by Holly MacKenzie

Okay, since I’ve got some lengthy game notes coming your way this is going to be a bit shorter than the usual.

First, before we begin. Thoughts and prayers are going out to Leandro Barbosa and his entire family. If you haven’t heard, Leandro lost his mother, Ivete Barbosa, last Thursday night. He flew to Brazil to be with her and wherever he may be in this world at the present moment, my thoughts are with him.

Props to the Detroit Pistons for taking down the Lakers on Friday night. I am a lot of things, but I am a gracious loser… At least, when Allen Iverson is involved.

Beautiful game from the Pistons. Anyone else feel like the arrival of Ivy has entirely re-motivated and re-ignited the fire that has been fading inside of Sheed? Wow. This could end up being really, really, really great for Detroit. Dumars may just end up looking like a complete genius for this one.

The ball movement. How Iverson’s speed can allow him to hop, skip, jump and drive into the paint and then either flip the ball up for two or dish it out to a teammate, makes him very, very dangerous. It’s only been a few games, but I feel like this is a different situation entirely, than the one on Denver and I like it.

L.A. Well, it was just a horrifically awful effort on their part. When Kwame is outplaying your starting big man, you have a problem.

Onto the weekend. Weekend was good. I absolutely loved the Raptors/Heat game yesterday and I was lucky enough to have been able to sit down wth Shaun Livingston and talk with him about his knee. Very thankful I got to talk to him, since he’s been plastered up in SLAM forever.

Hope you guys caught the Milwaukee/Boston game on Saturday night. Milwaukee taking the C’s to overtime without Villanueva and after Andrew Bogut had been ejected. That was a great game. The Celtics prevailed in the extra session, but I was happy to see Ridnour play so well.

ANTHONY MORROW.

Yeah. What a game from this guy. Undrafted rookie. First career start. “Little Steve.” 37 points. 37 points on 15-20 from the floor. This was an incredible performance as the Warriors took down the Clippers. When you have Coach Nelson saying this is one of the most exciting things he’s seen, you know you’ve done something special.

How about the Warriors as a whole? Nelson, Morrow, Buike and Watson. Four undrafted guys who have found a home in the Bay. It feels right to me and I officially claimed those guys as my team this weekend. Stressful moment, but there really is no need to fight it any longer. I will always bleed purple and gold, but this franchise just makes me so proud with their fight each and every night.

Happy 26th birthday to Amare Stoudemire.

Orlando 90 Charlotte 85

In a game that appeared as though the Bobcats would prevail, the Magic snuck away with a 90-85 victory. While Charlotte discovered that the best way to beat the Magic would be to beat Dwight, they did not quote keep him on the bench long enough. In foul trouble the entire game, Howard finished with only 26 minutes before fouling out. Because of his limited minutes, the Magic needed someone to stop up, this time, they had an entire team of players ready to do so. With the Bobcats leading and the game close in the third, the Magic were able to outscore Charlotte 27-18 in the period to take a lead into the fourth and then go away with the victory. Howard finished the game with only 4 points after going scoreless from the floor. Hedo Turkoglu stepped up with 20 points while Mickael Pietrus scored 18 and Rashard Lewis added 17. Gerald Wallace led the Bobcats with 19 points while Adam Morrison and Raymond Felton added 14 points apiece.

Move! Get out the way!Phoenix 104 Detroit 86

After their big games in Golden State and Los Angeles it only made since that the Pistons would have a bad outing. Luckily for the Suns, still shorthanded with Leandro Barbosa and Matt Barnes out of the lineup, they decided to stumble while in Phoenix. After Shaquille O’Neal was ejected with a flagrant-2 foul on Rodney Stuckey, the Phoenix lead was cut to only eight. This did not last for long as the Suns busted open the game by the half and held a fifteen point lead at the half, 61-46. The second half was more of the same for the Suns as the Pistons could not catch up. Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Phoenix. Steve Nash had 17 points and 7 assists in his return from his one game suspension and O’Neal had 12 points before his ejection. Richard Hamilton led Detroit with 19 points as Stuckey added 12 from the bench and Rasheed Wallace had 11 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.

San Antonio 90 Sacramento 88

The Spurs needed to win this one and they did, but it was tougher than they may have anticipated. Still, a win is a win and they gladly took it, since things are looking a little bit dim in San Antonio these days. In a battle with the Kings in the fourth quarter, the Spurs looked to their defense to get them out. It did, as they outscored Sacramento 23-16 in the period to escape with the win. Down the stretch it was Tim Duncan for San Antonio, as he tied the game with less than a minute to play and then hit a bank shot to give the Spurs their 90-88 lead. The Kings got the ball back after Duncan had bricked free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining, but Quincy Douby’s three-point attempt ended up as an airball. Duncan led the Spurs with 20 points and 10 rebounds as Michael Finley scored 21 and Roger Mason had 18. John Salmons poured in 31 for the Kings as Beno Udrih added 16.

Dallas 124 New York 114 OT

With New York impressing and the Mavericks not looking so impressive this was an interesting match up as it still appeared that despite the records, Dallas should take this one. They did, but it took them overtime to do it. With Dirk Nowitzki scoring 26 points in the first half and 39 overall, the Knicks still managed to find themselves in this one at the end of regulation as they allowed Dallas to cut a 15-point deficit and come back in the fourth. With the Knicks going scoreless for the final 2:24 seconds of regulation and then continuing to go scoreless from the floor in the extra session, the Mavs closed out the game on a 19-2 run and that was the ballgame. In addition to Nowitzki’s night, Josh Howard added 31 points and 14 rebounds while Dirk also pulled down 15 boards. Jason Terry added 20 points off of the bench for Dallas. Zach Randolph was big in the defeat with 27 points and 18 rebounds while Chris Duhon had 16 points and 12 assists and Quentin Richardson added 17.