Starting 5: The defense rests

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

1: Only One D in Texas

DailyJournal.netThe Spurs have not been a defensive-minded team for a few years now. Gregg Popovich has successfully turned his team from a defensive, half-court team to one that gets up the floor and can score in a variety of ways — using the 3-pointer as much as the hedged screen and roll (OK, there is no defensive equivalent to a 3-pointer as far as efficiency goes).

When San Antonio and Houston get together you expect a little bit of defense. Then again, Lin-sanity can change things. As can Tony Parker. Dallas was the only team with a "D" in Texas this evening.

Parker recorded his first career triple double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Jeremy Lin turned back the clock to March with a season-high 38 points and seven assists. Gary Neal had 29 points on 11-for-18 shooting. The two teams combined for 240 points in regulation.

So, of course the thing went to overtime. Where experience won and the Spurs won 134-126 in a crazy overtime game at Toyota Center in Houston.

These are the kinds of games showmen love to sell… even with James Harden out with a sprained ankle. Just fun, up and down basketball. San Antonio shot 14 of 30 from beyond the arc and Houston hit 16 of 30 3-pointers. That has the makings of a fun, high-scoring game.

Good way to start the week, right?

2: Hawks come crashing down

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/ZimbioIn the Eastern Conference, no team may have been "hotter" coming into Monday than the Hawks. The surprising Hawks knew they were taking a step back after trading Joe Johnson but this is not what they expected from a team of expiring contracts (solid players though they may be) was not supposed to make the Heat sweat.

Monday, Atlanta did not do that.

The Hawks shot only 42.7 percent from the floor and only 9 for 28 from beyond the arc. Josh Smith needed 7-for-18 shooting to score 22 points and Miami did what Miami does to "pretenders" in a 101-92 win at American Airlines Arena.

The Heat put on an offensive performance in shooting 58.2 percent from the floor and getting 27 points from LeBron James and 26 points from Dwyane Wade. When the Heat are focused and dialed in, they are still the championship team everyone is waiting to see on a nightly basis. Miami wanted to play that way in this game to make up for some lackadaisical performances.

Does this put Atlanta in its place? Not quite yet. The Hawks are still a team that is playing well jsut not at championship-Heat level.

3:  HIGHLIGHTS!!!

Amir Johnson gets ejected, just because

http://youtube.com/watch?v=3IGJAhbUEag

Jrue Holiday goes one way, Brandon Knight goes the opposite way

http://youtube.com/watch?v=7zXxRTlqXjQ

Curry, stirred and shaken

4: Line of the Night: Tony Parker — 27 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists

It is extremely hard to believe that this is the first time Tony Parker has recorded a triple double. Parker has been a passing savant in his time with San Antonio and his scoring has increased as Gregg Popovich has turned the offense to him and asked him to bring some of his national team dominance to the game. Parker has responded appropriately in the last two-plus seasons. But for a point guard of his caliber to go 11 years before recording his first triple double seems a bit unreal. Maybe it took a crazy offensive outing to finally make things right.

5:  You can quote me on that

Man, that guy has mental issues. He’s a talented player. He has an opportunity to be the face of the organization, but I don’t think he wants it.

-Dallas guard O.J. Mayo after Sacramento forward DeMarcus Cousins hit him in his lower body

When I was his age, I would tell you that it didn't mean anything, but in the back of my mind, I was trying to go murder my home team.

-Warriors coach Mark Jackson on Stephen Curry returning to North Carolina

Philip Rossman-Reich

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

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