Upset Specials in NBA Action

By Dan Pomerleau
Dan Pomerleau
Dan Pomerleau
December 9, 2009 Updated: December 9, 2009
Not even LeBron James' 43 points could help push the Cleveland Cavaliers over the hump in Tuesday night's 111-109 OT loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Not even LeBron James' 43 points could help push the Cleveland Cavaliers over the hump in Tuesday night's 111-109 OT loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

It was a topsy-turvy night of basketball on Tuesday with top teams facing unexpectedly tough competition from underdogs, and the NBA’s worst team pulling off their second win of the season by a nail-biting two points in the final seconds.

The Denver Nuggets (16–6) took a hard fall from their four-game winning streak as the Charlotte Bobcats (9–11) pulled off a 107–95 upset win at the Charlotte Coliseum.

Charlotte owned the first half and closed it with a 53–49 lead with outstanding play from forward Gerald Wallace and guard Stephen Jackson, contributing 16 and 10 points, respectively.

Nuggets star guard Chauncey Billups came out flat and remained so for the game, with only eight points at half time and 14 for the night—a reverse of his stellar 31-point performance against the Allen Iverson-equipped Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony came up huge for the team with 34 points and was 10–11 from the foul line. His performance was overshadowed by Wallace’s and Jackson’s 25 points apiece and strong contributions from benchmen Nazr Mohammed and Flip Murray (15 and 10 points, respectively).

Wallace was a monster on the boards with 16 rebounds.

Nets Notch Second Win

The New Jersey Nets (2–19) pulled off their second win of the season against the Chicago Bulls (7–12) 103–101 at the IZOD Center.

The Nets hung tough with the Derrick Rose and Luol Deng-led Bulls in the first half, and ran away in the third quarter 26–16.

The Bulls rallied in the fourth for 31 points but Nets big man Brook Lopez helped fend them off for the much-treasured win.

Lopez racked up 25 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists in 38 minutes of play, and was helped by starting forward Chris Douglas-Roberts who had 20 points.

Rose and Deng’s matching 27 points were not enough to spare them the embarrassment of being only the second team to fall prey to the Nets. The Nets have played with a greater intensity these past two weeks after the firing of coach Lawrence Frank and being under new leadership from replacement coach Kiki Vandeweghe and right-hand man Del Harris.

Cavs Fall to Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies' (8–13) 111–109 overtime defeat of LeBron James and the Central Conference leading Cleveland Cavaliers (16–5) will be one to remember.

Center Zach Randolph and guard O.J. Mayo came out of nowhere to elevate the Grizzlies with 32 and 28 points respectively—a combined effort that was a slap in the face to LeBron’s 43 points. Randolph went 11–11 from the free-throw line and Mayo was 3–4 in 3-pointers.

Once again, the Cavs have demonstrated with LeBron that not one man does a team make. He more than doubled the next highest scorer on the team’s roster, guard Mo Williams with 20 points. The King’s frustration must be mounting.

Boston Holds On

Rajon Rondo scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Celtics 98-89 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images )
Rajon Rondo scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Celtics 98-89 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images )
About the only thing that went as expected on Tuesday night was the Boston Celtics (17–4) 98–89 win over the Milwaukee Bucks (9–11).

A win is a win, but the game was hard fought and the Celtics only managed to pull away from the Bucks in the fourth quarter with a Rajon Rondo 11-point surge after he went 0–6 in prior play. Rondo had an amazing 13 assists for the night as well.

Kevin Garnett led Boston with 25 points and 9 rebounds, with near even scoring from the rest of the starting lineup. Sixth man Rasheed Wallace came up big from deep going 3–4 in 3-pointers.

Bucks big man Andrew Bogut carried Milwaukee with 25 points and 14 rebounds.

The Celtics are now riding an eight-game winning streak and continue to sit atop the Atlantic Conference.