The NBA: Dunk of the Year?

By now, you should've seen this on YouTube. As for Kendrick Perkins,
well he probably won't show his face around LA anytime soon.
(image by Noah Graham/Getty Images)

*Unless otherwise specified, all images are from the Associated Press.

"I think I jumped up as high as he did." – Reggie Evans after teammate Blake Griffin dunked on Kendrick Perkins

It’s still a couple of months too early for this dunk to be declared the DOTY, but it will be damn tough to beat, even by the LBJ-over-John-Lucas jam.

It was THE highlight in a game full of Clipper panache, but it wasn’t the only good thing that happened in the Clippers’ win over the team that has the best record in the West.

Six guys scored in double-figures for LA, with 3 scoring 22 or more. CP3 had 14 dimes. DeAndre had 11 boards with 3 rejections. The Clips shot a blistering 56% from the field, including an insane 52% from three. They had 5 less turnovers than OKC, and had 13 more assists.

Just plain awesome.

And this is me, an OKC convert, who just wrote that.

Will I convert to the Clips anytime soon? Not really, but they sure as hell are fun to watch.

This win brings CP3’s crew a game and a half ahead of the Lakers in the Pacific Division, and, together with the surging Dallas Mavericks, they’re now tied at a game behind the second place Nuggets in the conference.

Getting Paul, Butler and Billups has paid the once-bemoaned franchise immediate dividends. And though it’s still a long way from the postseason, the Clippers’ trajectory looks pretty good.

They’re top 10 in several key stats – ppg, bpg, apg, 3pt% (and makes), and FG% (and makes). They went 11-4 to start 2012, including wins over Portland, Miami, the Lakers, Dallas, Memphis, Denver and now Oklahoma City.

Quality wins for a quality team currently leapfrogging most other teams that SHOULD be better than them, and they aren’t showing any sign of slowing down.

As long as they stay on-track, Reggie Evans won’t be the only one jumping as high as Blake Griffin.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

PHI over ORL, 74-69 - Andre Iguodala had a double-double to lead the Sixers to their third straight win. It gets tougher from here, though, as Philly takes on both Chicago and Miami this week.
CHI over WAS, 98-88 – D-Rose finished with a season-high 35 points as the Bulls rebounded after the heartbreaker in Miami. Chicago still leads the East at 18-5.
MIA over NOH, 109-95 – LBJ and D-Wade each had 22 points as the Heat recovered from a slow start to beat the hapless Hornets. Miami has won 8 of their last 9 and had six players in double figures.
SAS over MEM, 83-73 - Matt Bonner hit 5 triples to lead the Spurs in sending Memphis to its fourth straight loss. The Grizz were held to just 37% FG shooting as Gay and Gasol combined for just 3-of-18 from the floor.
MIL over DET, 103-82 - Drew Gooden scored 10 points in a decisive 12-2 run in the third quarter as the Bucks got their fourth win in six games after dropping three in a row.
MIN over HOU, 120-108 - Michael Beasley had 34 points, Kevin Love had 29, and Ricky Rubio flashed another double-double as former Houston mentor Rick Adelman won over his former team.
DAL over PHX, 122-99 – The Mavs did fine even without Jason Kidd, who’s out with a strained calf, routing the Steve Nash-less Suns. Delonte West filled up the Kidd-shaped void well, hitting 5 treys on his way to 25 markers.
UTA over POR, 93-89 – The Jazz used a 13-0 run in the fourth to buck the absence of Al Jefferson and Raja Bell to hand the Blazers their 8th loss on the road.
LAC over OKC, 112-100 – CP3 had 26 points and 14 assists as the Clips snapped the Thunder’s 4-game win streak. BG led a dunk-a-thon against the NBA’s best team, record-wise, and Kendrick Perkins will probably NOT log on to YouTube anytime soon.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Kevin Durant (OKC) – 36
Derrick Rose (CHI) – 35
Michael Beasley (MIN) – 34
Russell Westbrook (OKC) – 31

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Ryan Anderson (ORL) – 20
Paul Millsap (UTA) – 15
Joakim Noah (CHI) & Kevin Durant (OKC) – 13

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Chris Paul (LAC) – 14
Tony Parker (SAS) – 12
Ricky Rubio (MIN) – 11

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Russell Westbrook (OKC) & Earl Watson (UTA) – 5
Danny Green (SAS) & Tony Allen (MEM) – 4

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder ran into
 a hot-shooting Clippers club.

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Samuel Dalembert (HOU), Elton Brand (PHI), Marcin Gortat (PHX), & Marcus Camby (POR) – 4

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Kyle Korver (CHI), Matt Bonner (SAS), Vince Carter (DAL), & Delonte West (DAL) – 5

Kyle Korver's 5 triples helped the Bulls recover
after losing a close on to the Heat yesterday.

Jan. 30, 2012 First Five
C – LaMarcus Aldridge – 25pts, 7rebs, 2blks, 1ast, 1stl
F – Kevin Durant (OKC) – 36pts, 13rebs, 4 treys, 3blks, 1ast
F – Michael Beasley (MIN) – 34pts, 3rebs, 1ast, 1stl
G – Derrick Rose (CHI) – 35pts, 8asts, 3blks, 2stls
G – Chris Paul (LAC) – 26pts, 14asts, 2stls

Michael Beasley exploded for a season-high 34 against
his coach's former team, the Rockets.

Honorable Mention:
LeBron James (MIA) – 22pts, 11rebs, 8asts, 1stl
Delonte West (DAL) – 25pts, 6asts, 5 treys, 3rebs, 2stls
Russell Westbrook (OKC) – 31pts, 5stls, 4rebs, 4asts, 1blk

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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