1. Butler Serves Threes in N.O.
The Hornets made New Orleans their nest for the third and final time this season and gave their fans a nice going-away present with a 120-108 win
over the Clippers. Rasual Butler
scored a career-high 32 points on 12-for-16 shooting, making seven 3-pointers in the process (also a career high) as New Orleans/Oklahoma City beat the No. 5 team in the West to move to within one game of the idle No. 8 Lakers. David West
(21 points, 11 rebounds) and Chris Paul
(21 points, nine assists) helped Butler bring a victory to the people of New Orleans. The victory also snapped a season-long eight-game losing skid by the Hornets and got them thinking postseason again. "We definitely wanted to the win for this city," said Butler, who started in place of the injured Desmond Mason
. "But we also needed to end this streak. We really believe we can make the playoffs."
2. Where Warriors Go To Pasture
Golden State remembers the Alamo. Well, the Alamodome at least. The last time the Warriors won in San Antonio was Feb. 24, 1997 when the Spurs played their home games there. Since then, the Spurs have moved to the newly-named
AT&T Center and with Tuesday's 107-96 win
extended their home winning streak over the Warriors to 16 games. Tony Parker
(29 points, seven assists) outdueled Derek Fisher
(season-high 27 points) at the point guard position to extend San Antonio's winning streak to five games and maintain its half-game lead over Dallas in the Southwest Division. The game wasn't as easy as the score indicates, however. The Spurs trailed in the third quarter before coach Gregg Popovich
was ejected for arguing with the referees about how Tim Duncan
(21 points, 13 rebounds) was being bodied. "We were not playing well there in the third quarter," Parker said. "Pop went out there and took one for the team. We came back strong in the fourth quarter. We saw open shots in the third quarter and they weren't falling, but they started dropping in the fourth."
3. California-Style Sandwich
If the Clippers are the top piece of bread and the Lakers are the slice of rye at the bottom, then the Grizzlies are the bologna sandwiched in the middle just above the slice of cheese that represents the Kings. Memphis is trying to make itself like a (point guard Chucky) "Atkins
" meal, and separate from all the California teams. The Grizzlies enjoyed their largest margin of victory of the season with a 105-75 rout
of the Pacers at home. Pau Gasol
led the effort with 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four blocks to secure his team's fourth-straight victory. Memphis (38-29) sits as the No. 6 team in the West, 1.5 games behind the No. 5 Clippers (39-27). Meanwhile, Sacramento (34-33) is in the No. 7 spot and .5 games above the No. 8 Lakers (35-34). The Lakers and Kings meet in L.A. on Wednesday.