I have a surprise for this edition of The Post Up. Rather than going through all of the games individually, I’ve gotta be slack and just skim over each one. I didn’t get to clear this with Sam (sorry!), because of the West Coast time difference, but, I have a good reason. I received confirmation on my press credentials for the Raptors/Suns game late this evening and I was panicking because I had been waiting to book my ticket to Toronto until I knew what was going on with the game. I was planning on going home for Christmas vacation and stopping in Toronto to see some friends along the way but, my plans have changed just a bit. I have finally found someone to take over my lease and I have decided I definitely need to see the Suns after that 42-point performance by Amare against the Pacers last night So when I leave for Toronto this morning (at 5ish am), I will not be coming back to this apartment. Since I was stuck in Seattle a day longer than anticipated and it looked like the Suns game was not going to pan out, I (of course), put off packing anything and everything and ended up with exactly 9 hours to pack up my apartment (and my life!), clean it top to bottom so I can get my damage deposit back, and of course watch a great night of basketball and write this column. One thing had to take a backseat to this monster packing effort and in order for me to get myself and my belongings to Toronto, The Post Up will be brief today. I apologize in advance, it’s already been an all-nighter and the day is only going to get crazier once I get to TO. I am still so damn proud that I managed to pack up EVERYTHING in only 8 short hours. Lots of coffee and Kanye, but, I did it. Although it is the second night of a back-to back for the Suns, I hope I get a good show. Even if Bosh, Bargnani and Ford don’t play for the Raps.
Phoenix 122 Indiana 117
While Jermaine Oneal had his best game of the season with 30 points, Amare Stoudemire outdid him and dropped 42 points to drop the Pacers 122-117. While the Pacers were up 117-115 with under a minute remaining in the game, Steve Nash pulled up and hit a three to give the Suns the lead and after a Jamaal Tinsley missed shot, Stoudemire hit a mid-range jumper with 6.5 seconds on the clock to ensure Phoenix left with a win. Stoudemire finished with 42 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 12-13 from the free throw line, while Nash had 18 points and 17 assists for the Suns. In addition to Oneal’s 30 points and 11 rebounds, Tinsley finished with 19 point and 12 assists while Mike Dunleavy added 22 points.
New Jersey 100 Cleveland 79
Without LeBron James, the Nets made easy work out of the Cavaliers and dropped them 100-79 last night. After taking a 47-43 halftime lead, the Nets started the 3rd quarter with a 9-0 run and rather than rally back, Cleveland seemed content to lie down and lose. Richard Jefferson took advantage of the short-handed Cavs as he finished with a game-high 36 points to lead the Nets. Vince Carter added 19 points while Malik Allen had 10 points and 9 boards. In the loss, Shannon Brown had 20 points, Daniel Gibson added 17 and Drew Gooden added 14. Dwayne Jones had 9 points and 12 boards for Cleveland.
Detroit 106 Atlanta 95
This was one of those games where the final score is nowhere indicative of the actual game, as the final quarter was a mishmash of garbage time with Detroit going up by as many as 28 before setting their reserves loose and watching Atlanta outscore them 34-19 in the 4th, to cut the lead. For the rest of the game, it was all Detroit as the Hawks had no answer for the Piston offense and were outscored 30-13 in the 3rd quarter, when the game was blown open by Detroit. The Pistons had seven players reach double-figures, and they were led by Tayshaun Prince’s 23 points while Jarvis Hayes added 17 and Jason Maxiell had 13 points and 9 boards. For Atlanta, Josh Childress led the way with 18 points while Salim Stoudamire scored 15 points and rookie Al Horford continued to crash the boards, pulling down 10 to go along with 8 points.
LA Lakers 116 Minnesota 95
Javaris Crittenton sighting, healthy looking Ariza and a sick Kobe, literally. These ingredients combined together ends up with a Laker win over the hapless Timberwolves, 116-95. After a 13-point 1st quarter from Bryant, the Lakers went up by as many as 16 early in the 2nd and cruised from there. Bryant finished with 20 points while Trevor Ariza had 15 points and Sasha Vujacic added 16 for the Lakers who were without Andrew Bynum who was sick with the same bug that Bryant had. Al Jefferson had 12 points and 12 rebounds to lead Minnesota while Sebastian Telfair added 16 points and Rashad McCants had 14.
Sacramento 117 Utah 107
While the Kings lost Kevin Martin in the 4th quarter, they still had John Salmons and he wasn’t planning on losing. Salmons stepped up big for Sacramento, scoring 13 straight points and helping the Kings on their way to a 43-point 4th quarter, outscoring the Jazz by 13 in the period to come away with the win. Deron Williams finished with 30 points and 7 assists, but it wasn’t enough to save the Jazz. Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 11 rebounds and Ronnie Brewer had 18 in the loss. Salmons finished with 21 points, Ron Artest had 23 points and Kevin Martin’s 25 points led the Kings before going out with a strained groin.
Milwaukee 87 LA Clippers 78
Milwaukee got the win against the LA Clippers last night, but it took them until the final minutes to do so. Down by 15 early, the Bucks fought their way back and stole the victory thanks to a 14-4 run in the final minutes of the game. They used a 24-9 run earlier in the game to tie things up at 60 in the 3rd quarter. Michael Redd was instrumental in the latter run, scoring 10 of the 14 points as he finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds. Andrew Bogut had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks, while Mo Williams had 8 points, 7 rebound and 9 assists. Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 20 points, Tim Thomas had 16 and Chris Kaman added 13 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocked shots.