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Baseline to Baseline recaps: Rockets, Celtics, Clippers get Christmas blowouts

Dec 26, 2012, 8:35 AM EST

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Welcome to PBT’s roundup of the day in NBA action. Or, what you missed while running to the store to buy more double-AA batteries for those Christmas toys….

Celtics 93, Nets 76: The Nets are not a good defensive team, rather they are prone to lapses, like the second quarter when Boston put up 34 points. And with Deron Williams and the rest of the Nets offense struggling — especially against a good defensive team like Boston — you get the kind of blowout loss where the team CEO tweets an apology to the fans afterwards. As for Boston, they looked good, something to build on heading into a road trip out West. We broke it down in detail in this story.

Lakers 100, Knicks 94: Don’t look now, but the Lakers have won five in a row. That felt like a mirage until this win, when you started to see how Steve Nash does space the floor and Pau Gasol can work in the system. As for the Knicks, teams are taking away the three — they shot better than 40 percent the first 20 games of the season, but just 31.2 percent the last five games and were just 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) in this one. We broke the game down in more detail with Brett Pollakoff who was on the scene.

Heat 103, Thunder 97: This well could be a finals preview, and if so can we start it tomorrow. The most spirited game on Christmas Day featured the two defending conference champions and the two teams to beat for those aspiring to the finals. It featured LeBron James and a near triple-double, while Kevin Durant dropped 34. But in the end the Heat defense still takes the Thunder offense out of its rhythm and that is just enough for them to hold on for a close win. We broke this game down as well.

Rockets 120, Bulls 97: With Derrick Rose out, the Chicago Bulls have almost no margin for error — if they don’t bring their best defensive effort all night they can get blown out. The Rockets did that, pushing the pace as much as they could (31 fast break points, although the Bulls did grind this down to pretty much a league average pace game overall). The Rockets attacked and had half their points (60) in the paint, compared to 32 for the Bulls. The Rockets started to pull away in the second quarter, when Jeremy Lin had 10 points, and by the third quarter this was a rout. Nate Robinson got it as close as 15 in the fourth, but there was to be no comeback. Houston’s Omer Asik had 20 points and 18 rebounds against the team that would not match the Rockets offer sheet for him last summer. James Harden had 26.

Clippers 112, Nuggets 100: That is 14 wins in a row for the Clippers and at 22-6 Los Angeles now has the best record in the NBA. Let the historic relevance of that sink in — the Clippers have the best record in the NBA. They did it with a monster 42-point second quarter where they cranked up the defense — Denver shot 33 percent and had five turnovers — and turned those into a dozen highlight-reel fastbreak points plus 26 points in the paint. The Clippers were up 19 at the half and it was all over save for a few more dunks. Jamal Crawford had 22 off the bench (including a great move), Matt Barnes had 20 and Chris Paul continues to be the best player nobody is watching because he controls the game but doesn’t put up crazy stat lines. He just wins.

  1. thekingdave - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    First mention of the Rockets game yesterday. Time to step it up Kurt and PBT.

  2. bleed4philly - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Westbrook was fouled!!!

    • miamatt - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Westbrook did get hit on the arm after his release. He also kicked his leg out into Wade in an attempt to draw a foul, and just as easily could have been called for an offensive foul.

      Watch the replay: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4CZ6G69LNY

      Again, I don’t disagree that Westbrook got hit, I’m just saying that he blatantly kicked his legs out, which is defined as an offensive foul. In a situation like that, where there is a scramble for a loose ball and both players go over the line a bit, I am fine with the refs letting ‘em play.

      • dko83 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        You are right, but remember that J Kidd 4 point play from a few weeks ago? Same thing. No consistency from refs.

  3. lemfaxx - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    I really like those uniforms.. Wish i can have one:)

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      I thought they all look like pajamas, but go to store.nba.com and you can buy one.

  4. mat9844 - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    BIG congrats to the Clippers team and Vinny for that great win – #14 !! Best record in the NBA. To quote Magic ‘It’s showtime again in L.A!’

  5. jerdogthompson - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Clippers are rolling on just about every team in the league. Don’t think the starters have touched the floor in the 4th in the last 5-6 games. Tough out for any team come playoffs.

  6. iowahbr - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    The really bad thing about last night was that Boozer is still a Bull and Omer is no longer a Bull. No matter how well Rose does in his return the Bulls will still be faced with Boozer get paid far more than he was ever worth and still being useless in the last 5 minutes of any tight game. Omer on the other hand looked like he had fianlly found a pair of hands on the end of his arms. The Bulls appear to be following the McCaskey spending script as it applies to the NBA.

  7. scalfor3 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    busta rhymes. what happened to you, man?

  8. miamatt - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I totally agree, I have no problem with these guys working out together- it likely makes them both better. And to those who argue that they go easy on each other or don’t compete hard enough, how does it go playing against your buddies in a pickup game? I know I try to kick my friends’ respective A$$e$, so I doubt it’s any different here.

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