep, dangerous team… and as I did the last time I talked about the Clippers, might I remind you that, thanks to injuries to Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill, they’re not even at full strength yet? Those guys aren’t game-changers on their own, but add them to what the Clips already have and you’ve got a bona fide title contender, with the number of quality players the team can keep throwing at you. When someone wonders if your team’s biggest problem is that you’re winning games too easily… it’s a nice problem to have.
In the night’s other NBA action, the Thunder overcame an early deficit and topped the Mavs 111-105 in overtime. Kevin Durant had 40 and continued strengthening his MVP case. Serge Ibaka had 19 and 17. But let’s face it – the main takeaway from this game is Darren Collison’s overtime-forcing desperation three. Trust me: click that link. You want to see this shot. I watched it live and just now couldn’t resist watching it again. It might wind up as the most spectacular buzzer-beater of this NBA season. Pity for the Mavs that all it did was temporarily out off their ultimate doom.
Baylor football: it’s more than RGIII.
Baylor struggled for much of this past season, which was understandable: they’d just lost a Heisman winner in Robert Griffin III. Some schools might be able to overcome that kind of loss relatively easily. Baylor? Not one of them. With three games to go in the regular season, Baylor was 4-5, with No. 1 Kansas State on deck.
And, well, you know how that turned out. The Bears thrashed the Wildcats (and their national title hopes), and won their next two after that to finish 7-5. Last night, though, they faced a tough, better-than-expected UCLA team in the Holiday Bowl. The Bruins almost won the Pac-12 – could the Bears hang? Could lightning in a bottle really strike twice? Why, yes, it turned out: Baylor raced out to a 35-10 halftime lead and was never in trouble after that, cruising to a 49-26 win that was only that close because UCLA got a meaningless touchdown with no time left. Get used to Baylor (and running back Lache Seastrunk, who topped six yards per carry in wach of the team’s final six games) – RGIII going pro didn’t spell the end.
College basketball upset alert!
OK, fine, previously-12-1 New Mexico barely edging past previously-13-0 Cincinnati 55-54 isn’t exactly seismic, and prior to a loss in their previous game, the Lobos were ranked themselves, but hey – unranked team beating the No. 8 team! That’s what matters! Not to mention the team New Mexico lost to was South Dakota State, which had to make yesterday’s a result a bit more unexpected. Well, at least one Cincinnati team won last night.
It’s the last Friday of 2012.
Party like it’s… 2012.
Photos via Getty