Three Times Dope

02.21.09 9 years ago 41 Comments
Amare StoudemireAmar’e Stoudemire

This is getting ridiculous. In the three games since Terry Porter got the boot and Alvin Gentry dusted off his playbook from the D’Antoni era, the Suns have been putting up points like it’s NBA Live 96 on Rookie level with 12-minute quarters. After handing the Clippers 140 and 142 points back-to-back, last night Phoenix dumped another 140 on the Thunder. Even without Amar’e Stoudemire — who, if you haven’t heard, is out for at least two months following eye surgery — burying OKC under a barrage of buckets was no problem: Leandro Barbosa (who’s been playing with a Ronald McDonald smile on his face since the All-Star break) posted 41 points, seven boards, seven assists and six steals, J-Rich scored 34 points (including a 360 breakaway dunk), and Shaq almost ripped down a couple rims on his way to 22 points and nine boards … Gentry went small to combat the Amar’e problem, surrounding Shaq with Steve Nash, Barbosa, Richardson, and Grant Hill at the four. Lou Amundson and Robin Lopez didn’t see any significant bump in PT … Can you do the Booker T “Watch the hand” thing after a layup? Shaq caught an alley-oop from Nash in the second half that he more tapped in the basket than dunked, but still ran back on D staring at his left hand … So LeBron drops 55 points on the Bucks, draining eight threes and sticking shots that had his teammates reacting like college freshmen at their first Girls Gone Wild party, and what’s the first thing he talks about in the post-game interview? Defense, naturally. ‘Bron scored 25 in the first half, then opened up the second half on a run where he scored another 16 in about three minutes. Richard Jefferson took most of the damage, with Keith Bogans and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute getting their turns, too. In one of those “MJ about to bust out the shrug” moments, one time LBJ pulled up from the timeline and calmly stuck a three like he was taking a free throw … The Chris Paul you saw during the last five and a half minutes of Hornets/Lakers wasn’t the CP you’re used to seeing. With 20 seconds left in regulation, N.O. was threatening to extend a three-point lead, out in transition with numbers (4-on-1). But CP, the one guy you’d trust most to make the right play, kept it himself and picked up a charging call, then on the Lakers ensuing possession he lost Derek Fisher and gave up the game-tying three. Paul (21 pts, 16 asts, 4 stls) had a chance to win it on the last possession, but missed a jumper over Fisher. In the extra frame CP fouled out and could only watch as Kobe (39 pts) took over and L.A. pulled out the win …

Rafer AlstonRafer Alston

Thinking long-term, it could be kind of a good thing that Aaron Brooks won’t have Tracy McGrady around for the last couple months of this season now that he’s been handed the keys to run the point in Houston. No T-Mac means lowered expectations for the Rockets, and as we saw last night, also presents opportunities for Brooks to step up and make crunch-time plays instead of standing around watching T-Mac handle things. In his first start post-Rafer, Brooks hit two huge shots down the stretch of Rockets/Mavs: With two minutes left he stuck a three from the wing to put Houston up five, and then with the lead down to two with 25 seconds left, hit another triple with a defender in his face that proved to be the dagger. Brooks thoroughly outplayed Jason Kidd, finishing with 19 points, six boards, eight assists and two steals … Dirk‘s stat line: nine points on 4-for-18 shooting, and ONE trip to the free throw line. What’s the first thing you’re supposed to do down your J is off? Get to the rack and try to get to the line, right? For somebody with Dirk’s size, ability to get inside, and with that pump-fake that draws everybody off their feet, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have been able to get himself some easier opportunities … Big stat lines from Friday: Nate Robinson had 26 points and seven assists, and David Lee added 24 and 15 boards in a win over Toronto; Antawn Jamison put up 28 points and 12 boards in a win over New Jersey, while Devin Harris had 26 and 10 dimes in the loss; Brandon Roy scored 27 to help beat Atlanta; Randy Foye went for 36 points in a loss to Indiana; Kevin Martin scored 33 in a win at Memphis; and Ben Gordon dropped 37 on the Nuggets in a win … And speaking of Rafer, he came off the bench in his Orlando debut (wearing #36), handing out eight assists along with three points and three steals in 29 minutes against the Bobcats. And is it just us or do the pinstripes make Skip look even skinnier? … Dwight Howard didn’t completely destroy Emeka Okafor this time; he gave him a relatively tame 13 points, 16 boards and six blocks. But when you consider that a good night against your nemesis, it’s safe to say you’re being owned … We’re out like CP …

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