What's a defender?by Holly MacKenzie

So, 41 for both Dwyane and Durant. Dwyane’s team gets the W though, so he wins that battle. It’s been said many times before, but it is so great to see him healthy again. I wish he’d be a little more careful out there because that reckless style of play catches up to you, but I guess that’s just how he does it.

What’s an Okafor? Dwyane’s dunk over Emeka was pretty amazing. Off of a steal, he comes down the lane and destroys the rim, and Okafor along with it. Wow. Sorry, Mek.

Golden State resting both Maggette and Jackson. Thank goodness they got this victory because they may have bleak days ahead if these boys are sitting.

I didn’t catch most of the Oklahoma City/Golden State game, but I did see the very end and I’m guessing that was the best part since the Thunder went on a run and threatened to take the game, but couldn’t. Of course.

Baron looked like he was going to kill someone in the Clippers/Magic game last night. He thought that Brian Cook had taken him down hard, but replays looked as though Baron just came down on his own. Any case, he had one crazy look in his eyes.

While Dwight understandably could have had a crazy look in his eyes after the Z-Bo takedown, he didn’t. He spent a couple of minutes on the ground though, then calmly got up and went to the free throw line.

We get lots of flagrants lately it seems, but this was genuinely a bad one. Zach grabbed Dwight by the shoulder/neck and just hauled him down. Hauled. It looked scary watching Dwight just go down.

Postgame, he would say it was just a hard foul. I wonder if he would have felt that way if the Magic didn’t escape LA with the victory. Either way, Happy Birthday to Dwight who had reason to celebrate last night.

I didn’t see any of the Memphis/Houston game and I’m kicking myself for missing it. Looks like the young guys played well, even though Rudy coming off of the bench was interesting. Apparently he was a few minutes late for practice so he came off of the bench. He still led them with 20, though.

Ron sat with that ankle sprain. Here’s hoping he gets healthy soon.

Tonight, we’ve got a bunch of games on the schedule, but I’m most excited for Dallas and San Antonio, Orlando and Portland and of course, Chicago and New York. When Chi and NY became teams I want and need to see each night, I’m not sure, but it has happened.

Golden State 112 Oklahoma City 102

The Warriors need to rest Stephen Jackson and his sore hand. They figured they could get away with doing it against the Thunder. In addition to Jackson, Corey Maggette also sat this one out. They were right about grabbing the victory, but while Jackson and Maggette had the night off, Kevin Durant was certainly on, dropping in 41 points on the night as he tried to will the Thunder to a win late in the game, but came up short. Down 21 in the fourth, KD helped bring Oklahoma City to within 105-102 with less than a minute left to play, he just couldn’t get them the W. Jamal Crawford led the Warriors with 19 points, while Andris Biedrins had a monster game with 17 points and 21 rebounds. BrendanWright and Anthony Morrow each scored 15 points. Durant’s 41 points came on 27 field goal attempts and he added 10 rebounds as well. Nick Collison scored 15 points to go with 10 boards and Damien Wilkins added 10 points.

Miami 100 Charlotte 96

In a close game that saw the lead seesaw and Charlotte in control, up seven late in the fourth, Dwyane Wade recognized closing time was near and decided to get to work. Dropping in 10 points over the final quarter, he brought his team back, while also putting in 41 in another big game for the NBA scoring leader. Once he’d gotten his team back into it, he dished to Shawn Marion, to give the Heat their final lead of the night. Jason Richardson missed two free throws that would have tied the game and it was Wade who capped off the night by knocking down two free throws as the crowd chanted “MVP”. Besides Wade’s night, Mario Chalmers scored 15 points for the Heat as Shawn Marion added 13 as the Heat picked up the win despite only having 12 team assists as compared to 22 for the Bobcats. Richardson led Charlotte with 24 points while Emeka Okafor scored 19 points to go with 12 rebounds and D.J. Augustin added 13 off of the bench.

Memphis 109 Houston 97

Without Ron Artest and Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming was helpless in trying to get his Rockets the win against the hot-shooting Memphis Grizzlies last night. After the Grizz poured in a 32-point first quarter and led by 13 at the end of it, they rolled easily to the victory, never trailing and leading by as many as 22 in the game. Finishing the game with 51% shooting from the floor, Memphis had six players score in double-figures with Rudy Gay leading the way, scoring 20 points. O.J. Mayo and Hakim Warrick each added 18 points. Luis Scola led the Rockets with 16 points and 15 rebounds while Yao was held to 14 points on only 8 shot attempts. Rafer Alston scored 16 points and had 8 assists in the loss.

Orlando 94 LA Clippers 88

While the Clippers led early, it was the Magic who took control late, thanks to birthday boy Dwight Howard’s 23 points, 22 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. That’s going only 9-18 from the free throw line, as well. While the Magic led early, going ahead by as many as 15 points on the Clippers, they became lazy and allowed LA to get back into the game, taking control behind the strong play of Baron Davis. The Clippers would go ahead by as many as 9 points in the final seconds of the third before Howard and the rest of the Magic got to work. A three from Brian Cook gave Orlando the lead again with 9:41 left in the game and the Magic would go on a 22-2 run to open the quarter and break the Clippers. During that run there would be a very hard flagrant foul committed by Zach Randolph on Howard, but it did little to stop him, only slowing him for a moment. Rashard Lewis scored 18 points for the Magic as Jameer Nelson scored 15 and Hedo Turkoglu added 10. Baron led the Clippers with 27 points and 7 assists while Randolph added 21 points and 12 rebounds and Al Thornton added 13.