By Andrew Medeiros

December 27, 2007: SCOREBOARD | IN FOCUS GALLERY | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
LeBron James soars through the air for two of his 24 points en route to a win over the Mavericks.
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"Obviously, he's so talented that it happens from time to time where he can dominate. Tonight was one of those nights where he got going early, got to the line and was really a handful for them."
Suns guard Steve Nash, on how Amare Stoudemire was able to have a big night on Thursday.
NBA.COM'S FANTASY TAKE
Dirk Nowitzki’s shooting woes continued in the Mavericks loss on Thursday. The 7-footer shot just 6-of-17 from the field, missing on both of his 3-point attempts. Nowitzki did come through with timely shooting, scoring 10 points during Dallas’ third-quarter comeback and grabbing a season-high 20 rebounds, his highest one-game total since 2003. Check out NBA.com's Fantasy Index.
SHOOTING STUDS
Grant Hill, Suns
108-88 win at Clippers
16 pts, 7-10 FG, 2-2 FT

Amare Stoudemire, Suns
108-88 win at Clippers
30 pts, 11-14 FG, 8-10 FT

Eddie Jones, Mavericks
88-81 loss vs. Cavaliers
9 pts, 3-4 FG, 2-3 3-pt FG, 1-1 FT

STAT SHEET STUFFER
Amare Stoudemire is more than 350,000 votes behind Yao Ming in the second round of fan voting, but Stoudemire continues to make his case for why he should represent the West in New Orleans. Stoudemire led the Suns in a 108-88 rout of the Clippers with 30 points and 15 rebounds in just three quarters of action to go with four blocks and one assist. The 30 points came efficiently as he went 11-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 shooting from the line.
SHOOTING DUDS
Daniel Gibson, Cavaliers
88-81 win at Mavericks
8 pts, 2-8 FG, 1-6 3-pt FG

Drew Gooden, Cavaliers
88-81 win at Mavericks
7 pts, 2-11 FG

Chris Kaman, Clippers
108-88 loss vs. Suns
9 pts, 4-17 FG, 1-4 FT

CLEVELAND FIGHTS THROUGH FOR WIN
With high expectations coming off big seasons, both Cleveland and Dallas have disappointed so far this season. After charging to the Finals on the back of LeBron James in the playoffs, James continues to lead the Cavaliers while his teammates sometimes struggle to keep up. Cleveland bounced back from a 92-74 loss at home to the Mavericks in the season opener with an 88-81 win on the road Thursday, to pick up its first back-to-back wins since November. LeBron struggled on the night, shooting 1-of-4 from 3-pt range and 5-of-10 from the charity stripe. James played through foul trouble down the stretch, nailing a big dunk with a minute left to seal the Cavaliers first victory in Dallas since King James was a freshman in high school.
PIERCE SAVES ALLEN’S HOMECOMING
The Sonics who were never his teammates tried their best to spoil Ray Allen’s homecoming in Seattle, but Beantown’s big three combined for 70 points to give the C’s a 104-96 win on Thursday. Rookie Kevin Durant led the Sonics with 25 points, while Delonte West and Wally Sczerbiak –- acquired by Seattle in the Allen deal –- added 19 and 14 respectively off the bench. While Allen only managed 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting, Paul Pierce tallied a Celtics’ season-high 37 points and Kevin Garnett chipped in 23 points and 14 rebounds in Boston’s first real road test of the season out West. Seattle put up a tough fight, taking its lone one-point lead early in the fourth until Pierce found the shooting stroke down the stretch.
ROOKIE WATCH
With Ray Allen back in town, the buzz around Seattle has been the veteran shooting guard’s return. When the Sonics parted with Allen it was a conscious decision to create a youth movement behind No. 2 pick Kevin Durant. Durant is seemingly running away with the Rookie of the Year Award, but Seattle is also getting solid play from Jeff Green. Durant shined with 25 points, while Green chipped in four points, three rebounds and two blocks.
SIXTH MAN OF THE NIGHT
Trailing by one in the fourth quarter, the Celtics were in danger of falling to the rebuilding Seattle Supersonics. Delonte West was leading the Sonics’ bench past the Celtics' big three and the shots weren’t falling. That is, of course, until Eddie House hit the court. House dumped in 11 of his 13 points in the final period including back-to-back long-distance 2-pointers that effectively drained all the energy out of Seattle’s comeback.
D-LEAGUE STAR OF THE NIGHT
After the Spurs made Marcus Williams the sixth GATORADE Call-Up of the season on Wednesday, Ian Mahinmi stepped up for the undermanned Austin Toros in a tough fight against the Tulsa 66ers. Mahinmi led the team with 24 points and 12 rebounds to go along with three assists. The 6’ 11” big man from France was solid shooting down the stretch - converting 7-of-11 from the floor and 10-of-13 from the line.