More and more this season LeBron James is becoming a closer of games. Someone you can rely on in the final quarter to lead your team to victory. Prior to last years playoffs, that was his biggest knock. He made dumb plays in the fourth when games were on the line but he matured a lot in game 5 of last years eastern conference finals.
This year LeBron has been taking over in fourth quarters almost daily for the Cavs and last night was no different. James scored eight of his 31 points in the second overtime and pulled down a career-high 19 rebounds to lead Cleveland to a 113-106 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. I guess he just got tired of playing so he decided to close it out himself.
“My team needs me to make big plays down the stretch and that’s what I did,” said James, who played 49 minutes. “It wasn’t just me, though. Everybody made plays.”
James’ 8 points in the second overtime stabbed them but Damon Jones’ twisted the dagger by 3-pointer from the corner gave Cleveland a 109-102 lead with 1:27 left, that basically put the game away.
Lakers push winning streak to 5
The Lakers are playing at a very high level right now. They may very well be at least the second best team in the west right now. They have won 5 games in a row, Andrew Bynum is fastly becoming one of the games top young big men, and Kobe is Kobe.
Last night the staggering Bucks came into the staples center to face the Lakers. They have beaten the Lakers 3 times in a row but last night they got sent away with a 110-105 L. Kobe led the way for the Lakers with 37 points despite the fact that he had a viral upper respiratory infection and he got a lot help from Andrew Bynum who had 25 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Kobe looked very Jordanesk in this one with a performance that reminded me of when a flu-ridden Michael Jordan got out of a sick bed to play in game 5 of the 1997 NBA finals against the Utah Jazz. The Bulls went on to win that game too. Ok fine, a game against the Bucks can’t compare to a finals game but it was still an impressive game for Kobe.
Chris Paul and Bobby Jackson had a perfect night against the Heat
Chris Paul and Bobby Jackson shot very well last night against the struggling Heat. Very very well. Bobby Jackson said that he didn’t feel like he would miss a shot, and he didn’t. Bobby Jackson lead the Hornets to a 114-88 victory over the heat last night with 25 points. He was 9-9 from the floor with 7 of those 9 shots being 3-pointers. Not to be outdone, Chris Paul responded to his teammates challenge with 16 points and 16 rebounds. He also didn’t miss a shot got 7-7 from the floor. Wow.
So at the beginning of the season you look at the schedule. You see the Hornets and the Heat and you expected the Heat to be the team with 20+ wins and the Hornets to be the team to be struggling to get a win right? It’s ok, you can admit it.
As anyone who follows the league this year knows, thats not the case. Chris Paul has the Hornets ballin and looking like legit contenders in the west. I have to say, I didn’t see that coming.
Around the League
- Andres Nocioni scored 27 points, Joe Smith added 19 and the Chicago Bulls rallied to beat the reeling Philadelphia 76ers 100-97.
- Antawn Jamison scored 22 points and Caron Butler added 21 to lead the Washington Wizards to a 102-98 victory over the hard-luck Hawks.
- Chris Bosh had 40 points and 11 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors rolled to a 99-90 victory over New York in the latest ugly night for the Knicks.
- Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics beat the Nets 86-77 for their 30th win of the season.
- Luis Scola had 22 points and nine rebounds and rookie Carl Landry had 15 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, as the Rockets beat Minnesota 113-82.
- Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and Anthony Carter had 14 of his career high-tying 21 in the fourth quarter, lifting the Denver Nuggets to a 113-103 win over the Orlando Magic.
- Monta Ellis made his first 11 shots – mostly mid-range jumpers – and scored 27 points as the Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies for the fifth straight time, 116-104.
- Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points in just three quarters, Josh Howard added 18 and Dallas overcame some early shooting woes to beat the hapless Seattle SuperSonics 90-70 for the Mavericks‘ season-best sixth straight win.
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