By: Holly MacKenzie
I cannot believe I missed the Cavs/Celtics game last night. Seriously, I am going to have to take a look at my priorities and do some shifting. As great as friends are, man I am steamed I missed that game. Argh. LBJ put on a show again, but, what I wanted to see was Ray Allen missing two free throws with the game tied and 23.1 seconds left in the game. Highlights do not suffice for a game like that, I’m going to have to download it from nba.com. If LeBron keeps this up I’m going to have to name The Post Up after him.
While I loved seeing Kobe get up for the alleyoop from Walton, it was the Kobe to Bynum connection that made me really happy. The Lakers/Seattle game was really frustrating as a Lakers fan and it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. After losing three straight, I was looking forward to a nice showing against the Sonics. The result did not leave me impressed. Bynum played well again, Kobe looked good and Lamar appeared to be out of that head fog, but it took until the final minutes to have the game in hand. Now that Mo Evans is gone, give Javaris Crittenton some burn. Please. I know he is a rookie and I know how Phil feels about them, but Tex Winter has come out to talk about how much of a talent the kid is and how he wants to see him play. I trust Tex. Throw him a bone, Phil.
Smush Parker inactive as he was involved in a legal incident the team will not comment on? He was not with the team in their game against Charlotte and Riles wouldn’t comment as to what went down. Interesting.
After all of the talk about Milwaukee and their record and the undefeated home record I should have expected them to come out and lose to Philadelphia. Still, I was surprised when I saw the boxscore and the contributions that Iggy, Miller, Korver and Dalembert gave. Too bad they are not nightly performances from the quartet. I was also surprised to see Indiana come out on top against Denver. Nice game from Dunleavy, and impressive that they didn’t fold when Denver cut the lead and made a game out of it. For tonight, I am looking forward to Houston/Phoenix, and Cleveland/Detroit. Now that Washington is Gil-less, I am rooting for the underdog. I don’t want to miss another Cleveland game again and the Magic are up there too. Wow, too much basketball, not enough time. What is a girl to do?
Cleveland 109 Boston 104 OT
Last night the Celtics were handed their second loss of the season and it came at the hands of LeBron and his Cavaliers. It took overtime, but that was where LeBron shone his brightest, scoring 11 in the extra period to bring his total to 38 points to go along with 13 assists. The game was close throughout with Cleveland leading 74-72 at the start of the 4th and with the game on the wire, tied with 23.1 seconds on the clock Ray Allen was at the free throw line to shoot two. Coming into the game shooting 92% from the line, Allen bricked both and Cleveland had a chance to win it in regulation but LeBron was short for one of the last times in the game. In the overtime LeBron took over, putting Cleveland ahead and then knocking down a big three to boost their lead to 99-95 but, Boston kept on coming back. In between two made free throws by LeBron, Ray Allen knocked down a three, then LeBron hit two more free throws. Paul Pierce hit a three but LeBron got to the line yet again and knocked down both to have six consecutive made free throws in the overtime alone. It was enough to hold off the Celtics and Cleveland got to escape victorious. Besides his great night, Drew Gooden added 24 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland while Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 15 points and pulled down 14 rebounds and Sasha Pavlovic added 16 points. Despite the missed free throws, Allen led Boston with 29 points while Kevin Garnett scored 19 and Paul Pierce added 16 in the loss.
Memphis 110 New Jersey 103
Behind Pau Gasol and Mike Miller, the Memphis Grizzlies were just able to hang onto a 58-45 halftime lead and turn it into a 110-103 victory over the New Jersey Nets despite a late surge by the Nets to cut an 18-point lead down to 1 in the final minutes of the game. That halftime lead came in large part to the 23-8 run Memphis went on to start the 2nd quarter. While they never trailed in the game, they gave up a 7-2 run in the final minutes as they allowed New Jersey to come back before Kyle Lowry hit a layup with 1:42 left in the game to extend the Grizzlies lead to 3. With Memphis leading 101-98, Richard Jefferson shot a three to tie it but missed and it was Memphis who got the rebound and were sent to the line, helping to further extend their lead and go on to the victory. Gasol had 22 points and Miller added 19. Juan Carlos Navarro added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Damon Stoudamire scored 13 for Memphis. In the loss, Jason Kidd tallied yet another triple-double with 12 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, while Vince Carter scored a season-high 32 points and Richard Jefferson added 27.
Miami 110 Charlotte 90
Miami continued to shake off the rust and work their way back into a rhythm as they came out to play against the Bobcats and came away with the 110-90 victory as their bench did the majority of the work. After Pat Riley moved Ricky Davis and Jason Williams from their starting positions to the bench, the two responded and the move was a success for Miami. Even with the new-look starting line-up, the nicest surprise for the Heat was the play of rookie Daequan Cook who scored 19 points in the contest. With Miami shooting 58% for the game, they jumped out to a 55-43 halftime lead and coasted from there as they went on a 15-0 run at the start of the 4th that put them up 90-62 for the largest lead of the game. Gerald Wallace led the Bobcats with 16 in his first game back from a calf injury, but it was not enough to keep up with the Heat. Raymond Felton added 14 points and 7 assists for Charlotte and Matt Carroll scored 15. Davis led Miami with 23 points while Williams had an 11-point, 8-assist performance off of the bench and Shaquille O’Neal scored 15 points to go along with Udonis Haslem’s 14.
Philadelphia 114 Milwaukee 99
After defeating the Dallas Mavericks at home on Saturday night, the Milwaukee Bucks and their perfect home record was stopped last night as Philadelphia rolled into town and rolled out with the 114-99 victory. Hot from the opening tip, the 76er’s shot a sizzling 68% from the floor in the 1st quarter. They jumped out to an early 14-point lead but gave it up quickly before regaining control and turning the game into a laugher in the 4th, going up 100-83 halfay through the final period. Philadelphia’s hot shooting was aided by big nights from Kyle Korver, Andre Iguodala and Sameul Dalembert. Dalembert had 22 points and 8 rebounds while Korver and Iguodala each added 20 points. Andre Miller flirted with the triple-double as he had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 17 points while Charlie Villanueva added 16 and Mo Williams had 14 points and 9 assists in the loss.
Chicago 90 Atlanta 78
Chicago were in desperate need of a victory and they got it last night, defeating the Atlanta Hawks 90-78 as they snapped a four-game losing streak. With each team shooting 39% for the game there were lots of rebounds to be snatched and the Bulls put Atlanta to shame, out-rebounding them 60-37 as they managed to turn a 34-30 halftime lead into a 70-51 lead going into the 4th by outscoring the Hawks 36-21 in the 3rd. While Atlanta came out strong in the 4th, it was too late to make up the damage and Chicago came out on top, led by Luol Deng and his 22-point, 9-rebound performance. Ben Gordon scored 21 and both Ben Wallace and Tyrus Thomas pulled down 12 boards apiece. In the loss, Joe Johnson scored 21 points for Atlanta while Josh Smith had 12 and Salim Stoudamire added 10.
Indiana 112 Denver 110
The Denver Nuggets are pretty good at keeping leads and they are not bad at cutting them down either. They almost managed to come back from an 18-point deficit against the Indiana Pacers last night, but fell just short as they couldn’t get the free throws to fall in the final seconds of the game. While Indiana went up 21-3 in the 1st quarter, Denver tied the game up at 37 in the early stages of the 2nd quarter and there was a close game from there. Denver managed to build their lead up to seven points with a minute remaining in the 3rd quarter, but Indiana scored six points in a flurry to cut that lead to one going into the final period. In the 4th they managed to outscore Denver by three, 30-27 to escape with the 2-point victory. The Pacers were without Jermaine O’neal who sat with a sore knee as Denver was without Kenyon Martin. Mike Dunleavy had a big game for Indiana with 30 points while Shawne Williams added a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Jamaal Tinsley had 15 points and 11 assists. Leading the Nuggets back from that early deficit, Allen Iverson scored 26 points for Denver while Carmelo Anthony was right behind with 25 points of his own. Anthony Carter scored 17 points and Linas Klezia added 14.
LA Lakers 106 Seattle 99
While the LA Lakers came away with the 106-99 victory against the Sonics last night, the game was much closer than LA would have liked. Things were tied at 54 all at the half and even though the Lakers went up by 15 in the 4th quarter, the Sonics hung around and the game was not safe until Kobe Bryant scored six crucial points in the final three minutes of the game to ensure the victory. The Lakers were sloppy in the game, with three turnovers in the final minute and a half of the contest. In those sloppy final seconds of the game, Kevin Durant brought the Sonics within 102-97 as he completed a three-point play with 13.2 seconds left in the game. Bryant iced it from there, hitting two free throws. While Seattle hit two more field goals than the Lakers in the game, it was at the free throw line that this victory was won. While Seattle made 18-28 free throws, the Lakers connected on 30-36 of their own attempts. Bryant led the way with 35 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists while Andrew Bynum added another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Lamar Odom scored 20 points. Durant led Seattle in the loss, scoring 25 points while Chris Wilcox added 18 points and Earl Watson had 16 points.