The Post Up: Big Names, Huge Games
TP, 55. Amare, 49. LBJ, 41.
My goodness. The NBA is back in a big way. I had a weird feeling that it was going to be a huge night around the L, last night. Ryne and I had spoken about how the season has been a bit slow to get moving and then suddenly it was as if the league had heard us and decided to bless us with a ridiculous Wednesday night.
Okay, onto the big stuff. Tony Parker. Amare. LBJ. Parker dropping in 55 points last night? 55. And 10 assists as well. Only MJ and Oscar Robertson have done the same. Ever. He was just insanely unstoppable. I know it was the TWolves, but it was an amazing performance and his team needed a victory.
Am I the only one who is guilty of sometimes forgetting just how talented Parker is? I also cannot believe he has been in this league so long. I remember loving him when I was in high school and he was an 18 year old rookie who was getting the rookie treatment from Popovich.
Amare. Why oh why could he have not been on my fantasy team last night? 49 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals. Oh, 2 blocks as well. And, he did it on 17-21 from the floor and a perfect 15-15 from the line. Please, please, please continue to play angry, Black Jesus. I’m still in awe of this line. Entirely.
LeBron. Not too often he gets overshadowed, but here it is. James had 41 last night in a victory over the Bulls.
The Warriors/Denver game was my favorite of the night, besides watching the Raptors/Pistons live, of course. The Warriors hung in there fought back and turned the game around after being down in the first half. It was a close one throughout the second until Golden State finally managed to create some space in the fourth. I was happy they were able to pull it out. Melo shouldn’t have made those 44 points comments.
I’m not too embarrassed to admit that after a beautiful J by Jackson in the fourth, I was definitely lying in bed with one arm raised in the air, celebrating that basket. Okay, maybe I should not have shared, but, these Warriors are really fighting and they are my underdog team to root for this year.
Also, Alex English is one beautiful person. You’ll learn more in the game notes.
So, after a huge night on the schedule last night, we’ve got an easy TNT night, tonight. I am looking forward to an easy night in with Ernie, Kenny and Charles. Can it really be Thursday already?
LA Lakers 106 LA Clippers 88
In a game that was very close until the fourth when the Clippers turned back into the Clippers, the Lakers pulled away late and used a 22-0 run to run away with the game. The Clippers were doing more than hanging around as they switched leads with the Lakers throughout the game, but it was midway through the fourth quarter when it all began to break down. Thanks to a boost from Lamar Odom off of the bench, the Lakers began their run and did not look back. With their offense fuelled by their defense, the Lakers were able to get Baron Davis out of the game after he committed his fifth foul with the game tied up at 81. When he returned to the game, his team was down by six on the scoreboard, but more importantly, they were down themselves and not playing the way they had for the first three quarters of the game. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 27 points, Odom had 15 points and 9 rebounds off of the bench and Andrew Bynum had 9 points, 17 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Al Thornton led the Clippers with 22 points, Tim Thomas scored 18 and Baron added 17 in the loss.
Golden State 111 Denver 101
With their new point guard Chauncey Billups opting not to join the team in the Bay for their game against the Warriors, the undermanned Nuggets battled against Golden State, leading throughout the first half, before fading in the second and dropping a 111-101 decision last night. While Denver was ahead early and led by seven at the end of the first quarter, the Warriors hung in there and were able to swing the momentum by the half, trailing only one, 59-58 at the break. In the third, the Warriors came out blazing, pushing the tempo and attacking Denver to get them on their heels. Led by Stephen Jackson, they were able to pull away in the fourth to grab their first home victory of the season. Jackson led the way with 29 points and 7 assists as Kelenna Azubuike scored 22 points off of the bench, Andris Biedrins scored 12 points to go with 11 rebounds and 5 blocked shots and Brandon Wright had a career-night with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony had 28 points to lead the Nuggets as Dahntay Jones scored 15 and Nene had 19 points and 15 rebounds.
Utah 103 Portland 96
In another close game last night, the Jazz pulled away from the Blazers in the fourth quarter to remain unbeaten, all without Deron Williams. Outscoring Portland 29-18 in the final quarter, it was Brevin Knight who got things rolling in the fourth, as Utah remained strong when a lay up from Brandon Roy cut the Utah lead to only one with a minute remaining. Rather than panic and rush a shot, Andrei Kirilenko calmly fed Carlos Boozer the ball for an easy lay up of his own with 29 seconds on the clock and a three-point lead that they would hang onto. For the final play of the game, it was Rudy Fernandez who took the shot and missed and the Jazz were victorious. Mehmet Okur scored 22 points for the Jazz, Boozer finished with 20, Kirilenko with 17 and Ronnie Brewer with 16. LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy led the Blazers with 18 points apiece as Joel Przybilla added 16 rebounds in the loss.
Cleveland 107 Chicago 93
On nights like Wednesday, LeBron James just makes it look too easy. In a game against the Bulls, James finished with 41 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals, almost effortlessly, as the Cavaliers handled the Bulls with ease, despite a late run by Chicago with James on the bench. Once he returned to the court, however, it was short-lived as James got back to work by putting in seven quick points to all but silence the Bulls. Besides the big night from James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Delonte West scored 16 points and Mo WIlliams added 13. Ben Gordon had 31 points off of the bench to lead the Bulls while Derrick Rose scored 20 points and Loul Deng added 18 in the loss.
Phoenix 113 Indiana 103
After a strong start to the season that included a victory over the Boston Celtics, the Pacers were looking good against the Suns, until Amare Stoudemire happened. With his team trailing by 11 in the first quarter, Stoudemire got to work. And he didn’t stop for the rest of the game. Just missing his career-high of 50 points, he finished with a ridiculous line of 49 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals. He shot 17-21 from the floor (with two of those misses coming from the three-point line, so 17-19 from inside three), and went a perfect 15-15 from the foul line. The dominance of Stoudemire coupled with the Pacers settling for jumpers in the second half spelled doom for Indiana and the Suns came away with the 113-103 victory. In addition to Stoudemire’s big night, Boris Diaw had 14 points off of the bench for the Suns and Grant Hill added 11. Danny Granger and TJ Ford each had 23 points to lead Indiana and Marquis Daniels added 19.
San Antonio 129 Minnesota 125 2OT
In what was a marathon of a game, Tony Parker came out on top. In a big way. With the Spurs struggling to start off this season and in search of their first win, the Timberwolves were quick to pounce and try to continue holding them down. Parker was having none of that. Becoming only the third player ever to score 55 points and dish 10 assists, Parker forced the double overtime with a shot at the buzzer and then again was their go to guy down the wire as he simply could not be stopped, jumper after jumper, layup after layup. He was the one who forced the second overtime period as well, another jumper sailing through the net. In the second overtime, it was all Parker as he scored six of the Spurs first eight in the period, refusing to let his team drop another contest. He shot 22-36 from the floor and had some help from Tim Duncan who put in 30 points and 16 rebounds and Roger Mason Jr. dropped in 26 points off of the bench. Al Jefferson led the Wolves with 30 points and 14 rebounds, Mike Miller scored 25 points and Sebastian Telfair added 8 points and 10 assists off of the bench.