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February 17th NBA news ... Basketball Betting Now at basketball-betting-now.com

Kobe Bryant falls short of MJ's scoring mark, but helps Lakers beat Spurs
2014-12-13

He also acted, for long stretches, as stereotype late-career Kobe Bryant. It was fascinating.

The kicker is the fact that had Kobe Bryant played the sort of shot-happy, inefficient ball that has marked his 2014-15 season, he could have passed his model Michael Jordan and moved into third place on the NBAs all-time scoring list. Instead, Bryant held back and made the correct plays that he usually anticipates before any other mere mortals, plays he often disregards prior to tossing up another jumper.

Kobe finished with 22 points on 22 shots as a heretofore terrible Lakers team knocked off a Spurs squad working with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and even Tony Parker for a spell. Kobe entered the game needing 31 points to top MJ, but he sat huge chunks of the second and fourth quarter without a complaint, and his work down the stretch helped an active Lakers squad retain their lead in the win.

His absence, for whatever reason, also saw the Lakers building that lead. This team is so strange.

Bryant made expert pocket and screen-and-roll passes, hitting the sorts of teammates he recently denigrated in full and knowledgeable view of the media on Thursday afternoon. Kobe may have missed 15 of 22 shots, but he had ample opportunity to gun for Jordans scoring mark several times in this contest, but instead chose to make the intelligent and proper basketball play that suits his basketball genius obvious passes he often ignores in order to launch yet another shot.

Bryant routinely found big men Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill, and swingman Wesley Johnson for great looks with gorgeous passes on his way toward nine assists in 40 minutes of action. In the games deciding play, with Kobe barking at guard Jeremy Lin (who had sat about 30 minutes of real time prior to the play after being pulled to the bench) late in overtime, mercurial Lakers scorer Nick Young hit a 3-pointer with just under eight seconds to go in overtime. Young actually finished the contest with a team-high 29 points, two short of what Bryant needed to top Jordan.
Bryant didnt always play up to the competition. His shooting percentages were obviously poor and his rookie-like turnover late in regulation helped San Antonio overcome what seemed to be an insurmountable late-game deficit, but the movements were telling. Kobe mixed in equal parts the attributes that allow NBA observers to both revere, admire and shake their damned heads at him he forced shots, he sat willingly, he made pinpoint passes to teammates who were open and he hit a killer clutch 3-pointer late in regulation that nearly put the game away.

[ Related: Revisiting Kobe Bryant's matchups with Michael Jordan ]

Kobe Bryant finished with a -1 plus/minus in a two-point Lakers win, he took and missed more shots than any other teammate, and he turned the ball over more than any other teammate. And yet he looked like the best Laker on the court on Friday night, while declining the chance to fire away and top Jordans career output in front of a nationally televised stage against the defending NBA champions.

This is peak Kobe Bryant. And its so much fun.

Bryant is nine points away from moving past Jordan, and the Lakers play against the similarly lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. Find somebody with NBA League Pass that evening, because youre going to want to tune in. Even while defining his stereotypes in full view of a national audience, Kobe Bryant still finds a way to defy them.




BROOKLYN NETS (50-34) at CHICAGO BULLS (46-38) Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Chicago -3.5 & 181.5
2013-04-27

The Bulls looked miserable in Super Bowl 54 Kickers Punters Prop Bets Super Bowl 54 Defense Prop Bets Game 1, but responded with an eight-point victory, 90-82, over the Nets in Game 2. That is how the season has looked all season. It hasnt been pretty at times for Chicago, but the club eventually finds a way to get the job done. The Nets are 4-2 ATS (1-5 SU) at United Center over the past three seasons, and have also been a great road team at 23-18 (SU and ATS) overall this season. The Bulls have struggled to put teams away on their home court, going 13-28 ATS (32percent) despite a decent 24-17 SU mark. Brooklyn is 7-5 SU (8-4 ATS) with exactly two days' rest, but Chicago has been horrible in this scenario, going 7-13 SU (6-14 ATS). And as poor of a wager that the Nets have been after an SU loss this season (14-19 ATS, 42percent), the Bulls are only 16-29 ATS (36percent) following an SU win.

The Nets looked great in Saturday's Game 1, but were horrendous in Monday's Game 2. They were out-rebounded 44-39 and shot just 35.4percent from the field (4-of-21 threes) as a team. PG Deron Williams must do a better job on Thursday, because as he goes, the team goes. In Game 1 he was brilliant (22 points), but in Game 2 he couldnt hit a shot (1-for-9 FG) nor was he aggressive enough in finding his rhythm, finishing with just eight points, but also dishing out 10 assists with a mere two turnovers. C Brook Lopez continues to play well for Brooklyn as he tallied 21 points (7-of-14 FG), five rebounds and three blocks in Monday's loss. PF Reggie Evans didnt rebound the ball like he normally does though, finishing with just eight rebounds and a minus-12 rating on Monday. The Nets are going to need SG Joe Johnson to perform better if they are going to take control back in this series. Johnson went 6-for-18 against the Bulls in Game 2 for 17 points, four assists and four rebounds. He will need to start shooting the ball better to give the Nets a second go-to option on the wing. SF Gerald Wallace also needs to show up on Thursday after a horrendous Game 2 where he scored two points on 1-of-7 shooting with a game-worst, minus-16 rating.

The Bulls responded well to the 106-89 beating they took in Game 1, and came back and won Game 2 by holding Brooklyn to 82 points. Chicago dominated the third quarter of the game, winning that period 22-11 and never looking back after that. SF Luol Deng stepped up on Monday after he was seemingly absent in Game 1. Deng went 7-of-17 from the field with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. His defense was also superb, as he finished with two blocks and one steal. PF Carlos Boozer continued to play well for Chicago with 13 points and 12 rebounds, giving him 19.0 PPG and 10.0 RPG for the series. The X-factor in this series is C Joakim Noah, who has been playing despite a nagging foot injury. Noah was non-existent in Game 1 with four points and five rebounds, but played very well in his 25 minutes in Game 2, tallying a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards. If the Bulls can get more positive minutes from C Nazr Mohammed, who scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting Monday, it will really ease the burden on head coach Tom Thibodeau. PG Nate Robinson has also had a strong series offensively with 14.0 PPG on 52percent shooting.



2015 Kentucky Derby Odds
2015-04-15

Kentucky Derby week is one of the most thrilling times of the year. This race is known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate time length.



Check 2015 KY Derby Schedule May 1 and 24 at Sportsbook.com



Odds to Win 2015 Kentucky Derby


March Madness Bracket
2015-02-15

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