Just when we were set to believe in Atlanta, they collapsed, fell apart, couldn’t make a free throw and now everyone in Chicago is probably sending Jeff Teague thank you cards. Derrick Rose reached out and ripped out the Hawks’ heart before Luol Deng put the winning touches on top in the Bulls huge come-from-behind win (the Hawks led by 19) at home against Atlanta, 76-74. How did the final few possessions go? It was a lot of Rose vs. Teague. First, with about a minute left, the MVP blew by Teague and nearly elevated to Mars at the rim. After the Hawks’ point forced Rose (30 points, seven assists) into an ugly miss on Chicago’s next possession, Teague came down and with tap water in his veins, missed both freebies. So just to rub it in, Rose came down and sped past Teague again to score at the rim. After Al Horford made just one of two free throws to tie it (Why couldn’t the ATL make a damn free throw?), Deng (21 points, eight rebounds) scored on a fabulous out-of-bounds playcall before Joe Johnson (3-for-17 for 10 points) shot an air ball at the buzzer to end it. Did we mention the Bulls’ color guy is former player Stacey King, and on every Rose bucket he was screaming “TOO BIG, TOO STRONG, TOO FAST, TOO GOOD!!!” Unbelievable ending to a great game… except King had to screw it up a second time with this: “DRIVE HOME SAFELY!! BEEP BEEP!!” … Once late in the fourth, Josh Smith hit a moonshot from out near the arc. A few possessions later, he tried again and missed. That got Ernie Johnson to say in the studio, “The problem with Josh Smith, when he hits a couple of shots he thinks he can hit MORE.” At least Smith (15 points, 14 rebounds) responded to that call with a big lob at the rim in the final minute … Kobe Bryant must’ve heard all of us complaining. After another dismal first half that had everyone complaining for Bean to pass the ball to Andrew Bynum – who was mashing people inside the paint – Bryant exploded in the second half with rainbow fallaways and muscling in post-up shots in the Lakers’ 108-99 win over Houston. After another slow start, Bryant finished up 14-for-29 from the field for 37 points, eight rebounds and six assists. He had Chase Budinger wishing he chose volleyball and Kyle Lowry in the chamber taking bullets from every one of Bryant’s moves. While the second half was an offensive clinic, the first half had Andrew Bynum ready to throwdown. At the break, Bynum (who had 12 points and 14 rebounds by the half before finishing the night with the first 20/20 game of his career, 21 points, 22 rebounds) rushed off the court, ripping his jersey out of his waist like someone just stole his spot in the kickball line at gym class. He was HEATED. At one point in the first half, Houston went on a 17-6 run where for the majority of it, Luis Scola (20 points) was their biggest player. Do the Lakers get enjoyment out of playing keepaway from Bynum? Chandler Parsons & briefly, Kyle Lowry, tried to check him and yet he rarely touched the ball. We’re sorry Kobe fans, but you know you’re shooting too much and struggling when the Laker play-by-play guys begin calling your shots “inventions.” In the end on this night, Bryant and Bynum were both just too good … By the way, Lowry had 22, 10 and nine, and no one cared… AGAIN. He can’t catch a break … Keep reading to hear what the new best team in the West did last night…
Smack / Jan 4, 2012 / 1:12 am
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