Melo Thunders 50 But Nuggets Lose
Rockets ruined Carmelo Anthony’s 50-point rally to grab their second win in a row. Houston visited Pepsi Center last night and returned home with a 108-103 victory over Denver Nuggets, their 11th on the road.
Denver edged the visitors 26-25 in the first quarter only to be left three points behind in the second one and two just before the break. Houston, too, had a man on fire and his name was Kevin Martin. He finished his 40-minute showing with 37 points, seven assists and four rebounds. As for Anthony, apart from his 50-pointer, Nuggets’ star finished with 11 rebounds, three blocks and one steal, performance which turned to be a meaningless one.
The second half saw Houston thwarting the hosts 29-16 in the third and going 15 points ahead of Denver. Nuggets’ replay would come in the fourth quarter when Rick Adelman’s side started to build a ten-point meaningless advantage (27-37). Melo and Co. lost the game despite his 50-pointer and fourth quarter’s ten-point lead.
Luis Scola added 25 points for the Rockets, along with eight rebounds, three asssits, one steal and obe block. Chuck Hayes, too, was in great shape, the Houston center finishing his 33-minute intervention with ten rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and 12 points.
Starter Kyle Lowry had 11 points, five assists, four steals and one rebound, while Shane Battier, who played 19 minutes, came up only with three rebounds and two assists, without adding any point. Concerning Rockets’ bench, Chase Budinger came off it to add 11 points, grab four rebounds and made two steals.
Reserves Courtney Lee and Brad Miller added seven, respectively three points, while Patrick Patterson managed to score two points in eight minutes. Ishmael Smith played 12 minutes, but couldn’t score any point. Jared Jeffries and Terrence Williams did not play.
On the other side, reserve Ty Lawson was the one to finish with the second most points. He came off the bench to add 19 meaningless points for the Nuggets. Six rebounds and five assists have also been included. Al Harrington scored ten, while all the rest starters could barely score more than four points. Kenyon added six, Chauncey Billups five and Arron Afflalo four.
J.R. Smith ended his 34-minute showing with seven points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal. Chris Andersen and Gary Forbes scored one point each, while Anthony Carter brought zero points. Melvin Ely and Shelden Williams did not play.
Said frustrated Anthony, who couldn’t crown his season high with a victory: “When you score 50 points and lose you start thinking why? Why the 50? If we’d have won it would have been totally different.” Battier explained and revealed Houston’s plan after the game: “We started to do a better job on the rest of the guys: ‘Let Melo score his point, let’s concentrate on everybody else.’” And it worked.
Houston improved their season record to 25 wins and 28 defeats (11-18 away), while Denver dropped to a 30-22 record. The Rockets are to host Minnesota on Tuesday. Denver travel to Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Dallas Mavericks 99 – 96 Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland are still sleeping. They have just broken NBA’s record for losing streak. The Cavaliers conceded their 24th straight defeat last night at the American Airlines Center as Mavericks edged them to go second in the Western Conference.
Cleveland had a great chance to grab their first victory in 23 games in the third quarter. Dallas won the opener 29-28 and claimed the second quarter 30-21 to start the last part with a ten-point lead. Cavaliers surprised them and everyone around with a 24-18 third set rally that seemed to threaten the hosts with a clear unexpected loss. But it wasn’t to be. Cleveland proved to be unable to cut their four point deficit to zero, but to three points.
Byron Scott’s side remain foot of the table with eight wins and 44 defeats this season (3-27 away). J.J. Hickson scored the most points last night, finishing his 36-minute play with 26 points, 12 rebounds, one assist and one steal. Even so, Mavericks’ collective play proved to be too good for Cavaliers’ individualities.
Jason Terry came off the bench to score 23 points for the hosts, while Shawn Marion came up with 17 points, including in the same time ten rebounds and one steal. Dirk Nowitzki grabbed six rebounds and scored 12 points, while center Tyson Chandler finished with 11 rebounds and ten points.
Peja Stojakovic brought eight points, while starters Jason Kidd and DeShawn Stevenson added six, respectively three points. Reserve Ian Mahinmi added 11 points and had eight rebounds and one steal. Brian Cardinal played just three minutes, managing to get one block, while Brendan Haywood and Dimique Jones did not play.
Ramon Sessions scored 19 points for Cleveland, including in the same time 13 assists, six rebounds and two steals. Atawn Jamison great – but meaningless – performances included 18 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal. Starters Christian Eyenga and Anthony Parker finished with 15, respectively seven points.
Concerning visitors’ bench, Jamario Moon finished with four points, Ryan Hollins with five and Daniel Gibson had two. Joey Graham and Manny Harris scored zero. Alonzo Gee and Samardo Samuels did not play.
Dallas Mavericks improved their season record to 36 wins and 15 losses (20-8 home) going second in the Western Conference just above LA Lakers. They visit Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, while Cavaliers will play Detroit Pistons the same day.
Portland Trail Blazers 109 – 103 Chicago Bulls
LaMarcus Aldridge one-man show led Blazers to their 18th home victory, 28th of the season. His 42-point contribution proved to be simply crucial in Portland’s win equation. Aldridge crowned his 44-minute performance also with eight rebounds, one assist and two blocks. Andre Miller came up with 27 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, four assists and one block, while Nicolas Batum finished with 12 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Center Joel Przybilla grabbed six rebounds and one assist without getting any chance to score. Wesley Matthews added six, including four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Rudy Fernandez came off the bench to score 18 points, along with two assists, two steals and one rebound. Sean Marks and Patrick Mills brought two points each, while Luke Babbitt finished point-less. Dante Cunningham and Marcus Camby (left knee injury) did not play.
As for the Bulls, they just missed their chance to grab the second place in the Eastern Conference. Chicago claimed just one quarter yesterday at the Rose Garden. Following a 26-28 opener, Chicago managed to win the second one 24-22 to cut down their deficit to zero points. Unfortunately, the unexpected was yet to come as Portland went three points ahead just before the last round.
Bulls and Portland went head to head throughout the entire fourth quarter, but it was Aldridge to make it 98-91 with two minutes remaining. In the end, Blazers claimed the last term 34-31 to grab their sixth victory in the last ten games.
Derrick Rose scored 36 meaningless points, including six assists and one rebound. Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng came up with 17, respectively 15 points, while Keith Bogans and center Kurt Thomas finished with zero, respectively two points. Boozer would end his 35-minute showing with 12 rebounds though, but even so Portland succeeded to annihilate Bulls’ great-shapers.
Kyle Korver came off the bench to bring 14 points and six rebounds, the reserve being the only one to convert three pointers last night. Omer Asik added nine points, while Ronnie Brewer and Taj Gibson score ten points together. Brian Scalabrine did not play.
Portland go eighth in the Western Conference table with 28 wins and 24 defeats, while Bulls stay third in the Eastern Conference with a 37-14 record of the season. That was also their second straight loss, third in the last ten games and 12th on the road. They will next play Utah Jazz.
Charlotte Bobcats 94 – 89 Boston Celtics
Celtics hegemony is one step to being destroyed. Boston conceded their fourth loss in the last ten games yesterday at the Time Warner Cable Arena. Bobcats upset Eastern Conference leaders after winning the second round of each half. Despite a pretty good start, Celtics were starting to lose pace as the game progressed.
The visitors claimed the opener 29-25 only to be left one point behind in the second one. Celtics’ tenacity helped Ray Allen bring 25 and Paul Pierce score 22 meaningless points. Boston had another great start in the second part. They won the third quarter 19-14 to enter the last round with a four-point advantage.
Charlotte bet on its own collective play which finally proved to be a better solution in front of visitors’ individuality. Gerard Wallace scored only 19 points in 41 minutes, but managed to grab 16 rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Center Kwame Brown grabbed 12 rebounds and scored four, while Stephen Jackson finished with 11 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. D.J. Augustin, who was the only one to convert two three-pointers, finished his 26-minute intervention with nine points, four assists and one rebound.
Bobcats’ bench brought 44 points with Shaun Livingston scoring 18 of them and Gerald Henderson 15. Eduardo Najera, who converted a three-pointer, finished with five, while Nazr Mohammed and Derrick Brown added three points, each.
On the other side, Kevin Garnett came up with nine points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block. Center Kendrick Perkins had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks, while Rajon Rondo crowned his 43-minute showing with 14 assists, ten points, three steals, three rebounds and one block. Celtics’ bench contribution included 15 points with Geln Davis scoring seven of them. Shaquille O’Neal and Semih Erden did not play due to injury.
Boston stay top spot in the Eastern Conference with 38 wins and 13 losses but with Miami Heat right behind him. Erik Spoelstra’s side have a 37-14 record and are very close to grab the first position. Charlotte lie mid-table with 22 wins and 29 defeats, their win over Boston being their 13th at home and fifth in the last ten games. Bobcats will next face Indiana Pacers, while Celtics will host Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
New Orleans Hornets 92 – 104 Timberwolves
Hornets had a superb start of the season, but their winning days seem to have disappeared. Minnesota beat Hornets last night at the New Orleans Arena after managing to grab a 37-23 lead in the second round. Following a 23-23 opener, the Wolves succeeded to enter the locker-rooms with a 14-point advantage that would prove to be crucial in the end.
New Orleans edged the visitors 24-22 in the third quarter only to be held again in the fourth term. So the game ended the same way it started. Both sides went head to head until the last second. It went 22-22 as Minnesota grab their third win away. But what a victory, though!
Kevin Love scored 27 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and three assists. Michael Beasley finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and one block, while Jonny Flynn had 13 points, six assists, two rebounds, two steals and one block. Anthony Tolliver and Nikola Pekovic came off the bench to add 12 points each with the first one also converting four three-pointers. Minnesota finished with 11 3-point conversions.
Wayne Ellington had 11 points, two rebounds and one assist, while Sebastian Telfair and Wesley Johnson brought 14 points together. Lazar Hayward played five minutes and managed to deliver one assists and made one block. Kosta Koufos played just one minute.
As for the Hornets, they had Chris Paul in great form, but his 17-pointer, 13 assists, six rebounds and four steals proved to be insufficient for Orleans’s sixth win in the last ten games. Marco Belinelli added 15 points, including three rebounds, three assists and one steal. Willie Green came off the bench to provide a 11-point performance which also included one assist and one steal.
Sasha Pavlovic, Jason Smith and David Andresen scored four points, each, while Marcus Thornton had seven points, two rebounds and one assist. Jarret Jack and D.J. Mbenga shared four points equally. Hornets finished with six rebounds of 24 attempts, while Minnesota had 11 of 26.
Timberwolves improved their negative record to 12-39, (3-23 away) to lie foot of the table in the Western Conference. New Orleans, by contrast, stay fifth in the same conference with 32 wins and 21 defeats. Wolves will next play Houston Rockets, while Hornets will make the trip to New Jersey to face the Nets.
Memphis 84 – 93 Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers cemented their third position in the Western Conference with another win over Memphis. Bryant and Co. beat Grizzlies last night at the FedEx Forum to claim their second straight win. Despite dropping the opener, Lakers managed to recover the three-point deficit throughout the second quarter which the visitors won 24-16.
Thus, the second half saw the Lakers keeping the lead and Memphis succeeding to hold them. The scoreboard displayed 23-23 (73-68) after the third quarter, but it was Los Angeles who showed a little bit more aggressiveness in the last round. Lakers won the fourth term 20-16 to grab a very hard but well-deserved win from difficult Grizzlies.
Pau Gasol scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Kobe Bryant played 38 minutes and finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals, while Ron Arest came up with 13 points, four steals, three assists and four rebounds. The last two starters, Andew Bynum and Derek Fisher added 11, respectively ten points for the visitors.
Lamar Odom came off the bench to bring 15 more points for Lakers, but also to grab… 11 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and one steal in 31 minutes. Shannon Brown scored five, while Steve Blake finished with three points, one assist and one steal. Joe Smith, Derrik Caracter and Devin Ebanks did not play.
On the other side, Sam Young must have felt pretty frustrated if not disappointed. His effort brought Memphis 22 points, three rebounds, two steals and one steal, while the rest of the team could barely face Lakers attack. Center Marc Gasol grabbed 12 rebounds, scored ten points and delivered three assists.
Rudy Gay added 18 points in 40 minutes, while Zach Randolph finished with 12 rebounds, eight points, four assists and one steal. Grizzlies managed to convert just 33 of 83 FGMs. Starter Mike Conley came up with 13 points, four assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Tony Allen played 21 minutes, managing to score six points, grab four rebounds, deliver two assists and made one steal. Darrell Arthur came off the bench to score five points, while Greivis Vasguez finished with two points and one assist. Hasheem Thabeet and Xavier Carroll played just two minutes, each, while DeMarre Carroll and Hamed Haddadi did not play.
Lakers improved their season record to 36 wins and 16 losses, sitting just behind second Dallas Mavericks, while Memphis lie mid-table with 27 wins and 26 defeats. Lakers meet Bosotn Celtics on Thursday, while Memphis visit Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.
Sacramento Kings 104 – 107 Utah Jazz
Jazz edged kings last night at the ARCO Arena to grab their 14th away victory of the season. Utah broke the rhythm barely in the third quarter when they claimed a six-point lead. The first quarter finished 30-30, the second one being taken by the hosts 26-25.
Utah woke up immediately as the second half started. Even more than that, they would increase the pace as the game progressed. Thus, they went ten points ahead of the Kings in the fourth quarter to win a pretty tough meeting.
Al Jefferson scored 23 points, Deron Williams 21, while Paul Millsap came up with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. Starter Andrei Kirilenko brought ten points, including eight rebounds, two assists, three blocks and one steal, while Raja Bell added 17 points.
Jazz’s bench didn’t have a good only, except Kyrylo Hayward, who scored 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had one steal. C.J. Miles added five and Earl Watson two. Francisco Elson did not play.
On the other side, DeMarcus Coursins brought 25 meaningless points for the Kings, including 14 rebounds, two assists and one steal. He must have felt the more disappointed it’s been a very good night for him. Tyreke Evans added 21 points, delivered four assists and grabbed two rebounds.
Center Jason Thompson came up with 14 points, four assists, three blocks and three rebounds, while Beno Udrih finished with 11 points, three assists, two rebounds and one block. Omri Casspi’s performance featured ten points and seven rebounds.
Kings’ bench scored 23 points with Samuel Dalembert bringing nine of them. The center reserve would also grab 11 rebounds in 23 minutes. Luther Head had five points, one rebound and one assist. Donte Greene had four points, one rebound and one assist, while Eugene Jeter came off the bench to add three points, two assists and one rebound. Carl Landry played nine minutes, but managed to score two meaningless points and grab three rebounds. Darnell Jackson and Jermaine Taylor did not play.
Jazz grabbed their 14th away victory of the season to sixth in the Western Conference standings with 31 wins and 22 losses. Sacramento, by contrast, lie second from the bottom with only 12 victories and 36 defeats. Utah will next play Chicago Bulls, while Kings are to face Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
Golden State Warriors 92 – 104 Phoenix Suns
The first quarter proved to be the most crucial moment of last night’s meeting between Suns and Golden State. Phoenix thwarted the hosts 33-17 in the first round at the Oracle Arena. Steve Nash’s 15 assists and 14 points had a solid contribution in Suns’ sixth victory of the last ten games.
Channing Frye ended his 39-minute showing with 19 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and one block, while Gran Hill had 18 points two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Vince Carter brought ten points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block, while center Robin Lopez added five points, grabbed one rebound and made two steals.
Mickael Pietrus and Jared Dudley came off the bench to add 12 points each, while reserve Marcin Gortat finished his 21-minute showing with eight points, nine rebounds and one steal. Hakim WEarrick had six points, two rebounds and two assists. Josh Childress and Garret Siler did not play.
As for the Warriors, Monta Ellis struggled to add 21 points, grab 12 rebounds and deliver five passes which all proved to be meaningless. David Lee, too, had a very good night, finishing with 16 points, ten rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes.
Stphen Curry had 15 points, eight assists, two rebounds and one steal, while center Andris Biedrins came up with three rebounds, one steal and two points. Dorell Wright didn’t seem to feel well as he finished only with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block.
Reggi Williams felt much better as he came off the bench to add 19 points and grab five rebounds. Ekpe Udoh had six points, three rebounds, two blocks and one assist. Vladimir Radmanovic and Brandan Wright scored two points each. Charlie Bell, Jeremy Lin and Charlie Bell did not play.
Phoenix sit mid-table with 24 wins and 25 defeats, while Golden State are just behind him with a 22-28 record of the season. Suns are to meet Utah Jazz on Friday, while the Warriors will play Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
NBA Tuesday’s fixtures:
Orlando Magic – Los Angeles Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers – Hawks
Miami Heat – Indiana Pacers
San Antonio Spurs – Detroit Pistons
Oklahoma City Thunder – Memphis Grizzlies
Houston Rockets – Minnesota Timberwolves
Milwaukee Bucks – Toronto Raptors11