The Post Up: Lakers Continue to Roll

By: Holly MacKenzie

While it was a busy night in the league with nine games on the schedule I wasn’t into most of the match-ups and mostly was looking forward to the LA/Memphis game. As a Laker fan, it did not disappoint. Any chance to see DFish drop 26 points and the Lakers come away with the road victory is appreciated. Shooting 10-11 from the floor is pretty nice too.

Tonight is a huge night NBA-wise. There are 11 games on the schedule and I am eagerly awaiting both the Lakers/Hornets match up and the Golden State/Portland game. Not sure where my loyalties lie with that last one, but, I do know I expect a good game.

It will be interesting to see where Orlando ends up after finishing their four-game west-coast road swing this Saturday. While Dwight is still a beast and Turkoglu has been filling up the statsheet as of late, the Magic have struggled since cooling off from their hot start to the season.

Nate Robinson with 10 assists off of the bench. Nothing about the Knicks surprises me anymore. I just can’t be bothered with trying to keep up, even with the good although I was happy to see Marbury smiling again. I doubt if I’d be able to smile if I was associated with the Knicks right now but on Marbury’s face, the smile was welcome.

Watching NBA Fantasy Hoops last night I saw a nice little piece about our blogger, Stuckey. Good to see him playing so well after recovering from that hand injury.

Charlotte 115 New Jersey 99

While Jason Kidd had another triple-double in the Nets game against the Bobcats, it was the Bobcats who came away with the 115-99 victory, a result of their hot-shooting and highest-scoring game of the season. Shooting 59% for the game Charlotte jumped out to an early 31-23 point lead after the first quarter and did not let up from there as it was a rough night for the Nets who struggled to defend the Bobcats inside. Jason Richardson had 25 points to lead the Bobcats, Gerald Wallace scored 21 to go along with 11 rebounds and Nazr Mohammad, Emeka Okafor and Raymond Felton added 17 points apiece. Richard Jefferson had 25 points for the Nets, Vince Carter had 17 points, but shot only 5-15 from the floor, Bostjan Nachbar added 14 points off of the bench and Kidd had the 13-point, 11-rebound, 12-assist triple-double in the loss.

Milwaukee 87 Philadelphia 83

After going up nine at the end of the first quarter the Milwaukee Bucks were able to hold on for the 87-83 victory over the 76er’s in Philadelphia last night. While Milwaukee was up for most of the game, the 76er’s cut the lead to three with 5:25 remaining on a layup by Louis Williams. They would not be able to close the gap as Charlie Villanueva hit a shot and Mo Williams hit a big three to keep the Bucks on top. They did not go without another scare though as an Andre Iguodala jumper cut the lead to two with under a minute left to play but, it was too late as Andrew Bogut grabbed an offensive rebound and got the put back to hold off the Nets. Playing without leading scorer Michael Redd, Milwaukee got big nights from Mo Williams and Charlie Bell who scored 21 points apiece with Williams adding 9 assists as well. Bogut had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and Charlie Villanueva added 15 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench. Andre Iguodala scored 21 points for Philadelphia in their third straight loss as Samuel Dalembert had the strong 16-point, 16-rebound double-double. Andre Miller had 13 points and 9 assists and Louis Williams added 12 points off of the bench.

Cleveland 95 Seattle 79

While it was another big loss for Seattle in their game against Cleveland last night, there was a bigger cause for concern for the Sonics as rookie Kevin Durant left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle sprain. While Durant outscored LeBron James by two points, James and the Cavs got the easy win as they went up 24-15 after one and were up for most of the game before breaking it open and going up 18 at the start of the fourth quarter. While James got to sit most of the fourth, Durant did as well but he spent his in the training room after rolling his ankle. With both teams shooting only 40% for the game Cleveland got a boost from their foul shooting, hitting more free throws (20-24) than Seattle attempted (12-16). James finished with 22 points, Daniel Gibson scored 17 and Anderson Varajao had 14 points and 9 rebounds. Sasha Pavlovic added 13 points. Durant had a game-high 24 points, but the Sonics only had one other player reach double-figures as Wally Szczerbiak added 15 points for Seattle who were without Chris Wilcox (dislocated finger).

Houston 92 Washington 84

Another game without Tracy McGrady and also the third consecutive victory for the Houston Rockets. Playing against the Washington Wizards the Houston guards stepped their game up and helped Yao Ming lead the Rockets to a 92-84 win. Up by nine at the half the Rockets looked to be in control until midway through the fourth where the Wizards cut the lead to seven with seven minutes remaining before Houston extended the lead back to 10 with some three’s by Rafer Alston and Luther Head. Houston out-rebounded Washington 46-28 as they won despite having 21 turnovers. Luther Head led Houston with 24 points, Yao Ming had 21 points and 9 rebounds and Alston had 15 points and 10 assists. Antawn Jamison had 14 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Wizards, Nick Young and Brendan Haywood each scored 13 and Deshawn Stevenson, Caron Butler and Roger Mason added 12 points apiece.

Minnesota 101 Miami 91

In a season full of disappointment, the Heat were handed another loss last night, this time at the hands of the lowly Timberwolves. After getting off to a slow start, the Heat could not contain the TWolves or come back from an 11 point deficit after the first quarter. While they stayed even with Minnesota the rest of the way, their 18 turnovers and lack of rebounding (Minnesota out-rebounded Miami 40-31) were too much of a factor as all five of Minnesota’s starters scored in double-figures. Rashad McCants was the player of the game for the Wolves as he started out strong, hitting nine of his first eleven shots to start out the game and Minnesota went up by as many as 19 points in the third quarter. Dwyane Wade tried to bring the Heat back in the fourth with a set of layups and drives to the basket, but he could not do it alone as Miami could not hold off Minnesota and the young Wolves were solid down the stretch, responding to each Miami score. McCants finished with 27 points and 8 rebounds, Al Jefferson had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Marko Jaric added 17. Wade finished with 25 points for the Heat while Udonis Haslem and Daequan Cook each added 15 points in the loss.

LA Lakers 117 Memphis 101

It was a good night for Derek Fisher and the Lakers in Memphis as Fisher shot 10-11 from the floor on his way to a 26-point performance that helped lead the Lakers to an easy 117-101 victory over the Grizzlies. Memphis never led in the game as the Lakers opened a 39-23 lead after the first quarter and held onto the lead to hold a 61-47 advantage at the half, despite a 13-2 run by the Grizzlies to close out the first half. The Lakers went up by as many as 26 points in the second quarter and their lead was never in question the rest of the way through. In the second it was all LA as Memphis would not get any close than 12 points, thanks in large part to the Lakers shooting 52% for the game. Fisher finished with 26 points, Kobe Bryant added 25 and Andrew Bynum scored 12 points to go with 9 rebounds. Jordan Farmar had 13 points off of the bench. Mike Miller led Memphis with 19 points, Pau Gasol had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Darko Milicic added 12 points and 11 boards.

New York 105 Chicago

The New York Knicks grabbed their second road win of the season last night as they rallied back from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit against the Chicago Bulls to pull out the 105-100 victory. While they managed to cut the Bulls lead to seven midway through the fourth quarter, they finished the game by outscoring Chicago 14-2, led by Stephon Marbury who hit two big threes during the spurt to clinch the game for New York. In the final quarter the Knicks held Chicago to only 12 points as they outscored them 24-12 to grab the win. Eddy Curry finished with a game-high 29 points, Jamal Crawford scored 24 and Marbury added 18. Nate Robinson had 10 assists off of the bench. Joe Smith led Chicago with 22 points and 12 rebounds as Kirk Hinrich scored 20 points and dished 9 assists and Ben Gordon had 21 off of the bench.

Utah 111 Indiana 89

In a rout such as this one the Pacers were simply outplayed by Utah. While the largest lead that Indiana held in the contest was one, the largest lead for Utah was 32 in their 111-89 victory over the Pacers last night. A 40-point first quarter effort from Utah propelled them to a 21-point lead after one. They would hold on to lead by 17 points at the half and in the third it was more of the same as Utah used stifling defense to hold Indiana scoreless for over four minutes to go into the fourth quarter up by 24 points where their starters could enjoy the view from the bench and the bench players maintained the large lead with Utah handing Indiana it’s worst loss of the season. Carlos Boozer had 22 points to lead Utah, Matt Harpring scored 16 and Deron Williams had 10 points and 9 assists. Danny Granger had 17 for Indiana while Jamaal Tinsley scored 13 points in his first game back from a hamstring injury and Mike Dunleavy added 12.

Sacramento 104 Orlando 100

The Magic dropped a close game on the road to the Kings last night as Sacrament overcame a 29-point, 15-rebound performance by Dwight Howard to pull out a 104-100 victory on their home court. Sacramento jumped out on Orlando early and had just enough in them to hold onto the win. They went up 53-38 at the half and managed to withstand an Orlando run in the third thanks to an 11-point quarter from Brad Miller. After rattling off seven straight to start the fourth the Kings were up 88-69 and appeared to have the game in hand before Orlando scored nine straight of their own and continued to chip away at the lead before cutting it to 103-100 on a Hedo Turkoglu three with 19 seconds remaining in the game. On the Kings next possession Francisco Garcia hit one of two free throws to make it a two possession game and Orlando would not get a final shot off. John Salmons had 21 points to lead the Kings as Brad Miller scored 20, Francisco Garcia had 11 and Beno Udrih added 17. Besides the double-double from Howard, Rashard Lewis had 22 points for Orlando, Turkoglu finished with 14 and JJ Redick added 10 off of the bench.