by Holly MacKenzie

Good Morning! Good Morning!

Whew, it was a close one for my Lakers last night. I.Love.Trevor.Ariza. Seriously though, what a steal he is turning out to be. It was November 20th when we finally made the trade that would rid us of Brian Cook. I had hopes for Riz, but I never thought he’d be able to bring this much intensity. I love it.

Kidd was solid last night, grabbing another triple-double. He always seems to drop those on us. Whatever though. Last night was a test and we pulled through it. Tonight, well that is going to be tough.

BananasGerald Green. So nice to see him making a home for himself in Dallas. 17 points last night, but most importantly, he fit. He was great on the bench cheering guys on, his intensity was up, he looked like basketball was fun again. I was happy to see that. Happier that we got the win, but still.

Hawks are undefeated! Hawks are undefeated!

I don’t think Derrick Rose was happy with my “OJ will be ROY” statement yesterday. Great, great games from each Rose and Horford last night as the two went up against each other in a battle that Atlanta eventually won. Even without Josh and with JJ having a horrible off night, they get the W. 27, 16 and 6 blocked shots is a damn nice line from Al. Be excited Hawks fans.

I’m excited for the Warriors. Overtime against Minny last night and boy, did they need it. Nelson is playing the young guys with abandon and it is fun. Brandan Wright looks really good out there and Anthony Morrow’s jumper is a thing of beauty. Such a blended group of guys with unconventional paths to the league, for the most part. It’s easy to root for them. It was great to see them come out on the winning side of things.

I always feel badly for Kevin Love when he gets called for a foul. He just looks so disgusted.

Another game, another 41 from LeBron. It’s pretty ridiculous how it doesn’t even shock me anymore. Amazing.

Iverson! He had a wonderful game against Sacramento, scoring 30 points, grabbing 7 boards and dishing 9 assists as he led the Pistons to the win. Happy to see that. FTH for real.

Lakers @ New Orleans tonight. Chris versus Kobe. You know I’ll be watching.

Denver 88 Charlotte 80

While the Bobcats led early, they new tandem of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups ensured that it was the Nuggets who led late, as they pushed Denver to an 88-80 road victory against the Charlotte Bobcats last night. When the Bobcats went up by 11 in the third quarter, Melo took over, dropping in 14 points for the period and putting the Nuggets up by double figures for the start of the fourth. The Bobcats did not stop fighting though and managed to cut the deficit to only two before Denver got serious. Knowing the victory was at stake, the Nuggets stepped up their defense and held the Bobcats scoreless on six consecutive possessions while building up their lead to take the win. Anthony finished with 25 points, Billups with 16 points, Nene with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and Renaldo Balkman added 15 off of the bench. Jason Richardson scored 23 points for the Bobcats as Gerald Wallace finished with 13 points and Adam Morrison scored 16 off of the bench.

Cleveland 99 Milwaukee 93

41. 41. 27. 41. Those are the point totals for the past four games LeBron James has played in. Unfortunately for the Bucks, they were the opponent on that last game, and they were unable to do much of anything to prevent James from going off. Despite the big night from James, the Cavaliers were in trouble late, as the Bucks held a five point lead late into the game before James went to work, getting a steal and a dunk, changing momentum then rattling off four more quick points to give Cleveland some breathing room down the stretch. Once the Cavs went up by 11, it was over for Milwaukee. Besides James and his 41 points, Mo Williams scored 16 points, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15 points to go with 10 rebounds and Anderson Varajao added 13 points. The Bucks were led by Richard Jefferson’s 19 points as Charlie Villanueva had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Luke Ridnour added 17.

San Antonio 92 New York 80

Without Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs are off to their worst start in years and will need to scratch and claw at every victory they can until they get their guys back. Last night, they managed to do so against the Knicks, grabbing the 92-80 win on their home floor, thanks to a big game from Tim Duncan. Duncan finished with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists as he helped the Spurs stay in front of the Knicks in what was a close game until the final period rolled around. Leading by three at the start of the fourth, San Antonio went on an 11-0 run to take control and get the Knicks on their heels for the rest of the way through. After going without a point for over five minutes of the period, New York was unable to recover and San Antonio gladly took the victory. Besides Duncan’s big night, Michael Finley scored 14 and Bruce Bowen 13 off of the bench. The Spurs survived a 28-point performance from Jamal Crawford who also had a 15-point, 13-rebound night from Zach Randolph and a 15-point effort off of the bench from David Lee.

Atlanta 113 Chicago 108

In a rookie-sophomore battle of their own, it was Al Horford who edged out Derrick Rose, but just barely. With their two teams battling it out and Al’s Hawks with their undefeated streak at risk, he was able to help them hang on as he poured in 27 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. Eclipising Rose and his 26-point, 10-rebound, 6 assist night, Horford helped the Hawks go into the fourth up 10 and he was there to help when they had to fend off a Chicago run that saw them cut the lead to 85-83 before Atlanta again pulled away behind back to back three-pointers from Mike Bibby. The Hawks won despite Joe Johnson shooting only 4-16 on the night as he finished with 17 points and 8 assists. Bibby scored 22 points and Maurice Evans had 17 off of the bench on 7-9 shooting. The Bulls received 19 points from each Ben Gordon and Luol Deng, as Deng also hauled down 10 rebounds. Andres Nocioni added 20 points off of the bench in the loss.

Detroit 100 Sacramento 92

When those who were not fans of the Iverson-Billups trade had plenty to say when the Pistons lost their first two games since the trade was completed, Iverson felt he had something to show and prove. He did both last night, giving the Pistons the road win and also flirting with a triple-double as he posted a line of 30 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists as the Pistons used a fourth quarter where they outscored the Kings 25-15 to grab the victory. While Detroit was without Rodney Stuckey, the Kings were without Kevin Martin and their offense felt the void as they went scoreless for a five minute stretch in the fourth as the Pistons pulled away to steal the game. Besides Iverson, Tayshaun Prince poured in 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Rip Hamilton scored 17 points. Spencer Hawes led the Kings with 19 points off of the bench as Beno Udrih had 18 points and Jason Thompson added 15 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.

Golden State 112 Minnesota 110 OT

After going up by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, the Golden State Warriors were helpless in trying to stop the TWolves who poured in a 37 point third quarter to take control of the game and go into the fourth up by four. When Minnesota went up by 10 in the opening minutes, Stephen Jackson and the Warriors knew it was now or never if they were going to avoid dropping their third straight game. Stepping up their defense, the Warriors held the Wolves scoreless over the final four and a half minutes of regulation while also putting together a 9-0 run to finish the game and force overtme. Jackson made a layup off of a CJ Watson steal to tie the game at 106 all and in the overtime it was Jackson who struck first, scoring six points in the extra period, just enough for the Warriors to escape with the come from behind victory. Jackson finished with 30 points while Kelenna Azubuike scored 22 points and Andris Biedrins added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Al Jefferson led the Wolves with 25 points and 12 rebounds while Rashad McCants and Ryan Gomes each scored 18 off of the bench and Mike Miller added 10 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

LA Lakers 106 Dallas 99

While the game was not one-sided like their previous five, the main thing for the Lakers was that they came out of Dallas with their sixth victory, remaining undefeated on the season. They could thank Trevor Ariza for this one, as he was responsible for blocking a three-point attempt by Jerry Stackhouse on the Mavericks final possession of the game. Although the Mavericks were without Josh Howard, they received a boost from Gerald Green and pushed the Lakers the entire way through, leading at the start of the fourth by three, 79-76. From there, the Lakers decided to push back, with Kobe dropping in nine points and Ariza helping to swing momentum back LA’s way with a steal and a dunk early on. In the final minute, it wasn’t pretty, but it was all LA as the Lakers got stop after stop on the Mavericks and got to leave with the victory. Besides Bryant’s 27 points, Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Bynum had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Ariza scored 13 off of the bench. Jason Terry led the Mavs with 21 points while Jason Kidd notched a triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Green added 17 points.