The NBA: Jamal Crawford – The Dance Instructor

Jamal Crawford blew past Chris Bosh and hit this
reverse lay-up as LA downed Miami.
(image by Mark J. Terrill/AP)

When Jamal Crawford gets into his side-to-side shake-and-bake routine, he could be good enough to go on Dancing with the Stars. The Clipper fans love it, and why not? His crossover-between-the-legs-behind-the-back shtick might be a little too “dribbly” for purists, but, at least most of the time, it results in positive things for his team.

So far, those positive things include a 6-win 2-loss record, including victories over Memphis, the Lakers, San Antonio, and Miami. Strangely enough, however, the Clips’ two losses were at the hands of minnows Golden State and Cleveland.

Another positive thing for the Clippers is how fluid their offense has been. They’re #3 in points scored (102.8 per game; #1 out West), #3 in average point differential (+7.9), #7 in three-point accuracy (37.6%), and #1 in field goal percentage (49.5%).

Coach Vinny Del Negro’s crew is enjoying great success early on because his two All-Stars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, have been consistently awesome. CP3 is norming 17 points, 10 assists, 2 steals, and shooting 40% from long range, while Griffin is averaging 16 points and 9 boards. Those numbers, the scoring in particular, might be a little below their respective career stats, but one has to consider that four other Clippers are scoring in double-figures.

Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan, and Caron Butler are all scoring 10 points or more per outing, while Crawford himself leads the whole team. He’s scoring 20.5 points per game in just 28 minutes of action OFF THE BENCH. He does little else than shoot, but when he does shoot, the ball swishes through more often than not – literally. Crawford, who’s playing for his 6th NBA team, is shooting a career-best 51.4% from the floor, including 42% from three and 90% from the line. Again, he won’t fill the stat sheet the way other guys with his skill set might, but any time a team has a 20-point scorer coming off the pine, that can only be a good thing.

And when that 20-point guy can move the way Jamal Crawford does? Well, is there really anything else these Clippers need right now?

Look at Jamal Crawford DANCE:

Game Recaps (courtesy of the Sports Network):
Detroit 94, Philadelphia 76
Greg Monroe had 19 points and 18 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons ended their season-opening eight-game losing streak in convincing fashion, rolling to a 94-76 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Pistons used a combination of balanced scoring, suffocating defense and dominance on the glass to record their long-awaited first win of the 2012-13 campaign. Kyle Singler scored a career-high 16 points in his first NBA start and Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight each chipped in 15 points for Detroit, which finished with a 57-38 rebounding advantage and netted 42 points in the paint. The 76ers, meanwhile, shot a woeful 29.8 percent from the floor and continued to struggle on their home court. Philadelphia fell to 1-3 at the Wells Fargo Center this season and is just 7-14 in its last 21 regular-season outings as the host. Lavoy Allen scored 14 points for the Sixers, who were coming off a 105-96 home setback to Milwaukee on Monday, while Jrue Holiday totaled 12 points and seven assists.

Greg Monroe slams one home as the
Pistons finally win!
(image by H. Rumph, Jr./AP)

Boston 98, Utah 93
Paul Pierce scored a game-high 23 points and Jeff Green added 16 points off the bench as the Boston Celtics held on for a 98-93 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Celtics' point guard Rajon Rando extended his streak of games with 10-or-more assists to 32 despite leaving the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Rondo briefly went to the locker room before returning to the bench, but did not re-enter the game. Boston has won its last three games. Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson each notched double-doubles with Millsap scoring 20 points with 12 rebounds while Jefferson netted 13 points and pulled down 14 boards. Hayward, Derrick Favors and Williams each scored 14 for the Jazz, who had won two in a row entering the game.

Houston 100, New Orleans 96
James Harden scored 30 points to lead five Rockets in double figures, as Houston fended off a late rally to upend the New Orleans Hornets, 100-96, at Toyota Center. Omer Asik totaled 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Rockets, who led by as many as 21 but needed a late bucket by Chandler Parsons to close out their second win in three games. Parsons recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Greivis Vasquez paced the Hornets with a career-high 24 points, while Ryan Anderson chipped in 20 points and 12 boards off the bench. Anthony Davis, coming off his first career double-double in a win over Charlotte last Friday, was limited to eight points and four boards in his first road test.

Milwaukee 99, Indiana 85
Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis each posted 16 points and the Milwaukee Bucks dominated the Indiana Pacers, 99-85, at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Samuel Dalembert had 14 points and six rebounds while Tobias Harris added 11 points for the Bucks, who have won three of their last four games. Tyler Hansbrough had 17 points and five rebounds for the Pacers, who have dropped five of their past six games. Gerald Green scored 13 points and added six rebounds in the setback.

Charlotte 89, Minnesota 87
After squandering a 16-point lead, Kemba Walker saved the day for Charlotte, burying a game-winning jumper in the closing seconds to give the Bobcats an 89-87 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. After the T'Wolves used a 16-2 run to tie the game at 87-87, Walker brought the ball up the court and held for the final possession. He shook the defender with a magnificent cross-over to create space and drained the pull-up jumper to give the Bobcats the lead with 0.7 seconds remaining. For the game, Walker tallied 22 points, five assists, four steals and four rebounds for the Bobcats, who extended their winning streak to three with the victory. Byron Mullens posted his second double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds, while Ramon Sessions chipped in 18 points and six assists off the bench for Charlotte, which led the game wire-to-wire. Andrei Kirilenko posted a double-double for the injury-plagued Timberwolves. He scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the loss.

Memphis 107, Oklahoma City 97
Rudy Gay poured in 28 points and Zach Randolph continued his string of double-double performances as the Memphis Grizzlies came through with an impressive 107-97 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Randolph racked up 20 and 11 rebounds before being ejected with 2:05 left to record his seventh consecutive double-double to begin the season. More importantly, the Grizzlies registered their sixth straight win since opening the 2012-13 campaign with a road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Memphis overcame a 10- point deficit after one quarter and a 34-point outburst by reigning NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant to halt a five-game win streak by the defending Western Conference title-holders. Durant knocked down 12-of-21 shots and added 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, with Russell Westbrook amassing 17 points and 13 assists in defeat and Serge Ibaka posting 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting on the night.

Dallas 107, Washington 101
O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman combined for 48 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 107-101 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Mayo poured in a game-high 25 points and Kaman added 23 points and eight boards for the Mavericks, who snapped a three-game skid. Elton Brand scored 11 and grabbed 12 rebounds and rookie Jae Crowder added 12 points off the bench in the victory. Jordan Crawford scored 21 points and Kevin Seraphin added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Wizards, who fell to 0-7 on the season and are the only team in the NBA without a win.

Chicago 112, Phoenix 106 (OT)
Carlos Boozer posted 28 points and 14 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls took a 112-106 win in overtime against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. Joakim Noah had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while Luol Deng posted 21 points and five rebounds for the Bulls, who bounced back from a loss to Boston on Monday. Richard Hamilton had 15 points in the win. Luis Scola scored 24 points and added 14 rebounds and Sebastian Telfair gave 17 points for the Suns, who have dropped two of their last three. Michael Beasley and Goran Dragic each had 12 points in the loss.

Carlos Boozer tries to split the D as
the Bulls roll over Phoenix in OT.
(image by Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Golden State 92, Atlanta 88
Harrison Barnes recorded his first career double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds, sparking the Golden State Warriors to a 92-88 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Oracle Arena. David Lee scored 18 points with 10 boards and five assists for the Warriors, who overcame 23 turnovers by outscoring the Hawks, 46-20, in the paint. Stephen Curry totaled 12 points and seven assists to help Golden State snap a two-game slide. Lou Williams scored nine of his 18 points in the final 1:13, but it wasn't enough as Atlanta lost for the third time in four games. Josh Smith posted 16 points and 10 boards, while Ivan Johnson added 15 points in the loss. Atlanta, without the services of Al Horford (stomach illness), was beaten on the glass, 44-29.

LA Clippers 107, Miami 100
Jamal Crawford posted 22 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 107-100 win against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Blake Griffin had 20 points, 14 rebounds and six assists while Chris Paul added 16 points and 10 helpers for the Clippers, who have won their past four games. Caron Butler gave 15 points in the win. LeBron James posted 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Heat, who moved to 2-2 on a six-game road trip. Ray Allen added 14 points and five steals in the loss.

The Clippers are riding high on a 4-game winning streak
after beating the Miami Heat.
(image by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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