The Post Up: Hornets Sting Lakers

by January 07, 2009

by Holly MacKenzie

Important: This edition of the Post Up is dedicated to our very own, BETCATS.

It looks like his unwavering support of his guys and of the trade that brought Raja Bell and Boris Diaw to his team has paid off. Last night the Charlotte Bobcats did the improbable and took down the Celtics in overtime.

Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, wow. Crazy game that was. You all see MJ sitting with the team, basically coaching the team and of course, celebrating with them afterwards? That was fun.

What’s funny? It doesn’t matter how many photos I see of MJ looking dazed and confused after drinking his face off, when he’s got his suit on and he’s sitting courtside, he’s class to me.

Only MJ.

That Lakers/Hornets game was all that I had expected and more. Only problem is, my guys lost. Boo to that. Yay to the duel between Chris Paul/David West and Kobe Bryant. For stretches in the third Chris and Kobe were going back and forth and it was a beautiful thing to see.

That buzzer-beater from near half to close out the first half was also a thing of beauty.

If anyone was wondering, simply the sight of Jack Black (who was sitting courtside again at STAPLES, last night), makes me smile. Love actors who have that effect on you.

I’m still struggling with the fact that Derek Fisher attempted 13 three-pointers.

D.J. Augustin for Major!GP and Chris Webber are crazy. Undeniably, ridiculously and entirely crazy.

I like them, though.

Things I don’t like: Paul Pierce being stupid and shoving DJ Augustin when he loses the ball out of bounds. Just because you turn the ball over, leave the rookie alone. Particularly, the rookie who was C-L-U-T-C-H in overtime and scored 11 points in the extra period.

Another thing I did like: Byron Scott’s suit/tie combo last night. The League was full of classy looking ex-players last night.

Another thing I didn’t like: LO’s hyperextended knee. With Farmar and Walton already out and VladRad being true his space cadet moniker and showing up every three games or so, I really don’t want to lose Lamar.

32 and 15 for Chris Paul. 40 for David West. Yup. Those Hornets will be just fine as the season goes on. Just taking a little longer than we’d like for them to find their stride.

Now, for the games I didn’t recap. Oklahoma City fans, I’m sorry I didn’t get to see your guys snag their fifth win of the season, this time over the Knicks, defeating them 107-99. The box tells me that Durant had 27 points and 12 rebounds (yeah, fantasy team!), and Jeff Green also dropped in 27 on the night while rookie Russell Westbrook continues to shine and be a diamond in the rough that is OKC, scoring 22 points, grabbing 6 boards and dishing 9 assists. Love that kid. For the Knicks in the loss, Al Harrington scored 21 points and Duhon added 18 while David Lee was solid as always, scoring 14 points to go with 13 rebounds.

I did see the end of the Memphis/Minny game and I was pulling for Memphis hard. I can’t help but love this team, even if they did lose to Minnesota 94-87 OJ, Rudy, Marc, Conley. They are in town this Friday and I’m fired up for it. Anyway, while they trailed late, they came back on a lay up from Gasol, but were unable to get the stops that they needed and a big three from Randy Foye did them in. Al Jefferson had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolves while Foye finished with 23 and Bassy dropped off 9 assists to go with his 10 points. OJ led the Grizzlies with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists while Hakkim Warrick put together another strong performance off of the bench, with 22 points and Marc Gasol added 13 points.

The Bulls managed to hang on to defeat the Kings, 99-94 last night, thanks to Ben Gordon’s 24-point performance. Kevin Martin continued to have the hot hand, scoring 29 points for Sacramento, while Brad Miller had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the loss as the Bulls outrebounded Sacramento 42-35 and won despite shooting only 38% as compared to 50% shooting from the Kings. Derrick Rose added 16 points and 8 assists for Chi and Drew Gooden had 18 points off of the bench.

Orlando 89 Washington 80

While the Wizards came into this one still happy over a well-earned victory against the Cavaliers, the Magic returned home following an unexpected loss to the Raptors and were not about to drop another game. Thanks to a strong defensive effort in the second quarter (and an even worse offensive performance by the Wizards), the Magic were able to go up big and had a lead just large enough to escape a strong second half push from the Wiz, led by Caron Butler who scored 21 points in the third quarter. Washington was outscored 16-6 in the second quarter as the Magic took a 46-30 halftime lead. The Magic were unable to prevent Washington from cutting into their lead and in the opening minutes of the final quarter, the Wizards got to within three before Orlando began to pull away and Washington could not keep up. Dwight Howard led Orlando with 15 points and 16 rebounds while Hedo Turkoglu had 22 points and 7 assists and Jameer Nelson added 14. Caron finished with 29 for Washington as Antawn Jamison was the only other Wizard to reach double figures with 13 points and 9 rebounds.

Philadelphia 104 Houston 96

Thanks to a season-high 28 from Andre Igoudala, the  Sixers were able to take down the Rockets, 104-96 in Philly last night. With the Rockets struggling on the road as of late, they were unable to sustain their effort for a full 48 minutes and suffered a third quarter collapse that did them in. managing only 16 points in the third (while Philly dropped in 26), While the Rockets would come back in the fourth to cut the lead to six, they had no answer for Igoudala and ended up losing their third straight. Louis Williams and Marreese Speights each scored 15. Luis Scola led Houston with 18 points and 17 rebounds and Yao Ming, Von Wafer and TMac each scored 14 in the loss.

Dallas 107 LA Clippers 104

Another huge game from Clippers rookie Eric Gordon. Unfortunately, the result was the same as his last 30+ point performance; a loss for the Clippers. Last night, it was at the hands of the Mavericks who took the 107-104 victory, despite Gordon’s 32 points. Just as Gordon missed the potential game winner against Detroit on Sunday, his lay up attempt was blocked with 48 seconds remaining while Dirk responded on the other end with a jumper to give the Mavs the lead for good. Dirk finished with 34 points while Josh Howard scored 22 and Jason Kidd added 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Gordon’s final line was 32 points and 6 assists as Al Thornton scored 25 points and Mardy Collins added 17.

Charlotte 114 Boston 106 OT

Yeah, you read correctly. I didn’t mix up the teams and the scores, the Bobcats defeated the scrambling Celtics. I know Boston has been all over the map, but I didn’t see this one coming. While Charlotte led by seven at the end of one, the Celtics had tied the game at the end of three then went ahead by seven before watching helplessly as the Bobcats came back. A turnaround J from PP tied the game to force an overtime with 3.4 seconds left after Felton missed a free throw. In the extra period, the Celtics fell apart while DJ Augustin soaked it all in, scoring 11 of his 20 points in the five minutes and hitting some clutch free throws down the stretch, while also taking a shove from Pierce after forcing a turnover. Raymond Felton led the Cats with 25 points and 8 assists while Augustin added 5 assists to his 20-point performance off of the bench. Gerald Wallace scored 23 points and Emeka Okafor added 13 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Pierce led the Celtics with 28 points as Kevin Garnett had 14 points and 13 rebounds but shot only 7-18. Ray Allen scored 20 and Rajon Rondo struggled with 9 turnovers to go with his 16 points.

New Orleans 116 LA Lakers 105

This one hurts. Especially so, since the Celtics lost tonight and we could further establish ourselves as the best not only in the West, but in the entire league. Frustrating since the Lakers were there, and took control in a third quarter that was brilliant basketball. While New Orleans led early, a long three from Kobe to end the half to cut the Hornets lead down to five heading into the break. In the third, the Hornets and Lakers traded baskets, with Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant putting on an offensive show and the Lakers taking control heading into the fourth, up three, 92-89. As hot as the Lakers were in the third, they were equally as cold in the fourth. While Kobe couldn’t miss in the third, he went 1-6 in the final quarter and the Lakers missed a barrage of three-pointers while the Hornets were calm under pressure, ran their offense through and fed David West for easy buckets then allowed Chris Paul to altnerate creating for others and carving up the Lakers as he scored himself. CP3 finished with 32 points and 15 assists while David West poured in 40, tying his career-high. Kobe had 39 points and 7 assists for the Lakers as Fisher finished with 19 points in the loss.