Above The Rim: Hoop Weekend.

Good to be back after the rare Sunday off.  Overtime + common cold = blech. Cheap Shots will be along later.

Magic 96, Celtics 93 – May not be quite so close or worthy due to KG sitting this one out, but more for the awkward three that Hedo Turkoglu hit to win the game at the end.

Cavs 98, Lakers 95 – King James scores 41, including 14 in the fourth, and the game ends even more oddly, with the Cavs all dogging Kobe on the last play and Luke Walton bumbling his chance for a three to tie.  Kobe scored 33, and the Lakers did have bright spots — nailing a 23-9 run to end the third quarer.

Mavericks 90, Nuggets 85 – The reigning MVP scores 14 of the Mavs’ final 16 to keep the Nuggets at bay.  Nowitzki had 32, while Denver had to finally figure out how to replace Carmelo Anthony’s scoring — and having only 12 field goals and 10 turnovers going into the second half isn’t going to do it, even if you put up a valiant comeback attempt.

Kings 103, Sonics 101 – Seattle now takes Miami’s place with the longest active streak of pathetic play, having lost 14 in a row, this one via the hand of Kevin Martin. He polished off five straight points (26 in all) including the winning 20-footer.

Blazers 94, Hawks 93 – Games like this make me wish I could afford League Pass: these are two teams on the way up, and looking at Brandon Roy’s stat line with 24 points and the last free throw to take the lead at the end make me want to watch more, especially when Portland erases a 19-point deficit.

Warriors 106, Knicks 104 – It speaks not only to Andris Biedrins’ “want to” that he grabbed 26 boards, but it also speaks to how much Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry aren’t really guys who crash the boards on a regular basis.

Florida 86, Vandy 64 – This will likely get the Gators back into the top 25 after knocking off the 14th ranked team, and it means new guys like Walter Hodge and Nick Calanthes will get a bigger spotlight in what is often an underrated hoops conference.

Duke 93, Maryland 84 – DeMarcus Nelson owns with a team high 27, but the Terps kind of screwed themselves by going turnover-happy in the second half.

Memphis 81, Gonzaga 73 – The Tigers have too much star power to lose to teams like the Bulldogs now, but that won’t stop me from picking against them as soon as they hit the Sweet 16. Yes, I know free throw percentage is an overrated stat, but it’s something I look at when filling out brackets. Memphis could enter the tourney undefeated and I wouldn’t pick them to go past the Elite Eight.

Georgetown 58, West Virginia 57 – Jessie Sapp is sick kinds of clutch, nailing a three in the waning seconds to put G’Town ahead after getting matched blow for blow by the Mountaineers. Then, Patrick Ewing, Jr. aped his old man and swatted the lay-in with no time left to preserve the victory.

UConn 68, Indiana 63 – This has to be one of those years where the Big 10 sucks at everything, right? Because Indiana losing to the Huskies at home (never mind the Huskies who had suspended two players before Saturday’s game) probably shouldn’t happen.

USC 95, Oregon 86 – Best game of the weekend. USC had leads of as much as 14 with 5 minutes left and the Ducks played slow ’em down ball, eventually making more threes than USC could make free throws — however, it fell apart in the OT, when USC sunk nothing but threes to open up the same double digit lead.

Photo: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack

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