Shaq said Howard should be averaging 28 and 15 to meet his expectations after nine points in the first half. Did he hear the Big Aristotle’s advice? He went off the backboard for a couple of hoops, just like Shaq advised, and dropped 33 … In a battle of the league’s flashiest point guards in Steve Nash and Ricky Rubio, Nash dropped 17 assists and 13 points. Luke Ridnour (15 points) went ahead to lead Minnesota with eight assists as the all-world point guard matchup didn’t develop like it was expected in the Suns’ 104-95 win. Rubio had 13 points but just two assists. He would have had three but his oop to Martell Webster clanked when Webster got the ball stuck between the rim and backboard. This is an open letter to Martell: Seriously, just cut your “haircut.” It looks bad even when you play well and when you don’t (like dunking when the T-Wolves were down three with seconds to go before the All-Star break), it looks worse — somehow. Phoenix’s TV guys were tearing him apart last night. They should be the last people talking though. Nash can’t really say a damn thing … Hakim, dont hurt ‘em … Kevin Love came back from the flu to score 23 (but on 25 shots) and get 10 rebounds, but J.J. Barea’s calf kept him out. It’s been a hard first season in Minnesota for the spark plug of Dallas’ title run, who can’t stay healthy for long … The Clippers turned Sacramento’s celebratory mood — after virtually locking in a new arena — into a pasting. The score read 108-100, but it wasn’t that close late. Back-to-back threes in the fourth by Mo Williams (he had four in the quarter) took the game from a 10-point lead to a 16-point cushion that was hardly challenged again. Chris Paul, who found Williams on those threes, had 22 points and nine assists … Overheard on the TV broadcast: “That Blake Griffin, he jumps quite well.” That came after Griffin took off with two feet a foot outside the charge circle. Good lawd. He finished with 14 points and nine boards and he and DeAndre Jordan now have a combined 19 minutes of hangtime this season. OK, so that’s not an official stat, but still … The Clippers showed the Kings the knife but Sac-town did the slicing itself with 18 turnovers. Then they compounded the problem with lax defense on the other end, leading to 22 points. DeMarcus Cousins kept up his solid play with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but he’s the only thing continuing to hold DeMarcus Cousins back. He’s a beast and then gets a tech … Jimmer didn’t play much but caught FIRE in the second quarter: had one pull-up three hit he took from Provo … We’re out like Nash/Rubio duels.
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