Chris Paul Performs Surgery On The Lakers; Kyle Lowry Blows Up

On a night when all of the talk seemed to center around Kobe Bryant and his fourth straight 40-point game, it was Chris Paul who was the real king. The best point guard in the world destroyed the Lakers on pick-n-rolls and isolations, making every big play in the Clippers 102-94 win. Paul had 33 points and six assists, but was so routine in picking apart the Lakers at will that even a second-half onslaught from the best scorer in the world never put the Big Brother in control. The NBA’s version of Chucky put the Lakers away in the fourth quarter by repeatedly getting the Lakers’ bigs stuck in isolation situations … In the first half, the Clips’ announcers seemed somewhat disturbed by how much Kobe (42 points, 14-for-28 from the field) was shooting, saying at one point “Kobe looks like he’s on a mission. What that mission is, I don’t know.” Have they been locked up in a closest for the past week? Bryant started slow, but exploded at the end of the third quarter, bringing the Lakers completely back from a big double-digit deficit with 21 points in 12 minutes. He hit a three at the end of the third quarter with Randy Foye right in his face that was just stupid… He was so hot that on the following trip (after giving us that weird jaw jut move), Bryant took a 35-footer and you figured it was going in. The problem? Once again, he went for it too hard. At one point in the fourth quarter, it was Andrew Bynum (12 points, 16 rebounds) standing out at the arc, feeding Bryant in the post. Something’s wrong with that picture … Blake Griffin (22 points, 14 rebounds) had one three-point play in the third where he had Matt Barnes ducking for cover. It’s not every day you catch a look at an NBA bench, and they’re all staring at the replay of a layup … The Lakers strike us as a decent team that can beat up on good and average teams, but their lack of talent outside of their big three always kills them against the elite … Imagine if the T’Wolves could close out some of these close games? They lost another one to a playoff contender, this time by two to Atlanta. Joe Johnson looked like the JJ of old, going 8-for-20 for 25 points, and Jeff Teague had perhaps the best game of his career (20 points, 10 dimes). But the real hero was our man Ivan Johnson, playing that garbage man defense on Kevin Love while also going for a double-double. Love still had 30 and 13, but had to work for everything on Ivan the Terrible … Ricky Rubio started and put in work (18 points, 12 assists, five steals) … But why was Derrick Williams tweeting articles comparing Kobe and LeBron in crunch time? A little weird … Keep reading to hear about the most underrated player in the NBA …

The most underrated player in the NBA has to be Kyle Lowry. HAS to be. Lowry went for a season-high 33 points, along with nine assists and eight boards, in Houston’s surprise two-point overtime win over the Blazers. He was the one who gave Houston the lead with 11 in the third, and then hit a crucial late three-pointer that ended up pushing the game to overtime. Once there, Lowry and Kevin Martin (28 points, including the last six for Houston) put it away … After low-balling Nicolas Batum on a contract extension, Batum came out angry: 29 points (six treys), eight boards and four blocks. Portland front office: keep on doing what you do … The Knicks really can’t get any worse defensively. Last night, they gave up 70 first half points in Oklahoma City without Carmelo Anthony. It’s hard to beat anyone starting a rookie, Mike Bibby and Bill Walker, and when the Thunder are playing like they did last night in the 12-point win, it’s nearly impossible. Kevin Durant dropped 28 on 13 shots and worked over Walker like he stole something from him. Russell Westbrook (21 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) nearly had a triple double in limited minutes, and James Harden (24 points) was a monster off the bench … As fun as that game was to watch, the Bulls’ 77-64 win over Toronto was equally as disgusting. Whereas it took OKC 24 minutes to hit 70, the Bulls barely got there and the Raptors weren’t even close. Four of their starters combined for 10 points … Indiana ran Boston out of the gym, 97-83, getting 21 from Danny Granger. But it was their crowd that really impressed us. Every time the Cs had the ball, the crowd was chanting “A-A-R-P” … Funny sarcastic remark we heard on Twitter: The Celtics should petition to start counting Tommy Points as real points … At least we can say one good thing about Washington: JaVale McGee started 8-for-8 and had 23 points, 18 rebounds and five send-backs. The rest wasn’t so great as Philly easily beat them again behind a Thanksgiving dinner of a night from Andre Iguodala, filling up the box score with 23 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five rips … Golden State gave up 112 points to Charlotte and Gerald Henderson (26 points) in a 12-point loss … The Jazz rode five players in double figures to a 13-point win over New Jersey, and let their crowd undress Deron Williams (3-for-15, 16 points). They were booing the bad hair off D-Will, hitting him harder than we’ve seen in a long time. Williams should start booing the rest of his teammates … Rudy Gay (23 points) closed out the Hornets in Memphis’ nine-point win … And Dallas beat down Sacramento as bad as anyone has all season (99-60), but what happened on the court wasn’t the real story. DeMarcus Cousins got into it with a cameraman in the locker room, and of course with his rep, rumors came pouring out. Thankfully Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee broke it down. Here are the cliff notes: cameraman had his camera in Cousins’ face as he dressed. DMC asked him not too. The reporter said “whatever” and then egged him on with a second comment as he walked away. Cousins got up to confront him, but was held back by Isaiah Thomas. From there, DMC picked up his stuff and bounced. Listen, this is nothing new. Some of the Dime crew was in the house back when West Virginia ended Cousins’ college career. A somewhat similar thing actually happened there. We were standing in front of his locker, not realizing he was walking right over. He said excuse me and sort of half pushed/half shoved us out of the way. When you lose in the Elite 8 – or by nearly 40 – tensions are high, people have short fuses. Nothing that far out of the ordinary. It happens a lot in crowded locker rooms … We’re out like Tebow.

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