Nuggets hold off Bulls in OT
The Heat aren’t the only streaking team in the NBA, as the Nuggets beat the Bulls 119-118 in overtime to win their 12th straight. Wilson Chandler blew up for 35 points, nine boards, two steals and a 3-pointer off the bench, while no other Nugget scored more than 16 points. Chandler is as inconsistent as they come and looking at his game log can make you dizzy. Kosta Koufos was disappointing, but he has time to get things turned around this week. The Bulls got a 34-point explosion from Nate Robinson as Kirk Hinrich sat out his seventh straight game with a foot injury, but Nate was on my bench because I’m worried about Hinrich (and possibly Derrick Rose) coming back and raining on the parade. But Robinson has played very well in five straight, so hopefully you were smarter than me. He added six 3-pointers, seven assists, two steals and seven TOs on the night. They also got 18 points, eight rebounds and four steals from Marco Belinelli, Joakim Noah posted a huge line that included a double-double and seven blocks, while Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler also played well for the Bulls.
Grizzlies pound Wolves in Memphis
The Grizzlies got nice lines from Mike Conley (his wrist looked fine), Marc Gasol, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph and Jerryd Bayless in an easy win. Prince had 12 points and 14 boards for his second double-double of the year, and I have no idea where it came from. The Wolves’ box score is a mess, as no starter hit double digits in scoring and Ricky Rubio left early with a groin injury. He’s day-to-day, but fantasy owners in a playoff dogfight have to be very nervous about his availability on Thursday at Sacramento, although he said after the game he could have returned, which is good news. Derrick Williams cooled off, Andrei Kirilenko played just 16 minutes on a minutes limit in a blowout, and Mickael Gelabale, J.J. Barea and Alexey Shved were the only three Wolves to score in double figures. Shved led the team with 12 points, which is not pretty, while Nikola Pekovic showed signs of life with nine points, five boards and a block as he works his way back from an ab strain.
Suns stun Lakers
The Suns beat the Kobe-less Lakers despite not getting a fat line from anyone. Marcus Morris was replaced in the starting five by P.J. Tucker, and Morris didn’t even get into the game. Wes Johnson led the way with 14 points and nine boards, and Goran Dragic double-doubled, but starters Jermaine O’Neal, Markieff Morris and Tucker failed to hit double digits in scoring. Jared Dudley, Kendall Marshall, Michael Beasley and Luis Scola all hit double figures off the bench, but the Suns are still a fantasy mess despite the impressive win.
Dwight Howard and Steve Nash both had good games, and Metta World Peace and Steve Blake were also effective, but the Lakers looked lost without Kobe Bryant. It sounds like Kobe is likely to play on Friday, which will be the Lakers' final game of the week. Antawn Jamison was 1-of-6 for just three points after going off for 27 in his last game, while Earl Clark hauled in 10 rebounds. Pau Gasol suffered a setback over the weekend and will have an ultrasound on Tuesday, and owners simply have to hope he’s back sometime next week.
Jazz lose at home to shorthanded Knicks
The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire, yet still managed to get a win in Utah. Melo (knee, hamstring) and Chandler (neck, knee) are hoping to return on Wednesday, but it remains to be seen if that will actually happen. Chris Copeland, Kenyon Martin and Pablo Prigioni started for the Knicks, making it even more surprising that they got the win. J.R. Smith led the way with 20 points, five boards and a 3-pointer, Raymond Felton had 19 points and four assists, and Copeland was the only other player in double figures with 14 points, six rebounds and a 3-pointer.
For the Jazz, Mo Williams had nine points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a 3-pointer on 4-of-14 shooting, while Gordon Hayward led the way with 17 points and three 3-pointers. Paul Millsap had 12 points, five boards, two steals and a block, while Al Jefferson had a very quiet 10 points, 11 boards and zero blocks on a dreadful 4-of-13 shooting. He was passive, throwing up errant jumpers late, and not attacking the glass. He’s been pretty disappointing over the last few weeks and I seriously considered benching him for Nate Robinson. And now I wish I would have done it. Derrick Favors hit 1-of-7 shots for seven points and 13 rebounds, while Enes Kanter had just five points and two rebounds in less than 15 minutes of action. The Jazz are another team that looks like a mess, and should be embarrassed for losing this game.
News and Notes
Tyreke Evans (foot) and DeMarcus Cousins (thigh) are questionable for the Kings against the Clippers on Tuesday.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is out on Tuesday for the Bucks, while Ersan Ilyasova is doubtful with a hip and back injury. Mike Dunleavy suddenly looks like a decent play.
There are only four games on Tuesday night, when the Magic visit the Pacers, The Blazers are in Milwaukee, Denver visits OKC and the Clippers are in Sacramento.