NBA Breakfast Special: Kyrie Irving’s Pancake World

Flat earth jokes may get old, but breakfast puns are forever, especially when the subject, Kyrie Irving, goes for 47 points, keeping the Boston Celtics from losing for the first time in 16 games against one of the league’s worst teams.

Yes, it took overtime to beat the Dallas Mavericks 110-102, but when Kyrie gets a super-efficient 16-of-22 shooting performance, throws in 5-of-7 beyond the arc, then cans 10-of-11 from the free throw line? Boston was not losing that game.

Your Rookie of the Year Jayson Tatum went for 15 points on 6-of-11 and a plus-15 while grabbing nine rebounds; Jaylen Brown continues to emerge as a star with his 22 points and nine boards of his own.

Boston won the rebound battle 53-45, made 13 threes and 21 free throws to Dallas’s 7 and 17, and if they hadn’t turned it over six more times (17 to 11), this game might’ve ended in regulation as it should have.

But a win’s a win, and we’ve got the highlights and video recap for your viewing pleasure:

Cleveland Cavalry Charge

Don’t look now, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are 10-7 and on a five game winning streak, just one game back of the Detroit Pistons in the Central Division and into a tie for fourth place with the Wizards in the East.

The Cavs marched into the Hot N’ Ready Arena in Detroit and gave the home squad all the pizza pizza they could handle, smashing the Pistons 116-88 behind 19 points and 11 rebounds from Kevin Love and 18 points and eight assists from LeBron James.

Detroit was wretched offensively; their leading scorer, Tobias Harris, only managed 11 points, and the team shot a woeful 7-of-13 from the line, including 2-of-6 from charity stripe bricklayer supreme Andre Drummond.

Cleveland put up a .525/.485/.941 slash line, dominating the boards 42-34, winning the turnover battle 14-11, and while they only attempted four more free throws than the enemy, they outscored Detroit 16-7 from the line.

Dwyane Wade and Kyle Korver each went for eight points, one basket short of putting Cleveland into a Total Team Effort. Still, it was a solid win, and we’ve got highlights from a big three-point night for the Cavaliers:

And Speaking of the Central Division

Hey, look who’s gone from Rated PG13 to being fun for the whole family big and small?

That’s right, the Indiana Pacers have won four straight and five of six since they and the Cavs both started 5-7.

Victor Oladipo scored 29 to lead the team, Bojan Bogdanovic went for 26 including 5-of-7 from the suburbs of Orange County, and Frank Vogel still can’t beat his old team no matter how hard he tries.

Indiana won 105-97 in Orlando, extending their road record to 6-5; they’re nearly halfway to last season’s road win total, a dreadful 13-28 that depressed their playoff standing.

It is all kinds of fun as a Pacers fan watching road games without it being an all but foregone conclusion they’ll choke away any second-half lead they build.

This win was made possible by the turnover battle; Indy forced 22 giveaways while only committing 12.

Highlights, including a lot more than just scoring from Oladipo:

The Ben Simmons Show Continues

Simmons is determined to play keep-away with the Rookie of the Year votes, and even though there’s a bit of grumbling that he shouldn’t count as a rookie because he got injured but is in his second season, that didn’t stop Blake Griffin a few years ago, nor did it stop Joel Embiid from nearly winning the award despite only playing in 31 games last year.

Simmons had 27 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 107-86 win over the Utah Jazz at home, and if you needed any further proof that the Jazz are dead meat without Rudy Gobert, consider that three Sixers players—Joel Embiid, Simmons, and Amir Johnson—all had at least ten rebounds.

Philly won the battle on the boards 55-34, but where this game was truly decided was in old-fashioned putting the ball in the basket.

Both teams had 85 field goal attempts. Utah made 30. Philly made 44. The difference between 35.3 percent shooting and 51.8? About 21 points, apparently, even as the Sixers made only four three-pointers in the game.

Highlights from the man of the match:

Don’t Squeeze the CHA-MIN

I will never get tired of team trigram puns.

This was another night of Karl-Anthony Towns losing a big man battle, getting outplayed by Andre Drummond in Minnesota’s loss to Detroit Sunday night, and now getting clowned by Dwight Howard Monday.

Howard went for 25 points and 20 rebounds, and Frank Kaminsky added 24 points off the bench, while Towns got outplayed despite putting up 18 points and 12 rebounds of his own.

Charlotte won the rebounding battle 52-38, outshot Minnesota by .494/.423/.793 against the Wolves’ .411/.222/.846.

If the Timberwolves hadn’t taken care of the ball as well as they did (only ten turnovers), this wouldn’t even have been as close as the 118-102 final.

Charlotte is now 7-9, while Minnesota finds itself slipping after a hot start down to 10-7.

That 10-7 mark is worth a three-way tie atop the Northwest Division with Portland and Denver, however.

Highlights of a once-great player discovering his old skills:

The Clippers Are A Roland Emmerich Movie

Not since the glory days of Emmerich’s revival of the disaster-porn genre have we seen such a continuous display of calamities as the Clippers’ 11 losses in 12 games since starting the season 4-0.

The New York Knicks were the latest beneficiary, as Kristaps Porzingis feasted on the Clippers’ defense to the tune of 25 points, while Enes Kanter straight-up outplayed DeAndre Jordan in the middle, going for 12 points and 16 rebounds against Jordan’s 10 and 9.

New York won this one 107-85 to go to 9-7 on the year, all while Austin Rivers continues to define the “replacement player” that Chris Paul was “value over” in the VORP acronym.

Rivers was 1-of-9 for two points. Jarrett Jack, at the point for the Knicks, had 11 on 4-of-7.

New York had 12 guys score at least two points. Only Frank Ntilikina, with no points in 11 minutes, was held without.

Highlights from Three Six Latvia:

The Worst Team Money Can Buy

You get the feeling Oklahoma City ruined Russell Westbrook by giving him Paul George and Carmelo Anthony?

After all, Russ may still be popping triple doubles like it’s nothing, including 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists Monday night, but he shot 6-of-19. That ain’t good.

Westbrook is averaging 20.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per game, but he’s shooting a career-worst 39.4 percent and his scoring efficiency of 1.13 points per FGA is the lowest of his career as well.

So despite coming just one Melo point away from another Triple 20, the Thunder are 7-9, just lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 114-107, and look like a horror show of chemistry out there.

New Orleans, meanwhile, got 36 points and 12 boards from Anthony Davis, watched Rajon Rondo thrive while only having to shoot the ball four times (Rondo had four points and eight assists), and got 11 points and a plus-26 out of Darius Miller.

The Thunder bench was steaming hot G-League-level garbage, shooting 8-of-24 from the field. The Pelicans’ reserves? 11-of-15. That’s 73.3 percent against 33.3.

Highlights of a big night for the Brow:

Memphis Grizzlies Collapse Continues

Something has gone wrong if Noah Vonleh just pulled down 18 rebounds on you, but that’s exactly what happened to Memphis when the Portland Trail Blazers came to town and won 100-92.

Meanwhile, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum did as they always do, putting what looks on paper like an inefficient night (the two combined to shoot 13-of-32 from the field) into something special by nailing their free throws (a combined 15-of-15.)

Put it all together and Lillard had 21 points while McCollum canned 24.

And just because making sense is boring, Evan Turner missed all six of his shots, scored no points, and led all Blazers with a plus-16. Because of course he did.

Both teams shot under 40 percent, and Memphis laid a big egg from beyond the arc in going 8-of-30 while Portland had two fewer makes on half as many shots out there.

Highlights:

Washed Away in Milwaukee

The Wizards got John Wall back for the SEGABABA on the road, and the rest did him good, as he went for 15 points despite a lousy 5-of-13 shooting night.

Bradley Beal was the star once again, this time shooting 10-of-16 to get 23 points and lead the Wizards to a 99-88 win against the 8-8 Milwaukee Bucks, a team that looks nothing like the breakout contender that people slotted them in as before the season started.

Washington dominated the boards 46-33, overcoming a great ball control night from the Bucks, who turned the ball over only nine times.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 23, but it was on an inefficient 8-of-21, the kind of night you’ll take because counting stats don’t mean much when you take 21 shots and can’t make them.

The Wizards shot 52.7 percent overall, good enough to get their stamp on the highlight reel for the man of the match, who became the youngest player in NBA history to get to 700 career three-pointers made:

Home Cooking, Poultry Style

San Antonio feasted on the Hawks in Texas Monday night, beating Atlanta 96-85 to drop the visitors to 3-14 on the season.

Still without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs are nonetheless 11-6, good for third out West, and LaMarcus Aldridge just had one of the worst 22-point games you’ll see in 2017.

LMA was 11-of-24 shooting, missed both of his threes, and did not shoot a free throw. That is dinosaur play right there, and yet another damning condemnation of counting stats as a measure of player value.

The Spurs played right into the recurring theme across the league Monday, as they too decisively won a rebounding battle (52-38) on a night when rebounds correlated strongly with wins.

This was a weird game in terms of officiating; the teams combined to shoot only 14 free throws. San Antonio was 6-of-6; Atlanta was 3-of-8.

Manu Ginobili had 16 off the bench, and because we’re not much for showing midrange jump shots on this show, Manu gets the man-of-the-match highlight reel:

And Finally…

How can Denver, a team that was embarrassed by Lonzo Ball and the Lakers Sunday night, look so good against Sacramento just one day later?

Oh. Right. It’s Sacramento. Gods, the Kings are terrible.

The 114-98 win featured 25 from Will Barton and 20 from Gary Harris, while Jamal Murray had 18 on 6-of-10 shooting and Nikola Jokic put up an emphatic double-double with 16 points and 14 boards on 7-of-12 from the field.

And if you guessed that Denver enjoyed a big rebounding advantage (49-34, in fact), then give yourself a delicious cookie and a pat on the back. You’ve been paying attention!

Highlights:

MANIMAL SIGHTING

Where did the game recap go, guys? Get with the Twitter program if you’re going to win games this year:

Oh well. I work with what I’m given. Not my fault they’re being dumb about it.

Stay tuned for a Pacers steaming hot winning streak take about fan expectations later Tuesday afternoon, and thanks for reading!