The Orlando Magic's shootin' eye: Despite a 60-41 rebounding deficit, a 2-for-17 shooting performance from beyond the arc, and Dwight Howard's Animal Style Double-Double (24 points, 25 boards), the Spurs downed the Magic in OT. In Orlando. It was San Antonio's first road win of the season.
And Stan Van Grumpy wants to take the blame: "Our guys deserve to win with the effort they put out tonight. But I'm kind of disappointed in myself."
Disappointed in himself? He must have had a quick peek through his closet.
The real blame goes to his team's misquided shooting: 33 percent from the field and 4-for-21 from downtown.
Von Wafer: It's hard to bust too hard on a role player, but everyone's favorite German sandwich cookie hit a driving layup with 16 seconds left in OT that pulled the Magic to within a point. He also got fouled on the shot...but bonked the ensuing freebie. So instead of the game being tied, Ryan Anderson had to foul Richard Jefferson, who knocked in one of his two foul shots. Anderson missed a three at the buzzer and that was the ball game.
Richard Jefferson: It's only fair to mention that by hitting only one of his two 'throws, Jefferson gave Orlando a chance to win the game with a three.
Richard Jefferson, quote machine: "I know it's the first road victory, but let us not get carried away. It's not like we were a bad team, or under .500. ... We had some tough losses and bad losses. We have a quality team here. We just have to play better on the road for a longer period of time."
Big Baby: I...uhm...wha...I have no words.
The Oklahoma City Thunder: This qualifies as one of those "Wait...what?" games. The Thunder began the night with the league's best record (12-2). The Wizards Generals had the worst (1-12). Washington shot 38 percent from the field, missed 12 free throws, and committed 18 turnovers for 20 points going the other way. And Kevin Durant finally had himself a 30-point game (33 on 11-for-24 shooting).
But the Thunder lost.
Said KD: "It's not the end of the world. We lost to a hungrier team than us. It hurts, because we want to win every game, especially me, I want to win at home, but you've got to look past it."
Added Russell Westbrook: "It's tough, especially when we weren't mentally focused to start the game. They stuck around and stuck around and they kind of got a win."
Kind of got a win? I didn't realize there were "Kind of Wins" and "Kind of Losses" columns in the standings, Russell.
John Wall, quote machine: "We know we're better than our record. You're still 2-12. You still got a lot to do."
Andray Blatche, quote machine: On getting booed by the home crowd: "That was terrible. Oh man. We won. So if they want to do that and we win, I don't care."
The Toronto Craptors: Quick quiz: What's the best cure for a five-game losing streak? Quick answer: The Craptosaurs.
Another scary fall for Rondo.
Rajon should just stop jumping this season. You know, like KG did.
Rajon Rondo, quote machine: On the Celts winning one game in a row: "This is our second-longest winning streak this year. It's a positive vibe right now in our locker room."
The Golden State Warriors: I'll let Golden State coach Mark Jackson do the dishonors on this one:
"It's a disappointing loss. We had the game won. Bottom line, if you don't close out quarters or possessions, it will come back to bite you. They outworked us, beat us on the boards (45-25) and have no excuses. This is a win that we fully expected coming in."
DAMN IT, WARRIORS. YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT
But not really.
The New Jersey Nyets: Yes, they won, but let me repeat that quote from Jackson:
"This is a win that we fully expected coming in."
So despite being 5-8 and playing on the road, the Warriors "fully expected" to beat the Nyets in their own place. Kinda tells you all you need to now about this team.
The New York Bricks: A few days ago, ESPN's Royce Webb published an article about how the Brickerbockers have a losing record since trading for Carmelo Anthony (20-21). And even more damaging to 'Melo's stock, the Nuggets have been kind of awesome since shipping Anthony to the Big Apple (26-12).
Fittingly, on the same night the Nuggets improved to 10-5 by becoming the first team to beat the Sixers in Philly this season, the Bricks fell to 6-8 by losing in Madison Square Garden to a Suns team that was riding a five-game losing streak and coming off a 118-97 loss the the Derrick Rose-less Bulls then night before.
That, my friends, is how we define "fail."
You know how the Knicks were no defense and all offense? Well, their gasping, sputtering, wheezing O finished with 88 points on 37 percent shooting. They also clanked 10 free throws in the three-point loss. And here was the knockout blow:
Said Mike 'Antoni: "I know we're 6-8, I know we're in a little bit of a crisis here. But we're playing hard, playing good defense. There's some good things we're doing. We've just got to figure out the one part and that's the part that should be easiest. It's become a problem, and if we solve it, we'll be pretty good. We just have to do it sooner rather than later."
Added Amar''''''e Stoudemire: "We can't keep making excuses. We need to start pushing forward and get over the hump offensively."
Hump? What hump?
Jeff Teague: Not cool.
Jarrett jack, Mark Jackson Impersonator: Regarding his team's 93-87 home loss to the Grizzlies, which dropped the Hornets to 1-7 at home and 3-11 overall, Jack said: "Obviously when you continually have these shortcomings, it gets frustrating. If you come in and you're like, 'We have to take care of the turnovers,' and we still have 18 turnovers. That's when it's like, 'Come on guys. We're better than this.'"
Are you sure you guys are better than that, Jarrett?
The Detroit Pistons: The Pissed-Ons looked like they were moving full steam ahead toward their second road win of the season...and then got outscored 29-14 in the fourth quarter. Bummer.
Said Greg Monroe: "We can't keep playing well for 42 minutes and then the last six minutes give the game away. As a team, we have to get better and finishing and putting the game away."
Added Detroit coach Lawrence Frank: "We just couldn't sustain it. We just had breakdowns, not just on the ball, but off the ball, too."
Tayshaun Prince, Capain of the Obvious: "We have to find a way to win. We haven't yet."
Associated Press, quote machine: "[Kevin] Love bought 1,000 tickets for fans to this one as part of a promotion to try and keep the attendance at Target Center high against a team that had been drawing the fewest fans on the road in the league. They were treated to an ugly one early."
The Indiana Pacers: A few days ago, after the Pacers beat a slumping Celtics team, Roy Hibbert uttered the following prophetic words:
"I like to say to the guys in the locker room, we're the best-kept secret. Nobody's talking about us. Indiana Pacers are best-kept secret. Let everybody talk about the teams and have them ranked ahead of us, and we're just going to go ahead and just do our business and chop them down."
Then, in their very next game, the Pacers lost to the Excremento Kings. And they didn't just lose. They did it in bawfully historic fashion. From the AP recap:
No one in the stunned Sacramento Kings locker room could remember winning a game in which they shot so poorly.
Marcus Thornton scored 17 points and the Kings rallied from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Indiana Pacers 92-88, snapping a three-game losing streak despite shooting just 30.1 percent from the field.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the franchise had won a game while shooting less than 31 percent was Dec. 1, 1957, when the Cincinnati Royals edged the Minneapolis Lakers 90-89. Denver was the last NBA team to pick up a win while shooting less than 31 percent, hitting 29.2 percent in an 80-72 win over San Antonio on Oct. 29, 2003.
"I didn't know we shot that bad," said Francisco Garcia, who came off the bench and scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, in which the Kings outscored Indiana 26-8 and forced nine turnovers. "It was good for us to get this win even though we shot such a bad percentage. But we're not going to keep shooting like that."
The Pacers began the final period by missing eight of 11 shots and squandered their big lead. It didn't help that Indiana was sloppy with its passing and committed 10 fouls in the fourth quarter. The Kings shot 12-of-15 on free throws in the fourth, and their final six points were from the line.
The Pacers shot 3-for-16 in the final period and had nine turnovers. Neither team had a field goal in the final 3:24.
Your Indiana Pacers, folks. The NBA's best kept secret.
The Dallas Mavericks: After letting Derek Fisher beat them with a last-second three-pointer the other night, surely the Mavs wouldn't let the same thing happen to them against the Clippers? Right? Right...?
Said Jason Kidd: "Again we lost on a 3 from the right side -- the same spot Fish made his shot the other night. The Clippers drew up a good play. We knew Billups and Griffin were going to have the ball at some point, and Billups made the shot. We were in a position to win the game, and we just couldn't get a stop.
"We must lead the league in last-second shots made by our opponents, so we've got to figure out a way to close the door."
Chris' Lacktion Ledger:
Thunder-Generals: Okay, first off, OKLAHOMA CITY LOST TO THE GENERALS.
Maybe that explains how Kendrick Perkins finagled five rebounds in 28:18 with three fouls and turnovers each for a 6:5 Voskuhl?
Meanwhile, Roger Mason Jr. managed a celebratory brick toss at Wario (right off of Gallery Place) in 17 seconds for a Mario and +1!
Craptors-Celtics: Jamaal Magloire skated his way into another ledger appearance, bricking, fouling, and losing the rock once each in 5:27 for a +3 and a 2:0 Voskuhl!
Grizzlies-Hornets: DaJuan Summers tossed a brick in 5:13 to earn New Orleans a +1.
Pistons-Wolves: Austin Daye brightened up his Game Boy's LCD screen in 31 seconds for a Mario!
Pacers-Kings: Jimmer Fredette went quadruple on bricks (once from the Esquire Grill!) and added a foul and turnover for a +6 in 6:09!!!
Mavs-Clippers: Solomon Jones can now underpay people as much as owner Donald Sterling does, after a celebratory 3.5 trillion (210 seconds).