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Nightly Grades 12.5.12: Kobe Bryant's Milestone

By Zach Harper | NBA writer
Over 30,000 reasons to smile. (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Kobe Bryant joining the 30,000-point club30,000 just sounds like a lot of points. With a little runner in the lane over Robin Lopez in the second quarter, Kobe Bryant became the fifth player in NBA history to record 30,000 points in a career. He's the youngest to do it and could climb up the charts even more if he feels like sticking around for a few years. With his 29-point performance in the win over New Orleans, Kobe is now just 1,403 points behind Wilt Chamberlain and he's now 20,104 points ahead of Ricky Davis all-time.
The highlight factory that is the ClippersWith all due respect to the Atlanta Hawks and the Omni Coliseum in the 80s and 90s, the Staples Center is probably the new highlight factory in the NBA. With the way the Clippers attack the rim, we see countless plays that spit in the eye of gravity and attempt to tear the rim down and the roof off. Whether it's Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan or Eric Bledsoe, the Clippers just fill up the highlight reel constantly. Their 22-point blowout win over the Mavericks was no different.
JR SmithJR Smith was 5-of-15 from the floor, 1-of-9 from 3-point range, and then he stopped on a 2-on-1 fastbreak that could have guaranteed a good shot to put the Knicks ahead of the Bobcats in the final seconds. It was looking like a rough night for Smith and then... HE TOTALLY REDEEMED HIMSELF. Killer step-back jumper at the buzzer sent the Knicks into the locker room as a victorious team. It was SO JR Smith to end the game that way.
Ty Lawson at the end of the gameTy Lawson had the opposite type of night compared to JR Smith. Lawson was having a fantastic game in Atlanta against the Hawks. He had a ridiculously efficient 32 points on 16 shots to go with seven assists, five steals and just two turnovers before he lost the ball twice in the final 35 seconds of the game. The first turnover when he dribbled off his foot left the Nuggets needing a miracle. The second turnover on a drive washed any chance of a miracle away.
Timberwolves free throw shootingThe Timberwolves had a chance to sweep a back-to-back on the road after they shot the lights out against the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday night. Unfortunately for Minnesota, they made just 14-of-30 from the free throw line and couldn't keep the Celtics from running away with this game in the second half. The final score wasn't nearly indicative of how far apart these teams were in the final 24 minutes of this game. If they make their free throws at a decent clip, they could have had a chance at going back above .500 for the season.
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