By Holly MacKenzie

Alright… We’ve got 7 recaps at the bottom of the page and a whole lot of my incessant chatter about anything and everything NBA-related up top. If you only want the scores/stats, keep on scrolling. As we get closer to the regular season I am going crazy with anticipation. Even crazier than being forced to sit through every season of the Hills. Bear with me, time is ticking and we have less than 2 weeks to wait!

Darius Washington…WOW it is nice to see him get picked up and have a great game. After his breakdown in ’05 over the missed ft’s he became the poster-child for sadness my final two years in university. A friend thought she bombed her interview to get into education (she absolutely did not, and is a teacher right now), and when I asked her how it went her response was via email. It was this picture of DW with “This is me right now” typed out under it. Dramatic, yes, but for the next 2 years whenever something went wrong this was the picture that represented it. The picture that went up for an MSN display photo, it became a desktop background, or one of us would just say “Yup, I am so the guy crumbling on the floor right now”. It feels good to see him lead a team even if it is in preseason. It brought a smile to my face and had me wishing I had all of my old NCAA tourney tapes here with me.

La-La-La-Lakeshow….I don’t know when Brian Cook drives me more crazy. When he is being useless on the bench, or when he comes up with a big game scoring 19 and making everyone (or the people in the Lakers FO) hold onto hope that he may be capable of scoring consistently each night.

These are some high scoring games. I’m sure the defense isn’t up to par since it isn’t the regular season and I know line-ups are a joke for some of these contests but still, these scores are surprising me. Yeah, it is only preseason but Atlanta has been a pleasant surprise as well. I can’t wait to watch their youth compete this year. Okay, sorry for all of the reminiscing and random chatter, you would swear I had my own blog on this thing rather than just writing recaps. Enough chatter, here they come.

Atlanta Hawks 104 Charlotte Bobcats 98

The Atlanta Hawks continued their winning ways this preseason defeating the Charlotte Bobcats 104-98. Rookie Al Horford continued to impress, producing a great stat line and leading Atlanta with a team high 22 points to go along with 12 boards and 4 blocks. Fellow rookie Acie Law added 10 points in his first game back since undergoing an MRI for a wrist sprain. While Atlanta led for most of the first half and was up 9 at the half, the Bobcats made a comeback and there were several lead changes in the 3rd quarter before Atlanta went ahead for good. In addition to Horford, Josh Childress had 19 points. Josh Smith added 17 points for the Hawks who also got 12 points and 7 boards from Marvin Williams. The Hawks out rebounded the Bobcats 45-29 and hammered them on the offensive glass getting up for 17 offensive rebounds. Gerald Wallace did his part to try to help his team to victory scoring a game high 34 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Jason Richardson, playing in his first game for the Bobcats since the birth of his son had 17 points while Raymond Felton added 13. Atlanta was 30-41 from the foul line, making more foul shots than Charlotte attemped. Charlotte went to the line 23 times in comparison and connected on 16 of their free throw attempts.

New Jersey Nets 110 New York Knicks 94

One night after getting run out of town by the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks were downed by the Nets by a score of 110-94. The game was close the entire first half and saw New Jersey leading 48-47 at the break. Things changed in the 3rd where the Nets came out hot and firing, outscoring the Knicks 38-25 while shooting 71% from the floor for the quarter. Richard Jefferson had 25 points and Vince Carter was right behind with 22 to lead the Nets. Center Nenad Krstic played in his first game since tearing his ACL last season and rehabbing after surgery. He scored 11 points in his comeback and was perfect from the floor connecting on all 5 of his field goal attempts. The coaching staff was happy with his progress and mobility. Eddy Curry was the high scorer for the Knicks finishing with 23 points while Jamal Crawford added 22. New York was without guards Allan Houston and Stephon Marbury who each had the night off while New Jersey was without point guard Jason Kidd who has a strained back. Kidd did not attend the game.

Houston Rockets 104 Dallas Mavericks 90

Houston grabbed the win against the Mavericks on Thursday, but it was a fight that was fought mainly with reserves on the Mavs side. While Yao Ming played 20 minutes and scored 19 points and Tracy McGrady put in 10 minutes in the first quarter, Dallas had almost as many guys chilling on the bench than in the game. Avery Johnson had Jerry Stackhouse in the dressing room with an illness, Desagana Diop out with the flu, Dirk Nowitzki in a uniform but not entering the game and Josh Howard in street clothes. Eric Dampier was also out with a shoulder injury. Brandon Bass led the Mavericks with 25 points but they were down 10 at the break 57-47. In the 3rd Houston played most of their starters but Dallas was able to hang around and were only down 2 before Houston went on a 16-4 run to take control of the game the rest of the way through. Shane Battier had 14 points for the Rockets and Bonzi wells added 11. For the undermanned Mavericks, rookie Nick Fazekas scored 12 points to go along with 8 boards, and Jose Juan Barea had 9 points and 9 assists.

San Antonio Spurs 116 Golden State Warriors 111

The Spurs rested most of their starters but even their second string appeared to be in mid-season form with the offense clicking to beat the Warriors 116-111. Undrafted guard Darius Washington had a sensational stat line for the Spurs scoring 18 points, grabbing 9 boards, handing out 8 assists and nabbing 3 steals while Manu Ginobili had 17 and Francisco Elson added 15. The game was close the entire way through with 9 lead changes and 4 ties in the first half and Golden State up in the 4th until midway through the 5 minute mark when Washington stepped up and hit a big three to put San Antonio on top. Once Golden State tied it up again at 109, Washington proved his composure, draining 6 free throws in the final 40 seconds of the game to help San Antonio hold onto the win. Baron Davis, Al Harrington, Kelenna Azubuike and rookie Marco Belinelli all scored 17 points for the Warriors. Harrington also got up for 14 boards, a game-high. Coach Gregg Popovich sat the game out for San Antonio, allowing head assistant Mike Budenholzer guide the Spurs to the win.

Sacramento Kings 105 Utah Jazz 91

Kevin Martin was perfect from the floor in the 4th quarter to help the Sacramento Kings defeat the Utah Jazz 105-91. Martin finished the game with 25 points. After being on the losing end for most of the 1st half the Kings went on a 13-0 run to take a half-time lead and ran with it from there. Brad Miller and Francisco Garcia both scored 13 points and Mike Bibby and John Salmons each added 11 for Sacramento. Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur each scored 15 points for the Jazz while Deron Williams had 12 and Ronnie Brewer added 10. The Kings won despite being out rebounded 42-31 and giving up 14 offensive boards compared to their 7 as a team.

Los Angeles Lakers 126 Seattle Supersonics 106

In a game that was overshadowed by trade rumors surrounding Kobe Bryant, Bryant played, scored 20 points and helped the Lakers beat the Sonics by 20. 16 of his 20 points were scored in the 3rd quarter and the Lakers had the game under control before he headed to the bench. While the Lakers were up 17 at the half, Seattle cut that lead to 5 points before Bryant went on his scoring binge and when he left the game for good, the Lakers were back up by 15. 2nd year player Andrew Bynum had a double double for LA, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 8-11 from the floor. Brian Cook was a surprise, hitting 7-9 field goals and ending the game with 19 as well. Forward Ronny Turiaf had all 13 of his points in the 1st quarter and Maurice Evans added 14. Rookie and 2nd pick in the draft, Kevin Durant was the Sonics leading scorer with 19 while Chris Wilcox had 16. Rookie Jeff Green scored 13 points in 23 minutes of action while Luke Ridnour finished with 14.

Phoenix Suns 118 Los Angeles Clippers 97

Grant Hill was the free agent signing of the off season that the Suns are hoping will turn into the missing link for their team come playoff time. In a 118-97 victory over the Clippers, Hill had a 21-point game, including an integral part of a 30-6 run to close out the first half and blow the game open for the Suns. Leandro Barbosa had 19 points off of the bench for Phoenix while Shawn Marion had another double double scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Point guard Steve Nash had 11 assists in 25 minutes of play. Boris Diaw started in place of Amare Stoudemire and Raja Bell contributed 15 points, including 4-8 from the three point line. Brian Skinner an off-season acquisition who will be used to back up Stoudemire had 8 points and 9 rebounds to help the Suns inside. For the Clippers, Corey Maggette had 16 points and rookie Al Thorton scored 14. Chris Kaman and Tim Thomas each had 11.