Breakfast Special: James Harden 187, Wes Johnson’s Ankles 0

Excuse me for a moment here…


Ahem. We’ll get to them in a bit. But first, James Harden, man! Houston, basically sending a message to the Clippers “oh, you think you have a prayer in heaven, earth, or hell of winning even one game against us in Round 1 if we meet in the playoffs?”

Houston took a 31-7 lead on Harden’s field goal, and on the ensuing kickoff…

Really, this one was over after the first quarter. Houston won 105-92, but between Harden’s 25 and Clint Capela‘s 22 points and 14 rebounds, Wesley Johnson and the Clippers never stood a chance.

The Rockets as a team didn’t even play exceptionally well, but it didn’t matter that they shot just 13-of-43 (30.2 percent) from long range, since between the turnover battle (16-10) and the Clippers’ own woes from beyond the arc (7-of-23, or 30.4 percent), this game was over before it started.

Forget about the first round, LA. You get four games and not one minute more.

Here’s the rest of Harden’s highlights in Houston’s 14th straight win as they wrap up a perfect 12-0 February:

Pace And Disgrace

The Indiana Pacers have now lost consecutive games against the worst team in each conference. They lost to Dallas Monday; they just lost in Atlanta Wednesday night 107-102.

Myles Turner had just five points and five rebounds, Victor Oladipo needed 25 shots to get his 22 points, and despite 21 Hawks turnovers, the Pacers committed 24 of their own in this disgrace of a game.

John Collins led Atlanta with just 16 points, while Dennis Schroder swiped five steals in the ballgame.

This…this was sickening to watch, making at least one Pacers fan, as in me, wonder “why the hell do I even watch this stupid sport?”

(nah, I love basketball. But seriously, Pacers. What the hell was that?)

Highlights? No. I’m too angry. Here’s a guy who cares as little as I do right now:

Man, Just When You Thought Charlotte Was Making A Run…

The Hornets have been one of the most frustrating teams in the league all year (yes, even more so than the Pacers.)

In theory, they should be a playoff team. Dead even point differential, Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard on the roster, Steve Clifford coaching them…

…but they had a winning streak snapped violently by the Celtics last night to the tune of 134-106, as Boston hit 62.1 percent of their shots overall and 60 percent from three.

Kyrie Irving led the way with 34, while the C’s put up a Total Team Effort with seven players in double figures.

Also, how does a team with Dwight Freaking Howard on it get out-rebounded 47-33?

On the bright side, Charlotte only committed seven turnovers.

Irving is your man of the match despite barely playing in the second half:

Lightning Round!

At least the Pacers didn’t lose too much ground, as the Pistons thumped the Bucks 110-87.

Andre Drummond had 15 points and 16 boards, while Detroit’s defense held Milwaukee to just 38.4 percent shooting from the field and won the turnover battle 13-9:

Meanwhile, Orlando took advantage of the tanking opportunity presented to them by the Atlanta win, taking their medicine 117-104 against Toronto at home.

DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 21, as the team on the whole shot 54.2 percent. Kyle Lowry is your man of the match, however, with his solid all-around performance (17p/10a/7r):

Phoenix beat Memphis on the scoreboard 110-102 but lost to them in terms of lottery position. The Grizz are 11-38 since starting 7-4, so take that for data.

Devin Booker led the way with 34 points on 12-of-29 shooting, straight outta 2002:

The Wizards may be diligently trying to catch Cleveland for third place, but even at home, there was no stopping the Golden State Warriors, who won 109-101 behind 32 points from Kevin Durant and 25 from Stephen Curry:

San Antonio continues to be a hot mess, as it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that they’re going to extend their streak of 50-win seasons that stretches all the way back to 2000 and includes a 50-16 mark in the 2012 lockout season.

This time, New Orleans beat them on their own floor; the visiting Pelicans won 121-116 behind 26 from Anthony Davis and 25 from Jrue Holiday. That’s now seven in a row for New Orleans, as they stand 35-26 and sit just half a game back of the Spurs for a home playoff series in the first round:

It might make Pacers fans feel better to know that Oklahoma City needed overtime to beat the Mavs in Dallas; after all, it certainly makes the loss Monday night less humiliating knowing that Dallas, when they hit their shots, are the best bad team in the league (their point differential, minus-2.6, actually equates to a 34-win team rather than a tanking hot mess.)

Russell Westbrook continues to struggle with his shot; he had 30 points but needed an 11-of-25 shooting night to do it; he added 11 rebounds and seven assists to claim man of the match in the 111-110 win:

There’s plenty of actually good games coming Thursday; two of them involve playoff teams facing each other, and a third involves a Miami team fighting for its life going up against the always-feisty Lakers.

The Brooklyn-Sacramento game is intriguing because it features a tanking team (the Kings) against a team that doesn’t have its own pick, they just suck (the Nets.)

We’ll have all the highlights plus Shaqtin’ a Fool on Friday morning, and stay tuned for this week’s Is He Any Good, about the Pacers’ newest acquisition Trevor Booker. Thanks for reading!