Post Up: Blazers Blast Cats

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Kobe Bryant becoming the Lakers all-time scoring leader, scoring 44 to pass #44, in Memphis and then coming up short against the Grizzlies. Pretty sure that’s not how he say that game going. Giving up the ball to Ron Artest for the final shot wasn’t how I saw that going down.

Props to the freaking Grizz. They fought hard, they played tough and it was awesome to watch Marc go up against his older bro. It was also great to see Zach Randolph put in another solid performance, scoring 22 points to go with 18 rebounds. Mayo going up against Kobe was also fun, thinking of how one grew up watching Kobe and the other was praising Mayo’s work ethic when he was here in Tronto last week.

Great, great win for the Grizz. Rudy Gay’s three was a beautiful shot in front of the Lakers bench. Lester Hudson reaching a career-high in just 6:06 seconds of playing time was awesome, too.

I feel like Kobe’s hit a ton of milestones this season and it’s not even the All-Star break.

In Washington, Tough Juice, Nick Young and the Wizards hung with the Celtics… for awhile. In the fourth things kinda fell apart offensively as they scored just 10 points in the quarter, allowing Boston to break away and getthe 99-88 victory. Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 12 assists, KG scored 19 and Ray Allen added 17 as well. Caron was solid for the Wiz with 20 and 11 as Antawn Jamison struggled mightily from the floor, scoring just eight points on 2-for-17 fgs.

The Milwaukee Bucks took down the Heat for the second time in a week,  defeating Miami 97-81, despite opening the game by missing their first 10 shots. Dwyane Wade had 23 points and six assists in the game, but shot just 7-for-19 from the floor. The Heat as a team shot just 36 percent. Andrew Bogut had the efficient kind of line that I love so much. The guy scored 22 points on 10-for-13 field goals to go with 11 rebounds. Carlos Delfino added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks while Eastern Conference rookie of the month, Brandon Jennings had just nine points but eight assists.

In New Orleans, Steve Nash played through an abdominal strain to lead the Suns to the 109-100 victory. Darren Collison continued to kill it as he steps in for Chris Paul, but the Hornets were unable to overcome a second quarter where they were outscored 29-15 by the Suns. Nash finished with 18 points and 12 assists, but the Hornets rookie had his second straight double-double with 16 points and 14 assists. Fellow rookie Marcus Thornton scored 25 points, but it wasnt’ enough to overcome 25 from Amar’e and 20 off of the bench from Channing Frye.

In Denver without Melo once again, Arron Afflalo continued to impress in a 112-109 OT victory. Down 17 in the third quarter, the Nuggets stormed back against the Kings and in the extra session, it was Afflalo who hit a jumper with 18.4 seconds remaining to give the Nuggets the lead and the game. Spencer Hawes had 23 points and 7 rebounds while Kevin Martin added 22. Kenyon Martin led the Nuggets with 24 points and 12 boards, Chauncey Billups added 23 points and nine assists and Afflalo scored 12 points, none bigger than his final two of the night.

In Utah, the Jazz and Mavs had a close game until the fourth when Dallas kind of fell apart and Utah jumped on them, creating turnovers and getting second chance opportunities, crashing the offensive glass. They also outscored the Mavs 27-16 in the final quarter to pull away down the stretch and get the 104-92 victory. Deron Williams had 18 points, seven rebounds and 15 assists to leave Utah. Paul Millsap scored 25 points and grabbed nine boards and CJ Miles added 17 points off of the bench. Dirk had 28 points for the Mavs while Jason Terry added 19 points to go with eight assists in the loss.

In Portland, awesomeness was in full effect, despite Stephen Jackson and the Bobcats losing, 98-79. Yes, it was a blowout, but it was still fun. Batum had 15 points and nine boards. Andre Miller had eight points (not quite 52, hey?) and nine assists. LaMarcus had 17 and Jerryd Bayless scored 15. Patty Mills even got into the game at the end! That made me happy. For the Bobcats, Stack Jack had 23 points and Gerald Wallace added 17 and 10 rebounds.

Man, the Blazers are just a fun team to watch. I love the Bobcats, but Portland just feels right. Especially at home. Their fans may be taking over Oracle’s for my favorite in the league.

I still can’t believe the Lakers lost to Memphis. I wasn’t expecting that. I also don’t see Kobe having the patience with his teammates to give up the final shot in another situation like that. Agh. That one made me feel torn. I was happy for the Grizz, but wanted Kobe to have a W for his big milestone.