A Few Surprises in the NBA

January 5, 2009, 9:56 AM HST · Updated January 5, 2:40 PM
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By Fred Guzman

Just when you begin getting comfortable with the status quo in life and in sports, a development or two happen that shakes things up.

Take the NBA as just the latest example.  The common logic is that the Eastern Conference is improved, but still lacks the depth of the West.

Defending champion Boston and Cleveland are regarded as a class apart in the East, with Orlando receiving some grudging attention.   In the West, the Lakers are regarded as the clear-cut best but there are a whole lot of good teams within the conference capable of giving anyone major rubs during a playoff series.

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The common logic went out the window for at least a day on Sunday when both Boston and Cleveland were the victims of major upsets on the road, while the LA Lakers held serve at home to gain possession of the NBA’s best record.

The New York Knicks, losers of eight straight, shocked the Boston Celtics 100-88 behind Wilson Chandler’s 31.

Washington stunned the Cavaliers 80-77 despite LeBron James’ 30 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.  But LeBron also was called for traveling at a key point late in the game.

The Lakers improved to 27-5 by extending their winning streak to six games with a 100-86 win over Portland behind Kobe’s 26 points. And in another major surprise, Memphis ended a 13-game losing streak against Dallas by defeating the Mavericks 102-82 behind OJ Mayo’s 21 points.

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