NBA Roundup: Ming Went The Strings Of Our Hearts

Notes on Monday's games in the National Basketball Association ...

The Tao Of Yao. Can life truly be in balance without Yao Ming and Shaquille O'Neal on their respective active rosters? Both are now back, and the forces of nature are now in harmony once again. Of course, as the great Daoist philosophers have said, it may take some time to work out the kinks. Ming returned from a two-month layoff due to a leg injury, but LeBron James and the Cavaliers were still too much in a 91-85 win over the Rockets. James had 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Yao (16 points, 11 rebounds) said he felt "like a high school player," with his first shot an air ball. But he rallied quickly and had a strong fourth quarter.

Tall Tales. And speaking of Shaquille O'Neal, his 14 points and nine rebounds helped lead Miami past Atlanta 88-81, the first time the Heat have been above .500 since early December. Eddie Jones had 21 points for Miami. Dwyane Wade, by the way, has decided to postpone surgery and try to get back into the Heat lineup by April.

Don Nelson Reaches Out To Star Wars Fans. Attempting to expand his fan base, Warriors coach Don Nelson had this to say of his team's 111-93 win over the Pistons in Auburn Hills: "I don't know if the force was with us tonight or if we just played pretty well. We made shots and that always helps.'' Jason Richardson, who grew up in the Auburn Hills area and played for Michigan State, scored a season-high 29 points for the Warriors.

We'll Trade You Two Leon Powes And A Stromile Swift. In Japan, schoolchildren are often admonished for exchanging their popular and whimsical Hedo Turkoglu trading cards during school, even though he's actually from Turkey. And Turkoglumania is beginning to take over America, as his season-high 25 points led Orlando past Milwaukee 99-81. Turkoglu hit 10 of 14 shots from the field, with three 3-pointers.