Should have known. Should have known Kobe Bryant wasn’t going to have everyone be talking about Los Angeles on Sunday and have it be only about the Oscars. A few states away Bean faced off in a game just like old times, a 103-99 win over Dallas that featured an old shootout between stars and one of the best NBA tweets we’ve ever seen afterward. Now this doesn’t mean we’ve filled the gastank in the Lakers bandwagon but it was nice, for a day, to forget about the smoldering fire that’s been the combined Mavericks/Lakers seasons and watch a fun one where Bryant had 38 points — seven in the final three minutes — and 12 boards with seven dimes and Dirk Nowitzki had 30. It was perfect timing, too, coming just days after Mark Cuban made a joke that maybe L.A. should amnesty Bryant after the season and everyone took it to be a declaration of war. Kobe doesn’t need extra motivation and that was like raw meat in a tiger pen. So afterward he fired off one of the best two-word tweets we can ever recall: “Amnesty THAT.” … Miami’s inventing new ways to challenge itself in its 11-game win streak. So going up by 22, then falling behind by eight qualifies as a new but certainly difficult challenge the Heat have again mastered by beating Cleveland, 109-105. In a game where the principals, LeBron (28 points) Wade (24) and Kyrie Irving (17) and Dion Waiters (26) rose to the occasion, it was C.J. Miles’ five dagger threes (including four- and five-point plays on the latter when Spoelstra got a T) and 19 bench points that were nearly enough to tip this game to Cleveland. … Portland’s 92-86 win over Boston reminded us of when the Blazers beat Miami back in January. Then as in Sunday night, they did it with a huge three by Wesley Matthews (24 points despite terrible leg pain all week) and a key bucket by Damian Lillard (12 points, six dimes, six boards) on a three-point play to curb Boston’s late rally. Eric Maynor made his debut and had two points in his 15 minutes. We missed this on Friday night but Lillard is the first NBA player to record 1,000 points and 300 assists in his first 55 career games since LeBron himself. We’d say we told you so but… In other games, the Spurs beat the Suns, 97-87, despite Tony Parker sitting out (he is human it turns out) with a bad triceps, and finished their rodeo road trip 7-2; Jarrett Jack is well on his way to Sixth Man of the Year with 23 points and eight dimes in the Warriors 100-99 win over Minnesota; the Hornets got nice games from Eric Gordon (17 points) and Anthony Davis (20 points) to sleepwalk past the Kings; and Tony Allen iced the Nets, 76-72, with a couple free throws in the final 20 seconds in the Grizzlies’ road win … Hit the jump to read about the Knicks’ streak-busting win. …
Smack / Feb 25, 2013 / 5:12 am
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