The NBA Roundup: December 27, 2013

Two days after Christmas (in Manila, at least), hoop nuts everywhere were treated to an entertaining set of games in the NBA. And, thank God, those insane sleeved jerseys weren’t anywhere on the hardwood. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?

Today, Jeff Teague outdueled Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers continued to roll, Danny Green hit all five of his threes as SAS beat Dallas, and James Harden booked a place in the history books after scoring 27 points on the strength of… 2 field goals.

Jeff Teague stepped up big time as ATL escaped Cleveland.
(image by Tony Dejak/AP)

The Best:
  • Jeff Teague shot 14/24 from the field, including the game-winning jumper in the second overtime, to finish with 34 points as the Atlanta Hawks handed the Cleveland Cavaliers their 18th loss of the season. Teague also handed out 14 assists and stole the ball thrice as he dueled with Kyrie Irving, who finished with 40 points and 9 assists.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge remained a strong contender for early season MVP (unfortunately, there is no such award), racking up 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists as Rip City hosted and beat the Clippers, 116-112. This result gave the Blazers the best record in the league at 24-5.
  • Danny Green flashed the form that made him the best shooter in the 2013 NBA Finals (till Ray Allen hit that dagger, of course) in this encounter against state rival Dallas. Green shot 5/5 from beyond the arc and 7/7 overall from the field to finish with 22 points in just 27 minutes of play. He also added 3 steals and 2 assists as the Spurs rebounded form the painful home loss to the Rockets on Christmas Day.

The Worst:
  • Shawn Marion struggled from the field against a determined San Antonio squad. The Matrix shot 1/9 from the floor, ending up with just 5 points in 28 minutes of play. as a result, the Mavericks fell to 16-13, which is good enough for eight spot in the West. They are just a game ahead of Denver, which is sitting at ninth place.
  • Irving was stellar in terms of getting the ball in the basket against the Hawks, but he didn’t do a bang-up job of taking care of the rock. Irving is currently norming about 3 turnovers per outing, but he doubled that in this game, coughing up the spheroid 6 times.

The Weird:
  • James Harden scoring 27 points? Not surprising. James Harden doing it after going just 2/9 from the field? WTH?! Harden was ultra-aggressive here, so much so that he was awarded with (drumroll, please) 25 free throws. He made 22 of those, which explains the weirdness of scoring 27 markers on just 2 field goals.
James Harden rises against three Grizzlies.
(image by Bob Levey/AP)

Final Score: Atlanta 127, Cleveland 125 (2-OT)
Cleveland, OH ( - Jeff Teague scored 34 points, including the game-winner as time expired to give the Atlanta Hawks a 127-125 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in double overtime from Quicken Loans Arena. Atlanta had the ball with 21.7 seconds left when Teague dribbled out the clock for the final shot. He gained separation from Kyrie Irving on the drive, hoisted up a 20-foot jumper that hit the rim five times and rattled in for the victory. Teague also finished with 14 assists in the win, Atlanta's third straight over Cleveland. Al Horford had 25 points, while Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap contributed 20 points apiece for the Hawks. Irving, who was held scoreless in a 108-89 loss at Atlanta on Dec. 6, paced all scorers with 40 points, including 16 in the overtime sessions. Tristan Thompson added 22 points and Dion Waiters returned from a three-game hiatus due to right wrist tendonitis with 20 points off the bench.

Final Score: Houston 100, Memphis 92
Houston, TX ( - James Harden scored 27 points despite making just two field goals and the Houston Rockets used a big fourth-quarter run to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-92 on Thursday. The Rockets made a 19-4 run with Dwight Howard on the bench, turning a 76-66 deficit into an 85-80 lead with 5 1/2 minutes remaining. Jeremy Lin scored 10 of his 18 points during the surge, the last two on an over-the-shoulder layup after dribbling the length of the court. Terrence Jones had 20 points and Chandler Parsons scored 15 with 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who were coming off a 13-point win over Southwest Division- leading San Antonio in a Christmas Day road game. Zach Randolph scored 23 points with 17 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. They lost for the third time in their last nine road games.

Final Score: San Antonio 116, Dallas 107
Dallas, TX ( - Tony Parker scored 23 points and Tim Duncan added 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 116-107 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Danny Green finished with 22 points off the bench while Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Spurs, winners in four of their last six games. Dirk Nowitzki led five Dallas scorers in double figures with 25 points and Monta Ellis finished with 23 points and six assists. Vince Carter chipped in with 20 points on 11-of-11 shooting from the free throw line and DeJuan Blair turned in a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, losers in three of their last four tilts.

Final Score: Portland 116, LA Clippers 112 (OT)
Portland, OR ( - Nicolas Batum hit a clutch 3-pointer near the end of regulation to extend the game, and the Portland Trail Blazers scored eight of the final 11 points in overtime to pull out a 116-112 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. LaMarcus Aldridge filled the box score with 32 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while Batum and Wesley Matthews each finished with 19 points for the Blazers, who have won seven of their last eight games. Chris Paul missed a potential game-winner at the end of regulation, spoiling an otherwise stellar 34-point, 16-assist performance. Blake Griffin, who was unjustifiably ejected in Wednesday's Christmas Day loss to the Warriors, bounced back with a monster 35-point, 11-rebound effort. Jamal Crawford added 21 points in the setback, LA's second straight on the heels of a five-game winning streak.


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