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Three Stars of the Night: Digging the long ball

Dec 27, 2012, 1:07 AM EDT

James Harden AP

How important is the long ball to the modern NBA offense? If the season ended today, four teams would place in the all-time top-40 for best team 3-point percentage – the Spurs, Knicks, Thunder and Heat. The best offensive teams seem to manufacture plenty of looks from behind the arc, and in that spirit, we’re honoring some of the best individual 3-point displays from Wednesday night’s action. And James Harden, because, well, you’ll see. To the stars!

***

Dorell Wright – (28 points, 5-for-8 from 3)

It’s not easy to drop 28 points on the Grizzlies – it’s even tougher if you’re a perimeter player. Dorell Wright has been more down than up this year (he’s shooting 35 percent from the field on the season), but tonight he found his stroke when the 76ers needed it most. With Evan Turner scoring just a single point in 41 minutes of play and Jrue Holiday missing everything around the basket, Philadelphia got five huge 3-pointers from Wright and a few freebies from the line. The 76ers may not have very many consistent contributors offensively, but guys like Nick Young and Wright can heat up in a hurry.

Corey Brewer – (27 points in 24 minutes, 6-of-7 from 3)

Anytime you can tie a career-high for points in just 24 minutes, you’re doing something right. When he wasn’t cutting backdoor and baffling a Lakers defense that played both stupid and lazy, Brewer was spotting up in the corner to hit 6-of-7 from behind the arc. Brewer practically had enough time to check the weather on his spot-up attempts, but give him credit for knocking them down. Brewer’s 27-point scoring barrage spoiled a really strong offensive effort by the Lakers, but also epitomized all of the real struggles the Lakers have on the defensive side of the ball.

James Harden – (30 points, 15 of the last 17 in the 4th quarter)

This is exactly what you want from your star in a clutch situation – no 21-foot fadeaway garbage – just assertive drives straight to the front of the rim. Harden scored 15 of the last 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Rockets just by putting his head down and blowing past Minnesota’s big men to score in the paint. Whether it was in a pick-and-roll or in straight isolation, Minnesota had no answer for Harden’s aggressiveness off the bounce. This was the good kind of hero ball.

  1. somekat - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Lakers problems will last all year. Nash coming back will help them score more, but he won’t help defensively at all. They will put up enough points to beat bad and average teams, but are going to have trouble against good teams all year, or bad teams with good point guards

  2. dko83 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    DJ… please be the 3 stars writer all the time. Sick of seeing losing players that score 30 pts show up here while great WINNING performances get nothing.

    • danielcp0303 - Dec 27, 2012 at 2:59 AM

      James Harden is the only guy with 30 on the list, and he won

    • danielcp0303 - Dec 27, 2012 at 3:00 AM

      My fault, read it too fast. I apologize

  3. 00maltliquor - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    Hey guys, I know I’m late but Merry Christmas to everyone of you guys and all the “regulars” here and all the writers who make this site possible. Been tryna get over the early death of my sister and the holidays, loving life and going over memories. From my family to yours, have a blessed 2013. I love coming here and shootin the sh!t with all y’all. You to PH53 and the rest of you crazy nuts.

    DJ…keep ‘em coming. Best blogger on PBT. Go Lakers!

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 27, 2012 at 4:19 AM

      (And Go Rockets!)

  4. nbascreed - Dec 27, 2012 at 5:09 AM

    Harden is a unique case study…he doesn’t have a 21 foot fadeaway like Bron or Wade or Kobe b/c he doesn’t have that athelticism. What he does have is superior craftiness, ball handling and deceptive change of pace that allows him to get to the rim at will on almost any screen roll situation.

    ktgotgame.com

    • denverhoopdreams - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Shameless advertising.

  5. reedme16 - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    No Jared Dudley? 36points 5treys…

    • denverhoopdreams - Dec 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      You must not understand the point of the “Stars of the Night” articles. It’s not whoever goes and shoots lights out. There is more to it based on what I’ve seen the writers use…. which leads me to wonder why they wouldn’t take two stars from the Nuggets game and put in Ty Lawson. 14 assists 0 turnovers and 17 points? That’s IMPRESSIVE.

  6. rodyaugu - Dec 27, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    LBJ 27pts, 12reb, 8ast, 4steals, 2blocks

    • skizzy79 - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Lebron could be on here every night with his stat lines. This is the ~ three stars of the night other than LBJ award lol.

  7. thenmoveback - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    LBJ can’t be the ” star of the night” with those numbers, that’s what the man averages! MVP

  8. lemfaxx - Dec 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I Like this one…

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