Phoenix versus Lob Angeles was a bigger flop than Nic Cage’s Ghost Rider sequel. Both teams were stuck in the 30s at halftime, and neither team cracked 80 until the game’s final seconds. It was tied up with two minutes left before Marcin Gortat (18 pts, 14 rebs) scored a tip-in to give the Suns the lead, then Gortat had a huge block on Caron Butler a few possessions later. Grant Hill then blocked Chris Paul’s trey attempt in the closing seconds to preserve the win … On a night when two of his biggest rivals (CP3 in the battle for L.A., LeBron in the battle for overall NBA supremacy) couldn’t get the job done, Kobe Bryant just collected another opponent’s ear to put on his necklace. The Lakers were cruising to what should’ve been an easy win over the Kings before Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and three backups almost blew it – allowing Jimmer Fredette and Sacramento’s second unit to draw within single-digits before Mike Brown called Kobe, World Peace and D-Fish back onto the court to close it out … Fredette (12 pts) hit a triple to make it a five-point game with five minutes left, and Francisco Garcia annihilated one of Kobe’s jumpers, but the threat stopped there. Fisher hit a couple shots, Metta hit a couple shots, and the still-masked Kobe provided the daggers – a trey to beat the shot clock while falling out of bounds and another tough fadeaway from the top of the key – to push the lead back out of reach. Kobe finished with 38 points, hitting 13-of-24 from the field and 11-of-14 at the line … Other stat lines from Friday: Rudy Gay had 23 points, 12 rebounds and the game-winning jumper to lift Memphis over Toronto; Derrick Rose had 19 points, 9 assists and 3 steals to lead Chicago past Cleveland; Tony Parker’s 15 points and 3 steals helped San Antonio eviscerate Charlotte by 30; Paul Pierce went for 27 points and 8 assists as Boston took care of New Jersey; Ty Lawson dropped 22 points and 15 dimes in Denver’s win over Houston; Josh Smith put up 24 points, 19 boards and 3 blocks in Atlanta’s win over Milwaukee; and Chris Kaman posted 20 points and 13 boards as short-handed New Orleans got a rare win, upsetting Dallas … The Mavs sent Lamar Odom to the D-League, basically to get his mind and his body right before returning to the lineup. Granted, solid MLB players get sent to the minors all the time, but this is almost unchartered territory for the NBA – even if he did request it himself. Odom is a two-time champ who just won the NBA’s Sixth Man award last year. He’s not quite a superstar but he’s a very, very good player who could start for a lot of teams … We’re out like Gregg Williams’ bounty fund.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook