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Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 8:36 am  |  26 responses

Post Up: Things Fall Apart

The Lakers go down at home, while the Knicks squeeze out a close one.

by Adam Figman | @afigman

New York 98, Indiana 92

By the end of this back-and-forth early game in MSG, the Knicks closed out the Pacers behind a series of clutch Amar’e Stoudemire (26 points, 8 boards) buckets and some relentless Ronny Turiaf (10 boards, 6 blocks) D. These two groups battled all four quarters, and as sloppy as things were (NY shot 38.5 percent, Indiana shot 42.5 percent), neither team could be fended off. Ultimately, the win was a big one for the Knicks, who were coming off a pair of tough losses and will have to take on the Spurs Tuesday night. Also: Danilo Gallinari went down in the last quarter, and we’ve since learned it was the result of a sprained knee. As I’m writing this, there’s no word on how long he’ll be out for, but my guess is he sits against the Spurs and hopes to get back in time for the Knicks’ West Coast road trip, which tips off Friday night in Phoenix.

Atlanta 107, L.A. Clippers 98

The Clippers had a good hold on this game early, but as is often the case with young teams that aren’t too (or, um, at all) used to winning, they let the lead slowly slip away. Behind Joe Johnson (29 points) and Josh Smith (22 points, 10 rebounds), the Hawks charged back into it, jumping ahead with 65 second-half points. The Clips received 31 and 15 (oh, and this) from Blake Griffin, but…you know. This whole process is pretty much standard operating procedure at this point. Atlanta now has sole possession of the fifth spot in the East, but they’re creeping up on the Magic, who are only a half-game ahead of ‘em.

Boston 93, Toronto 79

Props to the Raps for staying with the Celts for so long, but in the end, the C’s just had too much talent and too many weapons. Paul Pierce scored 30 and grabbed 7, Ray Allen scored 23 and drilled 3 treys, and Glen Davis went for 15 and 11 in Kevin Garnett’s absence. Rajon Rondo also returned to the court, but he had some rust to shake off, as he finished with 4 points, 8 dimes and 5 turnovers in 34 minutes. DeMar DeRozan (27 points, 3 steals) was the only impressive Raptor, as his team fell to 11-22 with the loss.

Dallas 104, Cleveland 95

The Mavericks are a lot better than the Cavs. Yeah, I wish I had a better way to put that one, too. Apologies. Even with Caron Butler out (for a long time, potentially), all five Mavs starters managed double figures, led by Shawn Marion’s 22. That’s important, because if Butler is indeed out for the season, the Matrix will need to step up in a major, major way. Antawn Jamison put up some solid fantasy stats—35 points, 10 boards, 1 steal—but to no avail. Cleveland has now dropped seven straight, a streak they’ll look to turn around Wednesday night when they host the Raptors.

Portland 100, Houston 85

Always a crapshoot as to which Trail Blazer swingman will get hot, and last night it was The Homie Nicolas Batum, who scored 21 points off 8-12 shooting. LaMarcus Aldridge also pitched in 25 points and 11 boards, and the Blazers jumped ahead in the third quarter and refused to look back. Both of these teams have been and will continue to battle for one of the last playoff spots in the West, so this is definitely a nice win for Portland. They’re now up a game and a half on the Rockets.

Sacramento 94, Phoenix 89

As much crap as DeMarcus Cousins gets for his off-the-court (or on-the-court, but not related to actual playing) behavior, the dude’s talent is undeniable. Sure, going against the Suns’ frontline helps, but a 26-point, 7-rebound, 6-assist night doesn’t happen for just anyone. Cousins’ strong play led the Kings over the Suns last night, as Sacto used a 29-16 fourth quarter advantage to jump ahead of Phoenix in the final period. A clutch Omri Casspi three put the Kings ahead in the final minute, and some strong D down the wire sealed things up. The Suns have lost five of six, and once again, we’re forced to ask: How long until Steve Nash (who had 20 points, 12 dimes, and shot 8-8 from the floor and 2-2 from the line) asks for a trade?

Memphis 104, L.A. Lakers 85

After a three-game losing streak, the Lakers won a pair of contests and appeared to be back on track. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they’ve reverted back to their losing ways, because it’s just a single game, but it is safe to say this doesn’t look anything like the World Champion Lakers team we saw last season and a couple months back. The Grizzlies completely dominated them, shooting better from both the field and the line and holding everyone not named Kobe to under 12 points. Again, I ask: What’s happening here?

Actual Stats: Blake Griffin: 31 points, 15 boards, 3 assists, 1 block

Moment of the Night: Forget what you’ve heard; Paul Pierce can still throw it down.

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  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    LONG… LIVE… THE KING!

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    And, Kobe Bryant is making me look smarter than I really am, at this moment.

  • RobbieJay

    Look At Paul Peirce elevatin and detonatin; SLAM i hope you got the Trevor Ariza slam on Javale McGee….nasty

  • JTaylor21

    Who’s next on the blame chart LA fans? Is it Artest? Maybe it’s PJax turn? Or better yet; the refs? Which one will it be lakerland.

  • Washtub

    b diddy/b griffin are the sweetest payton/kemp throwback ever

  • letsmotor

    Actual Stats honorable mention: Big Baby Davis. 15, 11, and 8.

  • Mike from Spain

    pfff I am primarily a Pau Gasol fan, but I don’t know what’s up with him. He looks dead tired, soft and generally bad. Now Kobe is missing most of the threes he shoots, and the bench is as bad as it was last year after a promising season start… why???

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Leandro should change his name to LeChucker. Horrible decisions in the 2nd half of that game.

  • Stepfan

    RUDY AND Z-BO!!!!!!! Why can’t Memphis play like this every night?

  • Hursty

    Ron Artest laid an egg last night. 0,1,2. Well done Ron. Way to get lit up by Rudy Gay too. Retweeting angry fans @ messages won’t make up for it either.
    Also, Houston..? What the F*** happened to you!? Ball movement sucked, no hustle, couldn’t hit shots. Everyone played poorly except for Martin. And he played ‘good’ at best.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    im a Pau fan too, he been playing like sh1t, now thats a team problem, not really one guy…LaMarcus Aldridge to the fu(kin´ ALLSTAR GAME, been ballin´! keep it up my dude!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Blake should have five oops a game. Seriously, he is that dangerous on the pick and roll and if he had point guards with the right mindset he would have it.

  • Scott

    Phil Jackson for coach of the year!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Blake Griffin is 3 years from being the best PF in the league. And if he stays healthy he will put up 25 and 12 next season

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Allen, five is kinda too high, its not 2k out there. ….. ….. Jamison wants out

  • Riggs

    @allenp: i agree, plus his leaping ability is so crazy that with just a spin move he’s already up in the air. jesus….

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    I think the Lakers need a team meeting lol

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Blake Griffin just never dissapoints, I watch all the clippers games now and I keep thinking to myself, one of these days he’s gonna have a bad game (ofcourse he will have some, everyone does) but since he’s a rookie, I just expect more bad games than a 5 year pro would have, but he keeps on getting better and better and better. It’s unrealistic, who good this kid could be. One more thing: Derrick Rose is NUMBER 1 on NBA.com’s MVP list! Drose fans unite!!! :P

  • LA Huey

    Sad thing about Blake is that Clipper curse is strong

  • http://www.oprah.com Doyouwantmore

    Kevin Durant is the King of Basketball

  • MUBWAR

    I think L.A. needs the same team meeting Wade called for. But we all know Kobe isn’t man enough to call out everyone on the team.

  • tony knorr

    are there any slam fam from portland that will be around when they play the knicks next week cause I am driving down from vancouver island canada for that game with my girlfriend and could appreciate any help possible when it comes to getting around portland and what not since we are both broke students and can’t afford to spend any more money than we have to. From one hoops junkie to another if any one can help me out at all please holla at me at my email address tonyknorr@hotmail.com

  • tony knorr

    as for the games last night well its nice to know that when they have to my main man ray allen and paul pierce can still dominate games at will if it means getting a W.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tarzan
    It’s 2K11 for Blake Griffin.
    And do you see how many oops Andre Miller gets Lamarcus Aldridge? Imagine what he would do with somebody like Blake.
    I hate Baron Davis. lol.

  • http://coldhouseplot.com ColdHousePlot

    The Truth just made my Monday workday much more bearable.

  • OvaChicken

    GIVE IT UP 4 LOBE TRY-ANT !

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