By: Holly MacKenzie
11 games on the NBA schedule tonight. That is wonderful news for me as a fan; I am a little weary of having to recap them all tonight. I feel like I am still on vacation time. I am, but the big nights on the schedule like this one are tough to pull out when you have friends and family around for Christmas vacation.
Mike Miller’s hair is really, really bad. I could say a lot more, but I will leave it at that.
Stuckey!!! Our rookie blogger, Rodney Stuckey is back and looking good on the scene in a road game against New Jersey last night.
I heard an interesting story about Josh Howard getting his legs broken and re-set twice when he was a toddeler because they were so bowed. Random story and I don’t have anywhere to go with it, but I thought that was interesting.
Stephen Jax was warned not to play by his mother, but he decided to give it a go with his hyper-extended hamstring anyway. A few games back Jax spoke a bit about his mother and how she is his toughest critic. She is not a fan of his swearing and she lets him hear it for every technical he receives. Great story about Jax playing Santa for a family over Christmas.
This Nuggets/Bucks game was one of Mutoni’s picks for game of the night and Carmelo Anthony is making it worthwhile. He’s got 19 points in 14 minutes of action and he has shot 8-9 from the floor so far. Let’s see what he ends up with when I recap.
One of the announcers mentioned that Ronnie Brewer’s first live NBA game was one in which he played as a rookie. I thought that was a pretty crazy story. I know that for some of the European guys that is the case, but I didn’t expect it from Brewer.
Monta Ellis had an incredible move against Telfair as he switched hands to protect the ball from him and glided to the basket. He was fantastic for Golden State as they almost gave away the game in the second half. He is fun to watch and playing alongside Baron and Stephen Jax makes them a dangerous team when they get going. Telfair has improved so much since his rookie season and I feel badly for all of the young guys in Minnesota. They’ve just got to keep on working hard.
Chris Paul was…Amazing against Memphis. Setting his teammates up, punishing the Grizz for giving him space to shoot. He looked so good in their victory I can only hope he can keep this play up for the rest of the season. I love great point guard play.
Philadelphia 96 Miami 85
It was the second night of a back-to-back for the Miami Heat last night and the 76er’s ran them down in a 96-85 victory. Going up by as many as 21 points in the first half, the Sixers got a little too confident and the Heat made it a game in the fourth as they cut a 17-point half-time deficit to three points with 5:08 remaining in the game. During the 13-2 run, Dwyane Wade was big for Miami as he scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half. It was not enough as Andre Iguodala was aggressive from the start and finished with 28 points in the win. When the game got too close for comfort in the final minutes, Philadelphia was solid, scoring six straight points to extend the lead back to nine points. Kyle Korver and Lou Williams scored 13 points apiece for Philadelphia and Andre Miller had a 12-point, 12-assist, double-double to go along with 8 rebounds in the win. Besides Wade’s 27 points and 9 assists, Ricky Davis scored 21 points and Daequan Cook had 12. Shaquille O’Neal scored only 5 points, attempted only 4 shots, but pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds in the loss.
Washington 108 Charlotte 104
After missing a game with two bad ankles Caron Butler still hurt but he felt a lot better after completing a three-point play to give the Wizards a lead they would not surrender late in the third quarter against the Bobcats. While the Bobcats had rallied from 12 down to take a four point lead, Roger Mason hit two three-pointers and then Butler had the three-point play to put Washington back on top. After Butler’s big play, the Wizards went on to the 108-104 victory despite Charlotte cutting the Wizard lead to only three with 26 seconds remaining in the game. Roger Mason found rookie Nick Young for an uncontested dunk to clinch the victory. Mason played great for Washington starting in place of the injured Antonio Daniels. He finished with a career-high 24 points after scoring 16 in the first quarter as Washington exploded for 41 points in the opening 12 minutes and continued to weather the rash of injuries they have faced. Mason shot 6-9 from the three-point line, Antawn Jamison scored 26 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Butler finished with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists and Brendan Haywood added 20 points and 9 boards. For Charlotte, Gerald Wallace was the leader, scoring 32 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and dishing 8 assists. Jason Richardson had 27 points and Emeka Okafor added 12 points but grabbed only 7 rebounds.
Orlando 110 New York 96
While this game was close in the first half and New York went ahead by 9 in the second quarter, Orlando was not about to drop another game at home, especially not to the Knicks. Orlando used a 20-6 run at the start of the fourth quarter to blow the game wide open after holding a 79-76 lead at the start of the final period. The game was won by the hot shooting of the Magic as Hedo Turkoglu scored 26 points in the game and hit 3-5 three-pointers while Rashard Lewis added 25 points and hit 4-5 three’s of his own. The Magic finished at 53.3% from the floor and they out-rebounded New York 45-37 for the game. Dwight Howard had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocked shots and Keyon Dooling added 12. Jamal Crawford had 29 points and 8 assists for New York, Zach Randolph added 22 points and 9 rebounds and Nate Robinson scored 16 points off of the bench as David Lee had 11 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.
Atlanta 107 Indiana 95
After their latest win against the Pacers last night the Hawks have quietly built up a five-game winning streak. They had six players reach double-figures in the contest and turned a 70-all tie into their game as they scored 12 straight points to end the third and open the fourth. In the final period Indiana continued to push, cutting the lead to three points on a few occasions but Atlanta responded to each run and gave it right back to the Pacers with Josh Smith hitting a three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining in the game to seal the win. Joe Johnson led the way for Atlanta, finishing with 32 points and 11 assists as Smith started out slow but finished with 16 points. Marvin Williams had 14, Al Horford scored 12 points to go with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots and Anthony Johnson added 13. Troy Murphy had 19 points for Indiana and Jermaine O’neal had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Kareem Rush scored 12 points off of the bench and Mike Dunleavy had 11.
Detroit 101 New Jersey 83
After leading by only one at the half, the Detroit Pistons came out firing in the third and shot 78% from the floor in the period as they outscored New Jersey 31-18 on their way to routing the Nets 101-83. Tough defense held the Nets to only 83 points and it was the seventh straight game that the Pistons have held an opponent to under 90 points. Richard Hamilton scored 22 points for Detroit and hit all five of his shots in the third quarter, Chauncey Billups had 17 points and 10 assists and Antonio McDyess added 15 points and 9 rebounds as Detroit shot 53% from the floor while holding New Jersey to 46%. Vince Carter had 21 for the Nets, Richard Jefferson had 18 and Josh Boone scored 12 points to go along with 8 rebounds while Jason Kidd was held to only 2 points as he dished 13 assists.
New Orleans 116 Memphis 98
While the Grizzlies stuck close to the Hornets in the first quarter and trailed by only two, 52-50 at the half, they were no match for Chris Paul in the third as he scored 16 points and dishing 4 assists in the quarter leading New Orleans to a 15-2 run to take control of the game. Paul was fantastic for New Orleans, scoring 40 points, dishing 9 assists and grabbing 5 steals for the night as the Hornets finished shooting 55.8% from the floor. Paul shot 17-25 from the floor and he hit 5-8 from beyond the arc as David West added 20 points and 9 rebounds and Tyson Chandler 12 points and 13 rebounds while Peja Stojakovic had 21 points. Mike Miller and Rudy Gay finished with 19 apiece for Memphis, Kyle Lowry had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists as Pau Gasol was held to only 8 points in the loss.
San Antonio 94 Chicago 79
It was the Bulls first game without Scott Skiles holding the reins, but any game against the Spurs is tough regardless of who is coaching. The Bulls struggled mightily in the contest even though the Spurs were without Manu Ginobili (sprained finger), and lost Brent Barry midway through the first quarter with a strained calf. While Chicago led by five points early, the Spurs led big for the entire second half and went up by as many as 25 points with just under four minutes remaining in the game before Gregg Popovich emptied his bench to finish out the game. The Spurs shot 48% from the floor as compared to 41% for the Bulls and they attempted 13 more free throws in the win as well. Tony Parker finished with 28 points to lead San Antonio as Bruce Bowen, Ime Udoka and Matt Bonner all scored 12 points apiece and Tim Duncan added 8 points,11 rebounds and 6 assists. Joe Smith had 19 points for Chicago and Ben Gordon added 18 in the loss. Chris Duhon scored 13 points off of the bench and Luol Deng scored 12.
Denver 125 Milwaukee 105
Up by 30 at the half, this game was a laugher the rest of the way through as Denver ran Milwaukee out of town, 125-105. Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony spent much of the second half on the bench enjoying the game as Marcus Camby registered a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to go along with Carmelo’s 29 points and 10 rebounds and Iverson’s 24 points as the Nuggets went up by as many as 39 points in their routing of the Bucks. The Nuggets out-rebounded Milwaukee by 11 (48-37), and they shot almost 55% for the game as compared to only 40% from the Bucks. After getting down by 11 in the first quarter the Bucks were as good as done and Denver cruised to the win from there. In the loss, Mo Williams had 28 points and 7 assists to lead Milwaukee while Michael Redd was held to only 9 points. Charlie Villanueva had 17 points off of the bench and Royal Ivey added 14.
Utah 99 Dallas 90
The Utah Jazz came out focused against Dallas and that focus paid off. Not only did they start out strong offensively, they held Dallas scoreless until midway through the first quarter as they jumped out to a 16-0 lead. Dallas came back by halftime and kept the game close as Devean George hit back-to-back three-pointers in the fourth quarter to cut the Utah lead to 4. Carlos Boozer was solid for the Jazz and he had a dunk and a jumper in the final minutes to put Utah up 8 with 1:30 remaining. Boozer finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds, Deron Williams scored 17 points and dished 12 assists to go along with 7 rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 17 points of his own while Ronnie Brewer had 15 points. Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points for Dallas along with pulling down 9 rebounds while Josh Howard and Devin Harris added 17 points apiece for the Mavs who struggled when Jason Terry went scoreless in the game, finishing 0-10 from the floor. Deavean George added 13 off of the bench and Jerry Stackhouse added 11.
Boston 89 Sacramento 69
Another road game and it didn’t matter. The Boston Celtics continued to rack up the victories, rolling over Sacramento 89-69 last night. Up by only two points after the first quarter, the Celtics dismantled the Kings in the second quarter, outscoring them 35-13 and turning the game into what appeared to be a blowout before halftime. While the Celtics went cold in the second half and Sacramento cut the lead to 11 in the third quarter, the Boston lead never really seemed to be threatened until Sacramento cut the lead to five at the start of the fourth. From there, Boston took care of things and went on an 8-0 run to stretch the lead back to 13, but not before looking a bit shaky as they gave up a 24-point lead. Paul Pierce had 16 points for the Celtics, Ray Allen scored 17 and Kevin Garnett added 14 points and 10 rebounds while Rajon Rondo had 13 points. Ron Artest led Sacramento with 15 points, John Salmons had 13 points and Francisco Garcia, 12.
Golden State 105 Minnesota 101
Golden State appeared to have control of things when they went up by 22. Minnesota and it’s league-worst record really did not want to give up another game so easily and they decided to dig in and play. They not only finished the game out by playing hard, they almost managed to come away with the come from behind victory over the Warriors after cutting the lead to 98-96 with just over a minute left to play. The TWolves were unable to complete the comeback as they unraveled in the final minutes, committing two turnovers that led to Golden State points and allowed the Warriors to hang onto the win. Monta Ellis scored a career-high 35 points for the Warriors and he was solid down the stretch, hitting free throws in the final seconds to protect the lead for Golden State, as Baron Davis had 27 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 blocks and Stephen Jackson added 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Al Jefferson scored 20 points and hauled down 19 rebounds for Minnesota, Rashad McCants and Marko Jaric each scored 15 points and Ryan Gomes added 14.