NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: DeRozan dunks on Detroit


NBA results, March 8, 2018

Utah Jazz 104 – Indiana Pacers 84

Toronto Raptors 121 – Detroit Pistons 119

Chicago Bulls 119 – Memphis Grizzlies 110

Houston Rockets 110 – Milwaukee Bucks 99

New Orleans Pelicans 114 – Sacramento Kings 101

Cleveland Cavaliers 113 – Denver Nuggets 108

LA Lakers 108 – Orlando Magic 107

Three things that happened in the NBA today

1. DeMar DeRozan submits Dunk of the Year entry

The Detroit Pistons led the Toronto Raptors by one point with less than 10 seconds left in the game. The ball was inbounded to DeMar DeRozan and screens were set for him to get free in the back court. He saw an opening and never took his eyes off the hoop.

DeRozan drove straight to the basket from half court, jumped from the dotted line and delivered a two-handed hammer on poor Anthony Tolliver. The ball ripped through the hoop, and-one to give the Raptors a two-point lead. Just watch the savagery of that dunk:

Unfortunately, the Pistons were able to tie the game and send it into overtime robbing everyone of a dramatic finish with that dunk. It didn’t matter to DeRozan. He came up big in the extra period to lead the Raptors to a win.

Ironically, DeRozan found himself in the same situation in OT. He drove to the hoop from half court once again. But this time the path to the basket was blanketed by three Pistons. So DeRozan dished off to Fred Van Vleet for the dagger three-pointer. DeRozan finished the game with 42 points as the Raptors won their sixth straight game.

I think this sums up DeRozan’s dunk perfectly.

2. LeBron James ends Denver

LeBron James closed out the Denver Nuggets with absolute impunity. He just delivered dagger after dagger after dagger taking the life from the Nuggets.

With 1:12 left in the game, the Cleveland Cavaliers were only up by two points. James used a JR Smith screen, got free and launched a three-pointer that splashed through.

But the Nuggets kept coming. They cut the deficit down to just three-points with 46 seconds left in the game. James needed to drive another dagger and he did. He drove to the left side of the court and hit a high-arching fadeaway J that hit nothing but net.

But the game wasn’t over. Denver had some more fight in them. James decided to just slit their throats to get the win. With less than 20 seconds left in the game, the King got to the left side of the court and hit the almost the same high-looping fadeaway. Money. The Nuggets were done.

Watch it all here:

3. Bizarre finish gives Lakers the win

After Brook Lopez sank two clutch free-throws, the LA Lakers were up by one point with 0.6 left on the game clock. There was still enough time for the Orlando Magic to design a lob play for the win.

But the clock operator in LA got trigger happy and started the clock as soon as the ball was inbounded, not when the ball was touched in play. That meant the clock went off early robbing the Magic a chance to make a basket.

To make matters worse, the officials decided that because of the error a jump ball had to be called. With 0.6 left on the clock, there was no way the Magic would be able to get a shot off in that scenario.

That’s why the Magic are up in arms. They feel cheated and that the game was given to the Lakers based on what happened.

NBA Officials Crew Chief Bill Spooner explained the jump ball:

“The rule is 13E-9-2. And anytime there is either an inadvertent whistle and/or a horn when the ball is in the air, there’s no possession and we go center circle, jump ball.”

But that doesn’t help ease the pain of a tough loss. Aaron Gordon was upset after the game:

“They gave them the game. For the most part, the referees did a good job throughout the game. Just down that stretch, it’s bad.”

Did an NBA superstar get ejected?

Yes. Serge Ibaka was ejected after picking up two technical fouls. The second technical foul was called as he was heading back to the bench after a foul was called on him. He left the game in the second quarter.

Photo from Getty Images