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The Beckham Men Enjoy Our Finest Athletes


• The Lakers still have a shot at catching the Hornets for the top spot in the Western Conference, and they came out playing like a team that wants homecourt advantage. LA outscored New Orleans 39-20 in the first quarter before the Hornets tenacious second half comeback. However, the Lakers persevered down the stretch en route to a 107-104 win. Chris Paul put up a ridiculous 15/17/5/4 line and Peja filled it up, but they couldn't match the output of Kobe, Pau, and Lamar. The Laker trio combined for 46/32/14, moving them within half a game of the Hornets.

Oh, and the Spurs too. San Antonio has struggled to a certain extent as of late, but after beating the Sonics they moved to within a game of the Conference leaders. Nobody scored more than 20 for the Spurs (Tony Parker), but they put forth one of those "balanced efforts" all of the purists just die for. Basically they let everybody play (save for the "injured" Manu) and they still beat Seattle by 21. I bet Clay Bennett loved every minute of the debacle.

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The East is unchanged. Cleveland, Washington, and Philadelphia are all jockeying for playoff positioning within the Eastern Conference, but all three lost last night. Add those losses to the aforementioned Hawks win, and you get a playoff picture that looks eerily similar to yesterday's.

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