Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Utah 109, Phoenix 97

The Phoenix defense (pictured, above) was pretty worrying in this loss.

The Suns gave up 118.5 points per 100 possessions, and while I usually prefer to write "[the winning team scored] 118.5 per 100 possessions," Phoenix really let this happen. The Jazz are great, we know that they might be the best offensive team in the league when they're at full strength (and that'll happen sometime next month, righto?), but the Suns kind of took this one off.

Yes, they were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, taking on a pair of conference contenders in a row, but there's still no excuse for not getting out on shooters. Shooters parked only 17 feet from the hoop, no less.

The Jazz were without Deron Williams again, same with Mehmet Okur, but it hardly mattered as C.J. Miles (21 points on 13 shots; nice contract) and Carlos Boozer (21 points on 15 shots, a nice 15 rebounds) poured it in from all over.

Shaq? Not his best defensive effort, and it showed (-29) in the stat sheet.

Houston 100, Oklahoma City 89

A few things to take from this ...

Robert Swift started. He started and he played 25 minutes with six points and eight rebounds and two assists with two blocks and he started. Jokes aside, good news. Albeit three years too late.

Russell Westbrook needed 14 shots to score 14 points, he had more turnovers (three) than assists (two), and he may not ‘ave a clue, but he is the future. And he had five steals in 28 minutes.

Houston shot over 50 percent, Yao Ming hit for 19 points on just eight shots (with 12 boards and three blocks), and I can't help but really like this team.

San Antonio 86, Los Angeles Clippers 83

No, this isn't the same box score from Sunday night, and the Spurs pulled out another one. On the road. Without Manu Ginobili. Without Tony Parker. Bang on, guys.

The Clippers are just a bunch of vets, but not in a good way. 10 free throw attempts (making eight, as if that matters) in 48 minutes of play? Who does that?

Baron Davis, both in looking at the guy and watching his stats, is reminding of the Baron Davis that shot the Warriors out of the playoffs by Thanksgiving back in 2005-06. He took 17 shots on Monday, making five. He only got to the line twice, and made one of his freebies. Baron missed all eight of his three-point attempts. The Clippers can't score efficiently to save their lives (29th in offense, only ahead of the Thunder), and Baron's a huge reason why.

Los Angeles is in a conference that only lets you lose 37 games before you're out of the postseason bracket, and the Clips have already thrown up nine losses in 10 attempts. Things aren't looking good.

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