Smack / Mar 10, 2012 / 7:48 am

The Lakers Finally Get What They Need; Kyrie Irving Is Clutch

In the midst of all their trade rumors, Pau Gasol and the Lakers delivered a W. Even if the Wolves didn’t have Kevin Love, it still took L.A. nearly 48 minutes to secure a 105-102 win on the road. Kobe Bryant had 34 points and down the stretch, he made key free throws to keep the Lakers from folding. In the place of Love, Derrick Williams rumbled to 22 points and 10 rebounds, FINALLY doing what everyone expected him to all year … Double take announcer line of the night from the guys in Minnesota: “If you want to come on Andrew Bynum, you’ve really gotta commit.” … The Blazers nose dive continued, 104-86 to Boston. Paul Pierce (22 points), Ray Allen (22 points) and Boston were so good that Rajon Rondo took over postgame questions from everyone. All of the guys left, except for their point guard. We can guess how well that went over … Thaddeus Young survived a sickness, and then went out and gave Utah 21 points off the bench in Philly’s 104-91 win … The Sixers have been waiting to get healthy – and also waiting for the trade deadline to pass so no one can continuously freak out. Are they finally back to the 12-2 team that started the year? … Tayshaun Prince might not be Joe Johnson, but last night he got the better of the All-Star. Johnson returned to the lineup only to miss a game-winning shot. Just before that, Prince nailed a shot in the lane of his own in Detroit’s surprising 86-85 victory. Greg Monroe led Motown with 20 points while Josh Smith led the ATL with 21 points and “Trade me now” demands … Is there anyone in the league more clutch than Kyrie Irving. It feels funny to say it about a rookie, but he’s been so good late in games that it’s an honest question. A few nights after winning yet another game, last night Irving (12 assists) orchestrated a run in the final three minutes that gave the Cavs the space they needed for a 96-90 win in OKC. You want impressive? This ended the Thunder’s 14-game home winning streak, and the Cavs did it by not playing a single player taller than Antawn Jamison (21 points) down the stretch … The Knicks are in trouble. Just a few short days after figuring out they went 10 deep, had ‘Melo, had Linsanity and were scarier than nearly every movie featuring Naomi Watts combined, New York now realizes they’re in a tough position: Not even average. At 18-22 after a 119-114 loss to the Bucks, the Knicks have to be nervous they might not even make the playoffs. Ersan Ilyasova continues his own rendition of Linsanity – and it’s funny how NO ONE has noticed. He went for 26 and Brandon Jennings scored 25 to keep the Bucks from collapsing against a suddenly spry Amar’e Stoudemire (27 points, 11 rebounds) … The next time you say the Clippers aren’t contenders, don’t tell Chris Paul. CP3 blitzed San Antonio with 36 points and 11 assists in the Clippers 12-point win. Mo Williams also dropped 33 off the bench during one of those games where you realize “Damn, the Spurs SUCK without their point guard.” It’s true. No Tony Parker meant disaster for San Antonio … Arron Afflalo continued his resurgence with 28 points in Denver’s 110-97 home win over the Hornets. After starting off the year terribly, Afflalo has now scored in double figures in 10 straight games, and also has at least 20 points in eight games since Feb. 9 after not scoring that much even once in the first month and a half … Sacramento continued beating the Mavs by 13, continuing this depressing streak of losing out of Dallas. The Kings weren’t exactly Bob Cousy, but they shared the ball almost as if they enjoyed playing with each other. Seven guys scored in double figures with Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton both leading the way with 17. On the other side, Lamar Odom (four points) continued to play the role of a depressed child … And the Nets beat Charlotte 83-74 behind 20 and 15 from Kris Humphries after Deron Williams had to leave with a sore calf … Mostly everything went right in college ball, outside of Syracuse finally descending to Doug Gottlieb‘s expected heights and bowing out to Cincy, 71-68. Dion Waiters nearly outscored the entire starting lineup himself with 28 in the loss … And Baylor also upset Kansas in a Big 12 semi, 81-72. Perry Jones led everyone with 18 points in one of those rare games where the big man actually showed up. If it wasn’t for that, we might actually believe in Baylor come NCAA Tournament time … We’re out like New York’s swag.

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