Notes on Thursday's games in the National Basketball Association ...
• Why The Linas Kleiza Jersey Is Not A Top Seller Is Beyond Us. Imagine that Phil Jackson had the Bill Murray role in Groundhog Day, and every day was Thursday. The NBA demanded that Jackson had over his wallet, withdrew $50,000 and also took his Subway sandwich rewards card. All because Jackson said on Tuesday that the league "had a vendetta" against Kobe Bryant. They didn't like that. The Nuggets then beat the Lakers 113-86, LA's seventh straight loss and a personal record for Jackson. Linas Kleiza had a career-high 29 points and Carmelo Anthony had 26. It was the Lakers' 13th loss in 16 games. Kobe Bryant had 25 points for the Lakers. "I thought you only get fined for criticizing officiating," Jackson said to the Los Angeles Times. "They're the sacred cows. But I find out somebody else has a sacred cow somewhere else." The league also fined the Lakers organization $50,000.
• Also, Never Go Against A Sicilian When Death Is On The Line! Ah Ha Ha Ha (Thud). See, if the Spurs were smart, they would have fired coach Gregg Popovich just before their game with the Bucks on Thursday. That would have counteracted the new-coach effect that Milwaukee enjoyed with Larry Krystkowiak, who won in his NBA debut, 101-90, as the Bucks snapped San Antonio's 13-game win streak. Two well-known facts: Never get involved in a land war in Asia, and never go against a coach in his first NBA game. Michael Redd had 29 points to lead Milwaukee.
• Heat Just Warming Up. With Shaq back, Miami may yet be a playoff factor. He sat most of the first half with three fouls, but O'Neal scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half to lead the Heat over the Nets 93-86. It was Miami's eighth straight win.