1. Spurs get Pop’d in the mouth
In a Southwest showdown, the Rockets bounced back from a road loss to the Mavericks and defeated the Spurs 89-81 in Houston. The loss knocked San Antonio from the ranks of the unbeatens and left them to ponder bigger problems than the eight point differential in offense. Led by Bonzi Wells and Yao Ming, the Rockets outrebounded the Spurs by 27 (55-28), including a 25-4 advantage on the offensive glass. Then again, in order to get a bunch of offensive rebounds you have to miss a lot of shots and that seemed pretty easy for the Rockets in the early going as they missed 25 of their first 37 shots. But the second chance points added up and sharing the ball paid off as the Rockets dished out a season-high 25 assists. Making the win even more impressive was the fact that Houston survived while Tracy Mcrady was going 4-of-14 for 12 points.
2. N’awlins goes nuts
Peja Stojakovic and Chris Paul went absolutely berserk against the Lakers. En route to a 118-104 Charlotte victory, Stojakovic scored 36 points with a team record breaking performance in which he nailed 10-of-13 from behind the arc. Most of his shots were the products of Paul passes and by the end of the game, Paul had a franchise-record of his own to cherish: 21 assists! Paul was just one point away from tallying a 20-20 performance which isn’t easy to do with points and rebounds, let alone points and assists. Throw in his three rebounds and three steals and you have another blooming performance from the point guard of the future. Oh, Kobe Bryant was there too and he turned in a pretty solid performance in a losing effort with 28 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
3. SC’s Neat-o Stat of the Day
Actually, we’re going to give SI.com all the credit for the crunching of numbers, but did you know that the average price for a ticket to see Kobe Bryant play a home game is $89.24? Ouch. Now, here comes the fun stuff. According to The Fan Cost Index, the average price across the league to take a family of four out to a game is $281.90. That includes “four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two least-expensive, adult-size adjustable caps.” Well, if you want to see Bryant ignore his teammates and jack up 40 shots in front of Jack then it’s gonna cost you $453.95! For that much money, that package better include Demi Moore sitting on our laps for the entire game!
Tuesday’s Player of the Day: LeBron James @ Golden State 42 min, 24 pts (FG: 9-16, 3FG: 1-2, FT: 5-7), 14 reb, 9 ast, 3 blk
Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Denver (2-2) @ Boston (2-0)
So, do you like freakishly large collections of freakishly skilled players? Well, then you’ve come to the right place because the TD Banknorth (we can’t believe we said it either) Garden is gonna be popping at the seams. Everyone knows about the big trio in green and white and the visitors aren’t all that shabby either. A couple of guys named Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony will join the defensive player of the year, Marcus Camby, and a pair of bad boys in J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin. This is a poor man’s all-star game and has all the makings of a barn burner. So, enjoy it because these two aren’t hooking up again until late February.
Buzzer Beater: If you were hoping to tune into Tuesday night’s game between the Knicks and Nuggets and see round two between the teams then you were probably pretty disappointed with your evening. There were no flagrant fouls called, no techs, no Carmelo Anthony hit and runs, and only two players (Nene Hilario and Marcus Camby) fouled out. Lame. We expected more with Zach Randolph in the lineup.