Panic in the streets of L.A.

By Jason Wojciechowski on November 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM

I should haven't made a "panic in the streets of Boston" joke in the last post, because karma came back and bit me to the tune of the Lakers losing two straight. We'll get to that one.

Mavs 95, Pistons 90: Dallas is a very solid 7-3 now, and while their scorers didn't do so well last night (11-27 for Dirk, 1-7 for JET), they had enough to put away Detroit on the road even without Erick Dampier. Will Bynum had 27 points off the bench for the Pistons, but Dallas really took care the ball, turning it over just seven times, while helping Ben Gordon into a horrendous 1-16 shooting night. Gordon, of course, couldn't make up for his shooting anywhere else, as he grabbed one rebound and had two assists while turning the ball over four times. He even missed half of his six free throws. This is the problem with a guy like Gordon: if his shot is not on, he's a huge negative. (Plus/minus bears this out, actually, as he "led" the Pistons with -13 for the night.)

Clippers 101, Thunder 93: Ok, so all my nonsense about whether the Thunder have arrived can just go right out the window. You can't lose to the Clippers at home. You just can't. Kevin Durant had 40 points and eight rebounds, but the team shot 39% overall, and 3-20 from three, so the trifecta of Al Thornton (20), Chris Kaman (25), and Baron Davis (24, albeit on 20 shots and with four turnovers and five fouls) was able to pull out the eight-point victory by winning the fourth quarter 26-17.

Raptors 100, Suns 101: The Suns went to 9-2 despite Chris Bos's 25/10 as Amare Stoudemire had 30/8 (four offensive rebounds), Channing Frye hit 6-8 from three (!) and Jason Richardson led the team in rebounding with 10.

Rockets 101, Lakers 91: Ugh. Trevor Ariza got his ring and proceeded to stink up the joint, shooting 2-12, including 1-7 from three. He had eight boards, four assists, four steals, and two blocks, though, which is why I'd rather have him than Ben Gordon. Aaron Brooks carried the scoring load with 33 points, helped by 5-11 shooting from downtown (the Rockets shot just 4-21 from three if you take Brooks out). Kobe apparently has a sore groin and shot 5-20, Derek Fisher continues his slide from "useful player" to "union president" by shooting 3-13, and Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar combined to shoot 2-9. Andrew Bynum had 21/11 with five blocks and Ron Artest had 22 with three steals, so it wasn't all bad, but the Lakers just can't overcome an off night from the starters these days. The bench is giving them nothing (outside of Shannon Brown, who shot 4-6 -- but I don't really trust him, still, because he is just too out of control too much of the time), so when Lamar Odom has a five-turnover, five-foul night, and Kobe can't get his jumper to fall, the team is going to be in trouble against teams of the class of Houston or Denver or San Antonio.