After three quarters of feeding the post and flexing their size advantage, the Lakers went back to their bread and butter when things got tense against Toronto: Give it to Kobe Bryant and vacate the premises … Midway through the fourth, L.A. was down on the scoreboard and in danger of losing their fourth game in a row. Predictably, that’s when Kobe (32 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts) went to work. In the span of what seemed like a few seconds, he strung together a jumper and some free throws to turn a four-point deficit into a Lakers lead. A couple minutes later, Kobe put L.A. up four with a short baseline fadeaway. That was Derek Fisher‘s cue to interrupt Mamba’s hot streak by jacking up a contested three, but L.A. got the ball back when one of their douche-looking fans pulled a Steve Bartman and got in the way of Jose Calderon trying to save a loose ball. (Calderon visibly wanted to kick the guy in the throat, but Andrea Bargnani played peacemaker.) … The Raps were down two with 30 seconds left when Hedo Turkoglu passed up an open driving lane and threw it right to Fisher. But a quick Calderon layup and a missed Lamar Odom FT left Toronto with one more show, down three. Chris Bosh (22 pts) drained a trey with nine seconds left, and you know who was getting the ball next: Kobe took Antoine Wright to the right corner, and as Bargnani came over to double, Kobe dropped a gorgeous fadeaway in all four of their eyes for the game-winner … Before Kobe went into Takeover Mode, Kevin McHale provided the RCA Universal Remote Control PAUSE of the Night: “Kobe has decided to be a pitcher, not a catcher.” … Ron Artest ditched the Dennis Rodman look, going bald for last night’s game. Thank Wilt that experiment is over … Speaking of freak shows, Eddie Murphy was in the crowd. We’ve had an ongoing argument in the Dime office for years over who is and who isn’t an “A-List” celebrity. One of our guys claims Eddie is still an A-Lister no matter how many terrible movies he cranks out (Meet Dave, Norbit, Imagine That, etc.), and pretty much everybody is against him at this point. What do you think? Is Eddie Murphy still A-List? … Derrick Rose vs. Deron Williams was a fantastic matchup that delivered the goods. Bulls vs. Jazz? Not so much. While the two All-Stars went back and forth, the rest of the Jazz kicked the rest of the Bulls’ teeth in. Utah dominated the fourth quarter, as C.J. Miles (26 pts, 6 threes) rained from the outside, Carlos Boozer got his inside, and Utah took about 80 free throws in the quarter … D-Will put up 28 points and 17 assists, while D-Rose had 25 and 13. Rose made the highlight reel with a sick baseline two-hand dunk that he cocked back almost to the “1″ on his jersey, but Deron one-upped that when he threw down a chest-to-chest one-hander over Rose … Mike Finley made his Celtics debut, scoring 5 points in 7 minutes off the bench against Milwaukee. The Bucks went on a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter and led by seven with 2:30 left, but a Rajon Rondo and-one plus a Kevin Garnett jumper brought Boston within two. Eight seconds remaining, Celts ball, they went to Paul Pierce and he got loose from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute — but Andrew Bogut forced Pierce to fadeaway on his jumper and he bricked at the buzzer … Bogut (25 pts, 17 rebs, 4 blks) caught Big Baby Gooch with one of the meanest dunks of the season. It wasn’t even the dunk itself, but more how BBG took the posterization. He went up with Bogut, got smashed on, landed upright but then stumbled for a few steps before falling to the ground. It was like watching Joe Frazier take those bombs from George Foreman and fall down in sections … Other stat lines from Tuesday: Brandon Roy had 19 points and 8 rebounds in Portland’s win over Sacramento; Dwyane Wade scored 27, but Miami lost to Charlotte; Luis Scola posted 23 points and 10 boards to lead Houston past Washington; Dahntay Jones scored 25 off the bench as Indiana beat Philly; and Dwight Howard hung 22 points and 15 rebounds on the Clippers in a rout … In the locker room immediately following that Orlando/L.A. game, the Clippers were told that Mike Dunleavy Sr. had been fired as GM. Baron Davis called it a “monkey wrench in a roller-coaster season” and coach Kim Hughes claimed he was “shocked.” Really? How could anybody — especially the people working closest to Dunleavy — have been surprised by this? The only surprise to us was that Dunleavy didn’t get canned last season … We’re out like Senior Dun …
Smack / Mar 10, 2010 / 3:50 am
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