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NBA Scores and Standings: Mapping the Western Conference - November 10, 2010

Taking a look at Wednesday’s Western Conference action, in DC the Rockets were victimized by rookie John Wall’s first career triple-double in his 6th career NBA game. Wall went for 19 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds, adding 6 steals and a blocked shot for good measure, all versus 1 turnover. Fantasy owners everywhere are patting themselves on the back.

With the loss the Rockets spin further into Western Conference oblivion and now sit at 1-6 on the young season. Kevin Martin had a solid night himself, going for 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Yao continued his mercurial productivity and managed a scoreless on the floor. I’m not 7’6" but I’m pretty sure if I could put in a scoreless too!

Rockets starting PG Aaron Brooks remains out for at least four weeks with a severely sprained ankle. Ishmael Smith, an undrafted rookie out of Wake Forest, filled in admirably for a second game and had 12 points, but more importantly, I discovered that he somehow averaged less than 50% on FTs as a senior at Wake. (http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Ishmael-Smith-1212/stats/)

Moving to Orlando, a night after mounting a 22-point comeback to knock off the Heat in Miami, the Jazz erased an 18-point deficit to defeat the Magic, 104-94. This marked a third win in a row for the Jazz, who improve to 5-3 on the season. Deron Williams led all scorers with 30, while Paul Millsap backed up his career high 46-point night with a 50% drop in productivity and 23 points. (Is that the difference between Miami’s big men and the D-Howie factor?)

In Memphis, Rudy Gay beat Dirk Nowitzki in my one-on-one (fantasy) matchup of the day. Gay came into the game averaging 26.5 PPG to Dirk’s 25.7, and on Wednesday night Gay dropped 18 to Dirk’s 12. Of course, the more telling stat of the night is that Gay’s +/- was -14 compared to Dirk’s +26. The big German dude/former Cal recruit had the last laugh though as his team won, 106-91, to improve to 5-2 on the season. Memphis falls to 4-5.

The Thunder cashed in twin 31-point efforts from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to knock off the Sixers, 109-103, and improved to 4-3 on the year. Durant put on a free throw clinic as he drained 16-of-16 from the charity stripe. The 76ers’ Jrue Holiday continued his upward trend with 17 points and 11 assists, while rookie SG Evan Turner, filling in for an injured Andre Iguodala, went for 15 points and 8 rebounds.

In San Antonio, the Spurs held off the BD-less, Kaman-less, Eric Gordon-less Clippers, 107-95. Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili had 22 points each to lead the Spurs (6-1), while the Clippers (1-8) were led by none other than Rasual Butler, who had 18. Blake Griffin somehow shot a paltry 5-for-18 on the night.

Finally, the T-Wolves, fresh off of a close battle with the Lakers on Tuesday, knocked off the Kings in Sactown, 98-89. The Wolves (2-7) were led by Michael Beasley, who dropped a career-high 42 points on 17-of-31 shooting while sitting on my fantasy bench. (Thanks, Universe!) PG Luke Ridnour sat out his second straight game with a strained hammy, and fill-in Sebastian Telfair managed just 1 assist in almost 40 minutes of run. Omri Casspi led the way with 17 points for the Kings (3-4), who dropped their third game in a row on a night that saw Tyreke Evans completely disappear (1-for-5, 5 points). RekeDaFreak did throw in 9 assists – some consolation for fantasy owners.

Check back here tomorrow after the Warriors go for their third straight road win and take on the Bulls. Thursday’s games featuring Western Conference teams:

Golden State (6-2) @ Chicago (3-3). The Bulls needed a fourth quarter comeback to knock off the Nuggets on Monday. FYI: D-Lee averaged 19.5 pts and 13.3 rebs vs. the Bulls last year.

LA Lakers (8-0) @ Denver (4-4). After getting shellacked 144-113 @ Indiana on Tuesday, the Nuggets welcome the Lakers, who are coming off a lackluster win against the T-Wolves. If Tuesday’s game helped light a fire under the Lakeshow, this one could get ugly… but I think this game will be closer than one might think.

At the end of Wednesday night, here’s what Mapping the Western Conference looks like:

LA Lakers 8-0       --

New Orleans   7-0       0.5

San Antonio       6-1       1.5

Golden State     6-2       2.0

Portland         6-3       2.5

Dallas 5-2       2.5

Utah               5-3       3.0

Oklahoma City 4-3       3.5

Denver             4-4       4.0

Memphis     4-5       4.5

Sacramento     3-4       4.5

Phoenix         3-4       4.5

Minnesota   2-7       6.5

Houston     1-6       6.5

LA Clippers       1-8       7.5