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Taking a look at Friday's games in the National Basketball Association:

Kobe Does It Gently. The challenge for Kobe Bryant was to not force his way back into the lineup, but to ease his way back in, smoothly, seamlessly, and most importantly, with consent. He did so last night, helping the Lakers to a 118-112 win over the Sonics that puts the Lakers at 3-0. The lesser Lakers continued to shine, with Ronny Turiaf making big contributions on offense and on defense down the stretch, Lamar Odom going for 28 points, and Luke Walton with a career high of 20.

Come On, Sweetheart. Shake It For Red. The Pistons went from 22 turnovers in their first game to 6 turnovers in their second. They also went from 2 Rasheed Wallace technicals to zero, although Wally Szczerbiak did pick up one of his own, and it's about damn time. I'm so sick of that guy and his thug mentality. Poor Wally actually begged the official before getting T'd up. The Celtics open the season with consecutive home losses, going down to the Pistons, 101-88. Oh, and the Celtics unveiled their new dance team last night. Red Auerbach would've been so proud.

Hawks Pull The Shocking Upset. I love the lead in the AP story: "New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas warned his players that a young and athletic Atlanta team would provide a difficult matchup." Exactly who isn't going to be a difficult matchup for the Knicks? "Hey, fellas, the five guys that are starting for the other team are clinically alive, so... we might be screwed." Hawks win, 102-92.

Last Night's Scoreboard [NBA.com]