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Recap | Box score
Most Valuable Player: David Lee had a eerily quiet but extremely effective night with 31 points (13-for-15 FG), nine rebounds and six assists. For one night, we'll forget about his inauspiciousness on the defensive end.
LVP: After his impressive performance last Saturday night, Harrison Barnes was invisible. Two points on 1-for-7 shooting, Barnes only played 17 minutes as Mark Jackson favored the likes of Jarrett Jack and Draymond Green.
Defining Moment: With 3.4 seconds left Jarrett Jack fouled Andre Iguodala from just outside the three-point line. Iggy was in the act of shooting according to the zebras, but proceeded to miss his last free throw.
Recap | Box score
MVP: LeBron James. The best basketball player on the planet stepped up late when the game called for it. James finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Defining moment: Once Gary Neal hit a 3-pointer to put the Spurs up five points late in the fourth quarter, James took over and showed why stars are important. The Spurs were on par for 46 minutes of this game, but LeBron owned the final two.
That was ... exciting: We'll hear a lot more about this game over the next 24-36 hours, but it couldn't have been more different from what everyone expected when we heard the Spurs' starters were headed home. David Stern's threats may have added fuel to the fire.
Spurs-Heat: Far From Finished Products
The nice thing about being a bona fide contender is that you can try more stuff. When you know you're going to be winning 55 to 60 games pretty much no matter what, the regular season can be more an experimental lab to learn new things about your team and try difference concepts, and see what works.
Right now, no two teams are more emblematic of that than the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. My preseason picks to win the East and West respectively, these clubs are a combined 23-6; Miami owns the best record in the East, and San Antonio is nearly the best in the West. (Although San Antonio trails in its own division, and Miami leads its division by only a game now that the Atlanta Hawks are working on the least impressive six-game winning streak in sports history.)
Yet subjectively, it seems neither team has played anywhere close to its peak. The Spurs and Heat are just fourth and fifth in the Power Rankings, for instance, and each has had a few red-flag games. San Antonio was crushed by the Clippers -- in fact these two teams are a combined 0-3 against the Clips -- while Miami has had one-sided losses to both the Grizzlies and Knicks.
Rookie Watch: November's Best
Damian Lillard has been the best rookie who has played full-time since Day 1. Sure, he was awful in a recent outing in Detroit in which he missed his first 11 shots. But those 11 attempts were mostly good or great looks that he just didn't finish.
Blazers fans and execs have to be smiling after watching him respond to such a poor start in that game. Lillard, who is making 56 percent of his driving shots when he ends up in the paint, kept attacking.
He also poured in a relatively quick seven points in the fourth quarter when the game was still in question. He did not let the bad start affect his future decisions, which is a very veteran thing to do.
NBA Video Channel
Bosh Admires Duncan
MIAMI -- Chris Bosh was simply trying to respect his elder. He meant no offense to Tim Duncan -- certainly not with a low-post matchup looming Thursday against arguably the greatest power forward in NBA history, when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Heat.
Bosh, 28, only wanted to make it clear that a reporter's assertion was inaccurate when it was suggested that the Heat center and Texas native was probably a teenager when he started to admire Duncan's impact on the NBA game.
"Not to make [Duncan] feel old, but I might not have been a teenager," Bosh shot back. "I might have been a preteen. But he's been one of my favorite players growing up."
As one of the top high school players in the nation out of Dallas, Bosh once modeled parts of his game after Duncan during his initial seasons with the Spurs. Now Bosh yet again is faced with the challenge of trying to stop those same lethal low-post moves he emulated on his way to the NBA.
Rondo Gets Two-Game Ban
Rajon Rondo has been suspended for two games for his involvement in Wednesday's fight with the Nets, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on WEEI sports radio in Boston.
Brooklyn general manager Billy King said no Nets players were suspended, but small forward Gerald Wallace was fined $35,000 for his actions.
After Nets forward Kris Humphries delivered a foul that sent Kevin Garnett crashing hard onto his back in the second quarter, Rondo immediately confronted Humphries, delivering a two-handed shove.
The two then got tangled, with Rondo the aggressor, and the shoving spilled into the stands beneath the basket in front of the Celtics' bench. Players and coaches from both teams rushed onto the court, with security and team personnel trying to defuse the situation.