By Sam Rubenstein

Today is the final D.A.Y. before we head into our Thanksgiving break. I’ll be hanging out with my girlfriend’s family, and if history repeats itself, I am going to dominate the Scrabble board with ruthless efficiency. I take no prisoners. Speaking of someone that takes no prisoners…

LA LAKERS 105 LA CLIPPERS 101
The Kobe we’re used to seeing returned, and he finally broke 40 points in the #24 jersey, so he doesn’t have to do the old Jordan switch back from #45 to #23 for good luck. The Lakers were playing well enough against their roommates, but coughed up a 13 point lead when they couldn’t hit a shot late in the third and for most of the fourth. Kobe, who came out hotasapistol at the start of the game with 20 in the first quarter on 7 of 11 shooting, re-ignited down the stretch, with some typically impressive fireworks, scoring 10 in the fourth. Other Lakers contributed, for example Lamar Odom had 18 and 6 and Kwame grabbed 14 boards (it’s true, I triple checked. I wouldn’t have believed that either). Elton Brand did what he could, racking up 20 and 15, and Luke Walton received a hug/choke (pictured on the left) hold for helping out with a layup that put the game out of reach. But this game was about the Mamba. 40 points on 12 of 23 shooting, and 15 of 18 from the line. 5 boards, 5 assists, 3 steals, one turnover. He’s back.

DENVER 113 CHICAGO 109
Something is wrong with the Chicago Bulls. That being said, the Nuggets were clearly the better team on this night, and down the stretch J.R. Smith made some big plays that you must have seen on all the highlight shows by now. George Karl had this to say about JR “There are times that he does what we want. Other times he seems like he’s asleep.” You still got it, Georgie boy. Carmelo had a chance to have his seventh straight 30 point game, breaking Alex English’s club record. But he choked at the fre throw line on two otherwise meaningless free throws and had to settle for a lowly 29. Ten turnovers for Melo by the way, but who’s counting? J.R. was electric, scoring 36 and even hitting 5 threes along the way. Is he the three point shooter the Nuggets have been desperate for ever since they drafted Melo? I hope not, cause that isn’t his game. Why am I creating arguments with myself? Hinrich led the Bulls with 28 and 8, Ben Wallace had 16 boards, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, and the Bulls are in last place in their division.

INDIANA 93 MILWAUKEE 88
The Pacers closed out the Bucks with a 14-0 run, and since I just quoted ex-Bucks coach George Karl, let’s hear from Terry Stotts “We were not able to score and weren’t getting some close calls. We played well in the first 40 minutes, but we weren’t able to close them out.” If you look up “loser talk” on wikipedia, you will find those quotes. If not, somebody needs to update the loser talk wiki. Stotts is not going to survive this season with his job. This is two straight comeback wins for the Pacers, both against the Bucks, and both with Jermaine O’Neal playing well. He finished up with 26 and 13, and Jamaal Tinsely added 17 and 9. Al Harrington grabbed 18 boards, 7 of them on the offensive end. I think he reshaved the non-mohawk part of his head, cause his mohawk looks better than ever. Ersan Ilyasova tried to draw a foul with some ridiculous acting on a three at the end. Guys that score 4 ppg are not getting that call. That’s just the way it is. Michael Redd and Mo Williams combined for 43 points, almost half of the Bucks output. When is Charlie V coming back?

NEW ORLEANS 101 MIAMI 86
Peja Stojakovic. He’s hitting game-winners, putting up career highs, and now going off against the (under .500) defending champs. 5 of 10 on this night, but the big difference in the game was that the Hornets bench dominated the Heat bench. There was a little shoving match between Alonzo Mourning and Marc Jackson, that go Zo kicked out. Deep breaths Alonzo. You are a champion. Dwyane Wade had to carry the offensive load for Miami, and though he shot 14 free throws on his way to 29 points, it wasn’t nearly enough.

DALLAS 107 WASHINGTON 80
The Mavs held the Wizards to 29 points in the second half, or maybe it was just the Wiz missing shots? Either way, this game was tied with nine minutes left in the third, and Gilbert was carrying his team. He cooled off, the team froze over missing 10 straight shots, and that was that. A blowout. Dirk with 30 and 14 in an easy win and he had plenty of help. The Mavs have won 7 in a row.

CLEVELAND 97 MEMPHIS 94
The Grizzlies made it interesting late, and had a chance to tie on a Brian Cardinal three, but he shot an airball. The Cavs wanted to give away another big lead at home, but they didn’t. Damon Jones hit three threes in the fourth quarter to keep the Cavs from collapsing. LeBron had a bad shooting night, going 7 of 21, but many of those 7 were high flying dunks. Yeah! Luckily he was playing the Grizzlies and Drew Gooden had his back with 22 and 15. Chucky Atkins has been having a pretty good year on a pretty bad team, as he scored 17 in 24 minutes on just 9 shots.

DETROIT 97 PHILLY 87
Allen Iverson missed the game because he was having a wisdom tooth removed. I feel your pain Allen. Been there, done that, glad it’s over. Without him, Willie Green stepped up and took 21 shots, scoring 24, while the teammate with the second most shot attempts was Korver with 14. Willie, just because you’re getting minutes in place of AI doesn’t mean you have to play like him. Webber missed the game with lower back stiffness. Tayshaun scored 25, Rasheed had 21 and 11, and the Pistons controlled the game. NL MVP Ryan Howard was part of the tip off ceremony. Too bad he couldn’t play for the Sixers.