Starting 5


Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1: Kobe renewed

It was not quite Madison Square Garden, but Kobe Bryant still knows how to put on a show when he enters the country's biggest media market. Bryant scored 21 points, but none seemed as emphatic as the drive and dunk he threw down on the Nets defense in charging a 10-0 run for the Lakers to finish off a 92-83 win.

Brooklyn did a lot of things right. Despite shooting 34.8 percent from the floor, the Nets grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and had a big game from Brook Lopez (30 points and 11 rebounds). The Nets went shot-for-shot with the Lakers and seemed poise to pull out the home win over the struggling Lakers.

Los Angeles though was playing a lineup that Mike D'Antoni likes down the stretch. Antawn Jamison started at small forward for the suspended Metta World Peace. Earl Clark was playing confidently once again at power forward. And Pau Gasol had a strong showing before a foot injury pulled him out of the game in the fourth quarter.

That did not seem to matter. Clark hit a big jumper to keep the Lakers going and break the Nets' back.

This team began to embody Bryant's never-say-die attitude and defiance of both age and record as this game wore on. Bryant had one of his shots blocked by the towering Brook Lopez but kept attacking and helping set others up. Steve Nash did the same. Earl Clark did the same.

The Lakers, despite the injury to Dwight Howard and the mismtached roster, are finding some sort of rhythm. For the millionth time. Momentum is the next day's pitcher.

2: Grizz and buried

So far, the Rudy Gay trade has not worked out particularly well for the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies lost 96-90 to the Suns at home on Tuesday, shooting 35 percent in the fourth quarter and giving up a six-point lead entering the fourth quarter. This after giving up only 15 points to the Suns in the third quarter.

Memphis though scored only 38 points in the entire second half and simply could not put the ball in the basket. Jerryd Bayless scored 29 points off the bench and Zach Randolph had 21 points and 13 rebounds, but neither could get the ball down the stretch. The lack of execution was startling from the usually solid Grizzlies.

Marc Gasol fouled out with about two minutes left. Tayshaun Prince looked like he was still finding his way into this team. No mistake was bigger than when he threw the ball straight out of bounds coming out of a timeout late in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies were playing catch up in the final moments and ran out of time.

Goran Dragic had a solid game for Phoenix with 17 points and he broke down Memphis' defense late to lead the way.

Memphis though seemed to have big questions after their failure to execute. Perhaps they need some more time to adjust to life without Gay. Or maybe the team has lost some of its identity. More games are needed to analyze that.


No-look Lin

Danilo's shot of the century


4: Line of the Night: Houston Rockets — 23/40 3FGs

The Rockets tied an NBA record by making 23 3-pointers in a 140-109 win over the Warriors on Tuesday. They would have had a shot at breaking the record if Mark Jackson had not opted to foul on Houston's final possession. I guess there is some pride involved even down 30-plus points. Jeremy Lin led the way with five 3-poitners helping him score 28 points and nine assists.

5:  You can quote me on that

The fans loved it for the tacos, I think.

-Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari on the importance of his circus shot in Denver's 112-104 win over Milwaukee

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