By: Holly MacKenzie
HUGE night in the league last night. 14 games. The Kidd trade-drama. Warriors/Suns. Devean George. Devean George. Devean George. Just so much to take in. Avery Johnson’s postgame interview was probably my favorite thing of the night. Jax guarding Amare would have been a close second. The Lakers winning again? Well, obviously that tops all, but that goes without saying.
I do hope that someone else was watching the Raptors TV coverage of the Raptors/Nets game and saw the clips of Vince Carter arriving at the arena. The baggy sweatsuit, hat, and mean look. Is he angry he is back in TO or not feeling the Kidd trade?
I think all of the typing I have been doing this past week (both SLAM related and otherwise), is catching up because I was holding my cell phone tonight and my hand started to tremble out of nowhere. Annoying. Anyway, the effect for all of you reading this is that you are going to get a brief rundown of the action last night and then a couple of full recaps of the games that I focused on watching. Sorry! I guess I need this all-star break as much as Kobe and his re-injured hand! Haha. (Laker fans: X-Rays were negative and our boy will see the doctor today).
If Kidd does in fact end up playing for the West in the All-Star game they need to put Calderon on the East squad, no question about it. If Kidd plays in the West and Baron doesn’t, that is messed up.
Pre-game show for the Raptors had a throng of fans chanting “VC Sucks” over the broadcast.
This Golden State/Phoenix game is just crazy. It is going to go down to the wire. Calling it right now.
I usually trust in Nellie, but Jax guarding Amare? Amare?! First time I saw it I figured it was a switch. Second time I was getting angry trying to figure out who was getting lost on D. Finally, I clue in that it is Jax’s cover. That is just unreal.
Emeka Okafor with 20 and 21. Dwight with 23 and 24. Carlos Boozer with 22, 12 and 10 (5 steals too!), Lamar Odom with 10, 16, 10.
The Lakers won big against the Timberwolves last night but I’m going to wait for Myles since he was there in the flesh. Kobe re-injured his hand….dun dun dun. All-Star game? Three-point comp? Miraculous healer? Who knows with Kob.
Toronto 109 New Jersey 91
Without Kidd the Nets struggled mightily against the Raps. To quote Russ, “Vince showered with boos, Kidd in the news, Nets once again lose”. Chris Bosh led things with 27 points and 9 rebounds while Jose Calderon had 22 points and 12 assists as Jamario Moon scored 15 points and Andrea Bargnani added 14. Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson each had 15 points for the Nets as Darrell Armstrong and Stromile Swift each scored 12 and Marcus Williams had 11 points and 5 assists as the starting point guard.
Philadelphia 102 Memphis 88
The 76er’s came out strong against the Grizzlies and they didn’t let up until the final buzzer sounded as Memphis never led in the contest that saw Philadelphia go up by as many as 22 points. Philly shot 50% for the game as compared to only 42% for the Grizzlies. Andre Iguodala scored 29 points to go with 8 rebounds and 8 assists as Andre Miller had 14 points and 11 assists while Samuel Dalembert scored 16 points to go with 12 rebounds and 4 blocks and Thaddeus Young added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick scored 23 points apiece for Memphis as Kyle Lowry added 15 and Mike Miller scored 13.
New Orleans 111 Milwaukee 107
Close game throughout and the Hornets needed a huge three-pointer from Peja with 15 seconds remaining to get the win. Neither team led by more than seven points in the contest and while the Hornets led late, the Bucks came back and went up 107-106 on a shot by Yi Jianlian with 28 seconds remaining. From there Peja hit the three and then Chris Paul clinched the win with two free throws. While Milwaukee shot 50% for the game, the Hornets were red-hot coming in at 55%. David West had 22 points, Tyson Chandler had 15 points and 16 rebounds, Paul scored 21 points to go with 10 assists and Peja added 19. Michael Redd had 30 points for the Bucks, Desmond Mason and Mo Williams scored 14 points apiece with Williams adding 9 assists and Yi Jianlian added 13.
Houston 89 Sacramento 87
While Sacramento thought they were about to get a big win over the surging Houston Rockets, little used Steve Novak came into the game and hit only one shot on the night. It just happened to be a three-pointer with two seconds on the clock to help the Rockets steal the victory after Sacramento had fought from 18-down in the fourth. It was Houston’s eighth-straight win. Yao Ming had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets, Rafer Alston added 23 points and 7 assists and Shane Battier scored 15 Tracy McGrady added 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Ron Artest had 30 in the loss for the Kings while Mike Bibby scored 14 and Brad Miller added 13.
Utah 112 Seattle 93
With Utah leading from beginning to end, Carlos Boozer was brilliant for the Jazz as he recorded his first career triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as well as adding 5 steals as the Jazz defeated the Sonics 112-93. Utah has gone 18-3 since December 29th and show no sign of slowing down. They shot 51% against the Sonics as Seattle came in at 45% for the game. Besides Boozer’s big night, Deron Williams had 17 points, 10 assists and 4 steals for Utah, while Mehmet Okur scored 20 points and hauled down 10 boards. Ronnie Brewer added 16 points and Paul Millsap scored 10 points off of the bench. Kevin Durant had 19 points to lead Seattle, Kurt Thomas had 10 points and 13 rebounds, Damien Wilkins scored 14 points and Chris Wilcox added 11 off of the bench.
Washington 91 LA Clippers 89
After losing eight-straight games the Wizards caught a break last night against the Clippers. With the game tied and Antonio Daniels missing a jumper, Antawn Jamison was the hero as he grabbed an offensive rebound and tipped the ball in with three-tenths of a second remaining to get the 91-89 victory over the Clippers. While Daniels returned for the Wizards, they were still without Caron Butler and are looking forward to the all-star break and the rest that will come with it. Jamison finished with 29 points and 9 rebounds as Brendan Haywood added 15 points and 9 rebounds while Andray Blatche and DeShawn Stevenson added 13 points apiece. Al Thornton led the Clips with 24 points and 9 rebounds as Corey Maggette scored 20 points, Chris Kaman had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Cuttino Mobley added 13 in the loss.
Charlotte 100 Atlanta 98 OT
After coming back from 14 down in the second half, the Bobcats didn’t quite have enough to take down the Hawks in regulation. Jeff McInnis made sure they would in the extra session however, as he hit a floater with 51 seconds remaining to put the Bobcats up 100-98 over Atlanta to help snap a seven-game losing streak. While McInnis gave them the win, Emeka Okafor was huge with 20 points, 21 rebounds and 5 blocks in the game. Raymond Felton scored 22 points to go with 7 assists and Jason Richardson scored 19 points. Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 23 points, Al Horford had 12 points and 14 rebounds, Tyronn Lue scored 19 points and Acie Law added 13.
Detroit 96 Indiana 80
The Pistons rolled to their 10th-straight victory in a 96-80 decision against the Pacers last night. After outscoring Indiana 52-31 over the second and third quarters the Pistons had the game in hand as they went up by as many as 26 points before the Pacers cut it down in the fourth. The lead was never really in doubt in the second half as the Pistons held a 55-42 advantage at the half and were able to sit most of their starters while the bench played extended minutes in the win. Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups scored 14 points apiece for Detriot while Jason Maxiell had 11 points and 11 boards and Amir Johnson had 8 points, 9 rebounds and 7 blocks. Ike Diogu scored 14 points for Indiana, Mike Dunleavy had 11 and Andre Owens added 10.
San Antonio 112 Cleveland 105
It was a shootout in Cleveland last night and the Cavs fell just short at the hands of the Spurs, dropping a 112-105 decision on their home court. While LeBron James finished with 39 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and a blocked shot he was eclipsed by Manu Ginobili and his eight three-pointers on his way to scoring 46 points. While the Cavs went up by as many as 12 points in the first half the Spurs had cut the lead to 47-46 at the half. The Cavs led 75-71 going into the final period and it was in the fourth quarter where Manu shone as he led the Spurs to a 41-point effort in the period as he scored 18 of his 46 including 4-4 from beyond the arc. The Spurs shot 14-18 in the period and even 18 points in the quarter from Bron were not enough to help the Cavs stay in front as San Antonio went on to the win to finish their road trip 6-3. In addition to Ginobili’s 46 points and 8 assists, Tim Duncan had 23 points and 13 rebounds, Ime Udoka had 12 points and Bruce Bowen added 10. James had some help from Larry Hughes who scored 26 points but the two were the only Cavs to reach double-figures.
Orlando 109 Denver 98
One game after being publicly called out by his coach for a lack of focus, Dwight Howard came out with just that and led his team to an impressive 109-98 against the Nuggets. While the game was close in the first half the Nuggets managed to build a five point lead in the third, their largest advantage of the game. From there the Magic went on an 18-6 run to close out the quarter and they went into the fourth up 76-69 where they continued to take it to the Nuggets. While JR Smith connected on four three-pointers in the final quarter, it was Hedo Turkoglu who kept the Magic on top, scoring 12 points in the period. Howard finished with 23 points and 24 rebounds in the game where the Magic out-rebounded Denver 51-35. Rashard Lewis scored 25 points, Hedo Turkoglu and Brian Cook scored 18 points apiece and Jameer Nelson added 13. Anthony had 32 points before fouling out for Denver, Allen Iverson scored 21 points and had 7 assists, Kenyon Martin had 17 points and 9 boards and JR Smith added 16 off of the bench.
Dallas 96 Portland 76
After a day filled with trade rumors and “confirmations” Devean George made the play of the day when he exercised his right to block the Kidd-to-Dallas deal. A few hours after screwing that deal up he got the start in the Mavs game against Portland and while he was horrible individually, going scoreless while shooting 0-11 from the floor, the Mavericks banded together to come out strong and take a 13-point lead over the Blazers at the end of the first quarter and they would continue to roll from there as they got a season-high 37 points from Dirk Nowitzki in the contest. The Blazers never trailed and the lead continued to grow as the game went on with the Blazers managing only 33 second half points as the Mavs largest lead was their final score of 96-76. Besides Nowitzki’s 37 points and 12 rebounds, Jason Terry scored 24 points, Erick Dampier had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Jose Juan Barea added 10 off of the bench. Brandon Roy had 25 points for the Blazers as Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw each added 13 points in the loss.
Golden State 120 Phoenix 118
In the game of the night, it was fast-paced and high-scoring from the beginning and the Warriors managed to escape with the 120-118 victory against the Phoenix Suns last night. After the Warriors lead by six at the end of the first quarter, the largest lead in the game would be eight points. The Warriors held onto a 59-55 advantage at the half before the Suns would come out gunning in the third as they outscored Golden State 35-28 in the period to take a 90-87 lead into the fourth. The final quarter was tight as things went back and fourth between the two teams before Stephen Jackson hit a three-pointer and then Kelenna Azubuike came into the game to knock down another, giving the Warriors a 113-109 lead with 3:19 remaining in the game. The Suns would erase that in a hurry as Steve Nash and Grant Hill each scored to tie the game. With the game tied Baron Davis scored six points in a flurry to put Golden State back up 119-113 with less than two minute remaining. After Nash and Amare Stoudemire each scored the Suns were right back in the mix, trailing only 119-117 with three seconds remaining. Stoudemire was sent to the line to shoot two free throws, but after missing one, the Suns still trailed by one and had to foul Monta Ellis with two seconds on the clock. Ellis missed one shot, leaving the Suns with a chance and rather than going for the two to tie the game, they went for the three-pointer and Leandro Barbosa missed at the buzzer and Golden State was victorious. Monta Ellis scored 37 points and pulled down 9 rebounds for the Warriors while Baron Davis scored 27 points and dished 13 assists. Stephen Jackson had 19 points, 6 assists and 4 steals and Matt Barnes added 13. Stoudemire had 29 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns as Grant Hill scored 26 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Nash had 20 points and 12 assists and Barbosa added 24 off of the bench.