Kobe who? If you would’ve told us that Bryant was going to sit out a game in San Antonio against the red hot Spurs, we would’ve said Gregg Popovich would’ve been pulling out the victory cigars early in the fourth quarter. You can’t fault us though because no one, repeat NO ONE, could’ve expected Andrew Bynum to set an NBA season high and in the process nearly outrebound San Antonio by himself: 33 to 30. The big man also chipped in 16 points, and with Pau Gasol putting in a quiet 21 and 11, the Lakers completed dominated inside in their blowout win. To put those rebounding numbers into perspective, Tim Duncan had two. Then there was Metta World Peace, who played like he was back in Indiana. That was the best he’s ever played as a Laker, going for 26 points and five long balls (including one that he shot flat-footed). The only thing about this game that wasn’t surprising was Bynum’s postgame remarks. Of course he had to use expletives on live television to describe his effort … Danny Granger had 23 as Indiana won a huge overtime game over Cleveland, 104-98. With Boston hot on their heels, the Pacers need every win … Speaking of the Celtics, with Boston up two in the final minute, the officials picked the worst point in the world to start giving Greg Steimsma the rookie treatment. George Christopher from Bored To Death was called for two consecutive atrocious fouls. Even after that, Josh Smith (20 points, 11 rebounds) nearly broke his neck from flopping so hard and when they gave Paul Pierce (14 points) the foul call, Tommy Heinsohn FLIPPED OUT. The crowd was too… you could hear them in the microphones screaming as if House of Pain was bumping. But Atlanta couldn’t take advantage, and got only a Smith three for their efforts. Ball. Don’t. Lie. Boston got the W in overtime, 88-86 … Remember when Kevin Garnett (22 points, 12 boards) was supposed to be cooked? All those youngsters who spent the first half of the season talking smack to him are finding out he’s not done yet … Thaddeus Young‘s 17 points drove Philly to a 93-75 win over Toronto … Monta Ellis had just canned a triple to put Milwaukee up as he was on his way to a 35-point, 10-assist night. Brandon Jennings had been cutting up the New York point guards all night and had 22 of his own. But Carmelo Anthony responded once again, hitting the game’s biggest shot: a tough turnaround jumper. Anthony’s 32 points pushed the Knicks to their best win of the year, 111-107 over the team nipping at their playoff heels … Jason Smith had another impressive night, hitting for 22 points as New Orleans busted Sacramento, 105-96 … Gordon Hayward (29 points) had one of his best games in the NBA while Utah stomped out the Rockets by 12 in an effort to stay within range of the playoffs … And Danilo Gallinari only had 18 points but he hit a succession of long step-backs Js in the final minutes to hold off Minnesota. Denver was up by as many as 24, and yet barely held on to win by six. Anthony Randolph had 28 points (along with the only two facial expressions that he knows). The dude had a combined 33 points since the final day of February … Keep reading to hear what Chris Paul did in the final moments against OKC …
Reason no. 1 why the Clippers will struggle in the playoffs: down the stretch, their offense is called “get it to Chris Paul and let Chris Paul be Chris Paul-like.” It worked for a while last night. CP3 (31 points) hit a couple of ridiculous shots off the screen-n-roll, including a putback of his own miss amongst the bigs. But when OKC put together back-to-back buckets, including a Kevin Durant (22 points) triple, the game was still tied in the closing seconds. Yet once again, with under 10 seconds to go, Paul (who had just seven points at the half) broke down the OKC defense and hit a crazy shovel shot. A Durant bailout triple miss later, and the Clippers had another huge win … The Grizzlies held on to beat Phoenix by 11, getting 32 from Rudy Gay, and a nice 17 and nine off the pine from Zach Randolph. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Sebastian Telfair changed the momentum of the entire game. This actually happened. He hit a couple of jumpers, harassed Gilbert Arenas enough that Lionel Hollins had to yank Hibachi after barely two minutes, and played with a controlled reckless abandon we hadn’t seen since Through The Fire. Memphis missed seven straight shots, and lost all of their double-digit lead. But once the Grizz brought the starters back in it was good night. Gay took it back to Baltimore, and became the first Grizzly to drop 30 all year … And Jamal Crawford dropped 34 points off the bench in Portland’s 118-110 win over the Warriors … While we said we’re not feeling the whole process revolving around these decisions anyways, it’s still news that Nerlens Noel chose Kentucky and Shabazz Muhammad picked UCLA. Who do you think will have a bigger impact on college ball next year? … And after starting a ruckus yesterday with his comments about Team USA players being paid, Dwyane Wade tweeted this last night: “I responded 2 a specific question asked by a reporter on my thoughts of Olympians being paid. I never asked to be paid to PLAY.” … We’re out like the officials in Boston.
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