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NBA Roundup: Even The Celtics Are Glad To See Kobe Back

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

He's After Me Lucky Charms! In the Great Scheme of Things, we were sure that we'd see a Thompson's gazelle kill and eat a lion before we saw this ... on Wednesday, Celtics fans were cheering for a Laker. Kobe Bryant returned from his one-game suspension to score 43 points, leading Los Angeles over Boston 111-98. It was the Celtics' 13th straight loss, matching their franchise record. For those taking notes, some fans chanted "Kobe!" and, "M.V.P!" during the fourth quarter. And David Stern wants those names!


NOOCH No More. On a day when the Hornets announced that they will not return to Oklahoma City next season for any of their home games, the 76ers beat them 89-78 behind Andre Iguodala's 22 points and Samuel Dalembert's 15 rebounds. Not even Chris Paul's return could save New Orleans, which has only 15 games remaining in Oklahoma City, so enjoy them while you can, NOOCH faithful.

Portland's Zach Attack. Seems that the Denver Nuggets' recent troop surge isn't working out as well as they had planned. On Wednesday Portland dealt them their fourth straight loss, as Zach Randolph had 26 points and a season-high 17 rebounds to lead a 100-91 win. Denver played without Allen Iverson, who sprained his ankle on Tuesday. Carmelo Anthony had 33 points. AI is expected back on Friday.

In A Foul Mood. You kids pay attention: Thanks in large part to hitting 27 straight free throws — a franchise record — the Pistons topped the Nets 113-89. Richard Hamilton had 24 points and Chauncey Billups was 12-for-12 from the line and had 18 points for Detroit. Vince Carter, who had scored 33 or more points in each of his past three games, finished with 11 for New Jersey.

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