Well, Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan on one all-time scoring list last night. No, it’s not the one that really counts, but this one still means something, especially to Laker fans. During the course of his 30-point, 5-rebound and 5-assist night in L.A.’s 104-101 win at Golden State, Bryant passed over MJ for second-most points all time with one franchise with his 29,278th point in a Laker uniform. He hit perhaps the game’s two biggest shots from almost identical spots on the court late in the game (take that, clutch haters!) with both of them coming against near double teams, and along with Pau Gasol (19 points, 17 rebounds) pushed the Lakers to a big win. … Andrew Bynum seemed to check out after Mike Brown took him out for throwing up one of the most ridiculous shots (a three-pointer) we’ve seen this year. What’s up with the Lakers? Perhaps their two best players getting “benched” in one week? … It’s nice to know the Blazers still have pride and are still protecting their home court. They only gave up 65 first half points to the Thunder last night, and were only run off their own floor by 14. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden combined for 78 points themselves and Serge Ibaka had six blocks … The two best records in the West since the All-Star Break faced off in Phoenix yesterday with the Spurs somehow surviving 32 points from Shannon Brown to beat the Suns by seven. It felt good to see these old rivals match up in a game that meant something. Tim Duncan (26 points, 11 rebounds) was even feeling festive … Gregg Popovich talked to reporters about newcomer Boris Diaw, saying: “Boris has never been in shape. He won’t agree with me but just trying to keep it real.” Pop always keeps it real … Still believe in Steve Nash? We do, especially after what we saw last night. Nash threw a no-look pass… from his ass… while he complained to a ref. Literally. At the exact same time. How unreal is that? … Luis Scola (22 and eight) got the better of Dirk Nowitzki (21 and six) but the Rockets took the L against Dallas, 90-81. One of the difference-makers was Lamar Odom, who had a ton of energy and was playing like he had any extra bag of Skittles during the pregame. The problem is when Odom puts up a line of nine points, four rebounds and three assists, and everyone is so congratulatory, then we know he’s having issues. He’s forcing everyone to forget expectations and treat him like Michael in The Blind Side. Asking for baby steps from someone like Odom doesn’t sit well with us … And the Sixers rolled to an 18-point win over Cleveland behind a career-high 31 points and seven triples from Jodie Meeks. They desperately needed this one, moving back in front of Boston for first in the division. If Philly somehow continues this slide and allows the Celtics to overtake them, they’ll go from matching up in the playoffs with a team like Indiana to probably the Heat … Keep reading to hear how Monta Ellis found his new home …
Despite Josh Smith unleashing the fury again in Milwaukee (30 points, 18 rebounds), the Bucks clipped the Hawks’ wings, beating them 108-101. One night after being an train wreck in Manhattan, Brandon Jennings (18 points, six assists) and Monta Ellis (33 points, eight assists) were the difference. Great timing; we were just about to write that Ellis just doesn’t look right in those awful Milwaukee uniforms. It’s like someone stole his soul. Yet he was unconscious down the stretch. Ellis hit a ridiculous fadeaway in the final minute to put it away after Joe Johnson‘s bottle of Paul Millsap‘s crunch time “secret stuff” had run out (dude airmailed a three by about four feet on the previous possession, and was 2-for-5 in the quarter if his goal was to shoot an air ball.) … The Wolves might be a good outside shooting team, but the Grizz broiled and ate them inside during Memphis’ 93-86 win. Seriously, it was bad. The Grizzlies set a new season high in second-chance points, and even had Dante Cunningham (13 points, 14 rebounds) in there mashing heads like a mini Gregor Clegane. Kevin Love had 28 and 11, but the rest of Minnesota is proving their worth right now without the rook … It’s gotten to the point with the Grizzlies that every time they put together a great play, all we want to see is Tony Allen‘s reaction. In the third quarter, Rudy Gay (21 points) had one of his patented LeBron-lite dunks, and we sat there on the edge of our seats hoping for a view of what Allen was doing. He’s vaulted into our top five most entertaining players because of his celebrations, great defense, his tweets and just his pure randomness. During an interview with us last season, dude got so into it that after it was over, he kept hounding us, “Yo make me sound good aight? Can you do that?” Allen does or says crazy/unique stuff all the time … With a few of the spots in this summer’s NBA Draft beginning to take shape – Dion Waiters, Austin Rivers – it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Harrison Barnes, the Kobe Bryant clone turned Danny Granger. Like this draft class as a whole – outside of Anthony Davis, most of the top prospects were all underwhelming – Barnes’ college career fizzled and died before anything of substance happened, and he exited basically how he came in: slightly unfinished. Are you still as excited about this class as you probably were before? … And Magic Johnson was a part of a group that purchased the Dodgers for $2 billion last night … We’re out like Portland’s homecourt advantage.
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