DimeMag

Kobe Bryant Haters Ready To Unite; Thunder And Nuggets Ready To Get The Show Started

Oh boy. It’s about to get ugly. That was our first reaction. With this new idea beginning to float around that he’s not clutch, fumbling away the ball with the game on the line is perfect ammunition. When Gordon Hayward outplays you down the stretch, be ready for criticism. Even if you are Kobe Bryant
And you thought Butler/UConn was bad last night? Utah’s 86-85 win against the Lakers might’ve been worse. It was like watching Bo Outlaw play Chuck Hayes one-on-one. For the second straight game, the Lakers were Courtney Love-sloppy, throwing balls away and not boxing out. Down the stretch, they let Hayward (22 points) slice them up. On the final possession down one, Kobe had Hayward isolated, but the ball slipped out of his hands before he could get a shot off. Andrew Bynum must be heated. We’re not ones to question Phil Jackson, but you think it would’ve been smart to leave in Bynum instead of taking him out with three minutes left? He only had 23 freakin’ rebounds and four blocked shots. Bryant (6-18 from the field, 20 points) was terrible all night and didn’t make a single shot in the first half. Even before his fumble at the end, he missed a three that nearly broke the backboard just a few possessions earlier … On one play in the fourth, Hayward went down the lane, went up to dunk with his left hand, lost the ball and still recovered and dunked it anyways … We don’t think the Thunder and the Nuggets like each other. That’s just the vibe we got last night. These teams know they are playing in the first round in another week and a half. We might as well get this thing poppin’ now … Kevin Durant (32 points, 9 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (18 points) made the big plays at the end to hold off the Nuggets in a message-sending 101-94 win. Oklahoma City hit Denver with a back-breaking run to start the fourth quarter, capped off by Durant catching a lob on the break. The Thunder actually scored 16 straight until Ty Lawson hit a runner … In the final two minutes, with the game basically over, the Nuggets’ color guys started spewing off at the mouth. On one particular play, Westbrook went into the post and barreled over Ray Felton, drawing a foul. The color guy then said this: “I would not give Westbrook a call all game because he’s selfish and that’s not a good play.” Damn, call him out then. And then with about 20 seconds left, Durant was fouled. On the way to the line, Danilo Gallinari (17 points) came rumbling over, chest-bumping KD like he was Luca Brasi. So when Durant shoved Gallo, the Italian gave us a Vlade-worthy stumble. It was epic, even for NBA standards … If it wasn’t for Lawson (15 second-quarter points, 28 for the game), the game would’ve been over long before then … Read More: Derrick Rose squares off with Steve Nash and Kemba Walker’s jersey is already retired at UConn?? …

Derrick Rose didn’t play too well (19 points), but Chicago still found a way to beat the Suns by three. On the final possession, Steve Nash (16 assists) made an uncharacteristic mistake. Down three, Nash drove to the basket and threw up a wild shot. The ball was tipped around and Phoenix never got a chance to tie the game … That’s what happens when you wear your boy’s shorts. At the start of the game, Nash came trotting out in his practice shorts. So they told Zabian Dowdell: “Hey rook, hand over your shorts.” Everyone huddled around Nash while he made the switch … During the first half, the Suns’ commentators were talking about Rose’s impact on his teammates and one of them actually said, “J.J. Redick would be an All-Star playing with Rose.” He actually said that … If UConn was ever going to have a chance to get Kemba Walker to come back, we think they just blew it. Upon returning to campus for a rally in the Gampel Pavilion, the school pulled a curtain away to show the sobbing Walker that he was now a part of the “Huskies of Honor” wall. If your jersey is already retired, is it even possible to come back? … Other headlines from around the league: Deron Williams (18 points, 21 assists) and the Nets beat Minnesota by two when Williams hit a game-winner in the closing seconds; John Wall (26 points, 12 assists) and Washington beat the Pistons by two; Dwight Howard (18 points, 17 rebounds) and the Magic beat Milwaukee for an ugly 78-72 win; Cleveland and J.J. Hickson (16 points, 19 rebounds) beat down Charlotte by 10; the Knicks rolled over Toronto 131-118 as Toney Douglas scored 28 points off the bench; with Elton Brand hurting, Philly was worn down in the second half of their 17-point loss against Rajon Rondo (16 points, 13 assists) and the Celtics; Samuel Dalembert (21 points, 15 rebounds) and the Kings continued their spoiling routine with a three-point win over Houston; the Clippers and Blake Griffin (15 points, 14 rebounds) barely held on by one against Memphis; the Warriors put a hurting on Portland, 108-87, as David Lee killed it (29 points, 20 rebounds); and San Antonio and Tony Parker (26 points) smashed Atlanta during the second half of their 97-90 win, despite this dunk … We’re out like retiring jerseys early.

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