Smack / Nov 10, 2012 / 2:29 am

The Lakers Ditch Their Coach, Then Golden State; LeBron Clinches In The Clutch

Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace

And so, curing the Lakers’ five-game start of discontent might come down to this: whose knee heals faster, Phil Jackson‘s or Mike D’Antoni‘s? In case you’ve been living under a rock you know the Lakers fired Mike Brown as head coach Friday morning, pulling him out of a coaches meeting to do so. And you know that GM Mitch Kupchak, in the hours since, has been open about contacting Jackson (who’s had lingering injuries fixed since retiring before the 2011 lockout), an event that has already happened, according to the Los Angeles Times. D’Antoni is the other supposed prime candidate, but his knee surgery won’t be fully healed until mid-December. Either way, the Princeton offense has already been ditched, even if it wasn’t the main problem. The best way to come out after that news for L.A. was to play Golden State, and the Lakers crushed, 101-77. Kobe played his best game of the season with 29 points, nine boards and seven dimes. … The entire NBA took part in an early Veterans Day celebration by wearing various American flag accessories, and for our money Vince Carter wore the stars-and-stripes headband best. DeShawn Stevenson was a close second with the “Born On The Fourth Of July” look, which kind of reminded us of Lieutenant Dan, too. … We were excited to watch Knicks-Mavs at the Garden, a statement we didn’t think we’d make about three weeks ago. Our diligence tuning in early on a 13-game schedule was rewarded when Rasheed Wallace (six points, six boards) got first-quarter burn — and when Brandan Wright leaped over ‘Sheed for a nasty facial. O.J. Mayo (23 points) was the brightest light on Broadway in the first half, but he couldn’t stop Carmelo’s 31 points in the Knicks’ 104-94 win. … The Nets absolutely bumrushed the Magic by 39 points, 107-68. Get this, Orlando — a team whose best options are Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo — just couldn’t score for chunks of the second half, first a four-minute run in the third quarter, then a three-minute drought to end the third. … Bad, bad loss for Cleveland, which despite 23 points from Dion Waiters, lost a 26-point lead to lose to Phoenix, 107-105. They were up 19 after the first quarter. Shannon Brown had 22 points, 12 in the fourth, to lead Phoenix’s well, rise. … A guard showcase between Jrue Holiday (21 points, 14 assists) and Rajon Rondo (14 points, 20 dimes) was the back-and-forth matchup of the night in Philly’s 106-100 win in Boston. Has there been a team expected to do well that’s been harder to figure out this season than Boston? … Rudy Gay‘s 21 points led Memphis over Houston, 93-85, the Grizzlies’ fourth straight win. … Tim Duncan played sensationally to get 23 and 12 over Sacramento in the Spurs’ 97-86 win. Still, one of THE highlights of the night was when Boogie Cousins (14 points) picked off Danny Green‘s pass and went the length of the court for the dunk, nearly breaking a rib of Green’s when the Spur tried to take a charge. We’ve seen snowmen fare better against snowplows than that. … Speaking of something getting knocked to the side, Detroit is still winless after a 105-94 loss to the Thunder. The Pistons managed to look worse than OKC’s alternate uni. Kevin Durant had 25 points and 13 boards. … Hit the jump to hear about LeBron’s timely fourth-quarter bucket. …

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