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The Kings Crown Themselves Against The Lakers; Dallas Gets Embarrassed Again

Lamar Odom, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul aren’t walking through that door. The Lakers are what they are right now: an 0-2 team searching for a spark. They took a beheading at the hands of the Kings last night in Sacramento, 100-91 and while everyone wants to drive the stake into them after two games, maybe we should just give some credit to the Kings. Tyreke Evans (20 points on 13 shots) was a monster again last night, and Marcus Thornton (27 points on 13 shots) was dropping bombs on ’em Outkast-style throughout the second half. Every time L.A. threatened, one of those two made a big offensive play, or DeMarcus Cousins out-hustled everyone in yellow for the ball. You’re not winning a game if you can’t get a loose ball or defensive rebound down the stretch. We know what Evans can do. We hope you know what Thornton can do (He might be that team’s closer.). But what about Cousins? He looked like Dave Cowens in the second half. He beat Pau Gasol to multiple loose balls and then took a charge on Kobe Bryant that iced the game. The Kings were up 78-64 after the third and while Kobe (29 points), and surprisingly Metta World Peace (19 points), were doing all they could to keep L.A. close, everything came so much easier for Sacramento. While their offense often appears like some All-Star AAU team that was scrapped together for a weekend at the last minute, the talent is obvious … At one point in the second half, the Lakers had a lineup of Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Troy Murphy, World Peace and Luke Walton. Take away the mystique of those Laker uniforms and that lineup is gonna make you throw up … The Mavs were so disgusting that Sean Williams actually did throw up on the bench. Seriously. Denver came into Dallas and beat the defending champs 115-93, boosted by a 20-0 spurt in the second quarter that had the Mavs getting booed off the floor by their own fans. Is it too early to sound the alarm? That’s two lazy blowouts in a row. Denver dominated in the paint during the first half, shot nearly 50 percent, beat Dallas by 10 on the glass and Ty Lawson ran through the Mavs’ defense at will, scoring 27 and barely missing a shot for half the game. Dirk had 20, but outside of the Big German, no Mav did anything whatsoever … One day after pulling off a late-game comeback in L.A., the Bulls were unable to do it again, losing to the Warriors 99-91. How good is Stephen Curry? Despite an ankle problem that forced him to leave with five minutes left after rolling it again, Curry controlled the entire flow of the game, getting the better of Derrick Rose on his way to 21 points, seven rebounds, 10 dimes and six steals. He even threw two perfect moonshot lobs from midcourt. Monta Ellis added 26 and seven assists of his own … Keep reading to hear about the most entertaining game of the night …

We’re convinced: Even if they’re the worst team in the league record-wise again, we’re going to be paying close attention to Minnesota all year. OKC beat them yesterday 104-100 but between Ricky Rubio‘s magic bounce passes, J.J. Barea‘s wild energy and Michael Beasley giving us the first-ever NBA home run trot, we are hooked. Kevin Durant (33 points) was unstoppable and had one move in the third quarter – a spin into a scoop layup – that looked so much like a 2002 T-Mac, it was scary. But it was Minnesota that was getting the place hyped. Kevin Love (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Beasley (24 points) were balling out, and Rubio (six assists) had two or three bounce passes off the dribble that were insane, including one which ended in a Derrick Williams reverse that seemed to have the place feeling like it was 2000 all over again. In crunch time, the Spanish import almost won it for them. One three straight possessions, he took a charge, then hit a J and then stole it to give the Wolves a lead with under three minutes to go. But in the end, it was too much Russell Westbrook (28 points) who just kept coming and coming. He’d miss a shot, and then make a great play. Someone would force him into a tough shot and he’d make an even tougher one. That confidence is a gift and a curse … The Grizzlies have had questions all summer about incorporating Rudy Gay back into the fold. After getting just eight shots in Memphis’ 95-82 loss in San Antonio, Zach Randolph can’t be happy about it. You’d think the Grizzlies would realize – despite Gay (19 points, 10 rebounds) doing this – what got them success last year and not allow themselves to go through a game and give Z-Bo eight shots and Marc Gasol six shots. Meanwhile, Manu Ginobili (24 points) showed he’s just fine, and had a SICK behind-the-back dish … Eric Gordon (20 points) hit a game-winning jumper against Phoenix to give New Orleans a 85-84 win and push them to 1-0 in the post-CP era … Are the Bucks for real this year? They’re gonna need more from Brandon Jennings if they want to get back into the playoffs. Jennings scored 22, but with Milwaukee down one with under 30 seconds left, he pulled up from nearly three and shot an ugly brick. After Kemba Walker‘s (13 points in his debut) two clutch free throws, the Bobcats had an opening night win, 96-95 after trailing by 11 at the break. Before the game, Charlotte filled out their roster by signing a fifth guard: Cory Higgins, who also happens to be the son of Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins … Toronto beat the Cavs in Kyrie Irving‘s official debut, 104-96. The No. 1 overall pick started but went 2-for-12 for six points and seven dimes … Roy Hibbert (16 points, 14 rebounds) and the Sleeper Pacers beat Detroit 91-79. According to NBA.com’s Kyle Montgomery (a.k.a. the poor man’s Stuart Scott), Dave West is the toughest man in NBA history. During the Pacers/Pistons highlight, Montgomery said D-West blew out his ACL “last month.” Considering West put up a double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds) last night, he must be taking the kind of painkillers that’ll land you on an A&E documentary show … The Blazers got 25 from LaMarcus Aldridge in their 107-103 home win over Philly … Deron Williams (23 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) and Kris Humphries (21 points, 16 rebounds) killed it for New Jersey in their six-point win over Washington … And the Magic turned back the clock to 2009 in their 104-95 win over the Rockets: Hedo Turkoglu dropped 23 points and six rebounds … We’re out like Marino‘s record.

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