Every once in a while a regular-season game has the feel of a playoff game and actually lives up to the hype.Wednesday night's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs was no exception.
The shorthanded Lakers, playing on the second night of a back-to-back and without the services of Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic, fought back from an 11-point deficit with a little over seven minutes left, but ultimately fell 112-111 to the hometown Spurs.
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One team that could engage the Blazers in trade discussions is the Chicago Bulls. With Kirk Hinrich back in the lineup it might be time for the Bulls to consider trading him.
The Bulls are currently a game and a half out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and no team has more to offer than Portland. With so many players due for big extensions in the next few years, Hinrich would bring them a cap-friendly contract that decreases each season.
A trade of Hinrich and the expiring contracts of Drew Gooden and Michael Ruffin for LaFrentz, Travis Outlaw, Jerryd Bayless, and either Channing Frye or Ike Diogu would work under the cap and make a lot of sense for both teams.
The Blazers would get a franchise point guard under contract for three more years and two expiring contracts. The Bulls would get themselves a rookie combo guard in Bayless, who could back-up and play alongside Derrick Rose, a veteran small forward with huge potential in Outlaw, and a power forward in Diogu or Frye -- either of whom would be playing with the incentive of a new contract.
Everyone Beats the Wiz
David Lee scored 30 points, Al Harrington scored 27, and Quentin Richardson added 26 in helping the Knicks hand the Washington Wizards their sixth-straight loss, 128-122.
Nick Young set a career-high for the third time in six days with 33 points to lead the Wizards.
All has been quiet of late on the Stephon Marbury front. I get the feeling that some time after the trade deadline the Knicks will make a final offer to buy Marbury out of his contract.
If Marbury declines the deal then I can see the Knicks either letting his contract expire or releasing him in March so he won't be eligible for the postseason should he sign on with another team.
Marbury will have to decide if he's willing to lose some money for a chance to play this season or wait until the summer to hook on with another team.
Just What The Doctor Ordered
Nothing helps to cure a losing streak like a pair of home-and-homes with two sub-.500 teams. That's exactly what the schedule-makers prescribed the Boston Celtics with these four games against Toronto and New Jersey.
After winning both games against the Raptors on Sunday and Monday, the Celtics beat up on the Nets on Wednesday night, 118-86. Paul Pierce led six Celtics in double figures with 22 points, 18 in the third quarter.
The two teams meet again in New Jersey on Saturday.
Elsewhere Derrick Rose scored 17 points in the fourth quarter in helping the Bulls come from behind to beat the Raptors in Toronto, 102-98. Rose recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 10 assists to go along with his 25 total points. Andrea Bargnani led the Raptors with a career-high 31 points. Chris Paul came within three steals of recording a quadruple-double in the Hornets 104-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Paul finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and seven steals in helping the Hornets snap a 13-game losing streak to the Mavericks in Dallas that dated back to 1998. Jason Terry scored 28 to lead the Mavs. The Thunder won their first game against a team with a winning record this season in beating the Jazz, 114-93. Four of their seven total wins this season have come in the past 14 days. Jeff Green scored 23 to pace the Thunder. Deron Williams had 25 for the Jazz in the loss. The Pistons record with Allen Iverson dropped to 18-15 with their overtime loss to the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday. Danny Granger scored 24 points and Troy Murphy added 18. Rodney Stuckey scored 30 points to lead the Pistons. The Miami Heat won just 15 games last season. Wednesday night they recorded victory No. 21 with their 102-99 victory in Milwaukee against the Bucks. Daequan Cook scored 24 points and Dwyane Wade had 13 assists. Luke Ridnour led the Bucks with 25. Two of the NBA's worst teams participated in the season's longest game when the Sacramento Kings beat the Golden State Warriors 135-133 in triple overtime. It was the Kings' first road win since Nov. 19. Brad Miller had 30 points and 22 rebounds for the Kings. Jamal Crawford scored 35 for the Warriors in the losing effort. The Clippers have now lost 12 games in a row after losing to the Atlanta Hawks, 97-80. The Hawks snapped their four-game losing streak in the process. Josh Smith scored 26 for the Hawks. Al Thornton scored 25 against his hometown team.
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