A whole lot of things didn’t make sense about last night’s Grizzlies/Hornets game. It didn’t make sense that Mike Conley (26 pts, 7 asts, 5 stls) was sticking jumpers like Mark Price. It didn’t make sense that Darren Collison (17 pts, 14 asts, 5 stls) and Marcus Thornton (24 pts) kept playing like the best backcourt in the League. It didn’t make sense that Emeka Okafor had one whole rebound. It didn’t make sense that Aaron Gray and Hamed Haddadi guarded each other for about 10 minutes and the sport of basketball wasn’t set back 30 years. But most improbable thing, according to one Hornets’ announcer, was the shot that eventually won Memphis the game … Down two with 1:20 remaining, the Grizzlies were inbounding with three seconds on the shot clock. For some reason the designed play had Zach Randolph (23 pts, 11 rebs) popping to the perimeter, and for some reason he got the ball out there. Z-Bo had to launch a 28-footer over two defenders, which he banked in like he meant to. Hornets analyst Gil McGregor kept saying “ridiculous” over and over again like he’d just been traumatized. On the replay, the other announcer called it, “Improbable to the Nth degree!” … That wasn’t the end for New Orleans. Marc Gasol committed a silly three-shot foul on Peja, whose free throws brought N.O. within two before Conley went to the line with 10 seconds left. The Hornets didn’t have any timeouts, but as the play-by-play guy stressed, “Jeff Bower no doubt has a play drawn up.” You’d think so, right? But when Conley bricked both FT’s, James Posey grabbed the rebound and went flying downcourt in front of his teammates, looking down while he was dribbling so he wouldn’t have seen if anybody was open. Then Posey jumped and tried a mid-air pass to Thornton, but threw it right to Rudy Gay. Game over … Earlier in the fourth, Zach was all alone on a breakaway and blew an ugly finger roll. “Randolph looked like Mortimer on that one,” McGregor said … Kevin Martin hosted his old team in Houston, while Carl Landry brought his new squad to his old gym. You could tell which team won just by watching those two. Landry (22 pts, 10 rebs) was having fun: laughing when he dunked on ex-teammates, chatting them up on the bench, and playing like he had something to prove. On the other hand, K-Mart (14 pts, 3-13 FG) never seemed comfortable. Some of his shots didn’t even hit rim … Eight seconds left, Houston was down two with the ball. Aaron Brooks tried driving past Tyreke Evans (9 pts, 4-22 FG), but ‘Reke poked the ball out and appeared to have a clean steal. The refs called foul, but then Brooks missed one of the free throws. After Landry added two free throws, Brooks missed a wide-open three at the buzzer … Landry still has the shoes he was wearing with the Rockets, but Sacramento’s equipment manager has covered the red parts with black marker … D-League call-up Will Conroy checked into the game for the Rockets and immediately fired a three. “That was a heat check. He thought he was still hot,” Clyde Drexler giggled. “From what, warm-ups?” cracked his partner … Joey Dorsey is unnecessarily jacked. His shoulders are so wide, you could spell out “Sacramento, California, Kings” on the front of his warm-up shirt and every letter would fit … Playing without Jason Kidd (rest), the Mavs unexpectedly got all they could handle from the Wolves. Rodrigue Beaubois and J.J. Barea split time at the point, and both got buckets from Jonny Flynn (19 pts). Minnesota was down one with 19 seconds left when Shawn Marion was assigned to guard Flynn, and Matrix forced him into missing a tough runner that was the Wolves’ last good chance … Nuggets/Thunder was supposed to be the game of the night, but Denver went bonkers during a stretch covered some of the third and fourth quarters and led by 40 at one point. Carmelo (30 pts) topped Kevin Durant (19 pts) in their much-anticipated shootout, and the Nuggets won by 29 … Other stat lines from Wednesday: Paul Pierce scored 27 as Boston routed Charlotte; Amar’e Stoudemire posted 30 points and 14 boards to beat the Clippers; LeBron went for 26 and 14 dimes to beat the Nets; David Lee had 21 points, 18 boards, 8 assists and 3 steals in New York’s win over Detroit, while T-Mac added 21 points, 7 boards, 8 dimes and 3 steals; Danny Granger dropped 30, but Indiana got routed in Portland; Ersan Ilyasova put up 19 points and 10 boards to lead Milwaukee over Washington; Marvin Williams scored 21 to lead Atlanta past Philly; and Dwight Howard‘s 28 points and 12 boards helped Orlando crush the Warriors … Crazy play where Dwight swatted C.J. Watson‘s layup off the backboard so hard, the ricochet hurt Jameer Nelson‘s hand, then bounced past midcourt, where J.J. Redick picked it up for a breakaway layup … We’re out like Haddadi vs. Gray …
Smack / Mar 4, 2010 / 4:05 am
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