Around the Rim: Derek Fisher clutch for LA
Lakers 73 Mavericks 70: This was one of the most ugly, miserable, boring games of the season with both teams bricking shots at a record pace. But they woke up in time for an exciting finish. With the game tied at 70-70, Kobe Bryant and was poised to go for the winner. As soon as the Mavs doubled him, he didn the unthinkable: he made a pass. He whipped the ball to his buddy Derek Fisher who nailed a rainbow three that turned out to be the game winner.
On a night where everyone seemed to struggle on offense, Fisher was one of the few actually hitting shots which is incredible considering that he is shooting about 36% on the season. But he is old reliable for the Lakers and came through once again.
LA hit only 38.2% of their shots while Dallas was even worse, going just 35% from the field. Yikes. The Staples Center gave a standing ovation for the returning Lamar Odom who had 10 points in his return to Lakerland. Kobe had his streak of 40+ scoring games snapped, getting just 14 points.
Thunder 97 Celtics 88: Boston looked poised for a big win on their home court before OKC caught on fire, hitting four three-pointers in the final two minutes including a pair from Russell Westbrook. He finished with 26 points while Kevin Durant went for 28. Paul Pierce looked much better than he had lately, scoring 24 and Jermaine O’Neal had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Boston has now lost five straight for the first time since their ‘Big 3′ were assembled.
Magic 102 Knicks 93: As I wrote about in this recap, Orlando got hot from beyond the arc, hitting 17 three-pointers including seven from Ryan Anderson who scored a career-high 30 points. The Knicks did a good job of holding down Dwight Howard who only had 8 points but his teammates picked him up. Carmelo Anthony led NY with 33.
Trail Blazers 84 Hornets 77: Portland needed to get back on track, having dropped three straight. So they turned to LaMarcus Aldridge who scored 16 of his 22 in the second half to get the win. Nicolas Batum came off the bench for 19 points. The Hornets were cold from beyond the arc, missing all nine three-point attempts. Jarrett Jack led them with 21.
Grizzlies 102 Bulls 86: This is what the Bulls look like without Derrick Rose. The reigning MVP sat this out with his bad foot and his team looked a bit lost on offense. And the Grizzlies had their way, shooting 54% including 24 points from Rudy Gay and 20 from Mike Conley in what was a blowout most of the way.
Clippers 101 Nets 91: The Clippers were in control early on but blew an 18-point lead to let the Nets back in it. So Chauncey Billups – who got the start in place of Chris Paul and his sore hamstring – got it going late, scoring 9 of his 20 in the last five minutes. Blake Griffin went for 23 while MarShon Brooks led the Nets with 19.
Timberwolves 99 Kings 86: Is Kevin Love the best power forward in the game? He made his case again with a 33 point, 11 rebound game to lead the Wolves to the win and now has a double-double in each of their first 13 games. Luke Ridnour went for 25 points including 4-4 from downtown. The Kings’ starting backcourt should have had the edge but struggled, going just 7-of-23 from the field.
Hawks 93 Raptors 84: Josh Smith is picking up the burden with Al Horford out for the rest of the regular season, scoring 28 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Joe Johnson lit it up for 27 as the Hawks are now 3-0 since Horford got injured. The Raptors put up a good fight but the Atlanta defense shut them down in the fourth quarter, holding them to just 13 points.
Rockets 114 Wizards 106: The story for the Wizards should have been John Wall who scored a career-high 38 and looked spectacular despite the loss. Instead, it was JaVale McGee who was alone on a fast break and threw the ball off the backboard before slamming it down to the chagrin of coach Flip Saunders. It’s just the latest controversy in Washington and it’s no wonder that the Wiz have the worst record in the league. Wall had 18 in the fourth quarter to get his team within five with under five minutes to go before the Rockets closed them out. Kevin Martin had 25 while Samuel Dalembert scored 20.
76ers 94 Bucks 82: The Sixers defense forced 16 turnovers while Jrue Holiday had a season-high 24 points. Philly has won four straight and nine of ten. Plus, they’re a perfect 6-0 at home with a team that Doug Collins has to be thrilled with. Andrew Bogut had a strong outing with 20 points and 11 boards while his club fell to 0-8 on the road.
Cavaliers 102 Bobcats 94: Kyrie Irving is playing fantastic, going for 25 points and 7 assists to lead the Cavs. He’s living up to be the top pick in last year’s draft and is getting better and better. Cleveland struggled with just 16 points in the second quarter but returned with a newfound energy and 33 points in the third and took over the game. D.J. Augustin had 24 for the Bobcats.