DimeMag

Ray Allen makes NBA history, then Kobe Bryant makes Ray a victim

If we really thought Kobe Bryant is the most cold-hearted villain in professional sports and deserving of a role opposite Tobey Maguire in the next Spider-Man flick, here’s what we would have said happened last night: Kobe let Ray Allen have the first half, then spent the second half ruining Ray’s shining moment, then used the final minute to stick the proverbial rusty ice pick in Ray’s ribcage on national TV and in front of Ray’s girl and his Moms. But that’s only if we thought Kobe is really, truly cold like that. Surely everything that happened last night was mere coincidence … The story line going into Lakers/Celtics was Ray’s pursuit of Reggie Miller‘s all-time record for three-pointers. Ray took care of that early, tying Reggie eight minutes into the first quarter, then passing him a couple minutes later. Kobe was involved in the record-breaking shot: Either he let Ray have it, like Brett Favre let Michael Strahan have the single-season sack record, or Kobe just didn’t want his face and extended hand immortalized in the photo of Ray’s historic shot. Either way, Kobe was supposed to be guarding Ray and just watched him shoot … Ray scored 14 points in the first half as Boston went ahead by as much as 15, but then Kobe decided the Ray party had gone long enough. After taking just three shots before halftime, Kobe ran off five points in the blink of an eye to start the third quarter, and a couple jumpers later, the Lakers had the lead. Kobe began the fourth quarter on the bench, and when he checked in with five minutes remaining, L.A. was clinging to a three-point lead. Jumper, jumper, layup, and the lead was back to nine, then Kobe (23 pts) drew the defense and found Pau Gasol (20 pts, 10 rebs) for a wide-open bunny … With one minute left, Boston was down six and desperately needed a stop. It came down to Ray (20 pts) guarding Kobe at midcourt. Kobe wasted some clock, gave Ray a couple crossovers, and laced a jumper in his eye for the dagger. From his seat at the announce table, all Reggie could do was make that sound you make on the first bite of Grandma’s sweet potato pie … Post-game interview mistake: Asking Kobe for his thoughts on Ray breaking the record is like asking Bret Hart what he thinks of Shawn Michaels winning another WWE championship. When Craig Sager was asking that question, Kobe must have been thinking, “I hope he asks Ray what it means to him when I pass Kareem.” … Lamar Odom (10 pts, 12 rebs, 3 blks) and Gasol cracked heads late in the third quarter, opening a gash on Odom’s head without leaving a scratch on Gasol. “What is he, Iron Man?” Reggie asked. Pretty sure that’s the first time anyone has ever compared Pau to Iron Man …Read More>>

Chauncey Billups went off in the first half, Carmelo Anthony took over the second half, but the Nuggets still couldn’t beat the Mavericks until Arron Afflalo morphed into Alex English in the fourth quarter … After Jason Terry (25 pts) sparked a 9-0 Dallas run to open the fourth, Denver was down by 13. But ‘Melo and Afflalo kept gunning, and eventually ‘Melo (42 pts, 17-25 FG) cut the lead to one point with one minute on the clock. Nene split a pair at the line with 30 seconds left to tie it, and on Dallas’ next possession, Dirk got Carmelo in the air and drew a foul where it looked like Carmelo somehow kicked him in the nuts and the elbow in the same motion. That was Carmelo’s sixth, so after Dirk missed the first free throw (remember, he’d just been kicked in the nuts) and made the second for the lead, the Nuggets had to make it work without their closer. Billups (30 pts, 9 asts, 3 stls) couldn’t get a good look, so he went to Afflalo, who pulled up on Shawn Marion and hit a textbook jumper at the buzzer for the win … Afflalo scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter. Game of his life, congratulations, but did he really slap Cheryl Miller on the ass after his post-game interview? … In Thursday’s only other NBA game, the Suns destroyed the Warriors behind Steve Nash‘s 18 points and 11 assists … No matter how deep everybody at the press conference tried to bury the story, it’s sounding more and more like Jerry Sloan walked away from the Utah Jazz after 23 years because he simply couldn’t deal with Deron Williams anymore. So now here’s the interesting part: The Jazz play tonight, at home, against Phoenix. How will the crowd react to D-Will? … And you thought the OKC Thunder were bad about their strictly two-man offense. In a loss to Florida State last night, Georgia Tech was totally dependent on point guard Iman Shumpert (25 pts, 10 asts) and small forward Glen Rice Jr. (24 pts, 9 rebs, 3 stls). Between them, Shumpert and Rice took 51 of the Yellow Jackets’ 77 field goals, a.k.a. 66% of the shots. Maybe that wouldn’t have been so bad, except Shumpert and Rice only hit 35% of their attempts, with Glen Jr. going a ghastly 3-for-13 beyond the arc. His dad will have to take him behind the woodshed for that … The McDonald’s High School All-American rosters were unveiled yesterday. Michael Gilchrist headlines the East squad, while Austin Rivers leads the West. (He’s from Florida, but whatever.) To see the rest of the All-American picks, CLICK HERE … We’re out like Sloan …

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