1. Pistons’ slide ends at two
The Pistons desperately needed a win after dropping their previous two games, so when they traveled to San Antonio on Thursday, they didn’t bother asking; they simply took it. One quarter into the game, Detroit had already doubled-up the Spurs, 30-15, and they hardly gave an inch from there, winning 90-80. Rasheed Wallace was huge for the Bad Boys, scoring 23 to go with 15 boards, three assists, three steals and a pair of blocks. While the Spurs’ All-Star trio was healthy for the contest, they certainly weren’t firing on all cylinders as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 21 points and six assists in the defeat.
2. Injuries were music to the Jazz’s ears
The Suns are good, but they’re not that good. With Shawn Marion, Steve Nash and Grant Hill all out of the lineup against Utah on Thursday, Amare Stoudemire was expected to pick up the slack. He did what he could, scoring 21 and grabbing 14 rebounds, but the Jazz finally showed a little pride and took the undermanned Suns behind the woodshed for an old fashioned beat down, 108-86. The knockout punch came in the third quarter when Phoenix could only produce five field goals and 12 points. Five players finished in double-digits for the Jazz, including Carlos Boozer (22 pts, 17 reb) and Deron Williams (17 pts, 11 ast) who both grabbed double-doubles in the contest.
3. Kings of the court, at least against the Grizz
Memphis and Sacramento played a nail-bitter in California and points were plentiful for almost everyone who stepped foot on the floor. Nine players scored ten or more points in the game, led by Rudy Gay’s 31. In the end, the Kings eked out a 116-113 victory with four starters hitting for at least 22 points. The Grizzlies have now lost 18 consecutive games in Sactown, going back to when they called Vancouver home.
Thursday’s Player of the Day: Rasheed Wallace @ San Antonio 40 min, 23 pts (FG: 9-15, 3FG: 1-4, FT: 4-4), 15 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk
Friday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (23-14) @ Denver (21-13)
The Magic already have 22 road games in the book this season and, surprisingly, they are dominating. With a 16-6 record outside of Orlando, Dwight Howard & Co. are far better on the road then they are at home (7-8). Denver is basically the opposite, owning a 14-5 record at home with a subpar 7-8 showing on the road. If O-Town wants to win, they’ll have to pay special attention to Allen Iverson tonight. A.I. scored his career-high 60 points against the Magic when he was still in Philly and in his last three games against Orlando he has topped 30. And if that’s not bad enough for the Magic, Iverson has scored a combined 103 points in his last three contests.
Buzzer Beater: Utah is desperate to get their players into the All-Star game. How desperate? Apparently, they’re desperate enough to bribe fans for votes.
First there was Chris Bosh, with his home-made “vote-for-me” video on YouTube. Now the Utah Jazz are weighing in as the season for NBA all-star voting nears conclusion, offering free hot dogs to fans in exchange for home-team votes.
The Deseret News reports that the Jazz offered fans free hot dogs in exchange for 10 ballots filled out at their home game last night against the Phoenix Suns – stuff your face, stuff the box.