Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest celebrates with fans after he made the game winning basket in Game 5 of their Western Conference Final series against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center in Los Angeles on May 27, 2010. The Lakers defeated the Suns 103-101. UPI Photo/Lori Shepler Photo via Newscom

(Looks familiar? Only the jersey is different)

24. GAME OF THE WEEK. Just when people where writing Ron Artest off and initialling it he rose like a Phoenix to burn the Suns like it was last years playoffs, kisses and all. The Lakers beat the Suns 139-137 in four quarters and three thrilling overtimes like they where the Nets and Raptors duelling in London. Both temas wore the 'Los' jerseys that the Suns made a huge statement with last season. Still with all this 'Los', the Los Angeles Lakers won. At one point the Lakers where in party mode, looking like they where going to blowout the Suns by 21, but Phoenix soon burnt those candles. Still once the 51-20 Lakers prevailed they made it a lucky 13 wins out of the last 14 games. Kobe had 42 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists and Lamar had 29 and 16 rebounds sinking Phoenix in a game that lasted longer then the 'Titanic' movie. Ronny however was huge in overtime and finished with 18 points on the clip. His huge overtime 3-pointer (you know he can shoot those in the clutch now Phil) was good unlike the last time he shot a crucial 3 against the Suns in a big game as he blew kisses to the crowd just like he did against Boston in Game 7 of last years finals. As the game went through two more overtimes however the Lake Show would need more players to act up and Pau Gasol was clutch from the free-throw line as he helped end the night of drama with the most nerve-wracking of shots. Speaking post-game Odom said of fellow New Yorker Ron Artest, "a basket in those situations are worth 20 points as far as what it does for the team. He made some big plays, especially sometimes when we get in that isolation with Kobe and (the other team) starts hanging off (us) and it's time for somebody to drive the ball and make a play. Ron is tough." Ron and the Lakers are clearly looking like champions again.

48. Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls also had a big night as they scraped the Hawks 114-81. Rose, a true point showed he could take the scoring load without being selfish with a stellar, MVP affirming 30 point and 10 rebound night. Rose flowered 6 of 8 3-balls and was just incredible in all areas as the Bulls avenged an early season loss to the Hawks and surged to the top of the Eastern Conference knocking off both Atlanta and in turn Boston. Luol Deng added 27 points telling press, "We're trying to do great things in the playoffs." At this rate the Bulls don't have to worry about this, there doing big things now.

82. Speaking of playoffs, the Portland Trailblazers made their case for the playoffs with a 111-76 win over the Washington Wizards. The rout was led by 28 points from Gerald Wallace the final piece of Portland's playoff puzzle, brought together at the trade deadline. Portland's balanced attack helped them defeat their opponent and tip the balance out West. LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points while Nicolas Batum doubled up with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Portland where up as many as 38 points at one point and they did this without their top big man Marcus Camby who twisted his ankle against the Lakers at the weekend. Still it's nice that Camby got a day off on his 37th birthday. It was a special day for the Blazers too after scorching D.C. They have now justified themselves a higher position in the league of Western Conference playoff hopefuls. They are now within a game of the Denver Nuggets for the sixth seed, while a game up on seventh-placed New Orleans Hornets. This impressive Portland team will hope for many happy returns.

O.T. The Bobcats Stephen Jackson has tweaked his hamstring and is doubtful for their game against his former team the Indiana Pacers...after enhancing L.A.'s Andrew Bynums game, Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wants to work with Orlando's Dwight Howard...everyone may be pleased with Brook Lopez but it appears the same sentiment is not shared for his talented twin Robin Lopez. Suns coach Alvin Gentry is apparently disappointed with his post-man, but 24/48/82 reckons Gentry should be patient, Robin will deliver soon enough. TIM DAVID HARVEY

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