We open by wishing our readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, delightful Kwanzaa, and of course, a fabulous Festivus. We’re alive and well, back in Austin and catching up on all the rest we missed last week. Of course, the constant driving means that sleep isn’t the only thing we’ve missed out on — daily Fast Breaks and the Horns in the League also pulled a Houdini.
That leaves us with another lengthy NBA update tonight, so we jump in the Way Way Back Machine and travel to last…
T.J. Ford missed the Toronto game against Boston, still recovering from that scary injury suffered against Atlanta. The Celtics continued their league domination in the meantime, downing the Raps by a 90-77 count.
The Trail Blazers continued their hot streak, topping the Nuggets 116-105 in the Rockies. LaMarcus Aldridge missed the game with plantar fascitis in his right foot.
The Lakers won the battle of Los Angeles by downing the cross-town rival Clippers, 113-92. Chris Mihm rejoined Phil Jackson’s game plan, playing 15 minutes and grabbing three boards. Mihm also added a bucket in the winning effort.
Royal Ivey and Daniel Gibson got to see a lot of each other in their game, as the Bucks and Cavs needed two overtimes to find a winner. Cleveland finally came out on top, 104-99, led by LeBron’s 31 points. Royal With Cheese sat on the bench for the Bucks all night, while D-Gib scored twelve and logged five dimes in his 46 minutes of action.
Orlando fell just short on the road, losing 111-108 to the homestanding Mavericks. Maurice Evans was the busiest player off the bench, playing for 19 minutes as the sixth man. Mo scored four points on the night and secured five rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge missed another one with his foot injury, but the Portland winning streak continued following an 88-76 victory over New Orleans.
Chris Mihm and T.J. Ford both did not play, but did see their teammates grab wins. The Lakers topped Chicago 103-91, while the Raptors edged the Clippers, 80-77.
Mike Brown played fast and loose with his bench, and the Cavaliers somehow made Isaiah Thomas look good, stumbling at Madison Square Garden. Daniel Gibson played 30 minutes in the 108-90 loss, scoring seven points.
Sacramento torpedoed the Bucks at home, winning by a 102-89 count. Royal Ivey was perfect on the night, hitting all four of his shots and both of his free throws. Ivey finished with ten points in eight minutes, but did turn the ball over three times.
Orlando evened up their Texas road trip by topping the Rockets, 97-92. Mo Evans had a highly-effective 16 minutes of playing time, scoring eight points to go with four boards and an assist.
Although T.J. Ford was still unable to play, LaMarcus Aldridge returned to the court in Portland, where the Trail Blazers won their ninth-straight, 101-96 over Toronto. L.A. quickly got back on the horse, dropping 15 points and seven boards in his 37-minute return.
Kevin Durant had a respectable night with 18 points and five rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for Seattle. The Sonics dropped another one at the Key, this time 107-93 to the Hornets.
The hype was LeBron vs. Kobe, but for Horn fans it was Mihm vs. D-Gib. Of course, that story-within-the-game disintegrated when Chris Mihm missed yet another one without a single word from Lakers brass regarding an injury. Daniel Gibson did play, though, scoring 15 points in 28 minutes of action.
What’s that? Three straight DNP’s for Chris Mihm? Awesome. The Lakers won, by the way. Zzzzzzzz.
The Magic blew one at home, letting Paul Milsap dominate them for 28 points off the bench. Yes, Paul Milsap. Mo Evans had seven points and three boards in the 113-94 loss to Utah.
LaMarcus Aldridge dropped 18 points and ripped down eight boards in Portland’s tenth-straight win, a 99-96 nail-biter over Denver. L.A. was also generous with the rock, dishing out five assists on the night.
Kevin Durant led the way for Seattle in their 123-115 win over the Raptors, coming alive in the third quarter en route to a 27-point night. We got a few weird looks in the Toronto bars by cheering for the Sonics, but without T.J. Ford, the Raps didn’t leave much for us to love.
Royal Ivey had a minimal role in the 103-99 Milwaukee win over Charlotte. Ivey played seven minutes off the bench ad grabbed two boards, but also picked up two fouls and turned it over once.
T.J. Ford continued to contemplate his health and his future in the NBA while the Raptors got face-raped by the Suns, 122-103.
Chris Mihm does exist! The Los Angeles Sasquatch saw ten minutes of action, scoring four and logging a rebound in a 95-90 win over the Knicks. I guess that means he’s due for another three or four DNPs now. Thanks, Phil!
The Cavs lost another one at home, falling 105-96 to Don Nelson’s Warriors. Daniel Gibson battled foul trouble that limited him to 32 minutes of play, but he still finished with thirteen points, five boards, five dimes…and two blocked shots?!?
The post-season is a long way off, but this Magic/Celtics rivalry in the East is getting interesting. Boston got the best of Orlando this time, winning 103-91 at TD Banknorth. Mo Evans played 25 minutes, going 4-of-5 from the field to finish with ten points and a rebound.
The League took a day off for Christmas Eve or something, leaving me with only the painful Monday Night Football telecast to watch. It’s a tough call — listen to drunk Aunt Millie’s boring stories, or have Tony Kornheiser and Joe Theismann make me consider seppuku. What’s a guy to do?
Daniel Gibson was scratched from the starting lineup by Mike Brown, one of the true geniuses of the NBA. (Good showing the Finals, coach.) D-Gib was a solid sixth-man, scoring 16 points in 30 minutes, including a sick 4-of-6 from behind the arc.
The Lakers finally won a Christmas Day game, toppling the Suns, 122-115. Chris Mihm didn’t play, of course.
Another game, another win for Portland. In a match-up of the last two #2 picks — both of whom happen to be Longhorns — the Trail Blazers grabbed a 89-79 win in front of the Rose Garden crowd. Kevin Durant had 23 points, six boards, four assists, and two blocks in the losing effort. Meanwhile, LaMarcus Aldridge was nearly invisible, scoring only two first-half points and nothing more. He did battle through his 10% shooting though, helping the team with five rebounds and a steal.
Maurice Evans and the Magic look to steamroll the pitiful Knicks in Orlando. (6 PM CST, NBA League Pass)
The struggling Bucks and Royal Ivey hope for a change of luck on the road in Denver. (8 PM CST, NBALP)