Notes from Sunday's games in the National Basketball Association ...
• And Everyone Calls Him The Sugar Shaq. A handful of hours after making his "Steve Nash tainted MVP" comments, Shaquille O'Neal decided to remind us of what he used to look like when he was MVP material. O'Neal had 19 points and 11 rebounds in Miami's first win since Dwyane Wade went down with a shoulder injury last week, 86-81 over Cleveland. LeBron James had 29 points for the Cavs, who shot just 36 percent from the floor. Meanwhile, Wade is mulling rehab vs. surgery for his dislocated shoulder.
• They Call The Wind Amare. Much has been written in novel and verse on the importance of Steve Nash to the Suns. But what of Amare Stoudemire? How about a season-high 43 points, with 16 rebounds, three blocks, six assists and 15-of-17 from the free throw line on Sunday, as Phoenix improved to 13-0 in road games against the Eastern Conference (!) after a 115-106 win over the Hawks. The Suns have two games left against the East — at Indiana on Tuesday and at Philadelphia on Wednesday — as they try to become the first NBA team to sweep its interconference road schedule.
• The Return Of Big Ben. Palace at Auburn Hills, put your hands together for the return of Ben Wallace! ... (crickets) ... OK, that's not really accurate. Wallace, who played for the Pistons for six seasons, was greeted by a mixture of boos and cheers when he was introduced in Detroit, and then was booed virtually every time he touched the ball. It was the Pistons' Chris Webber who got the cheers, with his putback with 2.2 seconds left being the difference in Detroit's 95-93 win over the Bulls. Webber finished with 21 points.
• Lil Ronnie Was Waiting Outside With A Crowbar. Where is Ron Artest? With the Kings citing "personal reasons" for his absence, Sacramento beat the Pacers anyway, 110-93, in Indianapolis. It was the Pacers for whom Artest played during the big fight at Auburn Hills, when Ron chased a fan into the stands. Pacers fans may also be a little peeved over Artest's very vocal call for a trade last season. Anyway, Kevin Martin scored 35 points to lead the Kings.