DURHAM, N.C. — If there were any questions about Randy Staats’ health, he answered them pretty soundly Sunday.“I thought he had flashes,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “I think he did as well as anyone we had out there offensively.”It wasn’t a pretty day for the Orange (4-3, 0-3 Atlantic Coast) during its 21-7 blowout loss to Duke (8-2, 2-1) at Koskinen Stadium on Sunday, but Staats was the Orange’s sole takeaway. The junior attack netted a pair of slick goals and dished out an assist in his return to action after missing two games with a leg injury.Syracuse spent more time watching Duke’s offense than it would have liked — as the Blue Devils controlled the faceoff X — but Staats managed to be SU’s biggest standout in a game attack Kevin Rice called a “collective team loss.”“I was off the past two games and this game here helped me get back in the groove,” Staats said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStaats didn’t start, but saw the field early in the game. It wasn’t until the second quarter, however, that the playmaking ability he showcased before his injury caught everyone’s attention once again.Dodging from the right wing halfway through the quarter, Staats reached the doorstep and flicked a crafty backhanded shot past Duke goalkeeper Luke Aaron, snapping a 10-0 Duke run.“He’s a great player. That’s what we expect from him,” Rice said.At the end of the first half, Staats hit a cutting Billy Ward across the middle for the Orange’s fourth goal of the game.With less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter, Staats again exercised his creativity inside the box. SU midfielder Scott Loy hit him with a pass and Staats fired a quick shot into the back of the net inside the right post.Despite missing Syracuse’s meetings with St. John’s and Johns Hopkins, Staats still ranks as the team’s No. 3 scorer and has 16 points on the season.As the Orange tries to learn how to win games without consistency at the X, Staats may soon rejoin the first-line attack as a potentially crucial piece to that puzzle.Said Staats: “I felt good out there and we’ve just got to move on now.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb
Kobe Bryant seemed to always take his game to another level with the spotlight firmly on his Lakers jersey, so yeah, he knew it was time to deliver each time he walked on the court at Madison Square Garden.During an appearance on HOT 97’s “Ebro in the Morning,” former Knicks guard Iman Shumpert told a terrific story about Bryant going off at MSG. Based on Shumpert’s description, the Lakers-Knicks game was played in February 2012 amid the “Linsanity” craze caused by Jeremy Lin. “I guarded the first two moves. He ain’t supposed to have a third counter like that,” Shumpert said. “I stopped the first one. Stopped the second one. The third one wasn’t on the film. It wasn’t on the film, bro. I don’t know what that is. I thought that was a travel. His feet shouldn’t even be able to move like that.”https://t.co/VHcC3UPyml pic.twitter.com/ATxs1xXrY2— pickuphoop (@pickuphoop) March 13, 2020The Knicks won that contest by a final score of 92-85. Lin scored a career-high 38 points, and Shumpert added 12 points and two steals in 26 minutes.You had a great game, young fella. MORE: That time a young Kevin Garnett talked trash to Michael JordanHere’s how Shumpert remembered the start of the fourth quarter when Kobe turned into, well, Kobe:”I guarded Kobe in the Garden. I can’t remember how much he had, but I know I had multiple steals against him, to where in the game, in my head, all I’m thinking of is, when I have this conversation with my brother after the game, how I’m going to tell him how I stole the ball from Kobe. How I stripped Kobe before he was going to take a shot, how I drove by Kobe and got a dunk. Like, I’m thinking about all these things in my head, and I’m so geeked. … “The fourth quarter starts, and Kobe said, ‘You had a great game. Yo, you had a great game, young fella.’ I swear I looked at the clock like, I’m looking like, ‘There’s 12 minutes [left], what are you talking about?’ What was that, you know what I’m saying? You ain’t said nothing the whole game. I’ve been talking s—, I done stole the ball, I’m hyped as hell, it’s Kobe Bryant. He ain’t said not one word to me. ‘Great game, young fella.’ Locked in.”The man come down, you remember, he came shot fake, shot fake, threw it off the glass, caught it, threw it to the corner. I’m like, ‘Bro, what you on? Like, bro, you been regular all game.'”Aye bruh @imanshumpert you got the best Kobe story I’ve heard thus far 💀💀💀…Kobe was liquid nitrogen cold 😂 pic.twitter.com/hxFlBHEzDz— Kosso Down 95 (@MocoKosso) March 13, 2020Bryant finished with 34 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, but Shumpert and the Knicks did limit him to 11-of-29 shooting from the field.Shumpert defended the 18-time All-Star about as well as humanly possible. Sometimes Bryant’s offense was simply unstoppable.