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Monday, March 1st, 2010 at 9:09 am  |  40 responses

Post Up: Spurs Sink Suns

And Ron frustrates Melo.

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Let’s start this Monday off with a little rookie love. The Hornets rookies are awesome. Darren Collison is showing he’s a lot more than capable point guard. He’s a scorer, he’s a distributor, he’s a great leader for a player in his first year. He also hates losing. Love to see that.

The Hornets were down big, 25 points against the Mavs and they fought back to turn it into a ball game down the stretch, before falling 108-100. The Mavs sure are deep. The trade with Washington looks like it’s really going to work out for them and, they’ve got to be thinking they’re happy they made a move, now that Josh Howard is out for the season with the ACL injury. Dallas is a little scary because they’ve got so many guys who can put points on the board. They seem to fade defensively as the game wears on sometimes, but I wouldn’t want to get caught in a shootout with them.

Dirk finished with 36 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. For the Hornets, Collison finished with 35 points of his own –on 15-for-21 shooting– while Emeka Okafor had 17 rebounds in the loss.

In San Antonio, Steve Nash saved the Suns by hitting a huge three and then sank them by goofing up and giving up a three of his own in transition to feed Channing Frye who was inside the arc, when they were down three. While Nash’s miscue happened at the buzzer, Jason Richardson got a breakaway dunk that would tie the game with 41 seconds left and he missed it. My heart hurt, knowing I’ve been repping him as my dunk contest fave after Vince Carter. How could he let me down? I don’t know, but he did, Nash did and the Spurs left the court with the 113-110 victory.

In the loss, the Suns wasted a huge 41-point, 12-rebound performance from Amare Stoudemire. As my loss, I missed the Stoudemire on RJeff dunk that is apparently getting consideration for slam of the year. Agree/disagree?

In LA, the Lakers were able to out-physical the Nuggets and get the come from behind 95-89 victory, holding Denver to just 37 second half points. They survived a 3-for-17 shooting night from Kobe Bryant and saw what Ron Artest can do battling against Carmelo Anthony. After the two battled for a chunk of the second half, Ron goaded Melo into picking up his sixth foul on the offensive end. I kinda thought it was the kind of foul you don’t call, but they did and with Melo out, the momentum had shifted and LA went on the collect the W.

Melo was just 7-for-19 from the floor for his 21 points and eight turnovers. While Kobe struggled from the floor he finished with 12 assists to lead the Lakers back. Lamar Odom scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds off of the bench, Pau Gasol had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Artest added 17 points.

In Oklahoma City, the Thunder rolled all over the Bosh-less Raptors and it wasn’t even as close as that 119-99 score indicates. 18 turnovers, about a million mental errors and legs that looked tired did the Raptors in. Add in little defense against one of the best defensive teams rolling right now and it was an ugly one. For Raptors fans. If you enjoy OKC, well, it was fun watching them get dunks and force turnovers and smile it up on the bench.

Kevin Durant has scored 25+ points in 52 games this season. That’s nuts.

Okay, that’s about all I saw. If you’re in Toronto, you know there was a whole lot of celebrating and people in the streets, car horns blaring and people cheering for the better part of the evening after the gold medal hockey game. I did flip the channel from Lakers/Nuggets about two minutes before the game-winner was scored, so that was cool. We’ll just pretend I watched the rest of it.

Before I go, I have to mention Jason Kidd’s insane-o line from Friday night: 19 points, 16 rebounds, 17 assists.

As CDR would say, “Yes, yess. Respect.”

Seriously. He also had a “run-in” with Mike Woodson when he ran at the coach who was stepping on the side of the court. Woodson was called for a tech and the Mavs completed their comeback against the Hawks thanks to Kidd’s huge night. While he called the move by JK, “genius” when he was asked about it postgame, I wonder how pissed Woodson really was?

By the way, Kidd’s almost 37.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Amare on Jefferson!!! WOW.
    Terrible game from the Lakers, Gasol, Fisher, Kobe, EVERYONE. But Denver isn’t that good so we knew we would beat them. Right meloman? The first half though was crazy. Denver was getting calls like they were miami in the 06 finals!!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Amare CRUSHED Jefferson.
    Pity J-Rich missed that dunk though. Stupid. That made national news over here lol.
    Holly- what was it you and Patrick O’Bryant were going on about on twitter? It was kinda interesting, but confusing too.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I love Billups talking shit too lol. JR did it last year, Hollins, Mo Williams… and they all got their’s!!!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Jason Kidd is still tearing it apart. The dude can still play, but he WAS getting covered by Mike Bibby. Just throwing that out there. But it was still a crazy performance.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    You know, I thought Nash’s oops was rather obvious, Hubie Brown thouroughly explained it, but even still, NBA(dot)com can’t seem to figure out ANYTHING about that play and neither can you, Holly. It’s upsetting.
    Nash had a clear 27-footer but saw Channing Frye at the three point line. Nash went up in the air as to shoot the ball and throw everyone off, then was going to pass it to Frye so he would have a clear shot with his foot right behind the line. Inexcusably though, Frye paused, then KEPT MOVING TO INSIDE THE THREE. Nash, already planning on passing, awkwardly readjusted his pass and still got it to Frye, but Frye was already inside the three-point line.
    I still blame Nash, because the dude has to take these high pressure shots if Phoenix is going to get anywhere, but I mean, this was explained on ABC… I don’t get why people are clueless why Nash passed the ball out.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Also, what’s up with seemingly ageless points? Jason Kidd is ridiculous. ANYONE getting 19-16-17 would be insane, but a 37-year-old? How crazy is that!!!

  • jumpman3224

    Lakers/Nugs – Bad game for both teams, but plenty of good signs for the lakers. 1)Artest is becoming what the Lakers wanted him to become, hopefully he can sustain the weightloss and bring the same approach/intensity for the playoffs. 2) Kobe didnt have a good shooting game, at all. But, late in the game he was able to adapt and takeover late by facilitating everything and putting himself in a position to get to the FT line. 3) They haven’t been the best against elites so far (0-2 CLE, now 1-2 DEN, 1-0 ORL, 1-1 BOS), but yesterday they showed a lot of mental toughness to man up and raise their level of physicality and mount a come back.

  • jumpman3224

    Suns/Spurs – Amar’e is amazing. The play near the end which he missed a reverse grabbed the board and slammed it home was unbelievable. I totally see why the Cavs deemed JJ Hickson too valuable to give up for that guy. But, seriously he is a monster. Both teams played well enough to win. Kind of a bummer that the Suns had late miscues.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    The Lakers beating the Nuggets with Kobe looking very mortal should silence a lot of doubters. Should, but probably won’t.

  • jumpman3224

    During the Lakers/Nugs broadcast Van Gundy said Billups would have to be the point guard on the all decade team. IDK about that. I mean all due respect to Mr Big Shot, but Nash or JKidd would have to be that or am I crazy?

  • Logues

    Jukai: um, the time already ran out before frye could even catch the ball, he wouldnt of been able to even get a shot off even if he was at the three point line. it was a bad play by nash cause the time would of ran out

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Logues: I agree it was a bad play by Nash.
    Frye definitely would have had time to get it off, as they had to go to replay to see if Frye had gotten his 15-footer off because it was so close to the time running out (and that was with half a second of hesitation by Frye)… so I think he had a SHOT of getting it off… but the chances would about as good as Nash hitting a 27-30 footer.

  • A.

    @Bryan: Melo played like sh!t also.

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    Ok lets start by disregarding everything James says because he’s an idiot/ Kobe’s call girl… Nuggets just didnt play good, simple and plain… but i dont understand how Melo (who is top 5 in the league) gets NO superstar treatment from the refs…. while kobe can whine and flail his arms up at every call/ no call that doesnt favor him…

  • The D Train

    Pretty funny that the refs let the LA-Denver game be a steel-cage death match, only to whistle ‘Melo for a ticky-tack 6th foul. Kind of took the shine off of a close game. I turned it off at that point (i think there was 2 mins left and it was still a close game, but if they were going to make a call like that that gets Anthony out of the game, I knew Denver didn’t stand a chance). Ron played great D on Melo, but he would have fouled out on reach-in’s in the third quarter alone if the refs were going to call fouls like Melo’s final one. It reminded me of MJ back in the day talking about playing against Reggie Miller: “It’s like chicken fighting with a woman.” Also, does anyone else notice how awful JR Smith plays against Kobe? You can see that Kobe just loves destroying that guy. He chases him like a hound-dog on D, then takes it to him on the other end. Totally seems like Kobe is completely and utterly in JR’s head.

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    ps… GOOOOO CANADAAAA

  • riggs

    @ D-Train, kobe played horribly with J.R. on him, as soon as he got off him he got his points…so tit for tat?

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    I seen jr strip kobe back to back la fans are full of it bryan you were probably sweating bullets for 3 quaters now your extra confident if these teams arent neck and neck den been better up to this point

  • http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/kobe_bryant_top_50.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/nba/slamonline-top-50/& James the Balla

    Meloman… by getting a T, what supertsar treament was that? And how about 21 freethrows to 4 at one point in the game lol. GTFOH. You are from Canada? If you were from the East Coast, you would get the sh1t beat out of you … : D

  • http://alimartin07@yahoo.com Ali

    Artest is Rodman but with more basketball skills…He may not snatch 15 boards but if he plays like he did vs. Melo the rest of the way, it’s a wrap for the Lakers to win back to back. We all know phil likes to have at least one physical banger that will get in the heads of the opposing teams best player down low on the blocks. There are very few forwards that want to bang with Ron

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    are u kidding me? Kobe basically asked for that one, probably should hve gotten another one… all im saying is that u cant let Ron artest play 90′s defense on Melo but call tick tack fouls against Melo. It’s not fair… and Im not from the east coast, im from Toronto… and if u were from here u would not only get the sh!t kicked out of u, but ur body would be floating in the lake :D

  • T-Money

    I don’t understand why Nash doesn’t take every single big shot for the Suns. He’s so money, yet he doesn’t take over most of the time. Weird. / Denver-LA is going to 7 games. Honestly, they seem to be pretty equal to me this year. The outcome will probably depend on the pace of the games. / Juks: I don’t care about how Frye was open, for real. You see day light, you shoot. I believe in getting the best shot possible for your team in crunch time but that WAS the best shot.

  • The D Train

    @ riggs…absolutely, for one game. Kobe shot very poorly which you can’t count on happening too often. I just meant that JR always seems to play crappy against Kobe and Co, although I am just going off the top of my head so I may be off-base.

  • letsmotor

    I know Denver has been playing great against the elite teams, but their road record (like Atlanta’s and even Orlando’s) sort of keeps me from really believing in them.

  • http://Slamadamonth.com Mvp23100

    @ali
    but we know damn well artest isnt gonna play like that the rest of the year he hasnt up to this point and if they play cleveland in the finals artest will get abused

  • T-Money

    Ali: Bron? Artest didn’t look too good against him. I don’t thin he can get rattled by physical play.

  • Buschfire

    AMAZING whoc cares about the NBA after the Olympics yesterday incredible! go CANADA

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    T-Money: I 100% agree. I’m just explaining why Nash passed it up– it wasn’t some unexplainable lapse of judgement. He saw Frye at the three point line and wanted to toss it to Frye who had a wide open shot, not expecting Frye to move.
    However, Frye would have had .5 or something seconds to shoot it, and as I said before, his chances of getting it off would have been identical to Nash making a 27-30 footer, where Nash would have been shooting had he not passed

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    @ jumpman3224: Cavs did offer JJ Hickson, Suns didn’t want to trade Amare.

  • http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/kobe_bryant_top_50.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/nba/slamonline-top-50/& James the Balla

    Where I am from we call it a pond!!
    And Toronto eh … pull up your pants would ya!!
    Man, ya’ll got EVERY foul call in that game!!!

  • http://missjia.com meloMan2.0

    every foul called against us!!.. ok i wont lie, it was pretty even throughout… just Melo was definetely on the wrong side of a few questionable calls late, and the outcome of the game could have been different

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    I thought the 5 games off was supposed to get Kobe rested and ready for the end of the season. Good Laker win despite his 3 for 17 (yikes..). That Affalo block on him was so sweet, nothing but ball and Kobe whined like a child who had his best toy taken away. Like ESPN documents today 24 has had about half of the the worst shooting nights of his career in this season alone – looks like a sure sign of decline (here comes James the Ballicker and the rest of the Kobe-pantsys in another hysterical attack).

  • keify34

    Jukai needs to chill out slightly judging by his first post.

  • jumpman3224

    @Anton: USA today as well as all sports news outlets in CLE reported that the Amar’e to the Cavs deal fell through, because the Cavs refused to move Hickson who was originally thought to be in the deal. But, really who knows what goes into the trade deadline.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I love commenters like LZ lol.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    nash eff up, the clock went off just as frye caught it, so even if he was behind the 3 line, it wouldnt have mattered, funny everyone throwing frye under the bus, when it was obviously steves fault. JASON KIDD! first player to have 15 15 15 since, jason kidd! in 96, then magic in 80something. incredible. you mean jordan didnt? kobe? surely bron? nope! JASON KIDD!!!!!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    2 all time assist. 5 all time 3ptrs made(ason?), 6? all time steals.

  • showtimeizback

    Theres alot to take into account in this game. Number one, melo did offensive foul artest. however, there is no way they should ever 6th foul melo on a call like that.

    kobe was doubled most of the night. hence the bad shooting and hi assist total. in a series, expect him to adjust.

    kobe is getting older and has dealt with alot more injuries this season than others. so he may have a high number of poor shooting games this season. he is also trying to dominate games essentially on jumpers. he started the season posting and then went away from it, 1 cuz pau came back, 2) he is saving it for the playoffs.
    also in the playoffs, kobe WILL drive to the basket far more often. so really he is saving himself for the playoffs. i think it is a testament to him that he has dominated games primarily on jumpers.

  • therighttoremainsalient

    It’s hectic when you’ve just about had your career game…at the age of 37. YOu kind of think that he’ll be still this servicable floor general at the age of 42. THAT would be brilliant…. He is the kind of guy that only needs to get 4 points along with 7 assists and 5 rebounds and he just about alters the game all the way. Nash was sticking to the game plan he had in mind, but that is after all why coach says “don’t jump to pass the ball”…

  • JoeMaMa

    GOLD MEDAL, Holly. WE WON THE GOLD! MOST GOLDS EVER!
    It makes Toronto losing completely nothing. GOLD! SID THE KID!

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