by Holly Mackenzie

Six games on the schedule and none of them really grabbed me last night.

This could be partially due to the fact that I’m League-Pass less over the break and I’m watching bits and pieces of games here and there all throughout the night. I did enjoy the Raptors game. It was the ugliest of the bunch, but boy, did Torontonians need that one. A twenty-point lead at the half and instead of feeling relived, I actually felt nervous we’d lose it.

You know it’s been rough when.

Also, you know how the Raptors have needed that tough guy? Turns out, they’ve been looking for Jake Voskuhl. Yes, Voskuhl. He took out Zach Randolph last night without so much as even a shrug. G of the night.

Houston looks really good when they’ve got Tracy, Yao and Ron all in the lineup. Most nights it feels like it’s an unlikely role player to step up and join them and it’s working.

The Lakers took care of business in Memphis last night, but they nearly gave me a heart attack Lots of Gasolwhile doing so, waiting until the final three minutes of the game to bust out a 17-3 run. Goodness. Nothing like waiting until the last minute(s). Thankful we got out of there with a win.

Not thankful to hear that Jordan may need to have surgery on that knee with the torn meniscus. Yeah, hopefully just a scope and 6-8 weeks of downtime, but you know how I feel about knees in general, specifically those attached to guys on a Lakers roster.

I’m not going to recap that Warriors/Magic game because I haven’t seen even so much as a glimpse of a highlight from it and honestly, a 32-point loss is just deflating. Noticed Jameer Nelson finished with 22 points and 7 assists, though. It was mentioned in the comments over here the other day, the guy has been fantastic as of late.

Also skipping out on the Raps/Clips match up. Another blowout. This time by the Raps, 97-75. Thank goodness. Thank gooooooodness. 18 of Bosh’s 31 in the fourth quarter after the Raps did allow the Clippers to cut into the halftime lead in the third.

Still, MIP has to be Harris. I just wanted to say that again.

So, All-Star. We’ve discussed before, but has anyone earned their way on (or off), of your ballot?

I just heard the news that Melo will be sitting out three games due to soreness in that elbow. Get healthy, Carmelo.

News that SJax and Don Nelson had a heated exchange about his shooting woes and hand injury neither upset nor surprised me. A guy who is as passionate as Stephen and who wants so badly to be on the floor will not take sitting out easily. I think Nelson knows and understands that and all will be fine in Golden State when he does return.

That, and he’s got bigger things to worry about.

Houston 114 New Jersey 91

With their big three healthy and in the line up the Houston Rockets suddenly look very dangerous. The Nets discovered this firsthand last night as Houston rocked them 114-91 at the Izod Center. After a 29-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, this one was all but over. With the Rockets shooting 58% for the game and reserve Aaron Brooks stealing the show by tying his career high with 22 points, the Nets didn’t stand a chance and lost the game before it really began. Yao Ming scored 24 points to go with 16 rebounds and 4 blocked shots while Carl Landry added 13 points. The Nets were led by Keyon Dooling with 17 points off of the bench while Yi Jianlian, Devin Harris and Vince Carter each scored 10 in the loss.

LA Lakers 105 Memphis 96

For the third straight game on this road trip, Kobe Bryant led the Lakers offensively, the only difference this time around was that the Lakers won, taking down Memphis 105-96. Still, this victory did not come easily. Against the youthful Grizzlies, the Lakers found themselves trailing throughout the fourth quarter and it was only after a 17-3 run to close out the game over the final three minutes that the Lakers were safe. Besides Kobe’s 36-point performance, Pau Gasol scored 15 points, Andrew Bynum had 13 points and Lamar Odom added 12 off of the bench. Rudy Gay led the Grizz with 23 points while OJ Mayo scored 22 points and Hakim Warrick added 14.

Denver 97 Portland 89

Without Carmelo Anthony and coming off of three straight losses, the Denver Nuggets found a way to overcome the Portland Trailblazers and get the 97-89 victory. While the game was not a pretty one for either team, the Nuggets were content to take the victory and run, while holding Brandon Roy to only eight in the game, on 3-11 shooting.  Without Anthony, Nene picked up the scoring slack, finishing with 19 points to go with his 11 rebounds and JR Smith, starting in Anthony’s place also added 15 points and Chauncey Billups had 19 points and 10 assists and Linas Kleiza was the spark off of the bench with 17. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers in the loss with 20 points as Travis Outlaw added 15 off of the bench and Steve Blake added 14.

San Antonio 101 Sacramento 85

After weathering all of the injuries and speed bumps to start the season, the San Antonio Spurs are rounding into form. Did we really dare doubt them? Of course, we always do. Last night those Spurs took on the Kings and handled them easily, 101-85. Jumping out to a 33-22 point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Spurs were able to fend off every comeback attempt by the Kings and had balanced scoring as five players hit double-figures with two others just missing out, scoring nine apiece. Tony Parker led the way, finishing with 18 points and 6 assists while Roger Mason Jr. scored 11 points and Tim Duncan, Manu Ginolbili and George Hill each added 10 points apiece. The Kings were led by 22 points from John Salmons, Beno Udrih scored 13 points and Francisco Garcia added 10.