By Dan Savage

December 17, 2007: SCOREBOARD | IN FOCUS GALLERY | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
LeBron James became the youngest player to reach the 9,000-point plateau as he scored 31 in the Cavs' win over the Bucks. David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"It was a game of swings. We got the first punches in, and they came back with more punches and got more of them in."

Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni on the Grizzlies' loss to the Warriors on Monday.
NBA.COM'S FANTASY TAKE
Since Tony Parker went out with a sprained left ankle, Jacque Vaughn has put up some respectable numbers. After a 10-point game against Denver on Saturday, the 11-year veteran from Kansas put up a season-high 14 against the Suns to go along with four assists. Although he may seem like a tempting pickup, only roll with Vaughn if you need to generate some production until Parker returns. He is not worthy of a long-term roster spot. << Fantasy Index.
SHOOTING STUDS
Hedo Turkoglu, Magic
111-108 loss at Mavs
26 pts, 10-14 FG, 2-2 3-pt FG

Mike Dunleavy, Pacers
119-92 win at Knicks
36 pts, 13-18 FG, 3-5 3-pt FG, 7-7 FT

Grant Hill, Suns
100-95 win at Spurs
22 pts, 8-12 FG, 6-6 FT


STAT SHEET STUFFER
While Stephen Jackson and Rashard Lewis have both taken their games to another level and received media attention, Mike Dunleavy is quietly having the best season of his career. In his first full season in Indiana, Dunleavy is averaging close to five more points per contest than his career average. He helped further that bridge Monday as he exploded for a career-best 36 points, 22 of which came in the third quarter, to help the Pacers beat the Knicks. He filled out his stat sheet with seven boards and four assists.
SHOOTING DUDS
Travis Outlaw, Blazers
88-76 win vs. Hornets
8 pts, 1-12 FG, 0-1 3-pt FG

Deron Williams, Jazz
116-111 loss at Hawks
14 pts, 3-12 FG

Jamal Crawford, Knicks
119-92 loss vs. Pacers
13 pts, 4-14 FG


NOT YET OVER THE HILL
When the Suns signed Grant Hill in the offseason, don't doubt for a second that Phoenix had San Antonio on its mind. After last season's loss to the Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals, it was apparent that the Suns needed to add a mid-range game and some playoff poise to their already potent roster. But who would have thought that the move would pay such high dividens this early in the regular season? On Monday, Phoenix unveiled the new part of its offensive arsenal to San Antonio. Hill netted 22 points in his rivalry debut, including four in the final 40 seconds, to power the Suns past the Spurs and make Phoenix the first squad to leave the AT&T Center with a victory this season. After being held scoreless in the first half, Steve Nash finished with 10 points, 10 assists and eight boards, to spoil Tim Duncan's 36-point night.
THEY'RE STEAKING IN PORTLAND
When Greg Oden went down with a knee injury in the preseason, there was more talk about another first-overall draft pick than win streaks in Portland. However with the way the Blazers are playing, no one is talking about the draft anymore. On Monday, Bradon Roy fired off a game-high 24 points and dished out eight assists as the Trail Blazers earned their eighth straight win. It was the first time since the 02-03 season that Portland won eight in a row. The victory also assured the Blazers of their first winning month since November of 04. "When you've won seven in a row you start to believe you can win every game," Roy said. Martell Webster netted 13 points, while Tyson Chandler tallied 16 points and 19 rebounds in the defeat.
ROOKIE WATCH
The Hawks had not beaten Utah in five years, but that was before Al Horford came into the picture. The rookie out of Florida continued to make scouts, who called him the most NBA-ready player out of 2007 draft class, look wise as he notched 17 points and seven rebounds in Atlanta's win over Utah. It was the Hawks' first victory over the Jazz in 10 games. "Really? I didn't know that," Horford said of the streak. "We're 1-0 against them now." Joe Johnson added 20 of his 26 points in the second half to offset a 39-point, 12-rebound performance from Carlos Boozer.
COOL/CLUTCH PERFORMANCE
Prior to Monday night's game against the Timberwolves, Dwyane Wade proclaimed that "if everybody does something 1 percent better, we'll be a better team." Although it was unclear before the game, exactly which part of his game he would choose to improve, afterwards it is fairly obvious: free throws. Although Wade shot 6-of-22 from the floor and entered the fourth with 16 points, he unloaded for 14 in the final session, eight of which came from the charity stripe, to lift Miami to a 101-97 win over Minnesota. The all-star guard scored 18 of his 30 points from the free throw line.
SIXTH MAN OF THE NIGHT
Although Jerry Stackhouse has steadily watched his numbers dip over the last few seasons, on any given night Dallas' sixth man can still get it done. Stackhouse scored 21 points against the Magic on Monday and with the Mavericks up one, Stackhouse drilled two crucial free throws with 2.4 ticks left to extend Dallas' lead to three. He got some help from Dirk Nowitzki, who poured in 11 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavs held on for a 111-108 triumph over the Magic. It was Dallas' fifth win in its last six games and its 10th straight victory over Orlando at home.