Carlos Boozer Destroys Boston; Chris Paul Is Mr. Clutch

Carlos Boozer (photo. Jeffery Salter)

Carlos Boozer (photo. Jeffery Salter)

With Linsanity temporarily suspended, a nation turned its eyes to the next best thing: Bulls-Celtics. Paul Pierce came out on fire, knocking down his first three shots in Chicago, but it was Luol Deng (23 points, 10 assists) who capped the night for the Bulls’ 89-80 victory. He dropped 14 in the fourth quarter, with a huge three from the left corner (one of his six threes) to go up nine in the final minute. Since we brought it up, don’t overlook who fed him on that three — 10-day contract signee Mike James, who’s now with his 10th team (and also looks like Jason Weaver‘s father)… The common thinking is the Bulls will be as good as Carlos Boozer allows them with his post play. Thursday he went for 23 points, 15 rebounds and five dimes. Great stuff, but you didn’t think we weren’t going to mention him blowing a gimme fast-break layup in the third, right? Kevin Garnett then matched Boozer with his own case of the “shorties” (that’s Reggie Miller‘s term) on a tomahawk dunk attempt a touch later … Joakim Noah‘s always going to rub some people the wrong way, but what about his pistols dance? He broke it out after a jumper in the third … You can’t blame All-Star snub Rajon Rondo (17 points, eight assists, seven boards), who followed up 32, 15 and 10 on Sunday against Chicago in Boston and 35 against Detroit on Wednesday with another big performance … Did the lights go down on either team’s chances this season in the Pacers’ 93-88 win over New Jersey? Nah, but the Fieldhouse in Indy’s lights did go out for a few seconds in the second quarter. Can’t blame DeShawn Stevenson‘s trey that missed by three feet a possession later on the outage, though … Danny Granger (game-high 32 points) gave Johan Petro a nasty facial (plus the foul) off a curl to the hoop in the third quarter. Kris Humphries (24 points on 11-of-14 shooting, with 10 boards) caught Granger the next time down the floor, though. The former Mr. Kardashian beat Tyler Hansbrough off a quick baseline step and did a chin-up on the rim over a helping Granger … It hasn’t been the best week to be Dahntay Jones of Indiana. First he got smashed on by Alonzo Gee on Wednesday with two hands. Thursday, he had his breakaway layup in the third quarter’s final seconds destroyed (clean) by a trailing Humphries … Speaking of the Knicks was Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” on Thursday. The third-winningest Division I men’s coach says the notion ‘Melo can’t play with Jeremy Lin is “the most ridiculous thing that I’ve ever heard.” … Keep reading to hear how clutch Chris Paul is …

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