Feb 27, 2013, 1:44 AM EDT
No one really remembers the numbers guys get in losing efforts. Those numbers usually seem hollow; they come off as not worthy of mention. Tonight, though, we honor those guys who put up big numbers in a losing effort. Because as those guys showed out and did their best to help their team win, they didn’t get enough help to make it happen.
So, a sincere apology to LeBron James (40 points, 16 assists, 8 rebounds), Dwyane Wade (39 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists), and Deron Williams (33 points, 8 assists), but tonight we’re going in a different direction for Three Stars. Tonight, we’re looking at the guys who didn’t get enough help and had great nights in losing efforts. Let’s get to it…
Third Star: Marcus Thornton (36 points, 8 made three pointers, 3 assists)
There’s a reason this guy’s nickname is buckets. When Thornton has it going, he can knock down shots from all over the floor and light up the scoreboard in the process. Against the Heat, Thornton did just that, hitting long range shot after long range shot to help keep the Kings close throughout the game. Without his 30 points in regulation there’s no way this game even goes to overtime, much less a 2nd OT. So, while LeBron and Wade will get the big honors in all the highlights, bravo to Thornton who carried a Kings bench that only managed 6 additional points to his 36 on the night.
Second Star: Dirk Nowitzki (21 points, 20 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals)
Lately Dirk has really been playing well. In fact, this is his 2nd straight excellent game in a losing effort (his 30 and 13 against the Lakers was fantastic). Against the Bucks, Dirk did everything he could to lead his team to the win. He hit shots from all over the floor against very good defense, got the foul line, and was a beast on the boards. It just wasn’t in the cards for the big German, however, as the Bucks proved to be too much to overcome down the stretch of the game. Dirk did get some good help from O.J. Mayo and Elton Brand, but the rest of the team was a bit too inconsistent, especially on defense.
First Star: Stephen Curry (38 points, 7 made three pointers, 4 assists, 3 steals)
Curry’s night will likely be remembered for how he rushed Roy Hibbert as part of the Warriors/Pacers scuffle and that’s a shame considering how well he was playing before that all went down. Curry played like the best player on the floor in this game, shaking free from every defender the Pacers sent his way and hitting some fantastic shots in the process. Long range bombs, mid range pull ups, and even a nice finish at the basket were all part of his arsenal tonight, but it just wasn’t enough. It made for some great highlight’s though.
- Pacers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with Game 6 win over Knicks 12
- Roy Hibbert with the monster block on a dunk attempt from Carmelo Anthony (VIDEO) 13
- Nate Robinson unlikely to return to Bulls next season 11
- Preview: Knicks try to continue longshot comeback in Indiana 7
- George Hill cleared to play for Pacers in Game 6 vs. Knicks 10
- Knicks predictably drop Game 4 to Pacers, fall behind 3-1 (93)
- LeBron James shrugs off claims he’s a flopper (64)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (64)
- Seattle group releases statement; forced to wait, hope for expansion (63)
- Bad shooting night for Bulls dooms them in game Game 4. And series. (62)
- Oxbow upsets Orb in Preakness
- PBT: Pacers top Knicks, punch ticket to conf. finals
- MST: Carpenter wins pole for 97th Indianapolis 500
- PHT: Couture strikes in OT, lifting Sharks in Game 3
- PHT: Red Wings even up series with Blackhawks
- PBT: Pacers may not have Hill for Game 6
- PHT: No surgery needed for Staal after brutal hit
- Play Video: Grizzlies ready for 'running' Spurs
- Play Video: Durant won't 'compromise himself' like other stars
- Play Video: Knicks avoid elimination
- Play Video: Heat finish off Bulls, James 'has no energy left'
- Play Video: Health woes make Heat vulnerable
- Play Video: Good news for Sacramento, Kings stay