Breakfast Special: LA Finally Beats Boston at Something

The city of Boston has, in recent months, gone to town on the sports teams from the city of Los Angeles.

Thursday night on TNT, LA got one back: A regular-season basketball game between a team whose star player tried and failed to trade away all of his teammates and another team that sometimes looks like a Finals contender and sometimes looks like the Knicks.

Come to think of it, the Celtics lost to the Knicks at home earlier this season.

And this time, Boston lost to LA 129-128 on a buzzer-beater from former Celtic Rajon Rondo:

That’s just a gut-punch way to lose, but if you give up 129 points, you probably shouldn’t complain about the last two.

LeBron James had a triple-double with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists, Brandon Ingram was a game-high plus-18 in 40 minutes, and wait a minute, the Lakers were minus-17 in eight minutes with Brandon Trade-Him-For-Anthony Davis Ingram off the floor? The same Ingram who shot 4-of-14 to get 11 points?

Funny, that whole hockey stat thing with the plus/minus.

JaVale McGee, meanwhile, played 30 minutes, scored 17 on an efficient 7-of-11, and was minus-21.

Rondo put up an identical 7-of-11 to McGee and had 17 of his own, adding 10 assists and seven rebounds and, of course, sinking the game-winner.

And get this…the Lakers’ leading plus-minus man in a one-point game? Tyson Chandler, who was plus-19 in 15 minutes off the bench despite scoring zero points. He did have six rebounds and two blocks.

Highlights:

Bats in the Belfry at Bankers Life

The Indiana Pacers had a bat in their arena, and it was the one thing Myles Turner couldn’t swat as the Pacers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 116-92.

Turner had six blocks, four steals, 17 points, and a fantastic 7-of-8 shooting night in which he hit all three of his three-point attempts.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the way for Indiana with 29 points on 12-of-19, and the Pacers shot 56.3 percent as a team and 9-of-22 (!) from long range, a triumph of modern basketball except for the part where it was nothing of the kind but at least the defense played great.

I mean, I rip Nate McMillan all the time around here, but doing it when the team won by 24 points? What sad times are these.

But who cares, the Pacers have won four in a row.

Bojan’s 29 makes him man of the match:

Another Day, Another Wildly Inefficient Triple-Double

Why hello there, Russell Westbrook. Good to see you’re still on your uniquely interesting style.

Westbrook had 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting, which is terrible. But he had 15 assists and 13 rebounds, so lo and behold, he’s great.

The Oklahoma City Thunder smoked the Memphis Grizzlies 117-95, Paul George was his usual scoring machine with 27, Jerami Grant was plus-36 (!) in 30 minutes, and perhaps the wildest stat of the whole game was the 17 steals (and 24 Memphis turnovers against just 11 for the Thunder) that Oklahoma City pulled off as a team.

Stars score, defense plays fantastic, Westbrook racks up counting stats, Thunder win, next story. Greatness is ordinary, and that should scare the heck out of the Western Conference.

Let there be counting stats:

Lightning Round!

Andrew Wiggins just had a game that seemingly only he can.

Wiggins scored 23 points, but did so on 10-of-28 shooting, posted a minus-9 in 36 minutes, and upon closer examination stunk out the joint as the Timberwolves lost at Orlando 122-112.

Terrence Ross had 32 off the bench for Orlando, hitting 13-of-23 shots and showing off the right way to score with volume.

Get retro with the man of the match:

The Raptors went to Atlanta, Fred VanVleet had 30 points, and Toronto beat the Hawks 119-101, powered by a 59-33 second-half scoring outburst.

Pascal Siakam had 33 points and 14 rebounds, VanVleet was plus-32 in his on-court time, and all of the above happened sans Kawhi Leonard.

17 Atlanta turnovers against just 8 for Toronto sealed the Hawks’ fate.

Say hello to the 30-point patrol:

And finally, the Spurs’ road woes continue as they lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 127-119 in the national-TV nightcap.

CJ McCollum had 30, Damian Lillard had 24, and Jusuf Nurkic had 22 in the win, Portland hit all 18 of their free throws, and the Blazers shot 53.8 percent overall.

Meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan had 35 for San Antonio, who shot 57.1 percent (12-of-21) on three-pointers, but 18 turnovers against just 8 for Portland proved lethal to San Antonio’s hopes for a win.

Bring on the backcourt heroics because Blazers:

Is He Any Good is coming later today as this dumpster fire of a schedule has me scrambling to get articles in on something resembling time, and it’s as bad as you could possibly imagine around here.

Thanks for bearing with me (normal service resumes Feb. 25, with breakfasts and the site’s regular features in the meantime) and thanks for reading!