Laker fans should slow down. They’re better than they were earlier this year, but San Antonio has showed them recently how far they still have to go. The Spurs took it back in time, unleashing their vaunted Big Three on the visitors in an easy 121-97 W. Kobe played and scored 18, and it didn’t matter. Tony Parker (20 points, 10 assists) blended them up and turned the Los Angeles defense into a milkshake in the first half. Tim Duncan (21 points) outplayed Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum nearly by himself. And Manu Ginobili (20 points on nine shots) turned in one of those crazy lines he’s known for … Seeing Boris Diaw in his new home uniform with the Spurs makes him look like one giant white onion … At the end of the first quarter with the Lakers down six, Bynum (two rebounds) came to the bench, slammed a chair and started in on his teammates, screaming in their faces. We guess that’s better than walking away from them. With a media member after the last loss to the Spurs, Bynum was so pissed off he literally walked away during the middle of an on-camera interview … Atlanta created some breathing room between themselves and Boston in the race for first round homecourt advantage, taking out the C’s by five behind 30 points from Joe Johnson. You might first look at the box score, see Avery Bradley had 28 points in what is becoming an increasingly nightly thing (he actually had 24 of them by the seven-minute mark in the third quarter), and think the Celtics must’ve had a spectacular game. That thought would come about .5 seconds before you realized they sat all of their best guys. By “all” we really mean it: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Mickael Pietrus, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo didn’t play for one reason or another. By leaving pretty much their entire team out of a game with major playoff implications (homecourt advantage in the first round is up for grabs in the middle of the East. It’s all based on record, not seeding), the Celtics made one thing very clear: they have no respect for the Hawks. Still, it really doesn’t make any sense, Boston had two days off and didn’t even play yesterday. Something’s fishy… that lineup brought a new low to the idea of tanking … Meanwhile, the Knicks can’t deal with success either. With Amar’e Stoudemire (15 points in 27 minutes) back in the lineup, and with a playoff spot wrapped up Thursday night, New York came out and let Cleveland bury them alive, 98-90. Manny Harris was a king for a night, busting out for 19 and 12. It was so bad for the Knicks that Mike Bibby‘s corpse was possibly their best player, scoring 12 points on four triples … The Cavs had a three-on-one fast break in the second quarter and Anthony Parker threw one of the worst passes we’ve ever seen. He tried to throw a lob about three seconds too late, and from five feet away he threw a missile that ended up in the fourth row of the crowd … At one point, the Knicks were losing the rebound battle with Cleveland 30-13 despite the fact that Stoudemire came back with braids in an effort to make himself more aerodynamic … Keep reading to hear about why DeMarcus Cousins was so upset …
OKC outlasted Sacramento 103-92 as Kevin Durant destroyed the box score: 29 points, 14 rebounds, seven dimes. James Harden added 20 off the bench, and Serge Ibaka continued to do what he does best: block everything in site. He had eight rejections … DeMarcus Cousins was STRUGGLING last night, like starting 3-for-14 from the field struggling, like 2Pac “Strugglin.” At one point, he got so pissed at the world that he probably broke an NBA record for most times caught cursing by the cameras in a two minute stretch. Keith Smart seemed to take his side, nearly blowing out both his knees while flipping out on the bench. Cousins regrouped somewhat and finished 8-for-21 for 18 points … Early in the second quarter, the Kings TV broadcast brought Oscar Robertson on air, and he immediately took a shot at Kevin Johnson, saying the former point guard never EVER went left. Really bro? The Big O never had the greatest reputation off the court – now he’s become the typical/cliche aggravated old man – and many people just downright don’t like him. This was one of those instances where he just couldn’t help himself. Someone’s putting Kevin Johnson in the same category as me? Psshhh. He never did this! … But there was something good that came out of the conversation. The Kings’ longtime jack of all trades, Jerry Reynolds, put together his all-era NBA teams, one for 1950-1980 and the other from 1981-present. The ’50-’80 team was the Big O at point, Jerry West at the two, and Rick Barry, Bob Pettit and Bill Russell in the frontcourt while the ’81-present team had a backcourt of Magic and Michael, along with Larry Bird, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No active players were considered (strange). Does that old squad have any chance in a best-of-seven? … Welp, it took long enough but the Grizzlies finally separated themselves from the worst team in the NBA. For three quarters, it was Charlotte who played like the future top-five playoff seed the Grizz are now guaranteed as. But Mike Conley (20 points) came alive late and Memphis won it, 85-80. That’s now 19 losses in a row for MJ’s bushel of trash despite Gerald Henderson taking it back to high school with 32 points. The Bobcats are so pathetic they might be worse than watching re-runs of CBS’ “Rob.” … And Dallas barely survived, winning by 10 against the Tanking Warriors (can we just rename them to that?). In a throwback game, Vince Carter had 19 points and nine boards. Big win though for the Mavs, who will probably be facing either Oklahoma City or the Lakers in the first round. Who do you think they’d rather see? … We’re out like all forms of tanking.
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