1. The purple and gold is getting old for GS
The Lakers and Warriors came into Sunday’s game tied for second place in the Pacific Division, but Kobe Bryant exploded in the second half to ensure the tie would break in LA’s favor. Bryant scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the final two quarters and the Lakers won their third consecutive game, 123-113. Kobe also dished out a season-high eight assists as six other Lakers finished with double-digit points. Andrew Bynum tied his career-high, scoring 20 points to go along with 11 boards and five blocked shots as Los Angeles defeated the Warriors for the ninth consecutive time and the 14th time out of 15 tries. After the game, a disappointed Baron Davis hit the nail on the head.
They’re a big team, and we just got outhustled.
“Somebody for them is always having a career game against us.
Look on the bright side though, B. You guys sure can beat up on the Mavericks.
2. World’s Greatest Bosh
Chris Bosh missed five games with a strained groin and the Raptors proceeded to lose three of those games. Unfortunately for Houston, they had to face a healthy Bosh and ended up dropping their third game in five tries. Bosh was solid in his return, scoring 21 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking four shots. Equally important to the 93-80 home victory for Toronto was their bench production, totaling 45 points and 23 rebounds. For Houston, Tracy McGrady led his squad offensively with 23 points while Carl Landry, playing in just his second career game, led the team in rebounds with seven. We don’t know how on earth a 6-foot-7 rookie outrebounds Yao Ming (six rebounds) in just 10 minutes of action, but it happened. Of course, Landry also picked up five fouls in those 10 minutes while Yao had just one in 38 minutes. But, c’mon, six boards?! He does know he’s 7-foot-6 and weighs over 300 pounds, right?
3. Even slumpbusters need slumpbusters sometimes
There’s no doubt that when a team hits a slump, they start scanning for the Clippers on their schedule. Usually, that’s an easy win. However, when you’re the Miami Heat, there is no such thing as an easy win. It took 35 points and 10 assists from Dwyane Wade, but the Heat escaped Los Angeles with a 100-94 victory, the 1,200th of Pat Riley’s career. But with a 5-15 record, there was probably no champagne corks popping in the locker room celebrating the occasion. After demanding he receive the ball more, Shaquille O’Neal finished with eight points on eight attempts and was thoroughly outplayed by the Clippers’ Chris Kaman (14 pts, 12 reb). Miami hasn’t won consecutive games yet this year and don’t expect this win to trigger a streak either because the Heat will likely get burnt by the Suns tonight.
Sunday’s Player of the Day: Brandon Roy vs. Milwaukee 45 min, 26 pts (FG: 11-13, FT: 4-4), 8 reb, 9 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk
Monday’s Game to Watch: Atlanta (9-10) @ Orlando (16-5)
A few years ago you would have been committed for saying that Orlando and Atlanta were the top two teams in the Southeast Division and playoff bound. Nowadays you can get away with it because Dwight Howard is manning the middle in the Magic Kingdom and the hatchling Hawks are beginning to spread their wings. In addition to having four double-digit scorers, led by Joe Johnson’s 20.5 points per game, Atlanta also possesses the league’s top shot blocker in Josh Smith who is getting over three swats a contest (3.56 bpg). Orlando has slowed down a bit after jumping out to a 9-2 start, but Howard seems to be just heating up. At just 22 years old, the man child has upped his scoring average from 17.6 last year to 23.5 this year and currently ranks first in the league in rebounds (15.0 rpg), second in field goal percentage (61.43%) and fourth in blocks (2.90 bpg).
Buzzer Beater: In case you missed it on Saturday, the Timberwolves upset the Suns. Yes, the Timberwolves. Al Jefferson had a huge coming out party, racking up 32 points and 20 rebounds. Needless to say, the T-Wolves were pretty stoked.
Definitely this season, it’s the biggest of all three of our victories,” Marko Jaric said.
Unfortunately for Marko and the Wolves, he could be saying the same exact thing at the end of the season.