Dirk Comes Through In The Clutch; Kobe Can’t Produce A Miracle

The real Amar’e Stoudemire might’ve finally emerged, scoring 26 points and dunking aggressively for the first time since before someone snuck into his house at night and gave him Penny Hardaway‘s knees. But Dirk hit two of his patented awkward rainbows in the final moments, and gave one courtside kid a HARD handshake in Dallas’ 95-85 win over the visiting Knicks. The game was a weird affair all around, from Tyson Chandler receiving his championship ring in the pre-game to Carmelo Anthony somehow making half as many shots as Jason Kidd – we can safely bet you that that’ll NEVER happen again. But Nowitzki did just enough in scoring 28 points. Still, we can’t let him off the hook. A seven footer who grabs three rebounds? How come no one ever mentions that Dirk Diggler averages 6.8 rebounds a night? … The Miami Heat had no problems rolling over the Nets, beating them by 30 in a game that was about as hot as Deron Williams‘ performance (16 points). While New Jersey was on a petty crime spree against the game of basketball, Chris Bosh (20 points) was doing felonious things to Kris Humphries. The only real drama came from Dwyane Wade, who rolled his ankle in the first half and never returned, and LeBron James, who made a shot from midcourt … With 21 minutes gone in their game against the Magic, the Bobcats had 29 points. Paul Silas, who was probably drugged into saying it’s “exhilarating” to coach a healthy roster recently, decided he had better ways to spend his remaining NBA days and got himself ejected. We couldn’t blame him. Bad Porn (29 points) was out there losing balls 20 rows up into the stands and missing dunks. Orlando was hitting shots from South Carolina. But then, something truly unbelievable happened. Charlotte went on a 20-0 run, spanning the end of the second and beginning of the third quarters. It was so bad we really thought the Magic were throwing the game. In the fourth quarter, Orlando folded harder than one of Queen Latifah‘s stomach rolls, and ended up losing 100-84 after leading big in the first half … If Charlotte wants to get all they can out of Bismack Biyombo, they need to schedule the Magic more often. After putting up big numbers the last time these two met, The Biz went to work again last night, hitting Orlando for boards and energy as easily as if he was beatboxing (He’d finish with 15 rebounds and seven blocks). Of course, the Biz had to throw in one or two traditional “Bobcat” moments. At one point in the first half, he gobbled up a rebound, looked around and tried being Magic. He dribbled up to about the midcourt line and then lofted the ball in the air, on the run, to no one. He had to pick it up and concede the travel to save a basket. Afterwards, he just shrugged about it like only the Biz can. You can shrug that off when you block a Dwight Howard (15 points, 17 rebounds) hook, and generally outplay the man throughout the night … Paul Pierce scored 30 and the Celtics survived in OT against Houston, 97-92. Want a 40th birthday present Diesel? Kevin Garnett passed you into No. 12 all time in rebounding last night. He finished the night with 13 points and 13 rebounds … Keep reading to hear about Kobe’s “new” mask …

In the postgame interview, Rodney Stuckey gave the cliche answer: “If we play the right way… we can beat anybody.” But even he, after scoring 34 points in Detroit’s 88-85 OT win over the Lakers, had to stutter. The Pistons? Beating anybody? Well they did take out the Lakers despite 30 and 14 from Andrew Bynum. Kobe (8-for-26, 22 points) delivered magic once at the regulation buzzer with a jumper right over Tayshaun Prince to put it to an extra frame. But he couldn’t do it twice, and on their final chance in the overtime, Bryant missed a WILD three and World Peace couldn’t convert off the rebound … Kobe was rocking the scariest black mask we’ve seen since the Immortals from 300. But it didn’t take long for him to ditch it. Barely a quarter and a couple of missed shots in and Bryant went back to the clear mask … Danny Granger had a shot at it. Top of the key. Marvin Williams inexplicably backing off. The shot was on target. It was just a little short. Williams eventually ended up getting the ball out of the fray, made his two free throws and that was it for the Pacers. Coming in, Atlanta was 11-0 when Josh Smith scores at least 20 points this year. Last night the All-Star snub dropped 27 points and nine rebounds, and so of course, the Hawks had to walk out of the cornfields with another win, 101-96. For much of the game, the Pacer color guys did a good job of picking and choosing with Smoove, concentrating on every bad shot and bad IQ play he made. They should’ve recognized he was destroying their defense in the process … The Pacers’ color guy, Quinn Buckner, also called Jeff Teague perhaps the quickest half-court player in the league off the dribble, comparing him only to John Wall. This came immediately after Teague BLEW by George Hill on the baseline. We won’t argue that Teague is one of the quicker players, but quickness wasn’t helping him last night once he got in the paint. The dude was super overaggressive and ended up getting caught in the air blind multiple times on his way to a nine-point, nine-assist night … And the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame announced this year’s class: Patrick Ewing, Clyde Lovellette, Phil Ford, Kenny Sailors, Earl Monroe and Willis Reed, coaches Joe B. Hall and Dave Robbins, and contributors Jim Host and Joe Dean … We’re out like Peyton Manning.

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