Notes from Monday's games in the Natonal Basketball Association ...
Let the record show that Adam Morrison made the first shot of the New Leather Era, as Charlotte and Minnesota ushered in the return of the leather NBA basketball to the sound of, well, whatever the fans do at Bobcats Arena. Talk about kicking a ball when it's down; the Associated Press is calling the old synthetic ball "The basketball version of New Coke." Well, it's off to the dumpster with them, to join all of those Jar Jar Binks action figures and the Regis Philbin Christmas CDs. Timberwolf Kevin Garnett, one of the sythetic ball's biggest detractors, celebrated in his own special way, going 12-of-18 from the field for 32 points with 14 rebounds as Minnesota prevailed 102-96.
• You're With Me, Boston. Celtics coach Doc Rivers complained that with the swtich to the new/old leather balls, his team would have to play back-to-back games with two different types of balls; a complaint one doesn't often hear. "Shut up," explained the NBA. So Boston went out and ended its six-game losing streak, beating Portland 89-81. — RC