Thursday, 6 January 2011


Nov 2, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24), left, and center Pau Gasol (16) embrace during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 124-105. Photo via Newscom

24."Listen to how everyone is talking about you. You have to use it as fuel for motivation". This is what Kobe Bryant told his Los Angeles Lakers ahead of a big night for both him and his team. Following their Christmas to New Year struggles the Lakers rebounded from losing three of their last four to beat the Detroit Pistons 108-83 at Staples. Pau Gasol heard what mamba was saying the loudest with 21 points. Still it was Kobe's mid-town 17 that was huge. Huge in the Lakers 16-2 run and huge in terms of NBA history. Kobe's 17th point took him past, Atlanta Hawks, dunking legend Dominique Wilkins as Bryant became the 10th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Watch out Kareem! As Kobe slammed 'nique out the top ten, the Pistons, Tracy McGrady and Greg Monroe's 14 each could not add up for Detroit. "That's a great honor," K.B. said of his latest milestone, while reminiscing of being amazed by Dominique's dominant aerial ability when he would watch NBA games as a kid in Italy. Lamar Odom had 16 points, while number 17, Andrew Bynum had an unlucky for the Pistons 13. Despite things looking better for the Lake Show, one man stressed the need for more hard work and consistency. "We have to really turn it around," Phil Jackson remarked. "One game is not the end of this situation." Phil's right, we've certainly seen similar situation's last fall. Time to go full circle this new year.

48. What is it with NBA players and gambling disputes. It's been reported that the Memphis Grizzlies talented young duo of O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen got into it following a card game the pair played, during their flight home after their win in Los Angeles. They should have stuck with the in-flight movie. The top youngster and the versatile swingman where involved in a fight which left Mayo with a "swollen" face according to sources. The Memphis organization have also confirmed there was an "altercation" although they won't go any further into it, hoping the players won't two. O.J. also didn't play during Memphis' win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Looks like things are getting rocky and stormy in Memphis. With Minnesota trade rumors garnishing Mayo, could this be O.J.'s last helping for the Grizz? Sound off in our comments section below.

82. Injured Heat forward Udonis Haslem expects to come off the chilling list as early as late March. Last year Haslem underwent surgery to repair a ruptured ligament in his left foot and soon hopefully his cast will come off, then he'll be able to walk without his walking boot, (he's already alright without crutches) then he should be able to run, then play. The Heat are 19-4 without Haslem, but will hope he can form a formidable frontcourt with Bosh and Ilgauskas on his return. In other developments on the injury front, Dallas' Caron Butler will not be looking at a March return, or anything this season, as he underwent season ending knee surgery. This Maverick, do it all forward is a big loss for the Texan team.

O.T. Not everything is grizzly in Memphis, Zach Randolph had a career night with 31-16 in a win against the Thunder, now that's a double, double...his former New York Knick team also had a career night from Wilson Chandler, who's 31 took this years big surprise Knicks past this years best Spurs...former New Yorker Jamal Crawford also hit a season high 31 for his Hawks as they swooped the crown off the Sacramento Kings heads...with Butler out, Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson stepped it up for a close Maverick win for Dallas over Portland...after making the Raptors extinct, the Bulls charged to their 14Th win in 16...while the Heat also won big, outlasting and stopping the Bucks for their 19Th win in 20...finally, Hornets backup Pops Mensah-Bonsu will have to find a new nest as he was released by New Orleans. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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