Starting 5: If you can’t stand the heat…


Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: … Get out of the kitchen

Matt York/AP Photo/Yahoo!The Cleveland Cavaliers built a 24-point lead in the first half and seemed to have easy sailing to a victory. The dynamic backcourt duo of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Waiters had 23 points and Irving had 17 points. it should have been easy and should have been simple.

Not so fast my friend.

The Suns mounted a furious comeback, taking their first lead with 8:43 left in the game. Goran Dragic was a big part of the charge scoring 26 points and dishing out four assists. The Suns took advantage of 21 Cavaliers turnovers in the comeback and got 22 more points from Shannon Brown off the bench.

Cleveland still has a lot of growing to do to get into Playoff contention like the team wants. This is one thing that needs to get shored up. Anderson Varejao had a great game with 14 points and 10 rebounds but despite his newfound jumper, he is taking it at the wrong time. Varejao jumpers late in the game are probably not what Byron Scott has in mind for late-game execution.

The Suns got the ball to the right people. That would be Dragic, Shannon Brown and Michael Beasley for this game. Particularly Dragic and Brown who carried this Suns team to a pretty big and emotional win. And the Cavaliers have to be left thinking they let a road win get away. One that might matter later.

2: All is well in L.A.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images/ZimbioIt was a day of turmoil for the Lakers. Mike Brown was fired in the afternoon and Bernie Bickerstaff took over as the interim coach a few hours before tip off. Not only that, the dysfunction threatened to cost the Lakers another loss.

Sometimes a new voice really really matters.

The Lakers took a double digit lead early and cruised to a 101-77 victory over the Warriors. Kobe Bryant scored 27 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out seven assists. The offense worked even when the team shot 40.0 percent from the floor.

More importantly, the defense picked up and did its job, suggesting that there might be a turnaround occurring in L.A. At least for one night.


Chase Budinger tops Pacers

Biedrins school of free throw shooting

Toko Shengelia throws it down

4: Line of the Night: LeBron James 21 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists

Another evening, another near-LeBron James triple double. This is getting to be pertty normal. Honestly, you could not get  one more assist LeBron? Really? I mean your go-ahead shot in the fourth quarter to defeat the Hawks 95-89 is good enough I guess. Give you the benefit of the doubt, LeBron… just this once.

5:  You can quote me on that

I know a team never wants to give up an easy basket, but in that type of situation I feel like you should just wrap a guy up instead of pushing him or fouling him hard when he's in the air. Freak accidents happen. I was just trying to protect my teammate. I didn't think I was going to get kicked out for it. The way he fell, I didn't know if he was hurt or anything like that. My mind was just to run over there toward him and move everybody else out of the way.

Brandon Jennings on a late foul Bradley Beal made on Monta Ellis at the end of the game

J.R. is by far the most athletic guy on our team. We have two guys who can get a shot off at any time and bail you out of trouble, especially when you’re in a slump. J.R. did that.

Jason Kidd after J.R. Smith scored 22 points off the bench as the Knicks remained undefeated

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily