by Adam Figman | @afigman
Here’s an interesting stat: The Lakers have a winning record against every team in the NBA, except the Celtics. And the Bobcats. Yep. Weird. Guess the Bobcats just have the Lake Show’s number, and last night they proved it, running all over Kobe and friends behind Gerald Wallace (20 points, 11 boards) and the suddenly-improving Gerald Henderson (18-4-4). The Cats were efficient, shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 80.2 percent from the line, and did just about all you need to do to beat a team like the Lakers. If they can duplicate that against all of the League’s elite, they might be onto something here.
When they began this nine-game road trip with the best record in the League, the Spurs seemed bound to fall off–that’s what lots of consecutive away games do to veteran squads that may or may not be overachieving. Yeah, no. This easy win over the Nets pushed the team’s record to 6-2 since leaving San Antonio, solidifying the group’s status as a legitimate Finals threat. Manu Ginobili led them last night with 22, while DeJuan Blair went for 10 and 11 in the victory.
The Pistons came out hot, hitting their first 6 three-pointers, but ATL took it from there. Josh Smith scored 27 and grabbed 14, as the Hawks won for the first time in three games. This was their first contest of a road trip that continues through All-Star break, and the next stop is NYC where they take on the Knicks tomorrow. The loss was Detroit’s third straight.
Yo, come on. Last night had more blowouts than an episode of…OK, too easy. After three neck-and-neck quarters, the Bucks made moves in the fourth and ran away with it. Carlos Delfino was great, putting in 27 and drilling 7 threes, while Blake Griffin was “held” to 19 points and 12 boards.
I think this much is official: The Blazers, and LaMarcus Aldridge, are red hot. LA scored 21, while Portland won its fifth straight, upping its record to 31-24. Despite the loss and little other positive news for the TWolves, Kevin Love managed 12 points and 11 rebounds, meaning the double-double streak is up to 41. Crazy.
I was holding out hope that this would be the one really good tilt yesterday. And…dammit. After a solid first quarter, Carmelo Anthony (who scored only 16) and the Nuggets fell off, and the Rockets went to work. They outscored Denver 69-36 over the next two quarters, cruising from there and allowing the team’s bench to see some action in the final few minutes. Seven Rockets scored in double figures during the W.
Actual Stats: Josh Smith: 27 points, 14 boards, 3 dimes, 3 steals, 1 three-pointer.
Last Call: Both a new look and a new crazy circus shot from Brandon Jennings. Check it: