Around the Rim: Thunder rolling, Rubio dazzles

Thunder 108 Spurs 96:  Three games in three night was no problem for the Thunder as they became the first team to complete the sweep this season with a win over the Spurs.  Interesting note: six teams have played their back-to-back-to-back already this season and all six have won the third game.  Anyway, the Thunder broke it open in the third quarter where they outscored the Spurs 37-21 to take a 22-point lead.  And they made it look pretty easy too.

Kevin Durant led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds and only took nine shots.  Kevin Harden continued his strong play with 20 off the bench for the Thunder who have the best record in the West at 8-2.

Timberwolves 93 Wizards 72:  Ricky Rubio had his best game with 13 points and 12 assists and is looking more comfortable each game.  The Wizards are completely lost, still winless the season and it doesn’t look like that first win is right around the corner either.  Their offense is pitiful, shooting under 35% and only breaking 20 points in one quarter.  The days may be numbers for Flip Saunders.

Lakers 90 Grizzlies 82:  This was the definition of an ugly win.  The Lakers shot lights out for free quarters before getting ice cold in the fourth.  But the really trouble stat was the ridiculous 27 turnovers which nearly cost them the game.  Pau Gasol – 13 points and 12 rebounds – outdueled his brother Marc who missed all nine of his shots.  Kobe ‘only’ took 22 shots for his 26 points while Matt Barnes had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

LA could really use some practice time to fine tune Mike Brown’s offense but that’s not coming soon with five games over the next eight days.

Trail Blazers 98 Cavaliers 78: These two teams were stuck in slow motion in the first half before the Blazers finally woke up in the second half.  LaMarcus Aldridge continued to show why he should be on the all-star squad with 28 points while Wes Mathews chipped in with 24.  That’s the same number of turnover the Cavaliers had.  Kyrie Irving 21 points and four assists and is starting to shine in Byron Scott’s system.

Magic 104 Kings 97:  Dwight Howard was immediately in foul trouble and spent almost the entire first three quarters  on the bench.  But his teammates came to the rescue with five of them in double-digits including Jason Richardson with a season-high 22 in the victory.  Howard only played 20 minutes and didn’t even pull down a rebound until four minutes into the fourth.

This game was on a silver platter for the Kings to take but instead of attacking the paint with Howard on the pine, they settled for jumpers, hitting on just 3-of-20 from beyond the line.  Tyreke Evans had 20 points while Orlando’s Ryan Anderson had a good bounce back game with 19 points and 11 rebounds after an awful outing on Friday night against the Bulls.

Suns 109 Bucks 93:  The Suns have flat-out owned at home, having now beaten them 24 times in a row in Phoenix.  The Bucks were dog tried and the Suns just outran them with Steve Nash dishing out 17 assists and his team shooting 62% over the first three quarters.  The Bucks are really banged up but hope to get Andrew Bogut back this week.