How much of the NBA on Christmas day did you watch? While I didn’t see an entire game start to finish I did see parts of all 5 games and almost all of the 2nd and 3rd games. I’d be very impressed if you watch every minute of every game. I believe that was a little over 11 hours of NBA basketball.
The day started with the Miami Heat getting a 94-88 win in overtime over the New Orleans Pelicans. Looking at the box score for this game Miami was good in the 1st and 3rd quarters while New Orleans was the better team in the 2nd and 4th quarter. I guess it makes sense that overtime was the 5th quarter; so Miami picked up the win. Dwayne Wade led the Heat in scoring with 30 points.Hassan Whiteside grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Heat while Goran Dragic’s 6 assists where a team high. Anthony Davis led New Orleans in scoring with 29 points and rebounds with 15 while playing 50 minutes in the game. Tyreke Evans led the Pelicans in assists with 7.
The second game of the day saw the Chicago Bulls beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-96. I got to see all of this game except for the first 2 minutes of the 3rd quarter. The Bulls scored the first 11 points of the game and they seemed to control most of the action. The Bulls would build a lead and then Oklahoma City would make a run. The Thunder made a big run at the Bulls in the 4th quarter, but Chicago was able to hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 23 points. Pau Gasol led the Bulls in rebounds with 13 and assists with 6 to go along with his 21 points. Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 29 points while Enes Kanter grabbed a team high 13 rebounds. Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 8 assists while adding 26 points.
While I think most people thought the 3rd game a finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors was looked at as the marquee match up. It didn’t really live up to the hype or any offensive predictions everyone made about the game. Golden State did pick up a 6-point victory 89-83. The Warriors looked good coming out of the gate and took a 9 point lead. Then Stephen Curry went to the locker room with either a foot or a calf issue and things started to go Cleveland’s way. Curry came out of the locker room to return to the game just as the television announcers where saying it would be a good idea if he didn’t return to the game. While Curry helped the Warriors to the victory it was Draymond Green who was the Warriors star. Green led Golden State in scoring with 22 points; he also grabbed a team high 15 rebounds and tied Curry for the team lead in assists with 7. LeBron James was the Cavaliers leading scorer with 25 points. Kevin Love grabbed 18 rebounds to lead Cleveland and Love also had a team high 4 assists. Part of the Cavaliers issues in the game was the fact that Love and Kyrie Irving where a combined 9 for 31 on the night and 0 for 11 from behind the 3-point line.
The 4th game of the night saw the Houston Rockets surprise the San Antonio Spurs 88-84. The Rockets where able to build a consistent lead of about 8 points; so San Antonio started to employ the “Hack-a Player” method. The Player of choice was Dwight Howard who went 3 of 8 from the free throw line and helped keep San Antonio in the game. Even though Howard had issues at the free throw line the Spurs couldn’t convert those misses into points and the Rockets held on for the win. James Harden led the Rockets with 20; Harden also handed out a team high 9 assists while Howard grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Houston. Kawhi Leonard led San Antonio in scoring with 20 points and assists with 4. Tim Duncan hauled down 11 rebounds to lead the Spurs.The win pushed the Rockets over .500 at 16-15. It was San Antonio’s (25-6) 6th loss of the season all on the road.
The night in the NBA wrapped up with the Los Angeles Clippers cruising to a 94-84 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers might’ve had a larger margin of victory, but a 9 point 4th quarter along with the Lakers putting up 27 4th quarter points cut the winning margin to 10 points. Chris Paul led the Clippers in scoring with 23 points. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Clippers. Blake Griffin was the Clippers leader in assists with 7 and grabbed 12 rebounds as well. D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers in scoring with 16 points.Julius Randle had 8 rebounds to lead the Lakers. Russell and Randle came off the Lakers bench. Kobe Bryant and Jordan Clarkson tied for the team lead in assists with 3 apiece. I know everyone is going to want to know how Bryant did. Kobe was 4 of 10 shooting on the night, but made 3 of the 5 3-point shots he took. Bryant had a poor night at the free throw line making just 1 of 4 attempts. Bryant did grab 3 rebounds; had 2 steals and committed 3 turnovers.
Did you like the Christmas day scheduling? It was interesting that the two worst teams record wise from the Western Conference the Lakers and the Pelicans where in the game line up. The Lakers are 5-25, but of course they have Kobe Bryant and it’s his farewell season. The Pelicans are 9-20, but they have an up and coming superstar in Anthony Davis. Otherwise we saw the top 4 teams in the Western Conference along with the 7th team in the standings. From the Eastern Conference we got to see the #1, #3 and #5 teams record wise. Was their a team or a player that you would’ve wanted to see play and which team would you take out?
Our week in NFL picks started off well on Thursday night as we all had the Oakland raiders to win, but it wasn’t easy. The Raiders needed overtime to beat the San Diego Chargers 23-20. We’ve got another Saturday night NFL game as the 1st place Washington Redskins look to wrap up the vaunted NFC East as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the 2nd place Eagles. A win by the Redskins would make them 8-7 and would drop the eagles to 6-9 knocking them out of any playoff spot. If the Redskins do get a win tonight the only thing standing in there way of winning the NFC East would the 6=8 New York Giants. The Giants are featured on Sunday Night Football this week as they play the Minnesota Vikings. Things are lining up for the Redskins to win their division and they might even have a winning record on top of that. Pick wise for us Schaumburg Stu and I like Washington to win, but Dan the Man thinks that Philadelphia gets the win and keeps there playoff hopes alive. As always I can’t tell you who Mr. Fantasy is going with in tonight’s game as he’ll let me know right before kickoff.
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