Ballin': The Lakers Lost to the Raptors, but the Bigger Story is Here Come the Nuggets

Toronto 108, LA Lakers 103: One step forward, two steps back for the Lakers, who lost Dwight Howard to an ejection, and fell to 17-23 in losing their 5th straight on the road. Kobe took 32 shots, missed 22 of them, and turned the ball over six times. Pau Gasol, finally getting some shots (10-of-15), scored 25 points.

Dallas 111, Orlando 105: Wondering how Dirk is doing? In 15 games he’s shooting 40 percent and averaging 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. All of those are career lows as he works back from surgery. He’ll be 35 in June. Hey, at least the guy has a title.

Detroit 103, Boston 88: Tough, tough weekend for the city of Boston. Friday night, the Celtics lost at home to the Bulls. Then this game. And the Patriots lost, too. It’s still kind of bizarre to see Boston at 20-20 just shy of halfway through the season. Doc Rivers is unhappy. Six Pistons scored in double figures, led by Andre Drummond’s 16.

Denver 121, Oklahoma City 118, OT: The Nuggets are creepin – they’ve risen to 6th in the West, and it feels like only a matter of time before they pass the Warriors and Grizzlies. George Karl seems to still be tinkering with his depth – nine players were on the court for 16 minutes or more – and unlike the Thunder, you never know where the points are coming from. Corey Brewer came off the bench to score 26 for Denver, and he played valuable minutes late instead of Andre Iguodala. The Thunder as usual, were led by Durant (37) and Westbrook (36), but the two combined to shoot only 4-of-17 on 3-pointers and had 12 turnovers. Durant became the first player in NBA history to make 20 free throws in consecutive games. OKC coach Scott Brooks coached the game despite losing his mother Saturday.

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