Apparently Rodney Stuckey got his holidays mixed up, because he treated New Year’s Eve like it was Halloween, trying his best to fill out an Isiah Thomas costume. In the first quarter of Pistons/Bulls, Stuckey got the ball on a fast break and planted his left foot wrong, dropping to the floor with a sprained ankle. Pulling himself off the floor like Zeke in ’88 Finals, Stuckey toughed it out until a little later in the half, when he was coming around a corner and rolled the ankle again. Stuck left after that one, but soon returned and played the rest of the game in obvious pain while still putting up a team-high 22 points … Stuckey matched his counterpart Derrick Rose (22 pts) pretty even-money — seriously, it’s hard enough staying in front of D-Rose when you have two good ankles — but he couldn’t do much about the Pistons getting owned on the glass. Joakim Noah pulled down 21 rebounds as the Bulls dominated the boards (49-33) and got the W … You knew Craig Sager was gonna do something crazy for New Year’s Eve, and he didn’t disappoint. For the Spurs/Heat game in San Antonio, Sager broke out a black suit with rhinestones and sequins all over it, something he must have borrowed it from one of The Five Heartbeats. Truly a jaw-dropping ensemble from a guy who makes it hard to shock you anymore … As for the game itself, the Spurs had their best performance of the season so far, handing the Heat a 30-piece thanks to a dominant defensive effort in the second half and back-cutting the Heat to death on the other end. Miami hit only 10 shots after halftime, and D-Wade (16 pts, 6-18 FG) sat out the fourth quarter as the symbolic white flag … Tim Duncan (23 pts, 10 rebs) also sat out the fourth, having done his work early by putting Udonis Haslem and J.O. in the torture rack … How long do you think it’ll be before DeJuan Blair can make it through an NBA game without the announcers mentioning that he has no ACLs? … Ernie Johnson called Chris Tucker “one of the great NBA fans.” Is that because Smokey is really a die-hard fan like that, or is it just because he’s famous and shows up at NBA games? … Kevin Durant got his obligatory 31-point stat line, but it was Nick Collison who was huge down the stretch of OKC’s win over the Jazz. (Every time you say “huge” now, you have to say it in Tiger Woods‘ voice.) Collison scored inside with 1:05 left, and after Deron Williams gave Utah the lead with a steal and breakaway and-one dunk, Collison rebounded Durant’s missed jumper with four seconds left and got fouled. To the line, Collison iced both free throws. On Utah’s last possession, Thabo Sefolosha forced Deron to give it up, and Ronnie Price bricked a baseline jumper. Thabo did catch some of Price’s arm on the follow-through, and maybe you get that call in Salt Lake City, but not in OKC … No teeth were lost in the rematch between Carl Landry‘s grill and Dirk Nowitzki‘s elbow, and Landry got a little payback by outscoring Dirk (15-11) in a Houston win. Aaron Brooks scored 30 points, and Shane Battier got the go-ahead three late in the fourth that proved the difference … Reggie Miller said it like basically everybody else has said it lately about Baron Davis: “When he’s on, Baron Davis is one of the top — if not the top — point guard in the game. When he’s off, he’s one of the worst.” Baron was on last night (20 pts, 7 asts), leading the Clippers to a relatively easy win over Philly … The Clips pulled away in the third quarter, when fill-in coach Tony Brown (Mike Dunleavy Sr. had a bad back) went to a packed-in zone, just begging the Sixers to hit a jumper. Nobody on A.I.‘s team wanted to take one, and nobody was able to make one. And it took about 13 minutes for Eddie Jordan to realize that maybe he should put Jason Kapono in the game to get a shooter on the floor. By that point it was just a highlight factory, though: Marcus Camby hit a corner three to end the third quarter with L.A. up by 15, Baron opened the fourth with a deep three, and DeAndre Jordan threw down a nasty follow dunk as part of the icing on the cake … We’re out like ’09 …
Smack / Jan 1, 2010 / 12:25 am
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