By Teri Berg

December 16, 2007: SCOREBOARD | IN FOCUS GALLERY | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Jose Calderon stops short before part of the Celtics' defensive gauntlet. "They made it tough for Jose," said his Raps teammate Kris Humphries.
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“Their defense is very aggressive. They’re very long and athletic, and the plays we usually make just weren’t there. What we need to take from this game is to see how they play defense.”
— Raptors F Chris Bosh on how Boston shut down Toronto on Sunday. It was the Raps’ third loss to the Celts this season.
THE DAY'S TOP VIDEO
Sunday's top play: An off-balance Corey Maggette hits an unlikely 3-pointer from half-court against the Lakers.
  • Haier Play of the Day
  • Dunk of the Night
  • Block of the Night
  • Assist of the Night
  • Steal of the Night
  • NBA TV Top 10
  • NBA.COM'S FANTASY TAKE
    Rasheed Wallace is a menace to the fantasy owner in need of a center. His 43-percent shooting puts him at No. 51 among centers, and in the last 11 games he's dropped to 40. Worse, he sinks just 28 percent of his TPA -- taking attempts away from better shooters. All this for a guy who's getting 13.2 points and under seven boards per game? Please. Which centers are worth their minutes? Go with the guys banging away in the lane. >> Fantasy Index.
    SHOOTING STUDS
    Tayshaun Prince, Pistons
    109-87 win vs. Warriors
    23 pts, 8-14 FG, 3-3 TP

    Allen Iverson, Nuggets
    116-105 loss vs. Blazers
    38 pts, 11-22 FG, 3-6 3-pt FG, 13-15 FT

    Luke Walton, Lakers
    113-92 win vs. Clippers
    15 pts, 6-6 FG, 3-3 3-pt FG
    STAT SHEET STUFFER
    Playing just 27 minutes Sunday as the Lakers bumped off the Clippers, Andrew Bynum went 6-for-8 for 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked a whopping six shots and even pitched three assists. Had the Lakers' crosstown rivals been better competition, the second-year center might have stayed in the game longer and tallied his fourth straight game with double-digit rebounds.
    SHOOTING DUDS
    Baron Davis, Warriors
    109-87 loss at Pistons
    2 pts, 1-8 FG, 0-3 3-pt FG

    Rasheed Wallace, Pistons
    92-86 loss vs. Sixers
    6 pts, 3-10 FG, 0-2 3-pt FG

    Chris Bosh, Raptors
    90-77 loss vs. Celtics
    17 pts, 4-12 FG, 9-12 FT
    SCROOGE WEARS CELTIC GREEN
    The Celtics are grooving on defense, and it’s got them riding a nine-game streak. The Celts lead the NBA in points allowed, FG and TP percentage allowed, and rebounding differential. Boston’s PPG differential is +14.2; the diff for the second-best stoppers, the Pistons, is +7.9. The C’s sit at No. 2 and 3 in SPG and steal differential, and are the No. 1 Scrooge with dimes, allowing 17.3 per game – exactly how many they let Toronto have Sunday. The Raptors normally dish 23 APG. “The plays we usually make just weren’t there,” Chris Bosh said after the C’s 90-77 clampdown. Boston is 20-2 because it believes “stop” means “go”: “We’re trying to have the defense fuel the offense,” said Kevin Garnett, “and it’s been working.”
    'MATURING' BLAZERS' WIN STREAK CONTINUES
    No one expected much of the Trail Blazers this season, especially after surgery for a micro-fracture took their No. 1 draft pick, Greg Oden, out for the season. There were too many young players, too many who-dats. So when Portland started the season 0-9 on the road, who was surprised? But the Blazers have won seven straight now, with three straight on the road -- wins that , according to Brandon Roy, signal maturity. And just for good measure, with their dominating 116-105 victory over the Nuggets on Sunday, the Blazers got another monkey off their backs. Shooting a red-hot 54.5 percent from the field, they finally upended the Nuggets in Denver, snapping their nine-game skid there that dated back to Feb. 2003.
    SOPHOMORE OF THE NIGHT
    With Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen sidelined for the second straight game with a sore right ankle, sophomore point guard Rajon Rondo has stepped up his game. Averaging 8.8 points and four assists prior to Allen's mini-vacation, the former Kentucky Wildcat has reeled off 31 points and 12 assists since. "He's been tremendous," Celts teammate Paul Pierce said of Rondo after Boston's 90-77 rout of the Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Sunday. "It seems like he's getting better each and every game." As if the 20-2 Celtics, now on a nine-game win streak, needed any more of an advantage.
    SIXTH MAN OF THE NIGHT
    When Brandon Roy said Sunday, after the Blazers upset the Nuggets, "We don't feel invincible, we feel comfortable and confident,'' he could have been describing his teammate, Travis Outlaw. The skinny 6-foot-9 forward has blossomed in his fifth season in Portland. Averaging 12.3 ppg, up from last year's 9.6, Outlaw has put up nearly 19 ppg in the Blazers' last seven games -- all wins. In Denver on Sunday, Outlaw finished with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting in 28 minutes. He also knocked down three of four foul shots, picked up five rebounds and two steals, and even tallied two assists.
    D-LEAGUE STAR OF THE NIGHT
    Sioux Falls may be freezing right now, but Kasib Powell is scorching hot. In the Skyforce's 96-90 road win over the Dakota Wizards on Sunday, the former Texas Tech forward hit for 29 points on 12-of-29 shooting and brought down 11 rebounds. A veteran of NBA training camps (Orlando 2006; Chicago 2005; Minnesota 2004) and signed by the Grizzlies in late September, Powell had previously played pro ball all over Europe and, last season, in Russia, where he averaged 9.3 ppg and 4.4 rebounds. In three starts with the Skyforce, who are now 2-6, Powell has upped his numbers to 23.7 ppg and 10.3 boards.