Bloodsport

12.17.09 9 years ago 65 Comments

Apologies to Tiger‘s wife, but Milwaukee Bucks fans have to be the sports world’s most sympathetic figure this morning. With a minute and a half left in overtime of last night’s game against the Lakers, the Bucks were ahead by six and the Bradley Center was jumpin’. After Michael Redd (25 pts) drained a three and Luke Ridnour hit a jumper, L.A. called timeout: Cue the guy in the crowd holding up what looked like an authentic pro wrestling championship belt dancing like a maniac, the dude in a legit Bill Cosby sweater getting his old-man groove on, and all the ladies and babies in between just knowing their team was only seconds away from taking down the champs. And then Kobe Bryant decided to play the role of Bolo Yeung in Bloodsport. Coming out of the timeout, Kobe (39 pts, 13-28 FG, 12-12 FT) hits a J, then gets a three-point play to bring L.A. within one. Ridnour (whose protective sleeve looks like a Triple Fat Goose wrapped around his arm) and Redd missed shots on the next possession, giving the Lakers the ball with five seconds left. Don’t even ask who got the rock: Kobe took Charlie Bell to the left elbow, pulled up and stuck a fadeaway at the buzzer … The poor Milwaukee announcers had been so amped for an upset the whole time, they were audibly devastated. One of them actually screamed “Miss it!” when Kobe’s shot went up … Five minutes before that, Kobe had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation and missed the same exact shot over Bell from the same exact spot on the floor. That was right after Andrew Bogut had blown a go-ahead free throw try … Now about Kobe’s and-one in overtime. “Questionable call” would be putting it lightly, but we’ll let Dime reader Octopus Jonny tell it: “Dime, please do something in today’s Smack for Bucks fans, and fans of fair officiating in the NBA. Kobe Bryant’s 3 point play in OT vs the Bucks last night was a charge, and a travel. The call on the floor was a charge, only to be reversed EMPHATICALLY by Mark Davis. The replays CLEARLY showed a charge, and a travel, yet a crooked referee decided that the Lakers could not lose to the Milwaukee Bucks, and called a blocking foul on Andrew Bogut. The Bucks and fans of fair officiating were ROBBED. IN PLAIN VIEW. TAKE A STAND AGAINST CROOKED REFEREES AND DAVID STERN‘S BULLSHIT.” … Somebody also needs to shine a light on Pau Gasol. He put up 26 points, 22 boards and four blocks, his third 20-rebound game in the last week. Can Pau and Luis Scola be the guys to once and for all kill the “European/Argentine players are soft” stereotype? … The famously tortured Philly fans probably thought they had a W in their pocket against an elite team, too, but they were also left with that empty feeling. LeBron‘s outside shooting (36 pts) wiped out a late-fourth quarter Sixers lead, and then Mo Williams — who had generally been put in a little box and fed bread and water by Jrue Holiday — hit a long two and an open three to put Cleveland up five and signal the beginning of the end …

Ominous foreshadowing: While LeBron did his chalk-throw thing seconds before tip-off, the Sixers arena DJ was playing “Run This Town” as the camera focused on LeBron. Then announcer Ed Pinckney listed one of the Sixers’ keys to the game as “Just LeBron/No One Else” … Just the other day we were talking about Andre Iguodala being one of those guys who can catch a lob anywhere near the rim and still throw it down. Last night, Thaddeus Young tossed an underhand ‘oop to A.I.2, but managed to sail it too high even for him … Crazy finish to Kings/Wizards, who somehow stumbled onto national TV. Sacramento was up seven with two minutes left before Gilbert Arenas (33 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts) got two buckets to make it a one-possession game. The Kings led by two with 16 seconds to go when Tyreke Evans (26 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts) was called for an off-ball foul while Washington was inbounding, giving the Wizards a free throw and the ball back. Caron Butler hit the freebie, but when Arenas tried to cross up Tyreke and go for the game-winner, Tyreke poked one of those tree branches he calls arms in there and picked Gilbert clean, forcing Gilbert to foul (his sixth). Tyreke made the free throws. Down three without Arenas available, Flip Saunders drew up a play for Caron, who missed a deep three … Other notable stat lines from Wednesday: Joe Johnson scored 26 to lead the Hawks past the Grizzlies; Deron Williams had 20 points and 14 dimes to beat the Nets; Troy Murphy had 26 points (5 threes) and 15 boards as the Pacers beat the Bobcats; Marcus Camby posted 18 rebounds and five blocks as the Clippers routed the Wolves; David West had 32 points and 12 boards in N.O.’s win over Detroit; Dirk Nowitzki gave the Thunder 35 and 11 in a win; Carmelo dumped 38 points (19-20 FT) on Houston; and Tim Duncan put up 27 points, 15 boards and four blocks as the Spurs handled the Warriors … Contrary to what the records say, Orlando was actually one of the teams Toronto might want to see coming off its embarrassing loss at Miami where the Raptors fell into their old soft/no-defense routine. Chris Bosh typically has monster games against Dwight Howard, and Hedo Turkoglu would likely be motivated to show off for his old Orlando fans. Or not. Bosh had a modest 20 points and six boards, Hedo got a nice ovation from the crowd but finished with a quiet 14 points (2-7 FG), and Dwight posted 18, 14 and EIGHT blocks while the Magic dominated the paint and looked like they were running through a light shootaround on offense … At least the Raps didn’t get 20-pieced; they only lost by 19. The defining play was when Vince Carter hit Dwight for an easy alley-oop out in the half-court set, and Dwight dunked it so hard that the ball whipping through the net appeared to scare Andrea Bargnani … We’re out like Bolo …

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