The All-Star Game this year came down to the seconds literally. The East managed to come back from a 21 point deficit to one in the closing seconds, but weren’t able to move past the West’s defense.
With the help of Blake Griffin’s intercepted pass from LeBron James and Griffin’s free throw with 1.1 seconds left helped secure the Western Conferences’ win 152-149. James hit two long 3 pointers in the final period and the East had a chance when but Bryant missed a free throw with 18 seconds left and the West was up 151-149.
But New Jersey’s Deron Williams came up short on a 3 pointer and the East managed to come up with it, James fired a pass into a crowd that Griffin intercepted.
When speaking of the interception by Griffin James said “When I tried to throw it late, that’s what usually happens and it results in a turnover, definitely wish I could have that one back.”
Griffin had a busy night, scoring 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, joining Jordan and James as the only players with All-Star game triple-doubles.
Also breaking records was Kobe Bryant, he scored 27 points and that helped him move past Michael Jordan as the career scoring leader in the game. But the MVP award went to Kevin Durant. He broke Jordan’s record of 262 points with a dunk in the third quarter he now has 271 for his career.
He passed Oscar Robertson who had 246 points and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who had 251 points earlier in the game.
Lamar Takes the D-League
Lamar Odom has had quite the interesting week. He missed their last game before the All-Star break against the Lakers and had not been seen since February 20th.
This prompted rumors that his contract was being bought out or he was being traded. Owner Mark Cuban said they would do whatever it takes to support Odom. He would not go into specifics about his mysterious absence, but refuted that it was anything other than time away for family matters.
“I knew I’d get the question over and over again until I said I wouldn’t do it,” adding there hadn’t been a discussion about a buyout ever. “We want him to contribute. We want him to help.”
Odom has not been doing so well since joining the Mavs he averages 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds. That is the worse numbers of his 13 year career. Later on in the week the Mavs announced that Odom would spend time in the D-League with the Texas Legends and would be in uniform for team’s home game Saturday night. Coach Rick Carlisle said Odom will return Sunday.
But faster than you can blink your eyes Odom returned to the Mavs lineup Saturday playing for 18 minutes. The Mavs beat the Jazz winning the game 102-96. The team was in need of help bad. They went without guard Delonte West who had a right finger fracture, he has been gone for more than two weeks and Center Brandan Wright missed Saturday’s game with a concussion. Coach Carlisle said of Odom’s faster than lighting return “We’re struggling and could use the extra manpower.”
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Kobe Bryant may have been breaking records in the All-Star Game but he also got a broken nose and a matching concussion. Bryant saw a neurologist and an Ear, Nose and throat Doctor and was diagnosed with those ailments earlier in the week. Bryant was injured in Orlando by Dwayne Wade when he knocked Bryant to the floor with a hard foul by accident. Wade later apologized privately and publicly for the incident. Three days later he was cleared to come back when they played Wolves as longs as wore the clear protective face mask.
Kevin Love and Rick Adelman proved you can go home again, and win. The Timberwolves played the Portland Trail Blazers and won 122-110. Kevin Love had an amazing game with a season high 42 points and 10 rebounds and for those of us keeping track that is one point shy of his career high. Ricky Rubio on the other hand gave a rare less than stellar performance with only 1 of 8 shots from the field and a layup in the fourth quarter. But Rubio managed to give 12 assists with 10 of those being in the first quarter. Minnesota was on fire early and shot superbly from the field with 54 percent, 3-point range was 52 percent and the free-throw line was 86 percent. The Wolves shot .682 from the field and made 8 of 10 3 point attempts in an easy 40-28 first-quarter lead. That by the way was the most scored against Portland in any quarter all season. This puts the Wolves at 19-19 and back at .500 and are now chasing Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. To everyone’s surprise this is the same team who last year went 17-65. But Love knows that the doubting of the rest of the league and the Minnesota fans is natural. “Nobody expected us to be where we’re at. This is when we need to make our push. We’ve been throwing the ‘P’ (playoffs) word around for the first time in my four years here. If we continue to win games, who knows?”
Other News and Notes
- Richard Hamilton is close to returning to Chicago lineup. Coach Tom Thibodeau did not have a definitive date on when he would return but Hamilton has been taking part of the Bulls practice. Hamilton has been out since January 29th and has only made 11 appearances this year because of thigh and groin problems.
- The Cavaliers signed guard Manny Harris to a second 10 day contract. Harris first deal expired Thursday. Before signing for the first time with the Cavs, he played with their affiliate D-League team the Canton and averaged 21.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 32.9 minutes. Once his second 10 day contract is up the team must sign him for the remainder of the season if they want to keep him.