Chicago Doesn’t Even Need The MVP; The Lakers Find Unlikely Heroes

With four minutes left and the Chicago crowd ready to explode, John Lucas III cleared out against LeBron, did a lil’ herky jerky dance on the King, and canned a fadeaway in James’ mug. It was a capper on one of those nights when everything goes right. Lucas III has this weird complex about him where he truly believes he’s big time, and for a little while last night, we kept yelling at him to stop shooting. But eventually, you just gotta enjoy the ride. Dude went off for 24 big points, hit contested pull-ups all over the court. Without Derrick Rose, most figured this would be Miami’s night. But everyone outside of James and D-Wade left their games on the bus, and Chicago walked away with another W, 106-102. The Bulls took turns hitting run-killing gems all night, and they needed it as LeBron (35 points) and Wade (36 points) scored more than 35 apiece for the first time since coming together … Rodney Stuckey has quietly been doing his thing lately (20-plus in six of his last seven). He had 35 more in Detroit’s 12-point win over the Kings … The Clippers ran away from Atlanta by 14 behind 25 from Mo Williams despite Blake Griffin and Chris Paul having perhaps their worst outing as teammates (combined 25 points). You know, call us crazy, but next year the Clippers need to go after Mike D’Antoni. Could a threesome of D’Antoni, CP3 and Quake get any better? The league’s best pick-n-roll coach with the league’s best pick-n-roll duo that’s just dying to get away from the man calling the shots right now? Of course, because it makes so much sense, book it down that it never happens … Nate Robinson exploded for 20 and 11 dimes, but missed a shot at the buzzer and Boston escaped the Bay with a two-point win … And the Suns continued their “No one knows how we’re doing this” run with a 120-111 beatdown of Utah. Channing Frye had 26 points and nine boards … Vermont and South Florida both won to enter the field of 64, beating Lamar and Cal respectively. Another Pac-12 team is kicked to the curb … So are you ready for one of the best weekends of the year? Tell us why and win some free gameday snacksKeep reading to see what unexpected people brought the Lakers a W …

Until around the two minute mark of overtime, we were all ready to spill out another “three-on-five” joke about the Lakers. Andrew Bynum (25 points, 18 rebounds) was absolutely murdering Chris Kaman (Did he hunt any “Lakers” last night?), Paul Gasol (18 points) was his usual effective but soft self and Kobe (33 points) continued to show you really can’t kill him. The Lakers were trailing New Orleans in overtime because they couldn’t contain Jarrett freakin’ Jack (30 points). It was a familiar refrain on the road… until Derek Fisher canned a J, and then Metta World Peace came up with a steal and a breakaway layup. That was the edge L.A. needed to pull it out, 107-101 … Even with Spencer Hawes back in the lineup – it’s funny how that’s supposed to make a difference right? – perhaps the league’s best defense was blitzed in Indiana as the Pacers put down Philly, 111-94. Danny Granger led the hosts with 20 points in a matchup we could very well see in the playoffs … His squad might’ve falling asleep midgame, but Evan Turner is hooping. He had 21 points on 11 shots last night … Kris Humphries played out of his mind, rumbling for 21 rebounds while Gerald Green showed the league what they’ve been missing, going off AGAIN, this time for 26 as the Nets forgot about Dwight Howard for just long enough to send the Raptors to extinction, 98-84 … And you thought it was bad in New York. Hours after Mike D’Antoni saw the exit and Carmelo Anthony “supposedly” demanded to be traded, the Knicks got the best luck possible: They played the Blazers. Mike Breen knows what disappointment is. He’s been calling New York games for a long time. And even he said this about Portland: “This could be the worst performance we’ve seen from a team.” Interim Knicks coach Mike Woodson‘s vaunted defense wasn’t even needed. The Knicks rang up 121 points behind 13 combined triples from J.R. Smith (23 points) and Steve “the cyborg” Novak (20 points). More so than the Dwight Howard fiasco, more so than the entire Bobcat organization, more so than even the continued comedy that is Vinny Del Negro as an NBA head coach, Portland is the biggest joke of this year. There’s no other way to put it, especially when you have the talent they do. Make a trade now. Break it up. Do something … The 42-point victory margin was the largest ever in a head coach’s debut. D’Antoni just took a shot of something strong … Speaking of the Bobcats, they surrendered 23 points to Luis Scola in a 20-point Houston win … Kyrie Irving went to work on Brandon Jennings, scoring 28 on 16 shots and yet it still wasn’t enough to even test Milwaukee. The Bucks ran Cleveland in circles, 115-105 by going off for 38 assists. Drew Gooden had a triple-double (yes, THAT Drew Gooden) with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. Mike Dunleavy pretended he was in high school again with his dad in the stands, scoring 21. Not to be outdone, Ersan Ilyasova led the way with 22… and no one, outside of his fantasy owners, noticed again. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but this Ellis deal is going to work out. Milwaukee’s offense is about to be scary versatile … It was Manu Ginobili who again made the big shot in San Antonio’s 122-111 win against Orlando. This time it was a deep contested triple, his fourth trey of the game. Dwight Howard does get credit for holding up his end of the bargain (22 points, 12 rebounds). Normally, we’d rain heaps of praise on Jameer Nelson, who shook the homeless bum disguise he’s been wearing this year to go for 25. But it’s too bad Tony Parker put him in the paper shredder, going for 31 points and 12 assists … We’re out like Dwight’s PR team.

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