By Chris Bubeck
SCOREBOARD: Jan. 25, 2006 | AROUND THE ASSOCIATION ARCHIVE
PLAY OF THE DAY
Garnett finishes the alley-oop:
Video: NBA TV Top 10

Richard Hamilton and the Pistons worked overtime to improve to 35-5.
Allen Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
NBA Photo Exhibit: Jan. 25, 2006

SHOOTING STUDS
Michael Redd, Bucks
106-102 loss at Pistons
41 pts, 16-27 FG,
5-6 3-pt FG

Richard Hamilton, Pistons
106-102 win vs. Bucks
35 pts, 15-23 FG, 2-2 3-pt FG, 3-3 FT

Mike Miller, Grizzlies
107-87 win vs. Wolves
18 pts, 6-8 FG, 5-6 3-pt FG

SHOOTING DUDS
Vince Carter, Nets
90-77 loss at Clippers
1-9 FG, 1-2 FT, 3 pts

Quentin Richardson & Jamal Crawford, Celtics
106-102 loss vs. Kings
6-26 FG, 16 pts
Caron Butler, Wizards
89-87 win at Celtics
2-12 FG, 0-1 FT, 4 pts


STAT SHEET STUFFER
A night after meeting Mr. Triple-Double Oscar Robertson, Cleveland's LeBron James put together a pretty impressive line of his own. James tallied 38 points, nine rebounds, six assists, three steals and a blocked shot in a 106-97 win at Atlanta.

RICK KAMLA'S FANTASY TAKE
"Here's hoping you hung in there with Kenny Thomas despite SAR's return. In five games with SAR, Thomas is averaging 10 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and 1.4 steals. And he has a triple-double."

GAME OF THE NIGHT
The Pistons continued their march toward history Wednesday with a memorable victory. Detriot ran its winning streak to nine for the second time this season and improved to 35-5 on the campaign with a thrilling 106-102 win in overtime over the Bucks. But it wasn't easy. Milwaukee's Michael Redd matched a career-high with 41 points and came up a rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double. Detroit's Richard Hamilton nearly matched Redd with 35 points for and Chauncey Billups took over late to secure the victory. Billups, who had 15 assists on the night and netted all 23 of his points after halftime, scored Detroit's final nine points in overtime. After Rasheed Wallace cut the Bucks' lead to one in OT, Billups hit a jumper for a lead with 57 seconds left before drilling a 3-pointer for a 102-98 edge with :29 to go. "In the second half I knew I had to be more aggressive," Billups said. "I knew they'd make adjustments which would leave me with some open opportunities." With the win, Detroit moved halfway to joining the 1995-96 Bulls (72-10) as the only team to reach 70 wins.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"(The fan) was doing it more when I was shooting my free throws. I couldn't really tell when I was shooting my jump shots."

-- Cleveland's Donyell Marshall on a fan that was shining a red laser on him in Wednesday's 106-97 win at Atlanta. Marshall scored 16 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

STORYLINES OF THE NIGHT
1. Busy Day for Kings
The Kings got some closure and a clutch win Wednesday. After making some major news early Wednesday by trading Peja Stojakovic to the Pacers for Ron Artest, Sacramento provided more drama later in the evening with a thriller against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Playing without the sharp-shooting Peja or their newly-acquired for Defensive Player of the Year, Sacramento prevailed 106-102 in overtime. Mike Bibby and Brad Miller carried the load for the under-manned Kings with Bibby tallying 35 points and 10 assists, while Miller posted 25 points and 15 rebounds. The Pacers were off Wednesday and both teams return to action Friday night. "It's not anything we can control," Bibby said of the off-court distractions. "We just have to go out and play. We needed a win and we thought this was a game we could get so we had to go out and get it."

2. Beard Pau-er
Forget Bobblehead Doll Night. It was Beard Pau-er night in Memphis Wednesday and the man of the hour responded. Fans were encouraged to make their own beard in honor of Pau Gasol, who has sported a grizzly look all season, and wear it to the game. Gasol, who had been in a slump before Wednesday (11 points a game in his last four), broke out with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Wednesday's 107-87 win over the Timberwolves. "Pau played the type of game we have come to expect," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "He really took it inside early and began hitting the open men after the double(-teams) started coming."

3. Collision Course
The Clippers and Nuggets meet Friday night and thanks to wins Wednesday, both squads enter on hot streaks. Just when it seemed their start to the season was nothing but a mirage, the Clippers are back on a roll. After starting the season 14-5, Los Angeles' other team lost nine of its next 12 and seemed headed back to its normal position in the standings. But the Clippers righted the ship by winning five of seven to carry the franchise's best mark after 38 games in 31 years into Wednesday's meeting with New Jersey. Los Angeles kept rolling, pushing it's mark to 23-16 with a 90-77 win over the Nets behind 19 points from Elton Brand. Like the Clippers, the Nuggets entered January on a rough stretch of their own. But Denver picked up its seventh straight win Wednesday, dispatching the Blazers 97-94 and has now won 11 of its past 13. Carmelo Anthony continued his torrid scoring stretch with 26 points.

ROOKIE WATCH
Andrew Bogut may not catch frontrunner Chris Paul for Rookie of the Year Honors, but the No. 1 draft pick continued to build on his solid campaign Wednesday night. The center scored 14 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and also added six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in a 106-102 overtime loss to the Pistons.

COOL/CLUTCH PERFORMANCE
Gilbert Arenas is quickly becoming the nemesis of the Boston Celtics. Arenas hit two free throws with 1.7 seconds to play Wednesday, giving the Wizards an 89-87 win at Boston. Arenas also hit a pair of game-winning free throws against the Celtics on January 7 after drawing a foul on Paul Pierce with 3.5 ticks left on the clock. "It's deja vu," Arenas said. "Both games I didn't try to settle for the jump shots. I wanted to get free throws out of it and both games I succeeded. I didn't think he was going to reach for the ball but he pulled my arm and bailed me out."

SIXTH MAN OF THE NIGHT
On a night when the Bulls scored 69 bench points, it is not hard to guess which team produced the top contributor off the bench. Chicago's Chris Duhon scored a career-high 26 points on 6-of-8 shooting from behind the arc and also added eight assists in a 104-88 win over the Raptors. Teammate Darius Songaila also drew some consideration with 19 points.