By Andrew Medeiros

December 8, 2007: SCOREBOARD | IN FOCUS GALLERY | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Josh Smith led the Hawks to their second straight victory on Saturday, scoring a game-high 28 points on the way to a 86-78 win over the Grizzlies.
Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"Josh is great when he's aggressive for four quarters. Tonight, he had it rolling."

-- Mavericks guard Jason Terry commenting on Josh Howard's career-high 47 points to lead the Mavericks over the Jazz on Saturday night.
NBA.COM'S FANTASY TAKE
There hasn't been much to smile about in Minnesota this year, but Al Jefferson changed that on Friday. If for just a night, Timberwolves fans can put away the Kevin Garnett highlights and pop in a tape of tonight’s game. Jefferson put up 32 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Wolves past the Suns. After disappointing totals in the loss to the Hawks, Jefferson saved owners the heartache tonight. Fantasy Index.
SHOOTING STUDS
Kenyon Martin, Nuggets
101-97 win vs. Kings
20 pts, 8-10 FG

Josh Howard, Mavericks
125-117 win vs. Jazz
47 pts, 14-19 FG, 4-5 3-pt FG, 15-17 FT

Deron Williams, Jazz
125-117 loss at Mavericks
41 pts, 13-20 FG, 3-4 3-pt FG, 12-13 FT
STAT SHEET STUFFER
We all know the Suns move the ball around the court and record a lot of assists. So this may sound like a no brainer, but forgive me: Steve Nash knows how to share the rock. Against the Timberwolves, Nash recorded 15 assists, following up his 19-assists performance from Friday night. Nash recorded at least 14 assists in each of his last six games and has double-digit helpers in 14 out of the last 15.
SHOOTING DUDS
Jamal Crawford, Knicks
105-77 loss vs. 76ers
6 pts, 3-12 FG, 0-5 3-pt FG

Ron Artest, Kings
101-97 loss at Nuggets
10 pts, 5-18 FG, 0-5 3-pt FG

Paul Pierce, Celtics
92-81 win at Bulls
10 pts, 1-8 FG, 0-4 3-pt FG
TIMBERWOLVES SHOCK THE LEAGUE
Al Jefferson said the Timberwolves were disappointed after being beat on a Joe Johnson buzzer-beater Thursday. They righted that wrong on Saturday, handing Western Conference powerhouse Phoenix its fifth loss of the season. The Timberwolves ran with the Suns for three quarters and then clamped down in the fourth quarter to hold off Phoenix, 100-93. Jefferson led the way, but Craig Smith was also impressive for the Wolves down low. “The Rhino” scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and added eight rebounds. Corey Brewer also chipped in 11 boards, as the young Timberwolves out hustled the Suns recording 22 more rebounds on the night.
DEFENSE? WHO NEEDS DEFENSE?
Not the Mavericks. Their knock this year has been the inability to play tough defense, especially against good teams. Dallas has lost six of its last nine games and is giving up more than 103 points per game in that stretch. The Jazz far surpassed that on Saturday, scoring 117, but the Mavericks still managed to win with their own amazing scoring. Nobody played particularly strong defense as both teams shot 60 percent for the game. Josh Howard helped neutralize the Jazz’s hot shooting by scoring a career-high 47 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Deron Williams countered with 41 points of his own, but when Carlos Boozer fouled out in the final minutes, Dallas locked down on Williams to preserve the 122-117 win.
D-LEAGUE STAR OF THE NIGHT
His Mavericks teammates fought hard for a victory over the Jazz and Nick Fazekas, designated to the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League to see added game action, worked just as hard to earn star of the night honors. Fazekas was a stud for Nevada, where he is the leading scorer in school history, and is now consistently contributing in Tulsa. Fazekas put in a solid all-around performance on Saturday leading the 66ers in a 109-105 defeat and flirting with a triple-double, scoring 18 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out seven assists.
SIXTH MAN OF THE NIGHT
Cleveland has struggled since Lebron James went out and Larry Hughes’s name has been mentioned in discussions about fixing the Cavalier’s offense. Pundits haven’t said as much about the guard's scoring potential as they have about the value his contract would have in trades. Whether Jason Kidd staged a protest earlier this week or not, Hughes has been a part of most trade rumors. On Saturday, coming back from his own injury earlier than expected, he helped the offense in the conventional way, scoring 23 points off the bench.
COOL/CLUTCH PERFORMANCE
Raymond Felton taps his chest before he begins to shoot his free throws. The superstition has helped Felton shoot 77 percent from the free throw line this season. Going into the final minutes on Saturday, however, his stroke had failed him. He was only shooting 1-of-4 for the night. As the Cavaliers extended the game in hopes of pulling out a last-minute win, they left it up to Felton to seal the game. He stepped to the stripe 10 times in the final 30 seconds and made all 10 shots as the Bobcats held on for a 96-93 win.