By: Holly MacKenzie
Quiet night in the league after a busy weekend. As usual, New Orleans was killing it. The race for coach of the year is going to go down to the wire. I’ve been on the Nate MacMillan bandwagon, watching these kids pull together, shock everyone and win by playing the right way, but damn, Byron Scott and these Hornets just won’t go away.
Chris Paul isn’t just showing his all-star status, he is making a serious push for MVP. With David West and Tyson Chandler, CP3 has led this team atop the West, scoring, creating, smiling, doing whatever is needed to get his team wins. Impressive wins too. San Antonio, Phoenix, now Denver. 17 assists tonight. Yup, kid is straight out balling his way into something. He is just running circles around everyone.
I’ve got too many teams to watch now. Lakers, Suns, Hornets, Blazers, Warriors, TWolves, Hawks, Nuggets, Basically the entire Western Conference, and then the Hawks. Also the Celtics. It’s been a good season so far.
Webber to the Warriors is basically a done-deal. This will be interesting. I hope he proves me wrong, but even when he was scoring 20+ a game, I just don’t think of him and winning in the same sentence. Please, C-Webb, prove my wrong for the sake of my Warrior-love.
Kyle Korver was clutch with the three in the Utah/San Antonio game last night. The Spurs have looked out of sorts on the road lately. But, they also look like they can turn it on at any given moment, so lets see how long they can (and will), play that game.
New Orleans 117 Denver 93
While the Nuggets have two all-star starters in Allen Iverson and Carmleo Anthony, they were without Anthony for the fourth straight game as he recovers from an ankle sprain. Without their leading scorer they struggled from the opening minutes until the final buzzer sounded as the New Orleans Hornets jumped over them early and did not let up, downing them 117-93 last night. Going up by as many as 20 points in the first half, the Hornets led 63-40 at the break and the second half was more of the same as New Orleans had only one quarter where they did not top 30 points while Denver didn’t reach 30 in any. The Hornets killed the Nuggets on the boards, out-rebounding them 52-33, while holding a 17-8 advantage on the offensive boards. Marcus Camby was held to only 5 rebounds in the game while it was Tyson Chandler who dominated the glass with 16 rebounds for the Hornets. The New Orleans offense was flowing and they had 32 assists as compared to only 18 for the Nuggets. Chris Paul continued his fantastic play with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 17 assists, just narrowly missing out on the triple-double. He added 2 steals and a blocked shot in there as well. Chandler had 10 points to go along with his 16 rebounds and Peja Stojakovic had 19 points while Melvin Ely had 16 points and 9 boards. Davis West scored 13 points to go with 9 rebounds and Jannero Pargo added 13 points and 7 assists. Iverson finished with 23 points for Denver, Kenyon Martin had 18 points and 9 rebounds while Linas Kleiza and JR Smith added 14 points apiece in the loss.
Dallas 103 Memphis 84
Thanks to a strong opening quarter and 16 quick points from Josh Howard, the Dallas Mavericks coasted to an easy victory in their game against the Grizzlies as Memphis never led in the 103-84 drubbing. After outscoring the Grizzlies 33-19 in the first quarter they went on to lead 61-44 at the half despite playing without starting point guard Devin Harris as well as Jerry Stackhouse. They went on to go up by as many as 29 points in the third quarter and led 84-63 at the start of the fourth where they rolled to the victory from then. Memphis was without Mike Conley Jr., who sat out his second straight game with a chest contusion. The Mavs out-rebounded Memphis 47-33 and they finished the game shooting 54% from the floor while Memphis shot just 42% in the contest. Josh Howard led Dallas with 26 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 11 boards and Erick Dampier added 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jason Terry scored 14 points starting in place of Harris. Rudy Gay had 18 points in the loss, Kyle Lowry added 17 and Juan Carlos Navarro had 16 off of the bench. Pau Gasol scored 13 in his first game back after sitting due to back problems.
Utah 97 San Antonio 91
While San Antonio was almost able to pull out the comeback win against the Jazz it was their slow first quarter that ultimately did them in as they fell just short of coming back from 14 down in their 97-91 loss last night. After trailing 27-19 at the end of the first quarter, the Spurs trailed 55-45 at the break and made only 13-38 field goals in the second half of the game. While they were able to tie things on three occasions, they did not ever take a lead. Things got interesting in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs made their final push with a Ginobili three-point play to cut the lead to 91-87. Ime Udoka started jawing with Carlos Boozer and the officials and got thrown out of the game but not before the Jazz were able to convert on a technical free throw and hold off the Spurs in the final seconds. A huge three-pointer from Kyle Korver off of an offensive rebound by Matt Harpring with 48 seconds remaining sealed the victory for the Jazz. Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko scored 23 points apiece for the Jazz while Deron Williams had 11 points and 14 assists to go along with 4 steals. Manu Ginobili had 29 points off of the bench to lead the Spurs while Tim Duncan was the only starter to finish in double-figures with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Ime Udoka added 10 points as well.
Charlotte 107 LA Clippers 100
Without Corey Maggette and Chris Kaman the Clippers were unable to keep up with the Charlotte Bobcats last night and dropped a 107-100 decision to them on their home court. With Maggette out battling flulike symptoms and Kaman sitting with a bruised shin, the Bobcats had their way with the Clippers for most of the contest, going up by as many as 20 points in the third quarter as they turned a 10-point halftime advantage into a 19-point lead with under eight minute remaining in the game. The Clippers would use a quick run of their own in the final minutes to cut the lead, but they would get no closer than five points as Charlotte held on for only their fourth road win of the season. While it was a good shooting night for both teams with each finishing over 50% from the floor, the Bobcats were the aggressors, attempting 32 free throws (knocking down 24), as compared to only 14 attempts for the Clippers (who hit 13). While Charlotte connected on seven three-pointers in the game, Los Angeles could not get one to go down. Gerald Wallace led the way with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists, Jason Richardson had 20 points, Emeka Okafor added 14 points and 9 boards and Raymond Felton had 10 points and 8 assists for the Bobcats. Tim Thomas had 29 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles as Sam Cassell scored 17 and Quinton Ross added 15 off of the bench. Cuttino Mobley and Josh Powell each added 12 points.