(Jazz PG Deron Williams, shown draining a crucial 3 pointer with a minute left in the 4th quarter earlier tonight)
Utah’s come from behind, 114-108 victory over the Lakers at the Montgomery Burns Arena improved the hosts’ record to an NBA-best 12-1. I’m not sure how many more weeks will have to elapse before we acknowledge the Jazz are no fluke, so we let’s get it over with : Jerry Sloan is some kinda coach, and Carlos Boozer (35 points, 16 boards) hasn’t merely turned back the clock 3 years, he’s playing the best basketball of his career.
Speaking of comeback stories, Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire (23 points, 5 blocks, 8 rebounds) is having his way with the Nets tonight. No one has treated New Jersey this shabbily since Jim McGreevy left office. The Suns are ahead, 82-63 entering the 4th quarter, and if Stoudemire isn’t all-the-way-back, that’s bad fucking news for the rest of the Western Conference. If tonight is evidence of what he can do at less than 100%, things will get really ugly when and if he’s fully recovered.
(UPDATE : 18 points so far for NJ’s Marcus Williams, 12 of ‘em in the 4th quarter. Which isn’t so easy to pull off with 4 IBM ThinkPads hidden in your shorts)
No Tru Warrier, No Problem : Sans Ron Artest, the Kings have a commanding 102-90 lead over Seattle with 3 minutes remaining, thanks in large part to Kevin Martin’s 34 points. The Sacramento guard (above) has seen his minutes increase dramatically this season, and his scoring has skyrocketed as well, as Martin is averaging nearly 24 points a game entering tonight (compared with 10 ppg last season). His field goal and free throw percentages have also improved wildly, so perhaps the summer toiling in the Darla Records League really paid off.