98 to 94 LOSS to the historically ascendant Miami Heat.
So here’s the question, can your best game of year be a frustrating loss? Can the play of the season be a phyrric (and beautiful) dribble drive and dunk? Even when the same player (Holiday) makes the game losing turnover on the the next possession?
When your record stands 24 – 40 , I propose that it can.
With the Heat poised to become just the 4th team in the entire history of NBA basketball to win 20 consecutive games. Tied with a minute to go, a nail-biting, forehead slapping loss is probably as good as it gets.
Let’s conduct a completely arbitray ranking of the other best game contenders….
#4: A 103 to 99 win over the LA Lakers
1) Beating Kobe Bryant
2) Holiday and Turner, in the midst of their mutually strongest stretch, looking like a for-real NBA backcourt. combined for 48pts/15rebs/15asts. How bittersweet this brief, brief, moment….
3) This dunk
4) beating Kobe Bryant
Cons: Lakers were playing horribly. This started a stretch of 6 straight losses and 10 losses in 12 games (in which they also lost to the Toronto Raptors), there bleakest stretch of the season.
#3: A 95 to 94 OVERTIME WIN against the Boston Celtics
1) Beating Boston
2) Evan Turner leading the team to victory in place of a fouled-out Jrue Holiday
3) resucitatation the Sam Cassell big balls dance.
4)The gut punch/counter-gut punch/counter-counter-gut punch finish
Cons: 1) Boston wasn’t that good 2) Total brick fight (37%shooting, 19% from three) 3) a gajillion missed game winners by both sides.
#2 A 103 to 100 LOSS to the Memphis Grizzlies
1)A wildly entertaining game between 2 teams playing good basketball. Both teams shoot over 54% from the field
2) the amazingly dissonant fat guy/skinny guy battle between Zach Randolph and Thad Young (Thad won)
3) Kwame Brown recieves a standing ovation (what!) after his 11 minutes of banging, salald-tongs-for-handsb basketball gets the Sixers back in the game
Cons: They lost.
Those are the contenders. But I, for one, am taking this.
#1 A 98 to 94 LOSS to the Miami Heat
Jrue Holiday’s triple crossover drive past three defenders and dunk past a contesting Lebron James to tie the game with a minute to play.
(Though we would be remiss not to mention Lebron James first half dunk-a-thon, culminating with this double pump reverse…)
But, to re-iterate, Miami was going for it’s 20th win in a row, had taken a 10 point lead in the 4th, before a Jrue Holiday/Dorell WRight onslaught turned the game into last minute gut check.
That the game was sealed when Spencer Hawes blew a last second bunny, (when he opted not to dunk the basketball while standing alone beneath the rim, but instead try an awkward banked lay-in caromed 4 feet up the backboard), somehow made the loss more familiar and comforting.
like an old, well loved, pair of shoes.
18 more to go.