Notes on Wednesday's games in the National Basketball Association ...
• Shaq Is Back, But Results Are Mixed. Miami had a 20-point lead and the return of Shaquille O'Neal. What could possibly go wrong? Well, strangely, it was the Pacers' Danny Granger, 0-for-5 from the field going into the fourth quarter, who would be the man of the hour in this one. Granger scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, finishing with 16, as Indiana won 96-94 on Wednesday. Shaq was back after a 35-game vacation due to knee surgery and had five points and five rebounds over 14 minutes. "It's good to be out there with the guys, but obviously there's a lot of rust," O'Neal told AP. "The rust will wear off and I'll get my rhythm back." Dwyane Wade had 32 points and eight assists. Is it us, or does Shaq look like he's aged 10 years in the past two months?
• Singing The Praises Of The Suns. This new phenomenon of the Suns being good; is Arizona ready? Will they turn their attention from the Wildcats and Lute Olson to now embrace their NBA team? After two 15-game win streaks in the same season, they're kind of obligated now, right? Amare Stoudemire scored 30 points as Phoenix beat the Knicks 112-107, the Suns' 15th straight win. Another win (Friday at Milwaukee) would set a record for longest win streak in franchise history. With the win, Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni will now coach the Western Conference in the All-Star game, because he clinched the highest winning percentage among eligible coaches through Feb. 4 (Dallas' Avery Johnson coached the team last year and is ineligible). Of course our proposal on how to pick the All-Star coaches — a National Anthem sing-off — was ignored by the league, and we're still a little bitter about that.
• The Missing L Has Been Sent To A School In Cambodia Which Is In Need Of Consonants. Whoa, Grizzlies score 132 and win. What? Pau Gasol's triple-double led Memphis over Utah in OT, 132-130, proving that the NBA is not anything that can be explained by conventional science. Eddie Jones hit a 22-foot jumper with one second left in overtime for the win.
• In Which Andre Iguodala Rocks Quicken Loans Arena. Is it possible that the 76ers are better without Allen Iverson? Iguodala scored eight points in the second overtime and had a career-high 34 for the game, as Philadelphia beat Cleveland 118-115.