If you were watching closely during Wednesday's matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Pistons, you might have noticed that Clippers point guard Chris Paul had something written on his sneakers: ... but you might not have known why the All-Star had "L.E.G." on his kicks. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] "L.E.G." stands for Lisa Elaine Gallagher, who died in early September after fighting glioblastoma — a cancerous tumor that develops in the supportive tissue of the brain, can spread quickly and aggressively, and often leads to severe headaches, nausea, and memory and/or speech difficulties — for nearly a year. She was 49. She left behind a husband, Michael, and six children. One of those children, Jack , made and shared a video tribute to his mother earlier this month, in which he detailed the love of hoops he shared with his mom, the bond the two built over the game, and the special relationship he had to a particular pair of CP3-branded Nike basketball shoes that Mrs. Gallagher had given Jack before his seventh-grade basketball tryouts: From Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times Jack wore the shoes his mother gave him until they gave him blisters. But his body language signaled his sorrow in the realization he would soon have to move on to another pair. "What's the matter?" Jack's father finally asked him. "He said, 'The shoes don't fit anymore.'" Jack placed one sneaker on his mother's grave, inserting purple roses into the opening. He stuffed the other in his gym bag and touches it before each of his eighth-grade team's games. When you try to make contact with a celebrity of CP3's magnitude via social media, there's no guarantee that you're actually going to get on his radar. In this case, though, Jack's tribute made its way to Paul quickly, and made an impact even quicker, according to Bolch : After watching the video within 24 hours of its posting, Paul contacted his wife and personal assistant. "I sent them the link," Paul recalled, "and I said, 'Find him.'" They located the Gallaghers of Erie, Pa., and arrangements were made for Jack and several family members, coaches and friends to make the 3 1/2-hour drive to watch the Clippers play the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills as Paul's guests. The All-Star will take the floor with "L.E.G." inscribed on his shoes. [...] "To know that someone cares about me that much to where his mom did that for him and to know he put that on his mom's grave," Paul said, "I got goose bumps, I got chills." And so, Paul took a marker to his game shoes for Wednesday's visit to The Palace at Auburn Hills, and set about giving Jack and his family — including father Michael, who is out of work, suffering from kidney failure and in need of a transplant, according to Bolch — a reason to smile amid some exceptionally tough times. I can't believe I just met @CP3 also mom Chris is about to play the game of his life tonight just for you #leg — Jack Gallagher (@Jackgallagher3_) November 27, 2014 It might not have been the game of the All-NBA triggerman's life, but it was customarily impressive, as Paul poured in 23 points on 9-for-12 shooting to go with seven assists, two rebounds and a steal in 36 1/2 minutes as the Clippers topped the Pistons, 104-98 , to improve to 9-5 on the season and 4-1 on their current seven-game road trip. Before the starring performance and on-court tribute, Paul spent a half-hour with the Gallagher family prior to tipoff, giving Jack three pairs of his new CP3 kicks to wear when suiting up for his school squad, as well as two bags of Jordan CP3 gear. After the game, he gave Jack the "L.E.G." sneakers he wore against Detroit. “Today was a gift from God,” Michael Gallagher said, according to Clippers.com . “To have this dream actually happen by the gracious efforts of Chris Paul and the Clippers is more than we could have ever asked for. This is a memory for a lifetime for my son.” Paul left Auburn Hills with an even more meaningful memento from his meeting with the Gallaghers, according to Bolch: "a framed montage of photos showing Jack and Lisa along with a cutout of the tongue of the CP3s the mom had given her son." "Sometimes," as Paul told Bolch, "stuff is bigger than the game of basketball." - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com . Ben Golliver and Nick Friedell go long on Jimmy Butler, the rising star that nobody, except maybe the Chicago Bulls, seemed to see coming. PF : The Oregonian . Joe Freeman with a great look at how Robin Lopez has quietly and completely changed the Portland Trail Blazers, as told by the teammates who can't stop raving about the big man's unselfishness. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Basketball: Sign up and join a league today! ] SF : Vantage Sports . Ian Levy on how solid screens are driving the Dallas Mavericks' league-best offense and how a conservative scheme that emphasizing contested shots has propelled the Blazers to a top-10 defensive efficiency mark. SG : Cowbell Kingdom . The Sacramento Kings' strong start to the season has been fueled, in part, by a steady march to the free-throw line. Can they keep drawing all those freebies? PG : The Hook . Tom Ziller is sick of bad East teams making the playoffs while good West teams don't, so he wants to eliminate conferences, and he's got a realignment plan that would get the top 16 teams in the postseason and cut down on travel and back-to-backs. Let's get regional, y'all! 6th : ESPN Insider ($) . Tom Haberstroh and Chris Paul talk about throwing lob passes, which is almost as fun as watching CP3 actually throw them. (OK, "almost.") 7th : MinnPost . Britt Robson on the slow-boiling growth and development of Andrew Wiggins, "the anti-Kardashian." 8th : USA TODAY Sports . Adi Joseph on how the rising league-wide emphasis on 3-point shooting has led to an increased search for "3-and-D" players who can contribute on both ends without being a team's top gun. 9th : Basketball Insiders . Nate Duncan on the complicated salary-cap gymnastics that the New Orleans Pelicans are going to have to pull off to build a championship contender around Anthony Davis. 10th : Good4Utah . A Utah Jazz fan once referred to as "Dr. Heckle" has been asked to stop using props when he heckles opponents, so naturally he watched Monday's game against the Bulls with a piece of tape over his mouth and is accusing the NBA of a conspiracy against the Jazz. Duh. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
Chris Paul had 23 points and seven assists while Blake Griffin added 15 points, seven boards and seven assists in Wednesday's 104-98 road win vs. the Pistons.
The Scoop:CP3 made 9-of-12 shots including three 3-pointers, and he and Griffin had it going most of the game vs. Detroit's defense. "This is our fourth year together ... we both realize our bread and butter used to be when I would attack downhill and [Griffin] was rolling to the basket," Paul said. "So we are trying to mix that in more." An emphasis on pick-and-rolls should only help the Clippers' All-Stars for fantasy purposes, but they're both elite options no matter which plays they're running.