From "The Rundown"



LEFTY WITHOUT HIS RIGHT HAND MAN
With Tiger still crouching, Phil Mickelson tees it up for the first time in 2010 today, as your PGA Tour stops at Torrey Pines for the Buick Invitational Farmers Insurance Open. Fresno State's own Nick Watney is the defending champion, and the defending champion has had great success here over the last decade. Of course, over the last decade, the defending champion was usually Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. Those two have won it eight of the last 11 years. And in the last 11 years, when neither Tiger nor Phil was the defending champion, that player has not fared well. In 2005, John Daly finished T-72nd, and in 2003, Jose Maria Olazabal missed the cut. So best of luck, Nick Watney!

More from The Rundown, including why you looked at Tim Duncan but saw vintage Kareem, how LeBron got stiffed by his teammates (but not necessarily the refs), and what NFL refs have in common with the root beer Mozart, after the jump.

21 AND 27 AND 21 AND 33
Tim Duncan put up 21 points and pulled down 27 rebounds in last night's 15-point win over the Hawks. Nobody's hit those numbers in the same game since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it in his first season with the Lakers back in December of 1975. The 27 rebounds were a career-high for Duncan, and the most by any Spurs player since Dennis Rodman snagged 27 himself in March of 1995.

23, BUT NOT FROM NO. 23
Rare is the game when No. 23 doesn't lead the Cavaliers in scoring. So mark last night's as rare, since J.J. Hickson led all scorers with 23 points. It's the first time in Hickson's two NBA seasons that he's led his own team in points in a game, let alone both teams. And for the record, five Cavs outscored LeBron (12) last night, including Hickson (23), Jamario Moon (14), Shaq (13), Daniel Gibson (13), and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (13).

"And this isn't the first time he's been in the referee's good graces to this degree. Last year, James averaged 1.7 fouls per [game]. Going backwards from there, you have 2.2, then 2.2, then 2.3, then 1.8, then 1.9...then he was at his high-school prom."
- To be fair to LeBron, let's point out that he only picked up one foul in 31 minutes last night. But is that really fair? A blogger with the help of a statistics professor at Portland State have crunched some numbers and found that the King never gets called for fouls. On a historic level. His career rate of 1.8 fouls per game (rounded up) is behind even Magic Johnson (2.5) and Michael Jordan (3.0).

"They're missed calls."
- Speaking of swallowed whistles, the NFL V.P. of officiating, Mike Pereira, says that both Vikings quarterback Brett Favre and Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez took hits in the conference championship games that should have resulted in penalties but didn't. At this point, it's a lot of wasted hot air. Just like the root beer Mozart.

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