• The Heat had success running the pick and roll against the Lakers, scoring almost a third of their points off that play without committing a turnover. The player setting the screen was the key to that succcess. The screeners were a combined 6-for-9 from the field, headed by 3-for-4 from Chris Bosh.
• Bosh got a different sort of results in this contest. Typically, he'll make one basket per game from two feet and in. In this game, he made seven shots from that close, more than double his previous best (three) with the Heat. The key to that: five offensive rebounds on Saturday.
Battle of the Big 3s
• Miami did an excellent job at limiting the Lakers in one-on-one situations. The Lakers entered averaging almost a point-per-play for each time they ran an isolation play. They ran 14 on Saturday, matching the number they typically run in a game, but scored just eight points.
• The Lakers could not make a shot from near the basket against the Heat defense. They entered the game shooting 63 percent from the field from inside five feet, but were just 19-for-39 (49 percent) from that range Saturday.
The keys to a few of the other Christmas wins ...
• With a two-point lead and under 45 seconds remaining, the Orlando Magic turned to J.J. Redick in an isolation situation. Redick responded by hitting a step back jumper, the biggest shot in a come-from-behind win over the Boston Celtics.
How rare was this for Redick?
Entering the Celtics game, the Magic had run just six isolation plays for Redick all season. He was 0-for-4 from the field, with his prior successes (three points scored) all coming at the free throw line.
• The New York Knicks utilized Mike D'Antoni's "seven seconds or less" style of offense style very effectively in their win over the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks shot 64 percent from the field and were 7-for-12 from 3-point range on possessions lasting seven seconds or less.
The Knicks also prevented Derrick Rose from having a difference-maker sort of game on the offensive end. The Knicks blocked four of his shots in the first quarter and blocked six of his shots for the game (21.5 percent of his shots overall). Rose entered the game only having 7.1 percent of his field goal attempts blocked. The extra blocks helped contribute to a bad shooting day from in-close for Rose. He was 5-for-18 from 10 feet or closer.
LeBron James may have had the better day, with a triple-double against the Lakers, but Durant caught him in one regard. Durant scored 21 points in the third quarter, tied for the second-most points by anyone in any quarter for either the Thunder or Supersonics in the last 20 seasons (Ray Allen had 22 points in the fourth quarter on January 23, 2007 vs the Nuggets).
Durant's 44 points gave him 13 career games of 40 or more. His nine in the last two seasons match James and Kobe Bryant for most in the NBA.