By: Holly MacKenzie
Big weekend for Laker fans. Two big wins, especially the game on Friday against the Magic. I know, I know, we got lucky with the foul trouble for Dwight and Hedo, but I’m going to take it and be happy. Hearing the MVP chants in both Miami and Orlando was pretty sweet.
We are going to go a bit lighter on the Monday recaps for now while I try to figure out how to incorporate a weekly standings/rankings list each Monday to round up all of the action for the past week. If you’ve got an idea besides the list of teams ranked by record, post it below.
I LOVED seeing Sasha get up in JJ’s face, too. That Vujacic’s got some fire inside!
The halftime piece with Kobe and Dwight talking about their love of the game gave me the craziest goosebumps. I am told that it had been aired earlier this season but it was my first time seeing it and seeing how I am linking to another Kobe clip in here I’m going to give my favorite quote rather than link to it. It reminded me of how much I love this game and also reminded me of Scoop’s article in the “Season on the Brink” issue where he said to take basketball away from Kobe would be to take his life away.
“Life and basketball, basketball and life they are one and the same. I started playing basketball when I was two and my father put a basketball in my hands and I haven’t put it down since. To me it is life, it’s not a part of life, it is life. I love playing, I just love everything about this game and it’s truly a part of me.”
Just one more thing about the Lakeshow. This is the absolute perfect time for Pau to get used to the team. On the road, where they have to spend time together. It is going to be absolutely crazy when they go back to Staples for their next home game. Well, as crazy as Staples fans will get. STAY OFF OF YOUR CELL PHONES.
That rookie mistake by Balkman at the end of regulation was just killer in the Knicks/Spurs game. DON’T leave any three-point shooter, let alone THE three-point shooter. I didn’t even watch the overtime after that. You just knew San Antonio was taking over.
Melo finishes with 49 points in their game against Washington on Friday night. 19-25 field goals. Damn Melo! He was looking great, just unstoppable.
AI shooting one handed three’s during shootaround Sunday afternoon? I love that man. I love how seamless the transition from Philly to Denver was and I really loved watching how thrilled he was for Melo and his big night on Friday. Ivy is content to rack up those assists as long as he is racking up W’s too.
Watched Cabbie Unlimited last night and it was a special all about Kobe. Showing the funniest clips ever. I seriously cannot stress how funny this show is. I’m linking to a short clip of the episode. So funny to see Kobe and Cabbie playing it up and see Kobe being funny. If you’ve got five minutes, it’ll make you laugh. Or, at least crack a smile.
My favorite lines: “1-800-never-eva-eva-call-me-eva.” and “Write this address down, 1251 Compton Blvd. Yeah, show up around 1am. That will work out real well for you.” Who knew KB was such a funny guy?
After hitting two free throws with 7.5 seconds remaining to clinch the game against Washington last night, Amare has now knocked down 30 straight shots, tying a career-high. I do not want to get into this Shaq talk again because I am content to just sit back and watch it all unfold, but I will say if he doesn’t join the lineup soon the Suns may be dropping some games. They almost lost that game last night to the Wizards and would have if Amare didn’t come up clutch at the line.
Monta Ellis was fantastic for the Warriors on Saturday night. 16 points in the fourth quarter and just unstoppable when he gets going. Loving this Warriors team, not loving Kelenna’s lack of minutes, Nellie!! What is going on, a DNP-CD followed by seven minutes? Hmm. I loved Jax’s quote on Monta: “He’s my cash money, that’s what I say, he’s definitely the reason we’re winning all these games.”
David West is continuing to show people why he does deserve that All-Star spot. He came up huge this weekend when CP3’s shot had been left behind in Phoenix. After going for 42 in that double-overtime win against the Suns he shot 1-10 against the Grizzlies. Luckily for the Hornets, West was solid with 33 points.
Huge win for the Nuggets against the Cavs. Of course it was Bron against Melo but in the game it was all Denver as they pummeled Cleveland 113-83 last night. Did you all see the clips of those two going up against each other in high school during the Miami/LA game? They brought back some memories. I loved the ‘fro.
Dallas giving up a 21-0 run to the Nets and losing by 19? I was not expecting that. I also didn’t expect Vince to shake off his elbow to the head and be a tough guy. It was an awful for the Mavs as they shot only 36% from the floor.
Now, Boston pulling out the wins without KG. Does this hurt his chances for MVP? Just checking. Nice to see them pull out the win against the Spurs and protect their ridiculous 16-0 record against the Western Conference.
LA Lakers 117 Orlando 113
In one of their biggest Eastern conference match ups, the new look Lakers were able to defeat the Orlando Magic as they had two players score 30 or more points in a regular season game for the first time since ’05 when Caron Butler was still with the team. While the Magic eventually came up short, they were up early leading by as many as 11 points before some foul trouble to Dwight Howard and Hedo Turkoglu did them in. With Howard on the bench Pau Gasol took advantage, scoring 30 points in the game for LA, while Kobe Bryant was his usual self, finishing with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, including two big free throws with a minute to play which gave LA the 113-112 lead. The Lakers were lucky to get Howard in foul trouble because in his 29 minutes on the floor he was 8-8 from the field and it didn’t look like he would be stopped. The Magic trailed by as many as 14 points in the final minutes of the third before coming back to take a 112-111 lead with less than two minutes remaining. After Bryant’s free throws, Howard was called for goaltending on a shot by Odom and then Rashard Lewis missed a three with 15 seconds to go. Bryant hit two more free throws in the final seconds and the game was won. Besides Bryant and Gasol’s 30-point nights, Derek Fisher had 14 points, Vladamir Radmanovic scored 10, Lamar Odom added 12 points and Sasha Vujacic had 10 off of the bench. Howard had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic as Jameer Nelson scored 17 while Turkoglu and Lewis each scored 16 points in the loss.
Denver 111 Washington 100
After outscoring the Wizards 30-16 in the first quarter the Nuggets didn’t look back as they went on to win the game 111-100. Washington never led in the game as Carmelo Anthony was unstoppable, finishing with a career-high 49 points as he led the Nuggets to the victory. The hot-shooting Nuggets shot 56% for the game while holding the Wizards to 44% from the floor as they outscored Washington 24-3 in fastbreak points. Denver led comfortably throughout the game until they managed to cut the deficit to 10 points midway through the fourth but, after Anthony was put back into the game they did not get any closer. Besides Anthony’s 49 points on 19-25 field goals, Allen Iverson had 18 points and 11 assists, Kenyon Martin had 16 points and Marcus Camby hauled down 17 rebounds. Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 21 points and 8 rebounds, Andray Blatche had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Nick Young had 19 points off of the bench. DeShawn Stevenson and Daruis Songaila added 15 points apiece.
Golden State 105 Sacramento 103
While the Warriors would lead early in their game against Sacramento and would go up 51-48 at the half, the Kings used a push late in the third and fourth quarters to cut the deficit and go up by as many as five points before Monta Ellis took over. With Baron Davis fouling out and Stephen Jackson limping after spraining an ankle, Ellis scored 16 points in the final quarter, including nine in a four-minute span as he helped the Warriors extend their lead to nine points. The Kings would roar back and go on an 8-2 run to cut into the lead but Ellis hit a shot and a free throw and Jackson clinched the game with two free throws of his own in the final 2.5 seconds. Ellis finished with 34 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists as Jackson added 26 points, Davis had 10 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals. Mike Bibby had 24 points and 7 assists to lead the Kings while Ron Artest had 23 points and 13 rebounds and John Salmons scored 19. Brad Miller had 10 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.
New Orleans 112 Memphis 99
While New Orleans led throughout their contest against the Grizzlies it wasn’t until an 11-0 run midway through the fourth quarter of the game that they felt comfortable with their advantage. Holding the lead but being unable to shake the Grizz, the Hornets relied on Chris Paul to set up the offense on a night when his shot wasn’t there as he finished only 1-10 from the floor. It didn’t matter as he racked up 16 assists, finding his teammates open at the right times to extend the Hornets lead to 98-84 with 4:13 left in the game. From there, the Grizzlies were unable to cut into the deficit and New Orleans rolled to their 34th victory. David West led them with 33 points and 10 rebounds, Peja Stojakovic had 26 points, Jannero Pargo scored 13 off of the bench and Paul had his 16 assists. Rudy Gay had 26 points to lead Memphis while Mike Miller had 18 points and Mike Conley scored 16 points and Darko Milicic added 14.
Phoenix 108 Washington 107
After leading by six points at the end of the first quarter, the Phoenix Suns felt the loss of Shawn Marion while Shaquille O’Neal sat on the bench as the Washington Wizards took them to the wire in their 108-107 victory last night. While Phoenix led at the half they surrendered their lead and Washington went up 81-80 in the final minutes of the third quarter before the Suns would score five straight to go into the fourth up 85-81. From there, the Suns were able to hold the Wizards off until the final minutes of the game where two free throws by Antawn Jamison cut the lead to 106-104 with 8.8 seconds on the clock. Amare Stoudemire clinched the game for the Suns when he knocked down two foul shots of his own with 7.5 seconds remaining. The Suns won despite being out-rebounded by 10 (46-36), as they wait for O’Neal to be ready to join the lineup. In his absence, Stoudemire was fantastic with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, Raja Bell had 21 points, Steve Nash had 10 points and 12 assists as both Grant Hill and Boris Diaw added 13 points apiece. Jamison had 28 points and 10 boards for the Wizards while DeShawn Stevenson and Roger Mason each scored 18 and Brendan Haywood added 21 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.