Morning Shootaround: Re-upping Kobe

Kobe signs two-year extension
Lakers vs. Wizards, 7 p.m./NBATV

Kobe Bryant will spend all 20 years of his career in Lakers gold. At leat, that is pretty much the assumption after he signed a two-year extension worth north of $45 million.

Bryant is going to be the NBA's second highest paid player despite being 35 years old and coming off surgery to repair a rupture Achilles. Bryant is back practicing and might be returning to the court in the next month or so. This contract ensures it is Kobe's team for at least another two years. You have to imagine though that it means this is the final contract of his career.

What a career it has been for Kobe. The Lakers will have their work cut out for them to stay in the packed Western Conference race. The Lakers are 7-7 and a half game out of the postseason entering Monday's play. It is too early to look at the standings that closely, but not too early too worry about falilng too far behind.

KG: Everyone embarrassed by Nets start
Nets vs. Raptors, 7 p.m.

It has not been a good start for the high-priced Nets. They are 3-10 and dealing with multiple injuries to some of their key players. It is not sitting well with the veterans and even the horrid Eastern Conference is not going to change that opinion. Garnett put it simply to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News that he is embarrassed by the team's effort, particularly in third quarters. It is not working right now for Brooklyn.

Jazz keep Bulls skidding
Jazz 89, Bulls 83, OT

The Bulls will be happy to get home from their annual Circus Trip. It has simply become a disaster. The news that Derrick Rose will likely miss the rest of the season still seems to be resonating with the team as Chicago struggled again on the road and handed Utah its second win of the year. The Jazz did their part to take it, getting 15 points and 12 assists from Gordon Hayward and some key baskets from Trey Burke.

Lou Williams seeing restrictions lifted
Magic vs. Hawks, 7:30 p.m.

Lou Williams is coming back from a torn ACL that knocked him out all of last season. He has made his way back onto the floor, but is still under some minutes and game restrictions. Those appear about ready to be released. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Williams may be allowed to play back to backs now. That is a big step for the young player who has had a not-so-happy homecoming thanks to that injury.

Heat coast past Suns
Heat 107, Suns 92

Miami is so good, the team can afford to get off to slow starts. Eventually though, that avalanche is coming and opponents always have to be on guard for it. The Suns were and could do nothing to stop it. LeBron James scored 35 points and Dwyane Wade had 12 assists as the Heat won their seventh straight game and easily coasted past the Suns, who are still without Eric Bledsoe thanks to a shin bruise.

Pistons smash Bucks
Pistons 113, Bucks 94

This game was not as close as the final score indicated, which is probably really saying something. The Pistons had a 20-point lead after one quarter and a 29-point lead after the first half. It was smooth sailing through the final 24 minutes from there. Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points off the bench for the Pistons and all five starters scored in double figures, led by 16 points from Greg Monroe. Brandon Jennings had 15 points and 13 assists for the Pistons as well.

Rockets rally in 4th for win
Rockets 93, Grizzlies 86

The Rockets used a 38-23 fourth quarter to rally past the Grizzlies, who are still looking for answers in replacing Marc Gasol after his MCL strain. Houston got 17 points from Chandler Parsons and 10 rebounds from Omer Asik to help turn the game around. They were without James Harden themselves and so probably do not want to hear the Grizzlies complain too much. Memphis just could not hit a shot, making on just 41.5 percent of the team's field goals at home.

Pacers buckle down for win
Pacers 98, Timberwolves 84 

Minnesota found success getting to the line in the first three quarters. The Wolves had no such luck in the fourth. They took just one of their 28 free throw attempts in the final 12 minutes. That helped Indiana counteract Kevin Love's 20-point, 17-rebound effort to continue their hot start to the season. The Pacers shot 50 percent as a team and got a surprising 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting from George Hill. Not to be outdone, Paul George also had 26 points for Indiana.

Spurs keep streaking with easy win
Spurs 112, Pelicans 93

San Antonio delivered its 11th straight win with a dominant victory over the Pelicans on Monday. San Antonio's typically balanced and efficient offense paired with its strong defense helped deliver this one. The Spurs, as a team, shot 54.3 percent from the floor and hit 10 3-pointers. Manu Ginobili was the high scorer with 17 points. Meanwhile, New Orleans shot only 38.1 percent from the floor.

Celtics get past Cats
Celtics 96, Bobcats 86

Boston needed almost all four quarters, but held off Charlotte on the road for a nice victory. The Celtics got 21 points from Jordan Crawford and 17 points off the bench from former Bobcats All-Star Gerald Wallace as they expanded a two-point lead entering the final quarter to secure another victory. Kemba Walker had 28 points for the Bobcats in the loss.

Nuggets score rare win in Big D
Nuggets 110, Mavericks 96

Dallas took its first home loss of the season as Denver secured a 14-point win Monday. Ty Lawson had his star turn with 19 points and 11 assists. J.J. Hickson scored 22 points and had the highest +/- of any player on the team with a +19. Hickson was strong on the inside. But it was Denver's defense in controlling Dallas' bench that proved the difference. The Mavericks got only 21 points off its bench as all five starters scored in double figures but none was especially spectacular. Monta Ellis scored 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting in the loss.

Knicks keep faltering
Trail Blazers 102, Knicks 91

The road was not any kinder to the Knicks than Madison Square Garden was. New York, sitting at 3-10, appears to be in very serious trouble. Portland continued its hot ways getting 23 points each from Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard. That is the exact young talent New York does not have right now. Carmelo Anthony might as well have been playing alone. Nobody supported his 34-point, 15-rebound effort. Criticize Anthony all you want, but he has put up a ton of points trying to will his team to some wins. The Knicks just do not have any without Tyson Chandler as their defensive backstop.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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