George Karl spent the last few days saying Denver wouldn’t – or couldn’t – let both Kobe and Andrew Bynum beat them. They went out in Game 1 and doubled the big fella every time he touched it. But by the half last night, Bryant had 21 points and Bynum had 16 himself. The two had combined to miss five shots. And then by the final buzzer, Bryant had 38 and Bynum added 27. We think it’s safe to say whatever plan Denver was using in their 104-100 loss wasn’t really working. In the first half, Kobe had Arron Afflalo tied up in a twister. He was leaning this way and that, jumping here and there, while Corey Brewer was getting bulldozed on every iso. The Mamba was 9-for-12 by that point, almost all of them on jump shots opened up by a slick push off … Denver and Ty Lawson (25 points, seven assists) actually outplayed the Lakers in the second half, but L.A.’s 14-0 third quarter run was their undoing … It wouldn’t be L.A. unless the fans were chanting for free tacos at the end. Too bad it’s the playoffs, and we shouldn’t have to be subjected to this fan idiocy. In a four-point game in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, any fan that starts chanting “We want tacos!” should be removed from the premises. Immediately … Chicago really needs a Derrick Rose hologram right now. In their first game without the fallen star, Philly beat them down Lawrence Phillips-style, 109-92. The Sixers blew it open in the third quarter during a stretch where they had three consecutive fast breaks dunks. Then a few possessions later, Lou Williams went backdoor, caught a lob and nearly put John Lucas on another highlight tape. On the other side, Chicago was in the midst of taking 12 of 22 shots from long two-point range (the worst shot in basketball). They had made three of them. By halfway through the fourth quarter, the Sixers were dominating so drastically that they showed Rose up in his suite – he had been smiling earlier in the night – and his back was turned to the action. The MVP had seen enough … Jrue Holiday was loving life without the MVP (26 points on 15 shots) and Evan Turner had no problems without his former high school rival around to screw things up (19 points, seven rebounds and six dimes), but really how much blame can you place on the Bulls’ guards? C.J. Watson and Lucas combined for 27 and seven. It was the other guys who didn’t show up. Luol Deng was lost (eight points), and Carlos Boozer was… well, he was doing the Chris Bosh again (nine points) … We’re out like Sarah Phillips.
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