Recent wins over the Heat and the Lakers breathed life into L.A.'s other team, which had won four of five games through Sunday. Dunkmaster Blake Griffin is proving more than just a highlights sensation: He leads all rookies in points (21.9) and rebounds per game (12.7) and is second in shooting (.515).
West Virginia and St. John's scored a pair of big-time Big East upsets on Sunday: WVU knocked off No. 8 Purdue 68--64 and the Red Storm thrashed No. 9 Notre Dame 72--54, after which Irish coach Mike Brey moaned, "My statement is, St. John's defended the heck out of us."
The Barcelona striker (right) earned his second straight FIFA player of the year award last week after 58 goals in 54 club matches in '10. Quieting complaints that teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez had been snubbed, he netted a hat trick two days later.
Behind Alec Burks, the Big 12's No. 2 scorer (19.7 ppg, right), Colorado has been on a January tear. CU toppled Mizzou (its first win over a Top 10 team since '03) then beat No. 21 K-State and rallied to upend Oklahoma State, cementing its best conference start since 1996--97.