by Holly MacKenzie

Wow. Here we go, back to business after All-Star. I’ve got to say I enjoyed the time off from posting two daily columns, but of course, rather than resting up over the break I somehow wake up Monday morning with a headache, sore throat and chills. Yuck.

I can deal with the throat and the headaches, but that feeling when your body just needs rest and sleep? Yeah, I don’t do that too well. I’ve been a little less than agreeable the past day or so. I hate feeling like I’m missing out on stuff and spending half of your morning sleeping can make you feel crazy.

Okay, All-Star was fun, I loved the H-O-R-S-E competition, loved the dominance of Durant and enjoyed the whole Kobe/Shaq thing, even though it’s fun to see how over the top Shaq is about the two while Kobe is more, “haha, yeah it’s cool, don’t you remember you rapped that awful song about me this summer, you jerk”.

If any of you haven’t caught the All-Star videos from The Basketball Jones, aka Skeets, Tas and JD, please, please go over and check them out. My personal favorite is the Jam Session but they are all definitely worth watching. I love the Amare one too. And, well, all of them. Those guys are the best.

I’m still pretty jealous that I wasn’t IN Phoenix and, man did it sting when I got texts from all sorts of people all weekend long telling me they had met up with someone else who is a favorite of mine. It made me realize how close-knit and awesome the basketball blogging world is and it definitely made me thankful, even if I was feeling oh so very jealous.

Shoutout to the guy who hit the halfcourt shot at the end of the third quarter during the Lakers/Hawks game to win $165,000.00. Unreal. The announcer asked him if he’d be going to buy a car with the money and the first thing he said was that he had a college education to pay for. The Lakers bench was loving it and the Hawks all watched in awe at the replay. Sasha even came over to give the guy a hug. I love happy endings!

And, now we are back to the regular season and that feels great. I liveblogged Spurs@ Knicks last night for The Score and while the game started out slow and the Spurs were without Manu Ginobili, the Knicks just kept on running and took the game in overtime, winning 112-107 in the extra session without David Lee who fouled out at the end of regulation. Why were they able to win in overtime? Nate Robinson. It appears that in addition to being superman’s kryptonite, he was the Spurs as well because they were unable to stop him when he got into the lane and he finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds in 38 minutes of play. The Knicks took the game 112-107, while Chris Duhon and Wilson Chandler each scored 17. Tim Duncan had 26 points 15 rebounds and 5 assists for the Spurs, but also had 7 turnovers.  Roger Mason had 20 points and Tony Parker had 14 points but shot only 5-20 from the floor.

While Nate Robinson was the hero for the Knicks, Dwight Howard did the same for Orlando, leading them in their 107-102 overtime victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. Dwight finished with 45 points, 19 rebounds and 8 blocked shots. Monstrous line. Rashard Lewis had 17 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 13 points and 7 assists. Raymond Felton was solid for the Bobcats with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, Boris Diaw and Emeka Okafor each scored 14 points, with Okafor adding 9 rebounds and 4 steals.

The Hornets escaped with a 100-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on the same night that the two teams swapped players with Tyson Chandler going to OKC while Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith being sent to New Orleans. While Kevin Durant picked up where he left off at the All-Star, scoring a career-high 47 points, including the game-tying three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining, he was two points short as Chris Paul picked up the slack for the Hornets and scored on a layup with two seconds on the clock to give the Hornets the victory. Paul had 21 and 8 assists while David West was more than solid, scoring 37 points to go with 13 rebounds. Jeff Green complimented Durant’s 47 with 24 points and Russell Westbrook added 12 points.

Despite playing without Tracy McGrady, the Rockets were able to crush the Nets, 114-88. The Rockets outrebounded New Jersey 56-30 and had 16 offensive rebounds compared to only 2 for the Nets. Yao Ming led Houston with 20 points and 12 rebounds as Shane Battier had 19 points and 9 rebounds, Von Wafer had 19 off of the bench and Ron Artest added 18. Vince Carter led the Nets with 30 points while Brook Lopez scored 21 points to go with 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in the loss.

In their first game under Alvin Gentry, the Phoenix Suns certainly didn’t waste any time going back to their up-tempo game in a meeting with the Clippers. Pouring in 140 points (in regulation!), the Suns rolled all over the Clippers 140-100 as they scored 81 points in the first half and did it all without Jason Richardson who was suspended for the game by the Suns. Phoenix blew open the game at the end of the opening 12 minutes as they led 41-26 and then went on to score another 40 in the second quarter to lead 81-49 at the half. Leandro Barbosa scored 24 points for the Suns as Amar’e Stoudemire had 23, Grant Hill, 20 and Steve Nash added 8 points and 10 assists. Eric Gordon had 24 points for the Clippers who were without Marcus Camby.

The Jazz took down Memphis 117-99 last night, behind 24 points from CJ Miles and 20 point and 15 assists from Deron Williams as the Grizzlies struggled offensively in the second half. Ronnie Brewer had 19 and Paul Millsap scored 18 for the Jazz. Rudy Gay and OJ Mayo led Memphis with 18 points apiece but the Grizzlies had only 15 team assists on the night.

The Bucks took down the Pistons last night, 92-86, and are finding ways to win without their stars. While this one was an up and down game with the Bucks building up a double-digit lead in the fourth, the Pistons made a run and got within one point before falling once again down the stretch. Ramon Sessions continued to show he was meant for the NBA, finishing with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Richard Jefferson scored 29 points and Malik Allen added 14 off of the bench. Antonio McDyess led the sixers with 24 points and 14 rebounds while Richard Hamilton scored 22 off of the bench and Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson each scored 10 points apiece in the loss.

After the Lakers outscored Atlanta 40-24 in the third quarter, that game was all but over and was not as close as the 96-83 final score indicated. Pau Gasol had a triple double with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Lamar Odom had 15 points and 20 rebounds and Derek FisherJoe Johnson’s scored 14. The Grizzlies were led by 14 (on 6-17 shooting), and Josh Smith’s 13.