By Holly MacKenzie
Okay, a busy night with way too many recaps, so I’m keeping this short. I lost my wireless for half of the night which meant no access to boxscores or highlights so these are coming late and they were written quickly. It is scary how dependent I am upon the internet, seriously. Glad the Lakers won, hoping McGrady really will be back in a week. LeBron got robbed on that last play, or at least he did in my eyes, but maybe that is because I wanted him to win it so badly. The stat that stuck out in my mind was that a line of 39-13-14 has only been reached seven times. Also blew me away that when Chamberlain accomplished it he had a line of 53 points, 32 rebounds and 14 assists. Those are some crazy numbers.
Glad to see Gil have a good outing, the Detroit game/Golden State crumble was interesting to watch and I’m not even touching the NY/Steph saga. I love how everything is fine now. I feel like Isiah paid Steph’s fine or something because this thing doesn’t add up. And after discussing with the people of SLAMonline whether one should take Wade, LeBron or Carmelo I am solidifying my pick to take LBJ 10 times over. I was mesmerized watching the boy play last night.
Orlando 117 Cleveland 116 OT
Everything went LeBron’s way last night, minus the most important play of the game. After Jameer Nelson hit two free throws and then scored on a lay up, the Magic held a four point lead with 20 seconds remaining in the game. From there, LeBron stepped up even more and blew by Keith Bogans for the lay up to bring Cleveland within two, 107-105, with 17 seconds on the clock. In the next possession for Orlando, Bogans bricked two free throws and the Cavs retained possession, calling for time. Sasha Pavlovic shoots a three for Cleveland which is far short and Zydrunas Ilgauskas is called for a foul on Howard with only five seconds left in the game. At the line, Howard makes the first, but misses the second, after another James rebound, Cavs call for time again. In their final possession of regulation, James catches Hedo Turkoglu in the air and throws up the shot attempt, getting the foul call and also earning three free throws with 2 seconds remaining. James calmly knocked down each of the three shots to tie the game at 108 all and force overtime. In the extra period it was a lot of the same with the teams trading baskets and trading leads but with 27 seconds left in the game, Orlando was up 1, 115-114. James hits a jumper to put the Cavs up by 1, but with five seconds on the clock, Howard is sent to the line, his team down one. This time he is the hero, knocking down both and putting Orlando up 117-116. In the final play of the game, Turkoglu ties up James and a jump ball is called with .7 on the clock. There was a lot of contact on the play, but game over, Orlando wins. LeBron finished with 39, 14 and 15, while Howard had 35 points, 16 boards and 4 blocks for Orlando. Drew Gooden added 23 points for Cleveland who also got 18 from Ilgauskas. Jameer Nelson had 21 points and 11 assists for Orlando while Rashard Lewis scored 20.
Utah 92 Toronto 88
The Toronto Raptors have been up and down so far this season and last night they were anything but up. In a messy game full of missed shots, turnovers and stupid decisions, the Utah Jazz were able to take advantage of Raptor mistakes late and come away with their 5th straight victory, 92-88. While the game was close throughout the 2nd half, the Jazz went on a 10-2 run to finish the 3rd quarter and were able to go into the 4th up 64-59. In the 4th the Raptors came within one point, 89-88 on TJ Ford’s three-pointer with 18 seconds left on the clock. It was here that Toronto fell apart and Utah fought for the win. From there, Deron Williams was sent to the line and hit both shots while TJ Ford missed his next three-point attempt. Toronto sends Boozer to the line and he hits one of two with four seconds left in the game. In Toronto’s final possession Jason Kapono missed a three point attempt and the Jazz left Toronto victorious. Boozer led the Jazz with 23 points and 10 boards while Deron Williams scored 22 and Andrei Kirilenko had 8 points, 9 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 blocks and 5 steals. For Toronto, Anthony Parker had 19 points while rookie Jamario Moon had a career-high 15 points and Chris Bosh had 14 points.
Seattle 104 Miami 95
Last night the Miami Heat got Dwyane Wade back for the first time this season and the Seattle Supersonics got their first win. While the Heat were happy to get Wade back, they are not feeling good about giving up 104 points to the Sonics and surrendering to them giving them their first victory. In the game, Seattle blew the Heat out in the first half, leading by 20 at the half, 61-41. They maintained that lead until the 4th, where they gave up an 18-3 run. At the end of the run Miami had cut the lead to 8 points. Luckily for Seattle, Delonte West hit a three-pointer to extend the lead back into double-digits and allow he Sonics to hang on for their much needed victory. Miami shot only 38.6% from the floor while Seattle finished 49.3%, including 52.6% from the three-point line. Chris Wilcox was the leading scorer for Seattle, with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Damien Wilkins had 19 points, Delonte West scored 16 and Kevin Durant added 18. For Miami, Wade scored 15 points in his 24 minutes while Ricky Davis was their leading scorer with 19 points but shot only 5-18 from the floor.
Washington 103 Indiana 90
It is no secret Gilbert Arenas is an integral part of the success the Washington Wizards hope to have this season and it is also no coincidence that when he scored 30 points in their game last night, he was the biggest contributor in the Wizard’s 103-90 victory over Indiana. The first quarter saw the Wizards outscore Indiana 28-15 but the Pacers narrowed the gap in the 2nd before Arenas took over in the final minutes of the half, scoring a quick 8 points and blocked a three-point attempt to put Washington up 56-41 at the break. The lead remained throughout the 2nd half, but the Pacers cut the lead to nine with four minutes left in the game. Again, Arenas extended the lead, drawing free throws and then knocking down another three. Washington shot 86.7% from the free throw line, hitting 26 of their 30 shots as compared to Indiana only attempting 19 shots and hitting 16. Arenas had a game high 30 points to go along with 11 assists while Caron Butler had 25 and Brendan Haywood had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. For Indiana, Marquis Daniels had 19 points, Jermaine Oneal scored 17 points and pulled down 9 boards while Jamaal Tinsley added 15.
Boston 91 New Jersey 69
While the Celtics got another win last night they were given a good run for the 1st half of the game before blowing it open and going on to defeat New Jersey 91-69. New Jersey actually led 23-17 after the 1st quarter. Of course, they managed only 11 points in the 2nd, and at the break, Boston was up 36-34 in the low-scoring affair. In the third, Boston built their lead up to nine before busting out their uptempo offense. With 7 minutes left in the game, they led big,74-58. From there, the Celtics coasted to their seventh victory while the Nets started to feel the sting of another game without Vince Carter. The Celtics spread the scoring around in the game with six players finishing in double figures. Kevin Garnett scored 16 points while Paul Pierce had 15 and Ray Allen added 14. Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen each scored 13 points. Richard Jefferson had a game-high 21 points for the Nets while Jason Kidd added 19 points 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Sean Williams had 14 points and 4 blocks for New Jersey.
New Orleans 95 Philadelphia 76
The New Orleans Hornets led by six points after the first quarter in their game against Philadelphia last night. 16 of the points racked up in their 26-20, first quarter lead were thanks to Morris Peterson who put on a shooting clinic from deep, finishing with 16 in the period on his way to knocking down his first four three-pointer’s of the night. At the half, everything was tied up at 43 and Philadelphia stayed close in the third with as the Hornets used a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter and open up a double-digit lead. New Orleans were solid as a team from beyond the three point line hitting 11-20, good for 55% as compared to the 76er’s who finished the game at 4-11, or 36.4%. In addition to Peterson’s 16 first quarter points, he finished with a game-high 27 for New Orleans, while David West had 16, Tyson Chandler with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Paul adding 13 points and 11 assists. Willie Green was tops for Philly with 20 points as Samuel Dalembert had 13 points and 13 boards and Andre Miller finished with 17. Andre Iguodala was held to only 5 points in the contest, finishing 2-15 for the game.
Milwaukee 102 Memphis 99
It was in the last quarter of the game that the Milwaukee Bucks were able to take control of the Grizzlies who were on their second night of a back-to-back and saw their shots fall short in the final minutes.. While Milwaukee led 47-41 at halftime, they maintained their lead through the third quarter and went up by as many as 11 points in the final period of the game before Memphis came storming back, tying the game at 98 points apiece on a Rudy Gay three-pointer with 34 seconds left in the game. From here, Milwaukee calmly came back and answered with Mo Williams setting up Desmond Mason for the jumper to pull the Bucks ahead 100-98. On the next play, Williams came up big again for the Bucks as he stripped Kyle Lowry of the ball and was rewarded with two free throws, knocking both down for a 102-98 Bucks lead with 7 seconds on the clock. Next for the Grizzlies is Mike Miller fouled and sent to the line where he misses the second free throw with 2 seconds remaining. Pau Gasol grabs the offensive board and throws up a three that is short and the Bucks manage to escape with the victory, 102-99. Milwaukee was led by Michael Redd and his game-high 31 points, while Andrew Bogut recorded a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds to go along with 4 blocked shots and Mo Williams finished with 10 points and 12 assists. Rudy Gay was on top for Memphis,with his 26 points in the loss while Mike Miller had 17, Pau Gasol scored 16 and Darko Millicic had another strong game with 10 points, 13 boards and 4 blocks for the Grizzlies.
Denver 110 Portland 93
While Portland was riding a four-game winning steak into their game last night, Denver was looking for that fourth-straight victory. Last night that team it was Denver who got to extend their winning streak, defeating the Trailblazers 110-93 in Denver. While both teams were coming off of wins from the night before, Denver jumped on Portland early and crowded the with their stifling defense, frustrating the Blazers into shooting only 39% in the game while giving up 52.5% shooting from the Nuggets. While the Nuggets led by five after the first quarter, they outscored Portland 27-18 in the second to take a 52-38 halftime advantage. In the second half there was more of the same as the weary Blazers clanged shots, a combination of Denver’s defense and their own tired legs. Denver went up by as many as 23 points early in the 4th before Portland cut the lead to 17, but that was as close as they would get in the loss. In the entire game, the largest lead for Portland was by one, and that was early in the first quarter. For Denver, Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 25 points while Allen Iverson scored 20 and Kenyon Martin had 14. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 9 boards for Portland who also got 13 points from Jarrett Jack coming off of the bench and 12 points apiece from Martell Webster and Travis Outlaw. Denver out-rebounded Portland 46-37 in the contest.
Minnesota 108 Sacramento 103
While Sacramento had Ron Artest in his first game this season after serving his seven game suspension, it was not enough to defeat the Timberwolves as Minnesota was led by the terrific play of Rashad McCants and his 33-point performance to propel Minnesota to their first victory this season. In a game that was close the entire way through, Minnesota came close to giving up their lead in the fourth quarter just as they had in two losses already this season. After starting the final quarter up 73-69, Minnesota saw their lead evaporate into an 87-86 lead for Sacramento behind Beno Udrih’s three-pointer with just over five minutes remaining. Instead of folding, the Timberwolves went to work, with McCants leading the way, scoring 11 points in the final 4:30 of the game and the King’s were unable to keep up, as they gave up 37 points in the quarter en route to their 6th loss of the season. In addition to McCants 33, Al Jefferson scored 23 points and Antoine Walker had 19 off of the bench. For Sacramento, Kevin Martin had 22 with both Ron Artest and Brad Miller adding 17 points apiece. The Kings were out-rebounded 41-26, as well as giving up 10 offensive boards to Minnesota.
Atlanta Hawks 117 Charlotte Bobcats 109
Back-to-backs are not yet agreeing with the Charlotte Bobcats who came out flat in their game against the Hawks after defeating the Heat the night before. While Atlanta had two nights off before their game against the Bobcats, their win was overshadowed by injuries to two of their starters. Josh Smith left the game in the 3rd with a quad strain and rookie Acie Law also went down in the quarter with an ankle sprain. The game was broken open in the first half with Charlotte giving up 37 points in the 1st quarter while only scoring 22. While they kept things even in the 2nd quarter with each team scoring 26, the Hawks took a 63-48 point lead into the half. The rest of the way through the Bobcats did not get any closer than six points as they gave up 59.7% shooting to the Hawks in the contest. Atlanta had 29 assists in the game, 10 of them coming from Joe Johnson who also was the leading scorer with 34 points. Josh Childress had 23 points off of the bench for the Hawks, while Marvin Williams scored 19 points and rookie Al Horford had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson each had 27 points for the Bobcats, while Raymond Felton added 16.
Detroit 111 Golden State 104
While Detroit were playing without Chauncy Billups and Antonio McDyess they did not expect to give up 40 points in the first quarter to the Golden State Warriors before coming back from a 22-point deficit to win the game, 111-104. Regardless of what they expected, that is exactly what happened last night. After being outscored 40-25 in that opeing quarter the Pistons went on to outscore Golden State by 2 points, 10 points and 10 points in the remaining three quarters. Detroit used a 14-2 run to start the 3rd quarter as they began to chip away at the Golden State lead. Coach Flip Saunders made some adjustments including going to a zone defense to rattle the Warriors and then initiating the Pistons offense through Rasheed Wallace in the post further throwing the Warriors for a loop and they were unable to adjust, crumbling to their sixth loss of the season while remaining the league’s only winless team. Rather than try and attack the Piston’s zone, the Warriors were content to jack three-pointers in the second half and finished 5-21 from beyond the arc in the half, attempting 34 three’s in the game. Detroit’s first lead of the game came with just over five minutes remaining. Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince each finished with 22 points for Detroit while Flip Murray had 15 points and 12 assists starting in place of Billups. Jason Maxiell had 14 points and 14 boards in his start. Baron Davis gave a 29 point, 10 assist effort for Golden Sate, while Al Harrington scored 20 points and Andris Biedrins had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Kelenna Azubiuke scored 16 and Matt Barnes added 12.
LA Lakers 93 Houston 90
On the second night of a back-to-back a victory against Houston is a good thing for the Lakers, even if most of it came with the Rockets being without their best player. Just before halftime, the Rockets lost Tracy MGrady with an elbow sprain and he was immediately taken to the hospital for tests. The Rockets will take the loss with ease, knowing that they should have McGrady back in a week’s time. While both teams were coming off of losses Tuesday night, it was the Rockets who looked lethargic, shooting only 35% for the game as compared to the Lakers 44.4%. The Lakers broke out with an 18 point lead in the first half and led it 61-49 at the half. Without McGrady, the Rockets were still able to come back in the 2nd half, starting the 3rd quarter with a 19-8 run and cut the lead to one, 69-68. The game was close in the 4th and the Rockets took the lead 83-81 on a bucket by Yao Ming with 5:44 in the game. Kobe Bryant responded to tie the game again with 4:52 on the clock. With the teams trading baskets and free throws from there the Rockets tried to miss a free throw at the end of the game to get a chance at a three-pointer to tie the game, but they came up short. Bryant led the Lakers with 30 points, Derek Fisher had 13 and Lamar Odom scored 10 in his second game back. For Houston, Yao had 26 points and 13 boards but shot only 6-18 in the game. Bonzi Wells dropped in 21 points off the bench and Rafer Alston had 11.
LA Clippers 84 New York 81
Stephon Marbury joined his team in LA for their matchup against the Clippers last night. Even his dose of crazy was not enough to prevent the Clippers from hanging on to win the game, 84-81. It was an ugly game by both teams with the Clippers shooting 37% from the floor and the Knicks shooting an even lower 35% for the game. There were positives for the Knicks in the game besides the return of their point guard. Marbury contributed in their coming back from a 73-57 point deficit in the 4th quarter. His thee-point attempt to take the lead with 45 seconds remaining rimming out before he scored on a lay up, giving New York their final points of the game, down 1 with 7 seconds remaining before Corey Maggette hit two free throws to clinch the win. The Clippers had a balanced scoring attack with 5 players in double-figures. Chris Kaman led the way with 14 points and 18 rebounds while Sam Cassell and Corey Maggette each added 13. The Knicks got 16 points each from Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry and with Randolph hauling down 19 boards and Curry grabbing 12 of his own. Marbury had 13 points for New York.