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Thursday night NBA grades: Any more questions for LaMarcus Aldridge? Didn’t think so.

Dec 13, 2013, 2:50 AM EDT

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

Our quick look around the association on a busy Thursday night, or what you missed while worrying about what could happen to Santa’s home due to global warming

source:  LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers. I’ve been saying he is the best power forward in the game all season (yes, better than Kevin Love) and he showed it — 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting, plus 25 rebounds in the win over Houston. The list of guys who have done that in the last 30 years has only a handful of names like Barkley and Olajuwon. Actually, Aldridge shot 1-of-8 to start the game but was 11-14 the rest of the way, and  had 9 points and 7 boards in the fourth quarter when the Blazers took a tie game and pulled away for the win. Amazingly Aldridge did most of that damage from the outside — he was 3-of-8 inside 8 feet but 9-of-14 from the midrange. The Blazers may be a jump shooting team but when they hit the watch out — just like Aldridge.

source:   Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets. He had 32 points and 17 rebounds, which most nights make you the player of the game. He had 12 of those points in the fourth quarter and the Rockets tried to mount a few comebacks (Howard, as well as James Harden, were on the bench for the Blazers 10-0 run to start the quarter that really decided the game), and they got within a bucket but couldn’t get over the hump. Howard was also 4-of-6 from the free throw line and had three blocks.

source:   Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets. For the past couple seasons Williams has hobbled around while Chris Paul has carried the “best point guard in the game” mantle. These two used to have a rivalry and on Thursday night D-Will rekindled it. Williams owned the end of the second quarter when the Nets took control of the game, putting up 12 points in less than 6 minutes. His overall numbers may not impress — 15 points and 4 assists — but he put Paul on skates a couple times and rested the fourth quarter of an easy win. He looked like the D-Will Brooklyn needs.

source:   Jared Dudley, Los Angeles Clippers. Before the season I was very high on the Clippers signing of Jared Dudley — he had a better career three point percentage than J.J. Redick, smart team defender, good glue player who can do everything. But not lately. Dudley was 1-of-7 in this game and is now shooting 34 percent overall and 22.2 percent from three in the Clippers last nine games. Not good enough, especially with them counting on him to step up from three with Redick out. Dudley knows he isn’t playing well. That said, expect him to turn it around, the guy can shoot.

  1. davidly - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:08 AM

    Oh, come on, Kurt! You don’t give Dudley a D! Just ignore when he’s not playing well. He’s too nice a guy. My feelings are hurt for him.

  2. Craig W. - Dec 13, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    Howard may have had a monster scoring game, but his stats don’t tell the story. Portland let Lopez handle him one-on-one to make sure everyone else was covered. What that did was not only destroy Houston’s ball movement, but it also impacted their 3pt rhythm. This is how a good club will attack Houston. Howard will get his, but the club will lose the game.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:44 AM

      Howard also had a goaltend at the end of the game and allowed an and 1 to seal the game..he cant pass or create his own shot very well..plus hes not a last shot taker since hes a center..

      Hes gonna have ro be dominant to get a ring, and i dont think hes that good

    • au1978 - Dec 13, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Clearly you and the folks who are thumbs upping you have no clue what you’re talking about. Howard scored over 30 points in the first win over Portland, which was by 15 points. And did you even really watch the game last night? Houston’s poor ball movement had more to do with their desire to play hero ball, NOT with getting the ball into the post. Howard and Harden were the only ones who really showed up. The 3 point shooting was horrible. A couple more of those shots from Garcia and Casspi and it would have been a totally different outcome.

    • theromeo2k - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Indeed. That’s part of why Shaq has always demanded more of Howard. He needs to dominate in such that he puts up 35+ points in every game and collect 20+ rebs in order for the Rockets to win consistently.

  3. 00maltliquor - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:50 AM

    I don’t have anymore questions for Aldridge THIS year because he’s rebounding at a very good rate this year, whereas previously that would have been my knock on him. So yes, I am satisfied.

  4. mrlaloosh - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Hey CP-Me, how does that taste? DWill.

  5. valeb2012 - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    You forgot to list Kevin Love who had a 30-30 game. Just FYI.

    • bougin89 - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      Kevin Love had a 30-30 game Thursday night?

  6. valeb2012 - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Oh yeah, forgot, Love has way more 30-20 games, 20-20 games, never mind. It’s not even close.

  7. lebronsinsecurity - Dec 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Not taking anything away from LMA – he deserves all the adulations he is receiving, but Kurt seems to be suffering from the plague of confirmation-bias. Keep saying he is the best PF in the game, when someone/something happens that calls that into question, stay quiet, don’t acknowledge it. When an instance occurs that validates the original perspective, SPEAK UP. It’s such a circular logic, which inevitably leads nowhere. Too many factors play a role in a team sport, that taking one piece of a whole and judging it by taking another piece of another whole, blurs the actual reality.

    If the separation between A & B is not grand enough for everyone to see, labeling someone the “best” is so subjective it loses all meaning.

  8. money2long - Dec 13, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    yea that’s why i suggested the world let him start the all star game. if only portland had more games on tv..

  9. blazenhawks - Dec 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    Paul Allen has to be so happy right now! His 2 teams he owns are the best in the League. The Seahawks and the Blazers! GO Hawks and RipCity

  10. antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    The list of guys who have done that in the last 30 years has only a handful of names like Barkley and Olajuwon.

    It also has names like Lorenzen Wright, Charles Oakley, Zach Randolph & Kevin Willis. Chris Webber had 51 points and 26 rebounds.

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