Miami Heat 96, New Orleans 84
Not only are the Heat on a nine game winning streak, but they also haven’t had a game closer than 10 points during that stretch. Basically, they’re playing like they’re one of the best teams in basketball. Funny how that worked out, innit?
Memphis Grizzlies 86, Portland Trail Blazers 73
Portland has failed to top 80 points in their last two games, which wouldn’t be a problem if this was college basketball. However, nine point quarters — like, for instance, last night’s fourth — just won’t cut it. Nor will Brandon Roy playing 38 minutes with a fake leg while going 3-16. All bad.
Chicago Bulls 92, Indiana Pacers 73
So the Bulls have won six straight, haven’t given up more than 90 points during their last five games and are a top four defensive team in the NBA. It is almost like hiring a defense-first coach has paid off.
Milwaukee Bucks 103, Dallas Mavericks 99
Pretty weird that the Mavericks’ 12-game winning streak would come to an end at home after they built a 20 point second quarter lead. But it’s also pretty weird that DeShawn Stevenson is starting for a title contender while wearing No. 92, so you figure it out.
Utah Jazz 108, Golden State 95
Every Jazz starter was in double figures, except for Gordon Hayward. He had one point. Just one. I understand not wanting to be greedy around the holidays, but that’s a bit absurd.