Thursday , Dec , 20 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

It Was a Wild Wednesday With the Pistons, Magic, Mavericks, Grizzlies and Heat Making Headlines

Did it feel like March Madness? Probably not, but it was a pretty good December night for the NBA.

Detroit went to Boston, proving they are still the class of the East, with Chauncey Billups hitting two free throws with .1 second on the clock for a 87-85 win. Boston “dropped” to 20-3 but it was probably one of those losses that will make them stronger. They feel that they “measured up” to the best in the East and learned a few lessons:

“I think this game is one we wanted to measure and see where we were,” said Garnett after a team-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. “Regardless of their record, this is one of the better teams in the league. If we’re going to be of any substance, we’re going to have to go through Detroit and some other teams. Like Paul [Pierce] said, I would rather deal with it now than later.”

Orlando pulled itself out of a mini-tailspin as The Beast met up with Chairman Yao, leading the Magic to a 97-92 win over the Rockets. How’s this for close? Dwight Howard had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks while Yao Ming had 19, 17 and 3. Perhaps more importantly, Howard was tasked with limiting Yao, holding Yao to 38.0% shooting, as Tracy McGrady left the game to nurse yet another injury (he left at halftime with a sore knee after going 1-10). More of the same?

The Mavericks beat the Suns in the First Period, jumping out to a 37-20 lead. Along the way, Amare Stoudemire made Erick Dampier look like Dwight Howard. Stoudemire and the Suns played well in the next three periods before going down 108-105, but how can you expect to win after falling behind 37-20 in 12 minutes? Are the Mavs back on track? Well, they are 6 of their last 7 with a 4-game winning streak.

The Memphis Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead against the San Antonio Spurs, who are still without the services of Alexandra Paressant’s boyfriend. Look out, though, Parker’s taken off the gloves and filed a lawsuit. Meanwhile, Manu Ginobli is getting tired of all this.

In basketball news, it took the last-second heroics of Rudy Gay hitting a jumper over Tim Duncan for the Grizz to pull out the 88-85 win. Here’s the video:

It’s never going to get any better, dude. Retire now.

To add to the drama, Heat fans can now kiss the playoffs goodbye. Alonzo Mourning is out for the season, in what is likely his last year, due to a torn patella tendon in his right knee. For a guy who battled back into the league, this has to be a tough way to go out.