By: Holly MacKenzie
If anyone would have told me that the Lakers would score 39 points in the first quarter and be up by 10 against the Nuggets without Kobe Bryant attempting any shots, I would think they were living in a dreamland. In actuality I was in the dreamland as I watched LA put together a great quarter.
Of course, Carmelo went out of the game with a sprained ankle, but I was still impressed with the Lakers offense, Kobe’s decision-making and the guys energy as a whole. I always hate watching Iverson lose though, always.
That behind-the-back pass from Kobe to Turiaf was gorgeous. Maybe these games without Bynum will show people another side of Kobe?
Why does LeBron love playing in the all-star game? Playing with people who are better than him. Who is better than him? “Kobe, no question”. That was my favorite part of the entire Miami/Cleveland game last night.
It just makes me feel bad and frustrated to watch the Heat right now.
Inside the NBA killed me tonight. Killed me. When Barkley thought the painting of MLK was Oliver Miller…I was done. Those guys are my favorite. Seven hours and three games with them today, it was perfect.
It must have been a weird feeling for George Karl to sit and see his team go down by 18 and then because it is a blowout have his son get into the game for the two to become only the third father-son pair to play against each other in a game. He looked so proud the little smirk couldn’t even be wiped off of his face.
It is amazing when you see replays involving Iverson to actually notice how much contact he takes on every single play, usually without getting any call.
McGrady is going to play the rest of the season out by battling through the pain in his knee. Good for him for being tough, but I hope he doesn’t do any further damage and he can be a help to his team night in and night out. I thought it was a good idea when JO mentioned taking the rest of the season off to fully recover his knee and I kind of wish McGrady would do the same.
The Atlanta/Portland game looked insane. From what I got to see of it. I had the live feed on my computer and the yahoo!sports boxscore, but I was at a coffee shop and missed most of the overtime because the online feed kept on freezing. The important thing is, Portland found a way to win again, and again it was Outlaw to step up with the game winner.
“King James is ready to roll” Bron was fun to hear mic’d up. I wish I could subscribe to all of my favorite mic’d up every game. That would be the ultimate viewing experience.
I don’t think I would want to hear the Warriors or Nellie last night, though. Dropping one to the Timberwolves at home was rough. When Baron Davis has a bad game like that, the Warriors are pretty much toast.
Washington 102 Dallas 84
Washington’s theme for their game yesterday was to get better on every possession. They had a fantastic showing defensively as they held Dallas to only 84 points on their way to handing them their most-lopsided loss of the season, 102-84. In the close contest, it was Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison who blew the game open by scoring 19 consecutive points for the Wizards in the third quarter as they went into the fourth up 73-60. In the final period it was all Washington as their lead was never in doubt and their 18-point margin at the end of things was their largest of the game. Caron Butler continued his fantastic play, scoring 25 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, dishing 5 assists and nabbing 5 steals, Jamison had 23 points and 8 boards, DeShawn Stevenson scored 18 points and Antonio Daniels had 13 points and 6 assists. Josh Howard was great for Dallas in the loss, scoring 32 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists and Devin Harris added 14.
San Antonio 95 Charlotte 86
The Charlotte Bobcats will go as far as Gerald Wallace and Jason Richardson can take them. When the two combine to shoot 10-36 in any game it spells trouble for the Bobcats, especially so when it is against a structured team like the Spurs. After being up by one at the end of the first quarter the Bobcats went into the half down by seven, 54-47. Thanks to their classic pick-and-roll the Spurs were able to hold onto their lead and were up 73-67 to start the final quarter. A dunk by Tim Duncan extended the lead to 11 with just under four minutes left in the game and San Antonio went on to the victory from there. Duncan finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili scored 16 points apiece, Michael Finley had 13 and Ime Udoka added 11. Emeka Okafor had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats as Jason Richardson had 13 points and Wallace scored 15, as each finished the game shooting just 5-18 from the floor. Wallace added 9 rebounds, Raymond Felton had 10 points and 6 assists and Nazr Mohammed had 12 off of the bench.
Indiana 110 Philadelphia 103
After starting out flat and going down 32-19 at the end of the first quarter, the 76er’s worked their way back into the game, but they came up short and were unable to complete their comeback from 16 down. In the second quarter Philadelphia used a 16-0 run to cut the Pacer lead to two points, but they would not get any closer as Kareem Rush and Mike Dunleavy hit consecutive three-pointers to close out the half and leave Indiana up 63-49. Philly would again cut the lead to two in the third quarter but Indiana responded with a 15-4 run to close out the quarter. In the final period the 76er’s would get as close as 106-100 with 2 minutes left in the game, thanks to a three-point play by Iguodala, but he followed that up with an airball and the Pacers went on for the win. Rush finished with a game-high 25 points, Dunleavy added 24 and Danny Granger had 18. Jamaal Tinsley had only 2 points but dished 12 assists and Troy Murphy added 13. Iguodala led Philadelphia with 23 points, Andre Miller had 21 points, Louis Williams scored 14 and Thaddeus Young added 13. Samuel Dalembert grabbed 13 rebounds in the loss.
Houston 96 Seattle 89
After a strong first half that saw them trail by only one, 53-52, the wheels fell off for the Sonics as they opened the third by missing 14 of their first 20 shots in the period as the Rockets took advantage and went into the fourth up 77-68. In the fourth the Sonics would get as close as four on a three-pointer from Wally Szczerbiak with 1:50 on the clock. Yao answered for the Rockets by getting to the line and knocking down both free throws to extend the lead back to six. Yao then blocked an attempt by Jeff Green to seal the victory for Houston. While the teams had almost identical shooting percentages and each pulled down 46 rebounds, Seattle attempted only 14 free throws, connecting on 8 of them while the Rockets hit 21 of their 31 attempts. Yao led Houston with 30 points and 17 rebounds to go with three blocked shots while Tracy McGrady had 17 points 6 rebounds and 5 assists coming off of the bench in his second game back from a knee injury. Bonzi Wells scored 16 points, while Rafer Alston and Carl Landry added 12 points apiece. Jeff Green and Wally Szczerbiak each scored 15 points for Seattle, Nick Collison had 10 points and 9 rebounds and Kevin Durant added 12 as Earl Watson had 9 points to go with 9 assists in the loss.
New Orleans 106 Milwaukee 92
The Hornets rebounded from a sluggish start in their game against Milwaukee yesterday to come back and take the 106-92 victory thanks to the ever-improving tandem of Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler who each finished with double-doubles. While Milwaukee led by four at the half, the Hornets turned things up a notch in the second half, knocking down three’s, connecting on alley-oops and getting out to run as they used an 11-0 run to close out the third and start the fourth. Things continued to roll for New Orleans and the went up by as many as 21 points in the final minutes. Chandler finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, Paul had 16 points and 10 assists without any turnovers. Peja Stojakovic had 18 points, David West scored 16 and Morris Peterson added 14. The Bucks were led by Michael Redd who had 19 points, Andrew Bogut who finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds and Charlie Villanueva who added 18 off of the bench. Mo Williams also had 16 points and 6 assists in the loss.
Utah 109 LA Clippers 93
In their 109-93 victory over the Clippers last night the Utah Jazz were on fire, finishing the game at 57% from the floor. The Clippers were unable to keep up with Utah and the game was never really in doubt. The Clippers managed to cut the lead to four points in the third on a three by rookie Al Thorton, but Matt Harpring answered by scoring seven quick points to get the lead back into double-figures going into the fourth. When Los Angeles got within nine points in the opening minutes of the fourth, the Jazz answered by going on a 20-6 run to blow things open and put Utah up 107-84 in the final minutes. Utah had six players finish in double-figures and they were led by Deron Williams and his 18-point, 13-assist night. Matt Harpring and Paul Millsap each had 17 points off of the bench and Carlos Boozer had a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double. Ronnie Brewer had 15 points while Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver scored 13 points apiece. Corey Maggette had 23 for the Clippers, Chris Kaman added 17 and 10 rebounds while Cuttino Mobley and Thorton each added 14 points.
Memphis 104 Chicago 90
The Chicago Bulls got off to a slow start on the road against Memphis last night and the result was a 104-90 loss that dropped them to 16-24 on the season. While Chicago weathered bad shooting to trail by only one with 3:30 left in the first half, the Grizzlies closed out the final minutes of the half with a 12-0 run to take a 13-point advantage into the break. The second half was all Memphis as the Grizzlies extended their lead to 17 points and cruised to what was only their 12th victory on the season. Rudy Gay and Mike Miller had 24 points and 10 rebounds apiece for the Grizz while Mike Conley Jr. had 10 points and 10 assists and Pau Gasol added 12 points and 10 boards. Ben Gordon had 25 points in the loss, Andres Nocioni scored 16 Luol Deng had 13, Kirk Hinrich added 12 and Ben Wallace grabbed 13 boards.
Orlando 102 Detroit 100
While Rashard Lewis has had his ups and downs this season, last night was definitely an up as Lewis hit the game-winning jumper as the buzzer sounded to give Orlando the 102-100 victory against the Pistons. After starting out slow, the Magic used an 11-4 run to close out the half with a 55-49 advantage at the half. In the second half the Pistons closed the gap and went into the fourth trailing by only two, 80-78. The game would be close the entire quarter with Rasheed Wallace missing a game-tying three-pointer with 36 seconds on the clock. Orlando missed out on the opportunity to clinch the victory when Lewis missed a shot and then Dwight Howard missed on the tip in attempt. This set up the Pistons final possession where Chauncey Billups got free to knock down a three-pointer to tie everything at 100 with 3.6 seconds remaining. On the final play of the game, Lewis rose up and hit the jumper as time expired and Orlando got to walk off of the court victorious. Hedo Turkoglu had 26 points and 8 assists to lead Orlando; Howard had 23 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks and Lewis finished with 16 points. Richard Hamilton was tops for Detroit with 21 points, Tayshaun Prince had 20 points, Wallace finished with a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double, Billups finished with 18 points while Jason Maxiell and Antonio McDyess added 11 points apiece.
Cleveland 97 Miami 90
The bleeding continued in Miami last night as even an inspiring performance from Dwyane Wade in a match up with LeBron James could not prevent the Heat from dropping their 14th straight. The game was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than nine points. While the Heat went up by as many as five points in the first half, the Cavaliers led for almost the entire second half as the Heat players, minus Wade, were horrible from the field, shooting only 3-21 and managing to score only six points the entire second half. Luckily for Miami, Wade had 32 of his game-high 42 in the second half as he scored the Heat’s final 18 points of the game. He brought Miami to within four with 30 seconds remaining, but LeBron clinched the game with two made free throws on the next possession. James finished with 23 points, 5 assists and 4 steals for Cleveland while Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Drew Gooden had 11 points and Sasha Pavlovic and Damon Jones each added 10. Wade’s 42 point came on 17-29 field goals, to go along with 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Shaquille O’Neal had 10 points and Udonis Haslem had 9 points and 13 rebounds.
Minnesota 109 Golden State 108
The team with the worst record in the league didn’t look so bad in a victory over the Warriors last night. Snapping their 16-game road losing streak, the TWolves had to wait until the final seconds of the game to escape with the victory, thanks to a missed layup by Baron Davis and the missed tip in by Al Harrington. Opening the game by going up by 10, the Timberwolves gave up that lead by the half and trailed 52-49 before coming out strong in the third, outscoring the Warriors 36-28. With the strong third quarter they took an 85-80 advantage into the fourth. In the fourth the Warriors came back and cut the lead to 93-91 before Antoine Walker would hit a three to extend the Minnesota lead. Ryan Gomes would hit two free throws to give the Timberwolves a 109-108 lead with 54 seconds left in the game. The two teams would trade misses as Baron Davis missed a three-pointer for Golden State and Marko Jaric missed one for Minnesota setting up the Warriors for one last chance to take the game. Davis would miss a layup in the final seconds, the tip in attempt by Al Harrington at the buzzer wouldn’t go and the Timberwolves got the victory after shooting 51% from the floor for the game. Ryan Gomes was great for Minnesota with 35 points and 11 rebounds, Al Jefferson had 21 points and 12 boards, Mariko Jaric scored 16 points, had 8 rebounds and dished 10 assists and Sebastian Telfair had 15 points and 7 assists as Rashad McCants added 15. Monta Ellis led Golden State with 28 points, Matt Barnes had 20 points and Stephen Jackson added 18. Davis scored only 15 points on 5-14 field goals to go along with 6 assists. Andris Biedrins had 12 rebounds and Al Harrington scored 9 points and grabbed 8 boards in the loss.
Portland 111 Atlanta 109
After going down big in the first quarter and trailing 27-18 going into the second quarter, the Portland Trailblazers outscored Atlanta 36-23 to take a 54-50 lead at the half. The two teams would trade leads throughout the second half and thanks to four straight free throws by Joe Johnson in the final minute of regulation the game went into overtime with things all tied up at 100. In the extra session Travis Outlaw went to work scoring eight points, putting the Blazers up 109-107 before Marvin Williams knocked down two free throws to tie the game with 19 seconds remaining. On their final possession of the game, the Blazers went to Outlaw again and he delivered, running the clock down before dribbling inside the three-point line and rising up to knock down a jumper over Josh Smith with .9 seconds remaining in the game to give Portland the overtime victory. Outlaw finished with 23 points off of the bench, Brandon Roy had 18 and Sergio Rodriquez added 16. James Jones added 10 points for the Blazers. Joe Johnson was fantastic for Atlanta with 37 points, and 7 assists, Josh Smith was a force for the Hawks with 17 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks in the loss and Tyronn Lue had 18. Al Horford added 7 points and 11 rebounds.
LA Lakers 116 Denver 99
Without Andrew Bynum and Trevor Ariza the Lakers knew they would have to step up and help Kobe Bryant shoulder the load. No one expected his supporting cast to take all of the weight off of his shoulders but that is just what happened last night in a 116-99 victory over the Nuggets where Bryant had only 7 shot attempts and dished 11 assists, setting up teammates and getting the Laker offense flowing. Derek Fisher was the recipient of many Bryant passes, as he scored 16 of his 28 points in the first quarter. The Lakers went up by as many as 21 points in the game and after Denver took a brief lead in the third quarter, LA finished the period and started the fourth on a 31-8 run to break down the Nuggets and they did not look back. Denver was without Carmelo Anthony for much of the game after he sprained an ankle midway through the second quarter and did not return. Without Anthony, Marcus Camby did his best to step in, scoring 18 points to go with his 12 rebounds, but it was not enough as the LA run blew the game open. Fisher finished with 28 points, including shooting 6-7 from beyond the arc as Bryant had 17 points to go along with his 11 assists and Jordan Farmar had 19 points off of the bench. Lamar Odom had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, Ronny Turiaf added 11 and Kwame Brown had 11 rebounds as the Lakers moved within one game of the Phoenix Suns and their conference-leading record. Allen Iverson finished with 24 points and 7 assists to lead Denver while Linas Kleiza had 21 points off of the bench and Kenyon Martin added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony Carter was scoreless in the game but did have 14 assists for the Nuggets.