WATERCOOLER CHAT: KOBE SCORING ENOUGH, CLIPPERS PULLED UPSET, LEBRON’S RETURN TO CLEVELAND

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There is much to discuss in the NBA.  First up, the Los Angeles Lakers have lost 3 straight games.  This is certainly not the Lakers style.  They hoped to avoid a 4th straight loss which hasn’t happened since April 2007.  Fortunately, all they had to do was beat a struggling Houston Rockets team.  Easy, right?  Um, not really.  Houston came out ready.  Kevin Martin was red hot last night with 22 points, and Shane Battier helped him out with another 17.  Kobe led all scoring for the Lakers with 27 points, but it simply wasn’t enough as the Rockets edged the defending champs.  After the game, a frustrated Kobe said, “Are we going to win a three-peat today? Probably not, but the (expletive) is not played today.”  Clearly, Kobe is quite fumed about the Lakers current play, but this is usually the time when he gets the team in gear and they go on a winning streak.  Houston 109, LA Lakers 99.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the NBA’s worst team, Los Angeles Clippers, hosted the NBA’s best team, the San Antonio Spurs.  This one was supposed to be an easy win for the Spurs.  Just get in and out of LA with a win.  Unfortunately for San Antonio, the Clip-Show was ready, namely their superstar rookie sensation Blake Griffin.  Griffin was an absolute monster last night.  He had 31 points and 13 rebounds, and it also actually looked like the Clippers were jelling as a team (you have to in order to beat a great team like the Spurs).  And wouldn’t you know it — the Clippers pulled an upset.  Maybe they’re not so bad after all.  A few more weeks to practice playing as a cohesive unit, and they might even make a push to the playoffs.  LA Clippers 90, San Antonio 85.

Finally, Thursday is one of the most anticipated match-ups of the season, if not the last 5 years.  Yep, it’s time for… LeBron’s return to Cleveland.  And you can bet that the Cleveland fans are ready to boooooooo him right out of the stadium.  At the same time, this is a very important game for LeBron.  If he loses, he will never hear the end of it.  Also, it doesn’t look like he’s going to hold anything back.  He said he intends to do his pre-game ritual at the scorer’s table where he claps baby powder together and tosses it into the air.  This was his signature trademark while in Cleveland, but now fans will have to watch him do it in a Heat jersey.  The Cavaliers owner, however, has said he won’t allow any “Anti-LeBron” garb into the stadium.  He wants it to be a peaceful evening of fun — nothing violent or nasty.  This should be a night to remember.

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