The NBA Closer is now being written by our own Canadian weekend maestro J.E. Skeets. Enjoy.
• Mr. Sun. Grant Hill scored a season-high 28 points, including nine big ones in the fourth that broke open a close game, to lead the Suns past the Knicks 115-104. The 35-year-old Hill shot 13-of-17, grabbed eight boards and handed out seven Nashes. It was his highest scoring game since early '05.
And in terribly sad news: Stephon Marbury's father, Don, died during the game last night. Don Marbury Sr. was rushed by ambulance from MSG to a local hospital with chest pains. He died a short time later.
• God Bless Him, Every One! In an effort to create a more life-like A Christmas Carol, Tim Duncan intentionally got caught up in some Portland limbs and fell to the floor clutching his knee. He never returned and will undergo an MRI exam later today. "It looked bad at first," said Tony Parker, who scored 27 points and handed out eight assists in the Spurs 100-79 win. "But man, he's going to nail that Tiny Tim role with real crutches this year."
• In The Beginning Was The Baby, And It Was Delicious. Jason Maxiell, eater of babies, had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pistons over the Nets 118-95. Maxiell was 6-for-10 from the earth and blocked three shots. Vince Carter, back in the starting lineup, led New Jersey with 22 points. Apparently his whisker box has healed.
• That's Hawt. Captain Stephen Jackson and first mate Al Harrington scored 20 points apiece as the Warriors cruised past the Sonics 109-96 for their sixth straight win. The game was delayed about 15 minutes in the first quarter when arena officials noticed a small fire coming from the bottom of the scoreboard. Thankfully, Sonics center (and part-time firefighter) Johan Petro was finally put to use, extinguishing the flames from the floor with his 7-foot-plus wingspan. He also saved a lost kitten in the 300-level.