Odds & Ends: Lin, Billups, Williams, Kaman

Lakers star Kobe Bryant eclipsed former teammate Shaquille O'Neal as the fifth all-time leading scorer in NBA history as he put up 28 points in a 95-90 loss to the 76ers. Personal records aside, Kobe's main focus remains on securing a sixth championship ring which is becoming increasingly difficult as the Lakers dropped to 14-11 on the season, with nine of those losses coming on the road. Let's take a look around the league on what was a busy Monday night for the NBA.

  • Jeremy Lin scored 28 points in his first start for the Knicks this evening in a 99-88 victory over the Utah Jazz. Lin, 23, wouldn't have even received this opportunity if Baron Davis' recovery had stayed on track, tweets NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper. With his strong performances of late, Lin is nearly assured of his contract becoming guaranteed on Friday.
  • Isiah Thomas' career came to an end thanks to an Achilles injury against Orlando back in 1994, says Pistons beat writer Vincent Goodwill (via Twitter). A similar fate may hold true for Chauncey Billups who left Monday's game against the Magic in the fourth quarter with what may be a left Achilles tear.
  • If Billups' injury turns out to be as severe as predicted, Clippers GM Neil Olshey should be commended for his decision to not shop Mo Williams even when his team's roster was overloaded with point guards.
  • Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune describes the Hornets' decision to return Chris Kaman to the active roster as a way to build a highlight-reel in order to improve trade offers. In his first game back with the Hornets, Kaman, 29, scored 10 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made two blocks in a 100-92 loss to the Kings.
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