By Dave McMenamin
SCOREBOARD: Jan. 27, 2006 | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE
PLAY OF THE DAY
The Bucks' Bogut sets up fellow big man Dan Gadzuric:
Video: NBA TV Top 10

Wally Szczerbiak and Ron Artest shared a moment as the Celtics and Kings shared the court on Friday.
Steve Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images
NBA Photo Exhibit: Jan. 27, 2006

SHOOTING STUDS
Chauncey Billups, Pistons
95-89 win vs. Grizzlies
34 pts, 9-13 FG,
5-5 3-pt FG, 11-13 FT

Juan Dixon, Trail Blazers
88-83 win vs. Nets
26 pts, 12-16 FG, 2-4 3-pt FG

Bobby Simmons, Bucks
108-87 win vs. Raptors
18 pts, 7-8 FG, 3-3 3-pt FG

SHOOTING DUDS
Mike Bibby, Kings
84-74 loss at Celtics
2-14 FG, 0-5 3-pt FG, 6 pts

Donyell Marshall, Cavaliers
93-89 win at Pacers
1-9 FG, 1-7 3-pt FG, 4 pts

Al Harrington, Hawks
110-106 loss vs. Suns
5-21 FG, 0-3 3-pt FG, 16 pts

STAT SHEET STUFFER
It's pretty rare for a big man to have hands like a pianist. But with a name like Elton, would you expect anything less? The Clippers snapped Denver's seven-game win streak on Friday and Elton Brand's fingerprints were all over the contest as he scored 33 points on 14-for-21 shooting, snatched 10 rebounds, divvied out four assists, and swatted three shots with his big ol' talented paws.

RICK KAMLA'S FANTASY TAKE
"With the injuries to Jason Richardson (back) and Mike Dunleavy (feet), I recommend picking up either Mickael Pietrus or Derek Fisher (or both). Pietrus went for 20 and 10 while D-Fish had 18 points against his former team."

SIXTH MAN OF THE NIGHT
Seventeen-year NBA veteran Clifford Robinson provided a breath of fresh pine-scented air off the bench with 22 points in 23 minutes on 8-of-10 shooting including 4-of-5 3-pointers, four rebounds and a steal in the Nets' 88-83 loss to Portland.


GAME OF THE NIGHT
The Warriors seemed to have it all figured out on Friday. Kobe Bryant had just five points on 2-for-13 shooting and Golden State held a seven-point lead through three quarters. The 81-point man wasn't about to let his encore perfomance end up like that. Bryant scored 16 in the fourth, capped by two free throws with seven seconds left in regulation that tied the game at 94. On the ensuing possession, Bryant and Devean George double-teamed Baron Davis to force him into a failed desperation attempt with a second remaining and overtime was on. Kobe opened up the extra session with a dunk and a 3-pointer, giving the Lakers a five-point cushion that the Warriors could not surmount. Bryant scored 25 points in the fourth quarter and bonus period to boost his game totals to 30 points, eight assists and five rebounds in the Lakers' 106-105 OT victory Thursday night.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"Honest to goodness, the only reason I played him was he stared at me every freakin' timeout. I told one of the coaches that we've got to put this guy in the game or he's going to drive me nuts."

-- Boston head coach Doc Rivers on the Celtics' newly acquired Wally Szczerbiak, who Rivers hadn't planned on playing before the C's 94-84 home win over Sacramento.

STORYLINES OF THE NIGHT
1. New Teams, New Numbers
Ron Artest scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds playing himself back into basketball shape with 32 minutes of action, but the Kings lost 94-84 to the Celtics in his debut. Artest wore #93 but maybe should have gone with #52 (the amount of days since he last played a game on Dec. 6) if his new teammate Brad Miller didn't already sport the number. Meanwhile Wally Szczerbiak scored 10 points and grabbed three rebounds in his Boston birth wearing #55 (5+5 = 10, his number with the Wolves). Speaking of the Wolves, don't forget about Ricky Davis. Davis had the best game out of the traded trio, as he scored 26 points on 10-for-18 shooting in Minnesota's 96-92 road win over the Rockets. Davis switched to #31 after wearing #12 in Boston. Peja Stojakovic wore street clothes as he watched Indiana lose to the Cavs from the bench. When he does suit up though, he'll still be wearing #16.

2. Carpe Diez
The SAT question would read something like this, "The best way for a team to reach 70 wins in a season is: A) Balanced scoring. B) Suffocating defense. C) Improving throughout the year. D) Running off long win streaks." Detroit seems to be accomplishing all of the above as they beat the Grizzlies 95-89 at home Friday. The win pushed the Pistons' win streak to 10, their longest of the season, and came against a Memphis team that played them as tough as anybody has this year, as their last meeting went to double overtime before Detroit prevailed. The Pistons outscored the Grizzlies by 10 points in the fourth on Friday to take control, thanks in large part to 16 points by Chauncey Billups in the final frame. Detroit is now 36-5. "When you play 82 games, it's tough to play at an unbelievably high level all 82 games," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "Right now we're playing at a high level. Our level that we're playing at is where many teams' mountains are."

3. Blanked on the Boards
The Nuggets had their season high seven-game win streak snapped on Friday, 105-87 by the visiting Clippers who are on their own four-game tear. The reason? How about Carmelo Anthony playing 38 minutes and grabbing zero rebounds. The last time Melo, who averages 5.6 rebounds per game, was blanked on the boards Denver experienced the same result, a loss. Despite Marcus Camby's return to the lineup following a pinkie injury, the Nuggets as a team were outrebounded 47-32 by the Clippers. Denver gets a chance to redeem itself on the glass when they face the Clippers again Saturday in L.A.

ROOKIE WATCH
The Pacers are a team in flux with Ron Artest out the door, Peja Stojakovic yet to suit up, and Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley on the bench with injuries. Just the right time for rookie Danny Granger to establish himself. The forward out of New Mexico posted season highs in points (21), rebounds (14), and minutes played (41) to go with two blocks, two assists and a steal in Indiana's 93-89 home loss to the Cavaliers.

COOL/CLUTCH PERFORMANCE
How do you follow up scoring 81 points in a game? Try hitting two game-tying free throws with seven seconds left to propel your team to overtime and then scoring nine points in the extra period to get the win. Not too shabby, Kobe Bryant. Bryant and the Lakers prevailed 106-105 over the Warriors.

D-LEAGUE STAR OF THE NIGHT
Roanoke guard Will Bynum scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Dazzle held off the Patriots 116-113 at home. Bynum added seven assists and four steals to complete his night.