Mike, know that The Mamba is coming for you next. In the second quarter of last night’s Lakers/Kings game Kobe Bryant drilled a pull-up mid-range jumper to score the 31,420th and 31,421st points of his career, pushing him past Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the all-time scoring list. MJ is next at 32,292 … We don’t care if you love Kobe or hate Kobe, you just need to respect what he has done in his career. It doesn’t matter if you think he’s a selfish player or whatever, 31,000 points in a career is just otherworldly (not to mention a bunch of championship rings). Scoring that many points against the greatest basketball players (and arguably the greatest athletes) in the world is simply amazing. That fact is not up for debate … That being said, we’re sure we will still get plenty of the “Kobe still sucks” and “Get off Kobe’s D” nonsense comments from dummy trolls … As the for the game itself, with the Rockets, Mavs and Utah all winning, it was pretty much as close to a must-win as you could get for L.A. In a back-and-forth uptempo battle, the Lakers held on 103-98. It certainly helped that in the final 10 seconds, with his team still in a spot to potentially tie or win the game, DeMarcus Cousins decided to take not one, not two, but three three-pointers. In case you’re wondering, he’s made 9 in his entire career … Another bad hit for L.A.: Steve Nash left in the first quarter after his hip/back issues flared up. He was diagnosed with a strained hamstring after the game … Speaking of those Mavs, Dirk Nowitzki hit a three (of his season-high 35 points) with just under three seconds to play to lift his squad over the Bulls … Nate Robinson scored 14 of his 25 in the fourth quarter. Afterwards, Dirk likened Nate’s performance as being “like a video game” … If we told you that the Rockets were playing the Clippers without James Harden, we’re guessing you’d assume that Lob City would turn into Murder City on Houston pretty quick, right? Not so fast. In fact, just the opposite. Even with Harden sitting out with an ankle injury, the Rockets kept the Clips from their franchise-record 50th win with a super-balanced attack (five guys scored in double figures and three others were close), pounding L.A., 98-81. L.A.’s next shot at 50 comes Monday night at home against the Pacers … We’re not going to insult you with a recap of Sixers/Bobcats (Philly won). Just know that the Sixers trotted out Allen Iverson pre-game for the fans. A.I. gave about as much effort as the Sixers team has this season … The Memphis Grizzlies snapped a five-game losing streak by handling the Minnesota Timberwolves, 99-86. They survived a career-high 23 points from Ricky Rubio (not to mention 10 boards, nine assists and a steal) … The Warriors completely smashed the Blazers, 125-98, behind 39, five boards and six assists from Steph Curry …
Remember this? Just a few days ago we were all about Ohio State after LaQuinton Ross ascended from on high to deliver the Buckeyes’ second miracle victory in the last week. Then last night, State came crashing back to earth, losing their trip to the Final Four to the Wichita State Shockers, 70-66 …The Buckeyes were blitzed early by Shockers and it took until midway through the second half for the Buckeyes to find the rim. With 11 minutes to go in the game, OSU was down 20 and seemingly dead in the water. But then WSU started playing not to lose instead of playing to win and it almost cost them dearly. The Buckeyes mounted a furious comeback as the Shockers did everything they possibly could to lose the lead and the game. Terrible possessions, awful turnovers, seemingly fouling the Buckeyes every time down the court â€“ WSU did everything they could to bury their own tickets to Atlanta. For Ohio State to pull off a miracle comeback though, they needed to be perfect for those final 11 minutes and they just weren’t. A handful of blown opportunities off of turnovers and gifts from WSU meant that the Buckeyes would get close, but not close enough … For the Shockers, they’re the first Missouri Valley Conference team to make it to the Final Four since 1979, when a guy named Larry Bird carried Indiana State … While we’d like to say we enjoyed the Syracuse/Marquette game, in reality it was more like watching someone smother somebody to death with a pillow (Syracuse had the very large pillow). Marquette’s lowest point total of the season was 47. Yesterday afternoon, the ‘Cuse’s 2-3 zone choked the life out of them to the tune of a miserable 39 points. For the game, Marquette shot 12-53 from the field, including 3-25 from three-point range … It was borderline tough to watch; Marquette was completely helpless on the offensive end â€“ we can’t even really remember a single bucket they had in the entire second half. And this is a team that saw the zone a few weeks ago, scored 74 points against it and won … ‘Cuse guard Michael Carter-Williams made himself some money yesterday. At 6-6 and playing at the top of that zone, he was big reason for Marquette’s troubles. On offense, he only had 12 points, but was getting into the lane at will, his length affording him any shot he wanted. A few generous bounces from the rim and he walks away with 20+ easy. After the game Chad Ford speculated on Twitter that Carter-Williams may have played his way into the Top 10 of this year’s NBA Draft … This will be ‘Cuse’s first Final Four since ‘Melo’s magical run in 2003 … After being turned down by pretty much every “it” coach in Division I over the last week, UCLA announced yesterday that they had hired New Mexico’s Steve Alford to a seven-year, $18.2 million deal. While Alford is no slouch, he was very clearly not even close to their top pick. All reports point to Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens (and who knows who else) saying no to UCLA in the past few days, before Alford said yes. What kind of rep must your players and program have in coaching circles if young prospects at Butler and VCU are saying “no thanks” to UCLA?? … We’re out like the Buckeyes.
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