Another amazing performance from King James. Lebron James scored 55 points on 16 of 29 shooting – 8 of 11 from 3-point range, dished out 9 assists and grabbed 5 rebounds against the Bucks on Friday night. The Cavs needed his entire effort as the Cavs trailed by 6 at halftime and had to ride James’ coattails in the 3rd quarter to take a 4-point lead heading into the 4th quarter. James hit a 33-foot heave at the buzzer before halftime to give him 25 points before the break. Then James went nuts at the start of the 3rd quarter – 16 points scored in the quarter’s 1st 3 minutes of play.
The Bucks are still looking to find a groove after losing their 2 best players – center Andrew Bogut and guard Michael Redd. Carlos Villanueva led the Bucks with 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Richard Jefferson chipped in 17 points in the loss. The Bucks hold on the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference is slipping – they now lead the Bulls by only 1/2 game.
As for the Cavs, they have played 3 less games than the top seed Boston Celtics, so they are sitting pretty. Will they have what it takes to take the #1 East Seed away from the defending NBA Champion Celtics? We’ll find out soon in the season’s final 29 games…
For a while there, it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to run their home winning streak to 24 games to start the season. The Cavs led by 2 points after the first 12 minutes of the game, and had increased that lead to a comfortable 10 points by halftime. But the 2nd half was a completely different story. The Lakers outscored the Cavs 50-30 in the 2nd half and cruised to a 101-91 win at the Quicken Loans Arena – handing the Cavs their first loss at home all season long.
While everyone expected Lebron and Kobe to duke it out all night long, it was Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Zydrunas Ilgauskas who led the charge. Kobe battled the flu pre-game and needed an IV at halftime to even keep playing after the break. He ended up playing “only” 35 minutes and scoring “only” 19 points on 8 of 17 shooting. Lebron played 40 minutes and had an awful shooting night – 16 points on 5 of 20 shooting from the floor. Lebron did manage to grab 8 rebounds and dish out 12 assists though.
But the real star of the game was Lamar Odom. Odom scored a game-high 28 points on 13 of 19 shooting. He also grabbed 17 rebounds – 7 of which were offensive rebounds, giving the Lakers countless 2nd chance opportunities which helped break the game open in the 2nd half. Pau Gasol played a game-high 44 minutes – he scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 6 assists. For the Cavs, Ilgauskas turned in a team-high 22 points and 9 rebounds – 5 of which were offensive rebounds.
At 41-9, the Lakers now have the best record in the NBA. They just finished an undefeated 7-game road trip and get to have an easy home return against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night at the Staples Center. The Cleveland Cavaliers have a percentage points lead over the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs are 39-10, but have 4 games in hand against the Celtics who sit at 42-11. It should be a fun race in the East down the stretch.
Lebron James couldn’t bear to hear the news! In Wednesday’s 107-102 Cavaliers’ win over the New York Knicks, Lebron James was credited with his 21st career triple-double – 52 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. However, following the game, league officials reviewed certain plays in the game, and ruled that James was awarded a rebound with 39.3 seconds left in the game that should have been credited to Ben Wallace. Corrected statistics now show James with 9 rebounds and Wallace with 2 rebounds. Say bye-bye to your triple-double Lebron.
Now James has only 20 triple-doubles in his career – including 3 during the 2008-9 NBA season. The last time a player scored 50 or more points with a triple-double was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975.
Just 2 nights earlier, Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant poured in 61 points against the New York Knicks setting a Madison Square Garden record in the process. Last night, Lebron tried to 1-up Kobe, and although he didn’t quite reach the 61-point mark, his better overall game helped the Cleveland Cavaliers win a close game in New York. Lebron contributed his 21st triple-double of his young career. He scored 52 points on 17 of 33 shooting from the floor (16 of 19 from the free throw line). He also dished out 11 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds. In 44 minutes, he only had 3 turnovers and he also had 2 blocked shots. In contrast, Kobe only had 3 assists and no rebounds in his performance at the Garden on Monday night.
The Cavs needed Lebron’s full effort in order to pull out the win against the feisty Knicks. The Cavs blew a 12 point 1st quarter lead, but held on for the 5-point victory with an efficient 25-point 4th quarter. Knicks forwards Al Harrington and David Lee were a formidable duo on Wednesday night. Harrington led the Knicks with 39 points and 13 rebounds, while Lee chipped in 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. But it wasn’t enough to take down the Eastern Conference’s 2nd best team.
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers take on the Boston Celtics in Beantown tonight in a rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals. Then the Celtics take on the Knicks at the Garden on Friday night in New York. Will a Celtic player score 50+ points to make it 3 games in a row in which a Knicks opponent has a player that scored 50 or more points at the Garden? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if Paul Pierce has it in him…
The Boston Celtics needed a 3-point shot from Ray Allen at the buzzer to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly on Tuesday night. Trailing by 2, Allen nailed the 3-pointer to snatch the win from the 76ers. Allen finished the game with 23 points, while Paul Pierce chipped in 29 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. The Celtics played without Kevin Garnett for the 2nd straight game – he is battling the flu. The Celtics are 41-9 and sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 1.5 game lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Speaking of the Cavs, the Cavs led the Toronto Raptors 37-15 after 1 quarter and cruised to a 101-83 victory. Lebron James proved his worth again – 33 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists. Mo Williams also turned in a solid night with 16 points and 9 assists. The Cavs are now 23-0 at home and 38-9 overall. They are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2nd best record in the NBA.
The Cleveland Cavaliers kept the streak alive again – with a convincing 112-95 win over the struggling Los Angeles Clippers. The Cavs have started the season 22-0 at home, tying the franchise record for most consecutive home victories. The Cavs had 5 players in double-digit scoring. Lebron James led the way with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Mo Williams chipped in 20 points and 6 assists. Sasha Pavlovic scored 15 points, while Wally Szczerbiak scored 15 points off the bench. Most importantly, the Cavs got back Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas who made his first appearance since breaking his ankle 13 games ago. Ilgauskas scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and should help the Cavs as they make the final stretch run during the 2nd half of the long NBA season.
The Cavs are now 36-9 overall and trail the Boston Celtics by 1.5 games for the race for the top spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference (the Celtics themselves are on a 10-game winning streak with their latest 86-78 over the Pistons in Detroit).
Hip, Hip Hooray!!!
It took a while, but the Boston Celtics seem to be back on track. After a rough stretch during late December and early January, it looked as if the Boston Celtics might not have what it took to defend their 2007 NBA Championship title. But after the last 7 games, the Celtics have rattled off 7 straight wins to and find themselves sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a 1.5 game lead over each of the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics have a 36-9 record and once again have the best record in the NBA.
How did it all happen – it took 4 consecutive losses – 2 to bad teams (Knicks and Bobcats) and 2 to good teams (Rockets and Cavaliers) – to light a fire under the veteran Celtics unit. After that, the Celtics rattled off wins against the Raptors on back-to-back nights, 2 more wins against the New Jersey Nets in a home-and-home series, a home win against Phoenix, and then road wins in the state of Florida on Wednesday and Thursday night this week against the Heat and Magic. The Magic win was the big one – re-establishing them as a team that could compete against the elite teams in the league. Paul Pierce dominated the game against the Magic with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Garnett chipped in 16 points and 5 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo knocked down 9 points while dishing out 8 assists. The Celtics also got a great night off the bench from Glen Davis – 16 points and 4 rebounds. Most importantly, the Celtics were able to keep Dwight Howard in check – he finished the game with only 11 points, 11 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
Now the test will be to see how the Celtics deal with the success – they have homes games against the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings, followed by a 1-game road trip to Detroit to play the Pistons. Will the win streak be at 10 by the time they get to Detroit next Friday night? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…
The battle of the NBA’s 2 top teams lived up to the hype for the first 24 minutes of the game. But then the Lakers defense stepped up in the 2nd half to the delight of the home crowd at the Staples Center and the Lakers cruised to a 105-88 victory. After trailing by 1 point at halftime, the Lakers outscored the Cavs 26-16 in the 3rd quarter and 30-22 in the 4th quarter to win by 17 points.
Kobe Bryant – 20 points, 12 assists and 6 rebounds – and Pau Gasol – 22 points and 12 rebounds – each had double-doubles to pace the Lakers. Andrew Bynum also had a solid night with 14 points and 6 rebounds, while Lamar Odom chipped in 8 points and 10 rebounds in a reserve role off the bench.
Lebron James led the way for the Cavs with 23 points, 4 assists and 9 rebounds, but he also had 6 turnovers. Mo Williams had 16 points, 5 assists and 6 rebounds, but committed 5 turnovers. Center Anderson Varejao put forth a solid effort once again – 10 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Cavs bench did not put forth a good enough effort to keep the Cavs in the game on the road.
The Lakers moved to 32-8 and still have the best record in the Western Conference. The Orlando Magic actually moved ahead of both the Lakers and Cavs for the best record in the NBA at 33-8. The Cavs trail the Magic by 1 game in the Eastern Conference with a 31-8 record.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 98-83 at home, allowing the Cavs to stay unbeaten at the Quicken Loans Arena during the 2008-9 NBA season – with a perfect 19-0 record. The Cavs now lead the Eastern Conference by 1 game over the Orlando Magic and 1.5 games over the Boston Celtics. The loss continued the spiraling decline of the Celtics, who have now lost 4 games in a row and 8 of their last 10. Their only 2 wins during the last 3 weeks have come at Sacramento and at home against the Wizards – 2 of the worst teams in the NBA.
Lebron James did just about everything himself on Friday night – 38 points on 13-25 shooting. He made 3 3-pointers and all 9 of his free throws. He had 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots. Most importantly, James hounded Paul Pierce all night long, forcing him into an awful shooting night – just 4 of 15 – and just 11 overall points. The Cavs Anderson Varejao continues to play well in the middle while they wait for Zydrunas Ilgauskas to recover from his ankle injury. Anderson chipped in 14 points and 9 boards for the Cavs.
As for the Celtics, they only had 2 bright spots. Kevin Garnett scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Rajon Rondo dished out 13 assists and had 4 steals. Other than that, the Celtics continued to get little help from the bench, and that’s where the Celtics really put teams during their 2007-8 NBA Championship run. It will be interesting to see how Doc Rivers responds with the recent play. This “older” team doesn’t have that big a window – this year and maybe next year – so Rivers, his staff and his players need to right the ship if they expect to bring multiple NBA titles to Beantown.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls 117-92 on Friday night at the Quicken Loans Center. The Cavs are now 17-0 at home – the only NBA team still undefeated at home for the season. Lebron James had a triple-double for the Cavs – 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists – while Anderson Varejao scored a career-high 26 points. Former Bull Ben Wallace put in a great performance against his former team – scoring 13 points and grabbing 9 boards. The Cavs had 7 players score in double-digits.
The Bulls continue struggle, having lost 5 of their last 6 games. Derrick Rose had his worst game as a pro – only 3 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Ben Gordon led the Bulls with 22 points. The Bulls hope to right the ship with the upcoming homestand against 4 “weak” opponents. The Bulls face the Minnesota Timberwolves (7 wins); Sacramento Kings (8 wins); Washington Wizards (6 wins); and Oklahoma City Thunder (4 wins) during their next 4 home games. The Bulls will have to play well in order to beat each of the 4 teams, but they should be able to do so at home. Let’s hope Rose can return to form that has made him one of the NBA’s better rookies in recent memory.