By Mike Weilamann

December 26, 2007: SCOREBOARD | IN FOCUS GALLERY | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Jason Kidd has 8,972 career assists, moving into sixth place on the NBA's all-time leaderboard ahead of Gary Payton (8,966). Kidd had 13 in Wednesday's loss to the Pistons. Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"It's tough to lose, but it's tougher to be the worst team in the Eastern Conference. You don't know what you're going to see from one night to the next."

— Heat guard Dwyane Wade, after his team dropped to 8-21 with a 96-85 road loss against the Sixers on Wednesday.
NBA.COM'S FANTASY TAKE
Ever have one of those days where you just weren’t at full speed? The true fantasy studs find a way regardless to give you some quality numbers. Brandon Roy was a little off on Tuesday, but he still managed 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds in his team’s win over the Sonics. In 12 games this month, Roy has failed to post at least 20 points only four times. On a side note, both the Clippers’ Tim Thomas and Rockets’ Tracy McGrady received some good news on Wednesday that their knee injuries aren’t as serious as originally feared. Check out NBA.com's Fantasy Index.
SHOOTING STUDS
Chris Paul, Hornets
116-98 win at Grizzlies
40 pts, 17-25 FG, 5-8 3-pt FG

Monta Ellis, Warriors
105-101 win vs. Timberwolves
35 pts, 13-21 FG, 9-10 FT

Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
125-105 win vs. Bucks
29 pts, 11-16 FG, 7-8 FTs

STAT SHEET STUFFER
Marcus Camby was the seventh-leading scorer for the Nuggets in Wednesday’s win over the Bucks. But his contributions did not go unnoticed. Camby had a modest 10 points and five assists, but came up huge on the glass with 11 rebounds, not to mention his 10 blocks. Camby was among seven Nuggets to finish in double-digits in scoring including forward Nene who played for the first time since tearing a ligament in his left thumb at Boston on Nov. 7.
SHOOTING DUDS
Jason Terry, Mavericks
99-90 loss at Jazz
0 pts, 0-10 FG, 0-6 3-pt FG

Andres Nocioni, Bulls
94-79 loss at Spurs
3 pts, 1-11 FG, 0-3 3-pt FG

Jamaal Tinsley, Pacers
107-95 loss at Hawks
16 pts, 6-21 FG, 0-8 3-pt FG

KNICKS PERFECT TONIC FOR MAGIC’S HOME WOES
The Orlando Magic have not exactly feasted on home cooking this season. However Wednesday’s visit from the last-place New York Knicks was exactly what the doctor ordered for Stan Van Gundy’s troops. Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis combined for 51 points as the Magic snapped a four-game losing skid at their home digs. It was Orlando’s first home win since beating Miami 120-99 on Nov. 24. The Magic are 6-6 at home this season. "We've been letting teams off easy when they come here, but we didn't do that this time,'' said Turkoglu, who scored 10 points during a 20-6 run at the start of the fourth quarter that broke it open. Meanwhile, the Knicks dropped to a dismal 1-11 on the road. New York’s new-look starting lineup worked well for three quarters. Zach Randolph had 16 off the bench as David Lee took his place in the starting lineup.
PISTONS GETTING DEFENSIVE ABOUT THEIR WIN STREAK
“De-fense. De-fense.” That’s the battle cry of late for the Pistons, who are really putting the clamps on their opponents. Detroit has held opponents under 90 points in seven straight games, including Wednesday’s 101-83 victory over the Nets. As a result the Pistons have won six straight contests and 13 of their last 15. Shooting 78 percent in the third quarter against the Nets didn’t hurt either. Richard Hamilton, who finished with 22 points, hit all five of his shots and the Pistons connected on 14 of 18 from the field in the third to turn a one-point halftime lead into a 14-point margin entering the fourth quarter. Maybe the Pistons, who shot nearly 65 percent in the second half, are playing with a chip on their collective shoulders. And who could blame them? Everyone already has the Celtics in the NBA Finals, but watch out for the Motor City Madmen. Also noteworthy is Detroit’s 13-2 mark against the Eastern Conference this season.
ROOKIE WATCH
It wasn’t his best effort of the season, but Al Horford posted 12 points and seven rebounds to help the Hawks soar past the Pacers at Philips Arena. Hey, he isn’t NBA.com’s top-ranked rookie for nothing. Horford, a former star at Florida, is averaging just over 10 points per night over his last five games, which not so coincidentally have been Atlanta victories. The Hawks are enjoying their first five-game winning streak in eight years and are three games over .500 this late in the season for the first time since the 1998-99 season, the last time they made the playoffs.
COOL/CLUTCH PERFORMANCE
Pick a Wizard. Caron Butler or Roger Mason? Both turned in big time efforts in Washington’s win over the host Bobcats. Butler showed guts scoring 25 points in his return to the lineup while playing on two sore ankles. Then there was Mason, who has bounced all around the league. All he did was set a career high in points for the second straight game as he poured in 24. In all four Wizards finished with 20 or more for the game. Mason started in place of Antonio Daniels, who missed his fifth straight game with a sprained knee.
D-LEAGUE STAR OF THE NIGHT
Lance Allred and the Idaho Stampede can not get enough of playing against the Bakersfield Jam. Allred posted 24 points and 14 rebounds on Wednesday as the Stampede rolled past the Jam for the third straight meeting in a week between the two D-League teams. It also was Allred’s third straight 20-plus points effort as the Stampede knocked off the Jam in convincing victories on Dec. 19 and 21. Allred had 25 points in a 105-86 win on the 19th and 24 in a 102-94 victory two days later. The win on the 19th snapped Idaho’s four-game losing streak.