Just call him Magic. Kobe Bryant (14 PTS, 11 AST, 8 REB) no longer cares about the scoring title, he wants to make the playoffs. In his fantastic career, Kobe has never dished out 39 assists in three games before, and L.A. has won all three. Dwight Howard (24 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 5 STL, 4 BLK) was also a team player, allowing Earl Clark (20 PTS, 12 REB) to dominate the boards. Only Pau Gasol (7 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST) has a right to be unhappy — 21 bench minutes is an insult — though he’s too classy to complain after a win. Steve Blake (abdomen) made his first appearance since November 11, but his fantasy value is minimal at best. Greivis Vasquez (15 PTS, 15 AST, 5 REB) bounced back from a mini-slump and Eric Gordon (25 PTS, 6-of-8 from deep) was sharp for the future Pelicans, who never gave up and made this a very entertaining fourth quarter.
Other January 29 Game Recaps
DAL @ POR: What a comeback! Trailing by 17 at the half and still down by seven with 2:18 to play, Portland won it on a buzzer-beater by LaMarcus Aldridge, who capped a 29-point, 13-rebound night. J.J. Hickson (26 PTS, 15 REB, 2 BLK) was also a force up front for the Blazers, as Dallas is having trouble finding a decent center. Bernard James (10 PTS in 15 minutes) got the start, Elton Brand (2 PTS in 17 minutes) was invisible and Chris Kaman (concussion) sat out. The heartbreaking loss ruined the best game of the season for Dirk Nowitzki (26 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST) and a very nice effort by Darren Collison (17 PTS, 9 AST, 4 REB, 3 STL), who got the better of rookie Damian Lillard (10 PTS, 8 AST) to my surprise.
GSW @ CLE: Showing depth and tenacity, Golden State won its second road game in as many nights without Stephen Curry (ankle), Andrew Bogut (precautionary rest), Harrison Barnes (calf) and Carl Landry (shoulder). If you had Jarrett Jack (26 PTS, 12 AST) and/or Klay Thompson (32 PTS, 7 REB, 6-of-8 3PTM) in your lineups, it couldn’t have gone much better. David Lee (20 PTS, 13 REB, 8 AST, 2 STL) flirted with a triple-double and undrafted rookie Kent Bazemore (9 PTS, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL in 30 minutes) played the best game of his brief pro career. There haven’t been many NBA players who share my first name (Benson is the only one I can remember) but you can put together a pretty good team of players with my surname. Kyrie Irving (14 PTS, 4 AST) was slowed by the flu, so Tristan Thompson (18 PTS, 11 REB) and Dion Waiters (18 PTS, 7 AST) led the Cavs.