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News » Court Awareness: Wednesday Review 2009-02-05


Court Awareness: Wednesday Review 2009-02-05


Court Awareness: Wednesday Review 2009-02-05
Now that didn't take long, did it?

Just 48 hours after Kobe Bryant set a Madison Square Garden record for the most points scored in a game with 61, LeBron James made everyone quickly forget about it with his own night for the ages.

James recorded the 21st triple-double of his career and scored the second most points ever recorded in a triple-double with 52 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds in leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 107-102 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.

Bleacher Report


Thursday's action

  • Lakers prevail in OT battle with Celtics
  • Without Brand, Sixers pound Pacers
  • Williams, Jazz rout Mavs in Utah

FOXSports.com analysis

  • Goodman: Lakers erase Boston demons
  • Rosen: Answering your NBA questions
  • Rosen: Bynum's injury a huge blow
  • Galinsky: NBA Power Rankings

Video

  • LeBron talks about his Garden party
  • Hill: What Kobe must do now
  • NBA stars on Black History Month

Photos

  • Celtics, Lakers battle in Boston
  • Eastern Conference All-Stars
  • Western Conference All-Stars

Andrew Bynum's slow start was partly attributed to his inability to stay out of foul trouble early in games. Once he was able to make it out of the first quarter without getting into foul trouble he was able to find his rhythm and with that his production and conditioning improved.

Even with Bynum sidelined for the next 8-12 weeks the Lakers will probably continue with the strategy because it seems to be working. It's the same strategy that worked so well for the Detroit Pistons against the Lakers in the 2004 NBA Finals.

They've managed to balance out their generous first quarters by playing great defense down the stretch. After giving up 31 points in the first quarter of Wednesday's game they held the Raptors to only 20 in the final frame.

This Rodney Gets Respect

Rodney Stuckey scored 18 points, grabbed six boards, and tallied six assists in helping the Detroit Pistons put an end to their four-game losing streak at home and beat the Miami Heat 93-90 on Wednesday night.

Stuckey hit two huge shots late in the game, including an acrobatic bank-shot over Dwyane Wade as the shot clock ran out. Wade had a chance to tie the game but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The win put the Pistons (26-21) back into fifth place and dropped Miami (26-22) to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

With the Celtics, Cavs, and Magic essentially locked into the top three seeds the battle for the fifth seed is turning into one of the season's more interesting subplots. While the sixth seed is looking at a first-round date with the Celtics, Cavs, or Magic the fifth seed will likely play a series with the Atlanta Hawks.

The Pistons failed to sell out the game, bringing an end to their streak of 259 straight sellouts that started over five seasons ago.

It's hard to image that fans stayed away due to the team's recent mediocre play, especially since one of the NBA's most exciting players was in town. Most likely, it's just another example of how the current state of the economy is affecting professional sports, especially in Detroit.

Move Over Oscar

The Dallas Mavericks are 10 games over .500 for the first time this season after beating the Portland Trailblazers 104-99 on Wednesday night.

It's the fourth year in a row that the Mavs have needed longer than the previous season to reach that milestone.

Last season they were 10 games over .500 on Jan. 2, the season before that it took them until Dec. 21, before that it was done on Dec. 16, and in 2005-06 it was done on Dec. 14.

The win also brought the Mavericks within one game of the Blazers for fourth place in the Western Conference and assured them a victory in the season series, giving the Mavs the tiebreaker should the two teams finish with the same record.

Josh Howard led the Mavs (29-19) with 23 points but it was Jason Kidd who had the biggest night when he passed Oscar Robertson for fourth place on the NBA's career assist list.

Next up on the list for Kidd is his childhood hero, Magic Johnson. It isn't unfathomable for Kidd to pass Johnson this season.

Brandon Roy led the Blazers (30-18) with 26 points and seven rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in with 21 points.

Good News on a Bad Day

The Orlando Magic played their first game without All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson and backup Anthony Johnson proved to be an adequate replacement in the Magic's 125-96 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

Jonson scored 25 points, including 6-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc. In fact, the entire Magic team shot an impressive 16-of-26 from downtown.

The Magic got the news that Nelson had torn the labrum in his right shoulder and has to decide whether to undergo season-ending surgery or try to rehabilitate the shoulder. Nelson will have to make a decision in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, expect the Magic (37-11) to try and acquire another point guard before the Feb. 19 deadline. Mike Wilks, who was signed to fill the third point-guard role, is out for the entire season after injuring his knee during the preseason.

Al Thornton scored 27 points to lead the Clippers (10-39), who have now lost seven straight games and 21 of their last 23.

Elsewhere

  • O.J. Mayo scored 32 points and Mike Conley had 10 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in leading the Memphis Grizzlies (13-35) to a 104-93 victory over the Houston Rockets (30-20).

  • Carmelo Anthony hit his second game-winning basket in Oklahoma City this season in helping the Nuggets (33-16) hold off the hometown Thunder, 114-113. Kevin Durant led the Thunder (11-38) with 31 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.

  • With Joe Johnson out with an illness, Marvin Williams filled in admirably scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 boards to lead the Atlanta Hawks (28-20) over the Minnesota Timberwolves (17-31) by a score of 94-86. The Wolves have now lost four of their last five games after beginning the New Year by winning 10 of 12.

  • The New Orleans Hornets are finding out just how tough life without Chris Paul is. Derrick Rose scored 21 point to lead the Chicago Bulls (22-28) to the 107-93 road victory. It was the fourth straight loss for the Hornets (28-18) who didn't lose more than three games in a row all of last season.

  • Devin Harris led five of his teammates in double-figures with 26 points in helping the New Jersey Nets beat the Washington Wizards 115-88. The Wizards (10-39) have already matched the total number of losses they had all of last season. It was the third straight victory for the Nets (23-27).

  • Stephen Jackson recorded his first career triple-double in leading the Golden State Warriors (16-34) to a 124-112 victory over the visiting Phoenix Suns. Jackson had 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Jason Richardson led the Suns (26-21) with 24 points. The two teams meet again in Phoenix on Friday night.

    For more from this Bleacher Report writer, click here.


  • Author: Fox Sports
    Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: February 5, 2009

     

     
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