1. Oh Baby!
was off to a great start on Tuesday, but he decided to leave the game at halftime to witness another "great start" of sorts -- the birth of his second child, a son, Laymen Lamar, born at 9:53 p.m. CST. McGrady had 21 points, five assists, four rebounds, two blocks and a steal in only 20 first-half minutes as the Rockets entered the lockerroom with a 41-36 advantage. In the second half, the Rockets -- who were already missing Yao Ming
with a foot injury -- stalled on offense and the visiting Jazz won 82-74
. "We didn't lose because (McGrady) wasn't there," Rockets' coach Jeff Van Gundy
said. "We lost because we were inept offensively. What matters is that we fouled too much, we turned it over too much, and I think we probably shot in the 20's. We didn't play well enough on offense to win. We have professional players out there, so we have no excuses." McGrady returned after the game in time to join the team on its flight bound for Oklahoma City, where the Rockets play on Wednesday.
2. Streaks in the East
The Detroit Pistons extended their league-leading win streak to eight games on Tuesday as they beat the Raptors
, improving their overall record to 23-3, also tops in the league. Meanwhile, in New Jersey something had to give as both the Nets and the Cavs entered the game riding a six-game tear. Richard Jefferson
's 28 points on 9-of-11 shooting led New Jersey to a 96-91 win
over the Cavs and LeBron James
. New Jersey sits atop the Atlantic Division with a 16-12 mark, while Cleveland's 17-10 record puts it second to Detroit in the Central Division.
3. Who's Head of the Class?
The NBA Draft Class of 2003 boasted a banner night on Tuesday as all of the top five picks were in action. Denver's Carmelo Anthony
, the No. 3 pick, scored a career-high 45 points. The Raptors' Chris Bosh
, the fourth overall selection, also set a career-high with 37 points. Dwyane Wade, picked fifth, scored 35 points for the Heat. LeBron James
, taken with the No. 1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, was his usual stellar-self as he scored 31 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists. And even the Pistons' seldom-used Darko Milicic
, taken second overall, got into the mix, scoring two points in one minute of play.