NBA Breakfast Special: Nothing Makes Sense Anymore

The Boston Celtics rested Kyrie Irving, essentially punting the game against the Chicago Bulls on the road; for Chicago, they have as many wins in their last three games as in their first 23. As in, they’ve got three.

Boston shot a horrifying 39.8 percent from the field and 10-of-40 from three. Curiously, they were 23-of-43 on two-point shots, good for 53.5 percent.

Jayson Tatum was horrible (1-of-7 from the field, four points) in a rare off day for him.

Chicago, meanwhile, won the turnover battle 15-8, shot 12-of-29 (41.4 percent) from beyond the arc, and got 24 from Nikola Mirotic and 23 from Bobby Portis, as the teammates refrained from trying to kill each other and played good basketball.

The 105-83 blowout…well, it’s weird. It makes no sense. But highlights? We’ve got those:

Raptors Fall Into Tar Pit

The Clippers erased a double-digit first-half deficit, won the fourth quarter 26-17, and completed a comeback, beating the Toronto Raptors 96-91.

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were a combined 9-of-26, the Raps shot 24.1 percent (7-of-29) from three, and the Clips took advantage behind 14 points and 17 rebounds from DeAndre Jordan.

Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 15 boards for Toronto; too bad the rest of the team did naff all. The Clips had 14 offensive boards, a 57-42 overall rebounding advantage, and that was enough to overcome shooting a dreadful 37.4 percent from the field.

This game was ugly, but bad teams don’t beat good teams in pretty games.


11 Games, 11 Chris Paul Wins

The Houston Rockets are undefeated with CP3 in the lineup. And against New Orleans, in a game where the teams combined for 253 points, including 154 in the first half, the Rockets hit 17-of-45 from three (37.8 percent) and 31-of-43 on two-pointers (72.1 percent.)

James Harden had 14 assists and zero turnovers in the first half; he finished with 26 points, 17 assists, and six steals.

The rest of the Rockets stepped up; Clint Capela had 28 points to lead all Rockets scorers, hitting 13-of-14 from the field. CP3 had 20 to go with nine rebounds and six assists. And Eric Gordon had 27 off the bench on 9-of-12 overall and 5-of-6 from the arc.

All this negated a Pelicans night where Jrue Holiday had 37 and E’Twaun Moore had 36. New Orleans shot 57.6 percent from the field, 54.5 percent from Sugar Land, and 7-of-13 (whoops) from the line.

The Rockets won the turnover battle 18-9 and the free throw battle by going 17-of-25 to score an extra ten points that way.

The Pelicans almost out-Rocketed the Rockets. But in the end, you don’t beat Houston at their own game in their own building.

Highlights from an unlikely man of the match:

Russell Westbrook‘s Dark Ages Spectacular

Westbrook had 30 points on 22 shots, and for him that’s surprisingly efficient. His 10-of-22 shooting and 9-of-9 from the line was the lone bright spot for a Thunder team that got smacked 116-103 by a Hornets team that shot 53.1 percent from the field and 52.0 percent from long range.

Had Oklahoma City not shot 24-of-25 from the line, this would’ve been even worse.

Dwight Howard led the Hornets with 23, Kemba Walker scored 19 and dished nine assists, and the Hornets won the rebound (41-39) and turnover (15-13) battles.

Paul George had 20 for Oklahoma City, while Carmelo Anthony continues to be trash, scoring 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

The Thunder are 12-14, seemingly unwilling or unable to crack back over .500.


Memphis Grizzlies Still Terrible

Sadly, the Bulls’ win over the Celtics wasn’t the biggest drubbing in basketball Monday night.

The Miami Heat own that honor; they slaughtered the Grizzlies in Memphis 107-82.

It was a Total Team Effort; seven players scored in double figures, while the team overall shot 37-of-66 (56.1 percent) from the field and 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) from long range.

The Grizz? 28-of-72 from the field (38.9 percent) and 8-of-27 (29.6 percent) from out in the parking lot.

And when you miss an ungodly amount of shots, it might help to get offensive rebounds, but Memphis only had six, losing the rebound battle 35-31.

Tyler Johnson exploded for all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter, and that makes him the man of the match:

And Finally…

What if I told you Damian Lillard would score 39 points, C.J. McCollum would get 21, the Blazers would get a Warriors team without Stephen Curry, and the Dubs would win anyway?

Because that’s what happened; Golden State beat Portland 111-104 at Oracle Arena.

Kevin Durant had 28, Klay Thompson had 24, and the Warriors shot 55 percent as a team and 50 percent from long range. Despite losing the turnover battle 14-9 and the offensive rebound count 12-6, that didn’t matter, because the Dubs shot the ball well while nobody on Portland besides the stars (who combined to shoot 20-of-42) shot well at all.

Portland hit 7-of-28 (25 percent) on three-pointers, and Blazers not named Damian or C.J. were 1-of-12.

What it all means is that the Blazers need to figure out how to get any kind of production from more than just the backcourt.

Highlights from the super mercenary and man of the match in the seventh straight win for the Dubs:

On paper, Tuesday’s matchups look terrible. Which may just make for classic viewing. Or the games will suck. Either way, we’ll have the highlights tomorrow, and in the meantime, stay tuned for the weekly paean to the Pacers, this time featuring Victor Oladipo‘s Most Improved Player campaign, later today.

And thanks for reading!