Washington 98, Houston 91: Let’s start with the bad news – Yao Ming strained a tendon in his leg in first quarter and never returned. John Wall registered his first career triple-double with 19 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds – and had just one turnover – as the Wiz won their second game of the season.
Golden State 122, New York 117: Wilson Chandler missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with :03 left, and David Lee (28 points) won his first game back at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks made more free throws (38) than baskets (36). I’m convinced that they’re giving Chandler free reign (9-for-20, 2nd on the team in shot attempts at 15 per game) in hopes that he goes off a half dozen times and Denver concedes that fine, they’ll take him in a deal (he’s cheaper!) over Danilo Gallinari (only shooting 35 percent this season, though he started the year hurt). Patience? No playoff wins since 2001? Just one playoff trip in the last nine years? How much longer should we wait?
Minnesota 98, Sacramento 89: Three reasons why this one was weird. 1) Michael Beasley scored a career-high 42 points. 2) Tyreke Evans only played 27 minutes, had more fouls (6) then points (5), shot 1-of-5, and turned the ball over five times. 3) DeMarcus “No D” Cousins has fallen in the rotation, significantly – he played just 13 minutes coming off the bench.
Utah 104, Orlando 94: Again? After being down 18 in the second half, the Jazz stormed back with a 24-2 run, dominating the 4th quarter against an Eastern Conference power – for the second night in a row! – and stunned the league with an impressive victory. When Jerry Sloan went to the 2-3 zone, the Magic looked confused, and, well, this is the stat that pissed us off most: Vince Carter attempted more 3-pointers (10), then Dwight Howard attempted shots (8). That. Cannot. Happen. Ever. Also, Orlando tripled up Utah on the offensive glass (18-6).
Milwaukee 108, Atlanta 91: The Bucks went into the ATL as 6.5 point dogs and blew out the Hawks on the strength of a 33-14 second quarter. After a 2-5 start, the Bucks have won their last two by a combined 44 points. Corey Maggette played 29 minutes, scored 20 points, and didn’t grab a rebound.
San Antonio 105, LA Clippers 97: The Paper Clips were without three starters (Gordon, Davis, Kaman) and fell to 1-8. Richard Jefferson scored 22 for the Spurs. He’s off to a blistering start – 58 percent shooting from the field, 53 percent from deep, and his scoring average is up to 18 from last year’s 12.