by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

And, I’m back!

A week, two NBA arenas, lots of beaches, drinks and beautiful sunsets later and I am back in Toronto and am pulling hard to try and keep my eyes open as I write this. We were supposed to have today off since the Raptors had played a back-to-back before flying in to Toronto, but after going 0-4 on the trip a practice was called and my catch-up from red eye day turned into a work day.

I’m such a rookie vacationer, I don’t know how to not get jetlagged.

I’m just happy we had great games last night. After not watching much of anything NBA for the whole week -seriously, crazy, right?– it was so nice to sit in front of the TV and take in some bball goodness. I kinda thought ESPN was going to have two blowouts on their hands, but the Warriors/Lakers game turned out to be a great nightcap. While the Lakers won 124-121, the Warriors fought them the whole way through as Steph Curry missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds. After Monta Ellis grabbed the loose offensive board and tossed up a three at the buzzer, the ball bounced three times before finally refusing to go through the hoop and the Lakers exhaled.

Kobe Bryant exhaled after escaping a missed free throw in crunch time and nine turnovers in the game. Oh yeah, a rookie named Steph Curry hanging with him, too. Yes, I’m not kidding. Kobe finished with 29 points on 9-18 fgs, with three rebounds, four assists and nine turnovers. Curry finished with 29 points on 11-19 fgs to go with five rebounds, nine assists and didn’t turn the ball over in his 33 minutes. Pretty sweet line for the kid. I really wanted him to hit that three and take the game to overtime. He’s just so much fun to watch.

Of course, it’s nuts how easily the Lakers scored in the fourth when they wanted to. I’m just happy I saw a Kobe game winner at STAPLES and then Steph drop 35 in Oracle three nights later. Made watching both of those teams a little extra fun for me. All of that craziness in the game and the Lakers won by three despite winning the battle on the boards, 56-25.

Now, the first game in ESPN’s doubleheader didn’t turn out so well for those tuning in as the Celtics manhandled the Pistons,  119-93. Leading by 16 at the end of the first quarter, Boston had already blown the game open at the half thanks to a 64-35 advantage as the second half was more of a formality than anything. Michael Finley led the C’s in scoring with 15 points off of the bench as seven Boston players reached double figures. Will Bynum led the Pistons with 16 points and seven assists.

The season just seems to get tougher for the Pistons. They lost Tayshaun Prince in the first half when he came down on Maxiell’s knee, injuring that problematic back of his. With the injuries and then their offseason signings not really making the splash they had hoped, I feel for Detroit fans.

In Houston, I flipped at the half when the Rockets were leading 68- 57. Fast forward to the fourth and the Nuggets were back in front, setting up a crazy finish that ended with Aaron Brooks nailing a game-winning jumper and the Rockets getting the 125-123 victory. Melo was phenomenal in the loss, finishing with 45 points and 10 rebounds as the Nuggets had six players reach double figures. Let me tell you, a girl goes away for a week and comes back to Johan Petro putting up 11 points and 10 boards. Wasn’t expecting that one.

Aaron Brooks had 31 points on 11-17 shooting to go with nine assists to lead the Rockets to their 34th victory of the season. Kevin Martin added 29 points and Luis Scola had 23 points and 11 boards as Houston shot 57 percent for the game and hit 12 more free throws.

Okay, be patient with me as I ease back into East Coast life today. I’ve got a million more things to tell you about LA and STAPLES and Oracle, just need some time to get my thoughts and photos sorted. My camera broke on the night of day two, so thank goodness for Blackberry cameras and generous friends.

Also, I leave you with this bit of happy news: Shaun Livingston got the start for the Wizards last night. Yeah, it was a loss and he didn’t post a great line, but he got the start after his 18-point, eight assist night over the weekend. Yay to that.