Archive for February 3rd, 2009

Rockets notes from win over Bulls

The Houston Rockets took a 107-100 win over the Chicago Bulls tonight, extending Houston’s overall winning streak over Chicago to six games.

Houston never relinquished the lead tonight after scoring the first five points of the game. The Rockets have now gone five games this season where they have not trailed in the contest.

The Rockets, who outscored the Warriors by a 48-22 (+26) margin in the paint in the previous game, posted a 48-38 (+10) edge in the paint over the Bulls tonight.

Yao Ming recorded 28 points (9-12 FG, 10-10 FT), eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Yao had gone three prior games played without a blocked shot (1/23/09-1/31/09). Tonight also marked Yao’s second time this season to be perfect from the free throw line with at least 10 attempts: 13-for-13 at Cleveland (12/23/08).

Luis Scola had 13 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds (career-high-tying 14 defensive). He now has 17 double-digit rebounding performances this season after notching just 14 over his entire rookie season of 2007-08. Scola set his career high in rebounds with 18 (13 defensive) vs. Minnesota (3/26/08) and equaled that with 18 (career-best 14 defensive) vs. Indiana (11/26/08).

Tracy McGrady returned to the lineup tonight after missing the last game vs. Golden State (1/31/09) with a sprained left ankle. He notched 16 points (7-14 FG) and six assists, ending the longest active streak of consecutive 20-point games against Chicago at 15 straight, which dated back to his time with Orlando. The next closest is Denver’s Carmelo Anthony with eight consecutive 20-point performances against the Bulls.

Ron Artest finished with 10 points (5-9 FG) and six assists. Artest was also 0-for-3 from downtown, ending his streak of contests with at least one 3-point field goal made at 24 straight games he had played.

Aaron Brooks added 18 points (6-12 FG, 3-6 3FG) off the bench, giving him 25 double-digit scoring performances in 2008-09.

Luol Deng, who registered 28 points tonight, began the game with a 12-point first quarter. It marked the best opening-quarter point total by a Houston opponent since a 13-point performance by Josh Smith at Atlanta (1/3/09). Sacramento’s John Salmons also netted 13 points over the opening 12 minutes at Houston (12/19/08), which stands as the most first-quarter points by an opponent at Toyota Center this season.

Tyrus Thomas recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three. Thomas now has eight double-doubles on the season. Thomas also tied his season high in rebounds (previously recorded vs. Philadelphia on 12/2/08).

Kobe Bryant 61 points

Kobe Bryant scored 61 points in Madison Square Garden Tuesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the New York Knicks 126-117.

I was there to witness what was the most fun performance I ever remember seeing in person at an NBA game.

It was magical. And what made it even more awesome was the amount of Laker fans in NY for the game. Chants of MVP erupted repeatedly all throughout the game. And Kobe’s 61 points were created in ways every young basketball player dreams of. He unleashed crazy, absurd  moves, and was tossing jumpers in the faces of any Knicks defender who came near him.

Kobe Bryant’s 61 points in MSG is an instant hoops classic.

Below is a video of every shot Kobe made to score his 61 points. Watch and enjoy:

Read fan reaction to Kobe Bryant’s 61-point game in MSG and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

TNT adds game of Horse to All-Star

TNT is adding a game of HORSE to NBA All-Star weekend, where basketball players must try to match shots - the exact shot - that their competitor makes, to All-Star weekend.

Click the link above for the full report.

Chris Paul is day-to-day

Chris Paul underwent an MRI this morning, which revealed a mild groin strain. Paul suffered the injury during the late-third quarter of last night’s loss to Portland. He is listed as day-to-day.

This is good news, as yesterday it was feared he might have a more serious injury. There was some speculation he might even miss the All-Star game, though that appears to not be the case.

Jameer Nelson health update

Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning, which revealed a torn right labrum.

Nelson dislocated his right shoulder with 9:11 remaining during the third quarter of the Magic’s loss vs. Dallas on February 2.  The course of treatment for the injury will be determined during the next week.  At that point, his playing status will be evaluated.

The information above is from 12:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 3.

Al Horford returns to practice

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Sekou Smith) reports: Good luck trying to figure out who was happier to see Al Horford back on the practice floor. The Hawks’ starting center was ecstatic Monday to be at work full time after missing the last 12 games with a bone bruise in his right knee. His teammates were just as happy considering their recent struggles. The Hawks were 5-7 record without their leading rebounder and best post defender. Horford should play Wednesday at Minnesota, but that is contingent on how his knee responds.

The AP reports: Tim Duncan scored five of his season-high 32 points in overtime and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Golden State Warriors 110-105 on Monday night. Manu Ginobili also had a season-high 32 points as the Spurs won their fourth straight, ninth in 10 games overall and third straight on the road. Tony Parker had 23 points. Duncan added 15 rebounds for his 30th double-double. Stephen Jackson scored a season-high 33 points for the Warriors, who were trying to beat the Spurs at home three straight for the first time in 21 years. Monta Ellis, who left the game with a sprained ankle, added 17 points.

The AP reports: Point guard Deron Williams sat out with a contusion above his right knee, joining forwards Carlos Boozer (knee) and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) on the inactive list. “We’ve got to be used to it. We’ve lost a lot of games due to injury,” said Brevin Knight, who had seven assists as he and Ronnie Price stepped in for Williams… Raymond Felton had 16 points and nine assists to lead the Bobcats, who lost their third straight and went 1-4 on a five-game road trip. They also had 24 turnovers, leading to 32 points for the Jazz… Emeka Okafor added 15 points and seven rebounds, but scored only three after the first quarter as Charlotte couldn’t keep up its starting pace.

The AP reports: Jason Richardson scored 16 of his 24 points in the first quarter, Amare Stoudemire finished with 25 points and eight rebounds and the rejuvenated Suns ended a three-game home losing skid with their most lopsided victory of the season, 129-81 over the tired Sacramento Kings on Monday night… The Suns had very few problems Monday. They outrebounded the Kings 64-44, including 21 off the offensive boards; they finished with a season-high 30 fast break points; they had a season-high 16 steals, and they outscored the Kings 64-34 in the paint… Grant Hill added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Suns, Leandro Barbosa scored 11 points, Shaquille O’Neal had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Steve Nash had nine points and nine assists. John Salmons led the Kings with 19 points, Kevin Martin scored 13, Jason Thompson 12 and Francisco Garcia 10.

The AP reports: Chris Paul darted into the paint, bounced a pinpoint pass to James Posey under the basket and suddenly dropped to the floor, clutching his right leg as the New Orleans Arena fell silent… LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points and the Trail Blazers extended their winning streak to five, erasing a 17-point deficit after Paul’s injury en route to a 97-89 victory Monday night… Outlaw finished with 16 points and Fernandez 15 for the Blazers. Aldridge also had 11 rebounds, Joel Przybilla grabbed 10 and Portland outrebounded New Orleans 52-32. David West scored 25 points for the Hornets and Peja Stojakovic 18, but after Paul left the game, the Hornets were 5-of-21 from the field (24 percent) with only two assists and five turnovers.

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant broke the current arena record with 61 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers looked plenty potent without Bynum in a 126-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night… Bryant teased and pleased a sold-out crowd that took turns booing him and saluting him with “MVP!” chants during an electrifying performance. He passed Michael Jordan’s opponent record of 55 points at the present building, known as “Garden IV,” when he hit three free throws with 3:56 remaining, then bettered Bernard King’s mark of 60, set on Christmas Day 1984, with two more foul shots with 2:33 to play… Pau Gasol added 31 points and 14 rebounds in the Lakers’ first game since losing Bynum, their starting center, for eight to 12 weeks with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

The AP reports: Dwyane Wade had 32 points and nine assists, Michael Beasley added 18 points and Miami scored its most points in a home game since March 14, 2006, on the way to snapping a two-game skid. Mario Chalmers scored 15 points, Udonis Haslem added 13 and Shawn Marion— in his first game back after missing five straight with a strained left groin— finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Heat, who improved to 15-3 when scoring more than 100 points this season… Zach Randolph, back after missing 19 games with a sore left knee, scored 21 points for the Clippers, who’ve lost six straight and 20 of 22. Marcus Camby and Eric Gordon each added 12 for the Clippers, who had beaten Miami by a single point in each of their last two meetings.

The AP reports: Memphis Grizzlies rookie O.J. Mayo had done more scoring than losing at every level of play until he reached the NBA. On Monday night, he used his ability to score to help the Grizzlies end a 12-game losing skid, matching his career high with 33 points in a 113-97 win over the Washington Wizards… Rudy Gay scored 23 and Marc Gasol added 22 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, which ended the team’s longest drought since dropping 13 in a row to start the 2002-03 season. The Grizzlies had not won since beating Dallas 102-82 Jan. 4… Antawn Jamison had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Caron Butler scored 21 for Washington, which failed to record its second two-game winning streak of the season.

The AP reports: The Dallas Mavericks are slowly creeping back up the Western Conference standings. Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and six rebounds, Jason Terry had 23 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Orlando Magic 105-95 Monday night for their third straight win… Josh Howard and Jason Kidd added 13 apiece for the Mavericks, who held Orlando to 3-for-20 shooting from 3-point range. Dwight Howard had 35 points and 11 rebounds, and Hedo Turkoglu scored 18 as the Magic ended their three-game winning streak. But that wasn’t the worst news of the night for Orlando.

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