1. NBA Bounce House
Love flashes his old form in Cavs’ win
Kevin Love scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 101-97 win over the Pacers. Although Love fell one rebound short of his first 20/20 game in nearly three years, it was a performance reminiscent of his heyday in Minnesota. Love had 16 games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds for the Timberwolves, including 11 during the 2010-11 season. No other NBA player has had a season with at least ten 20/20 games (points and rebounds) since Kevin Willis in 1991-92.
Kevin Durant led all players with 32 points in the Thunder’s 124-103 victory over the Suns. It was Oklahoma City’s second win by at least 20 points this season. The Thunder had only one such victory in their final 26 games last season, with Durant sidelined. Here’s a broader picture to put Durant’s value in perspective: OKC has won 33 of its last 50 games with Durant, eight by 20 points or more. In its last 50 games without Durant, Oklahoma City is barely above .500 (26-24), with only four wins by at least 20 points.
Hassan Whiteside blocked six shots to complement his 20 points and 11 rebounds in Miami’s 96-76 victory over Toronto. Whiteside ranks second in the NBA with 123 blocks since making his first start for the Heat on January 14. Only Rudy Gobert has blocked more shots than Whiteside during that time … and just barely (125).
Langston Galloway hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 2:00 to play that proved to be the game-winner, as the Knicks defeated the Lakers, 99-95. Galloway has now made seven of 12 field-goal attempts (2-for-2 this season) in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime and the game within five points.
2. Ice-Ice Baby
Bergeron leads Bruins to win over Isles
Patrice Bergeron assisted on the first goal and scored the second in the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Islanders. It was Bergeron’s third multiple-point game this season and in each of those games he recorded at least one goal and one assist. Bergeron played in 81 games for Boston last season but he had only three games in which he tallied both a goal and an assist.
John Klingberg took over the points leadership this season among NHL defensemen with a pair of assists in the Stars’ 4-1 win against the Red Wings. Klingberg is the second defenseman in Stars franchise history with 15 points in the team’s first 15 games of a season. The first was Craig Hartsburg, who scored three goals and was credited with 12 assists in the Minnesota North Stars’ first 15 games in 1987-88.
Kyle Palmieri scored a power play goal in overtime to earn the Devils a 4-3 win over the Canucks. It was the first time that the Devils won a home game on an overtime PPG since March 4, 2011, when Ilya Kovalchuk scored the winning goal against the Penguins. Palmieri’s overtime goal was the third of his NHL career and first for the Devils, but it wasn’t the first OT goal he scored at Prudential Center. His first overtime goal in the NHL gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Devils in Newark on Dec. 20, 2013.