by Jake Fischer
Nuggets (27-36) 98, Bobcats (30-34) 105
Big Al Jefferson has been virtually unstoppable since the All-Star break. Jefferson, who’s been averaging TK since the break, posted another 26 points and 13 rebounds in the Cats’ win, Monday. He and Kemba Walker have also become a pretty affective 1-2 punch in the half-court of tight fourth-quarter games. The duo combined for 26 points in the second half.
Ty Lawson continued his terrific season in Denver’s loss. It’s truly unfortunate the point guard’s career-year has been overshadowed by such depressing mediocrity in Denver. Dude’s been averaging 19 and 9 all year and the former Tar Heel dropped 24 and 6 in Queen City. Keep balling, Ty.
Raptors (35-27 97, Nets (32-20) 101
In what very well could be a playoff preview, the Nets showed that Jason Kidd’s club might be able to pull off a first-round upset this postseason. Despite Kyle Lowry’s near triple-double of 21, 8 and 7, Brooklyn protected home court
Terrence Ross started the game off hot, scoring all 12 of his points in the opening frame to lead the Raps to a 30-19 lead after one quarter. He also did this:
Brandon Knight scored 24 points and dish 6 dimes to lead all scorers and that slam was a good way to celebrate (?) the one-year anniversary of when DeAndre Jordan posterized him in LA last year. Ramon Sessions has been key for the Bucks since he arrived in Brew Town on the Feb. 20 trade deadline. The point guard dropped 16 points and 8 dimes in just 26 minutes off the bench. The race for the No. 1 pick is about to get really interesting.
Hawks (27-35) 112, Jazz (22-42) 110
Paul Millsap scored 23 points and grabbed 8 boards in his Utah return and the Hawks ended their six-game losing streak on Monday. Kyle Korver scored a game-high 26 points and was unconscious from deep, knocking down all four of his three-point attempts. But Korver wasn’t just a spot-up shooter tonight. Korver got into a groove in the first, knocking down some mid-range pull-ups off the dribble in his 9-point fourth quarter. The two teams were tied at 96 with 3:32 left thanks to a Korver triple and the Hawks rattled of a 9-2 run to take a commanding 105-98 lead with just 40 seconds left. Atlanta played like a playoff team taking care of business on the road. We haven’t seen that from the Hawks in a while.
Suns (36-27 105), Clippers (45-20) 112
In the final game of the evening, Blake Griffin went absolutely bonkers on the visiting Suns. Over the last few weeks, everyone’s been hyping Joakim Noah as No. 3 in the MVP race behind KD and LeBron, but don’t sleep on Blake. Griffin had 29 points on 11-12 shooting in the first half alone, going to work on the left block against Channing Frye and the Morris Twins. He hit a ridiculous fade-away jumper from the left baseline over Frye and spun around the Morris’ to finish in the paint and Blake had time to salute one of the game’s greatest of all-time as well:
Blake would finish with 37 points on 14-16 shooting and 6 rebounds, but he did not score in the fourth quarter. Instead, he was rolling around in a scrum with P.J. Tucker:
Tucker would be ejected. Expect a one-game suspension for the Phoenix swingman for punching Griffin in the face. Marcin Gortat might think the NBA should allow NHL fights, but in today’s rules you can’t mess with Blake’s money maker.