NBA Roundup: NOOCH Happens

Notes from Wednesday's games in the National Basketball Association ...

Kobe Bryant, Showing The Love. Back from a one-day layoff due to an ankle sprain, Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, but it wasn't enough for the Lakers. Behold the power of NOOCH. Chris Paul upstaged the welcome back party with 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead the New Orleans Hornets' 105-89 victory Wednesday night, breaking the team's five-game losing streak. "You won't be seeing too many dudes like that this season, getting into the paint like that," said Bryant. "I love his game."

Agent Zero, License To Grill. Playing with a determination that only an unwarranted slam from us can bring, Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards turned up the hibachi against the Knicks, 113-102, Washington's first road win of the season. Arenas scored 38 points as the Wizards went 14-of-20 from 3-point range. Arenas made six.

Philadelphia Needs That Rocky Movie More Than Ever. In an amazing reversal of attitude, commissioner David Stern is taking responsibility for the sucky new NBA basketball. He might want to check in with the Bulls however before he changes it. They scored a season-high 121 points on Wednesday, including 17 by Ben Gordon in the first quarter (he finished with 31) in a 121-94 win over the 76ers.

Take That, Canada. LeBron James (26 points, 10 assists) led a 95-91 win by Cleveland over Toronto, proving that he may have a future in this game.