by Holly MacKenzie
What a night. Lots of games for a Tuesday and I, naturally, fell asleep in the middle of them. I did wake up though, and caught my Warriors and my Lakers both grab wins so that was nice.
What wasn’t nice? The Raptors. Bosh was breaking my heart last night. He gets 40 and 18 boards, but his team still cannot come up with the W. They didn’t have Calderon, so that definitely is part of the problem, but he looked so frustrated, so tired, so sad at the end of the game as he walked to the locker room. Frustrating. Wasted effort.
Let’s hope they can get things back on track quickly.
Dwight going 8-11 from the free throw line is fun for Orlando fans. Good for my fantasy team, too, but tonight I really wanted the Raps to get the W. It’s weird how when you see a team every week, go to their games, shootarounds or practices, how much being a fan changes and you just want them to win. It’s almost as if you see the work and begin to understand on a different level, this NBA grind. I’d like them to succeed. A lot.
Nate Rob is way too quick. What a beautiful sprint to the basket he had last night, late in the fourth quarter of the game against the Celtics. Remember the massacre of New York in Boston last year? Q looks like he’s trying to get his revenge for that right now. That is not working.
Wilson Chandler is really good. Matt Caputo, you were right again.
GP and Chris Webber are a pretty good pair in the studio. They are funny, Webber is really good, but their “Rondooooooooooooooooooooo” stuff gave me a headache. Crazy men, right?
Anthony Morrow and Jax with their orange headbands and similar games make me smile. This is one guy who has to be on top of the world. From undrafted rookie to a starter with consecutive games as the leading scorer on your team, it’s pretty amazing. Morrow had 25 last night, on 8-12. Talk about efficient shooting percentage. His shot is just automatic. Effortless. He has the most beautiful jumper. And, really, they didn’t look for him enough. He is one to watch!
If you didn’t catch Tyson Chandler’s NBA blog yesterday, check it. Pretty funny stuff. Tyson seems like one of those great guys in this league who is entirely unaffected by the fame, hype and celebrity. I had him on my wall in high school. Dominguez and that red and yellow jersey.
Sorry to see Al Horford go down with an ankle sprain. This can’t feel good for Hawks fans, watching their team stumble and stumble again after their strong start and now potentially lose Horford for some games. Eeek. Here’s hoping the sprain is nothing serious.
Steph on the bench as the Knicks faced Boston. That tattoo will never become old. Or look right. I still think Kenyon Martin’s lips tattoo on his neck may be the worst in the entire league.
Michael Tillery was in Washington for the Heat and Wizards game last night and got a chance to talk to SLAM favorite (and Holly MacKenzie favorite), Shaun Livingston. Till believes in the comeback as well. With the postive energy and thoughts we’ve got brewing for Shaun over here, it will only be a matter of time before he gets those precious first minutes this season.
Corey Maggette drew at least four charges in the game last night. I lost count in the third quarter. Defense? Corey Maggette? Thanks!
Oops! Have to mention Leon Powe and Zach Randolph getting into it. You guys see that? It’s almost like teams are testing the Celtics now, to see how tough they will be. Those guys were heated last night. Again, Quentin may have been the ringleader of that Knick aggression because his lips didn’t stop moving the entire game.
Derrick Rose continues to be really, really good. Too bad one man can’t do it all in basketball. Pau was great against the Bulls, with 18 in the first quarter alone. He finished with a season-high 34.
Another huge night tonight, guys. Gear up. Get ready.
Orlando 103-Toronto 90
In what was their second consecutive game without Jose Calderon, the Toronto Raptors came up short. They came up short despite a 40-point, 18-rebound performance from Chris Bosh. Unable to take care of the ball, the Raptors had 24 turnovers and trailed for most of the game. With Jermaine O’Neal getting in foul trouble and the Magic building a 13-point lead early in the fourth, the Raps faced an uphill battle as they cut the deficit to seven late in the fourth quarter, but it was too late and the Magic easily went on to take the victory. Besides Bosh’s big night, Jermaine O’Neal finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu each led the Magic in the win with 22 points while Dwight Howard had 18 points and 9 rebounds.
Indiana 113 Atlanta 96
While the Atlanta Hawks shocked everyone with their strong start, they have fallen off of the winning track hard. After losing Al Horford in the first quarter of this game (ankle sprain), it is going to be even harder to get back on the right path. Down 32-25 to the Pacers after the first quarter, Indiana extended the lead to 61-49 at the break and coasted from there, with the Hawks getting no closer than eight in the second half. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 34 points, Rasho Nesterovic scored 21 points and Troy Murphy added 10 points and 19 rebounds. Joe Johnson scored 25 points to lead Atlanta in the loss as Marvin Williams added 14.
Cleveland 106 New Jersey 82
At the risk of sounding like a broken record this early into the season, another win, another fantastic night from LeBron James. In a 106-82 victory over the Nets and what was also the Cavaliers eighth straight victory, James finished with an easy 31 points and 8 rebounds in a game that Cleveland won in the third quarter. While the Nets hung around in the first, and led by three at the half, their offense fell apart in the third as the Cavaliers outscored them 28-13 on their way to a rout. Besides James, Mo Williams and Delonte West each scored 16 points for Cleveland. Devin Harris continued to lead the Nets with 23 points as Brook Lopez scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Denver 114 Milwaukee 105
After dropping their last game, the Nuggets are back on track with their new point guard leading the way. At the end of the first quarter, the Nuggets led by eight, outscoring the Bucks to hold a 34-26 advantage. After putting up 64 points in the first half, the Nuggets had extended their lead to 14 at the break and were able to easily go on to the win from there, despite the Bucks putting on a push in the fourth that was too late to do any real damage. Linas Kleiza led a strong performance from Denver’s bench with a 25-point performance as Carmelo Anthony added 17. Charlie Bell scored 25 for Milwaukee and Austin Croshere had 17 in the loss.
Golden State 111 Portland 106
After dropping in 37 points in his first career start, undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow was in the starting lineup for Golden State again last night and he did not disappoint, leading the team with 25 points on 8-12 field goals (4-5 from three), as he helped lead the Warriors over the Blazers, 111-106. The win was not an easy one, as the two teams traded leads early, with the Warriors holding onto a two-point advantage at the half, before building their lead to as many as 13 points in the third, then allowing the Blazers to get back into it late in the fourth. While Stephen Jackson recovered from a rough shooting night to drop in 10 points in the final quarter, it was Morrow who hit free throws with 5.6 seconds left in the game. Jackson finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists as Corey Maggette added 20. Greg Oden had his best game to date with 22 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench as Brandon Roy also scored 22 points to go with 9 assists for Portland.
LA Lakers 116 Chicago 109
The final score of this one looks closer than the game actually was. While the Bulls stayed in it early, the Lakers were able to turn it up quite easily in the third quarter and sort of coasted from there. With Pau Gasol scoring 18 points in the first quarter, finishing with 34, and five other Lakers finishing in double-figures, the Bulls could not keep up, even with another great game from Derrick Rose. Rose finished with 25 points and 9 assists, but was unable to save the Bulls from another loss despite bringing them back from 18 down to cut the deficit to 10 in the fourth. Kobe Bryant had 21 points and 6 assists for LA, while Andrew Bynum scored 18 points and pulled down 9 boards. Ben Gordon had 23 points to pace the Bulls as they fell short.
Boston 110 New York 101
Without KG, the Celtics almost looked human against the Knicks. Almost doesn’t count though, as in the end, when it did count, Boston was solid while New York floundered and was unable to take advantage. After trailing for most of the game, the Knicks were able to make a run in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, fuelled by Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler. The speed of Robinson and the athleticism of Chandler created problems for the Celtics, but when they needed a savior, in addition to the usual answer of Paul Pierce, last night it was Brian Scalabrine. Coming in and hitting a huge three with 1:14 on the clock, Scalabrine gave the Celtics some breathing room as he put them back up by eight to counter the push by the Knicks and New York was unable to complete the comeback. Their efforts were impressive, with Jamal Crawford being held to only three points on the night. Chandler finished with 23 points as Zach Randolph added 18 and 9 rebounds. Pierce led the Celtics with 22 points as Kendrick Perkins scored 16 and Rajon Rondo added 15 points and 7 assists.