by Adam Figman | @afigman
The Sixers are currently creeping upwards in the East—slowly heading toward the Hawks’ five spot—but the Kings put all that fun on hold for a night, defeating Philly in OT. Marcus Thornton’s (32 points) scoring run continued, and Samuel Dalembert (13 points, 19 boards) hit a pair of late free throws that sealed it up, as the Kings won their third straight on the road. Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 28 points.
Meanwhile, the Hawks made sure to secure said Playoff positioning, cruising by Cleveland on the road. Marvin Williams led ATL with 31 (word?), while Baron Davis scored 19 for the lowly Cavs, who shot 36.8 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three. I’m hoping at least a few members of Cleveland’s scouting team skipped this one to check out Harrison Barnes and friends play over in Newark; that seems like it would’ve been a pretty wise move on their part.
The Rockets are fighting to keep their postseason hopes alive, but things ain’t looking too good, as they fell last night in a game in which the James-Wade-Bosh triumvirate combined for 92 points and 33 rebounds. Houston’s Scola-Martin-Lowry trio countered with 80 points, but it wasn’t enough, and the Rockets lost and ended a five-game winning streak. They now stand 2.5 games back of Memphis for that eighth spot.
Speaking of (the segues are flowing today!), the Grizz grinded out a tough win in Memphis, knocking down a shorthanded Spurs squad that was assisted by George Hill and his 30 off-the-bench points. But late in the fourth, Zach Randolph (23 points, 11 boards) and his buddies were too much, and they held their ground after shooting a ridiculously efficient 54.5 percent from the field. Any chance a Rudy Gay-less Grizzlies team can make some noise in the Playoffs?
The Celts are already in rest-up mode, and were without point man Rajon Rondo (finger), but they still fended off the TWolves on the road after giving away a 25-point lead. Paul Pierce (23 points) and Kevin Garnett (13 and 13) stepped up late, and Boston nabbed the victory, its first in three games. Michael Beasley dropped 28 for the Wolves, who look like they’ll probably be without rebounding machine Kevin Love for the rest of the season.
OKC just keeps gaining momentum, defeating the Blazers despite a game-high 40 points from Gerald Wallace. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 49, while Serge Ibaka put in 18 and grabbed 8 in the W.
Monta Ellis put on a scoring clinic in this one, dropping 37 and dishing 13 in the win over the consistently homesick Washington Wizards. JaVale McGee continued to show his worth as one of the League’s most unharnessed young talents by scoring 28, snatching 18 and swatting 5.
The Suns are trying to maintain some chance of a postseason push, but this loss won’t help, as the Mavs took them down after Jason Kidd nailed a couple late threes that wrapped things up. Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley each scored a game-high of 20 for Phoenix; big man Tyson Chandler went for 16 and 18 for the Mavs.
The Hornets probably won’t stop radiating depressing feelings for the next eight or so weeks, as they slowly trudge on toward their impending David West-less Playoff death. L.A. rolled through them last night, receiving 30 from Kobe Bryant and a 23-and-16 effort from Pau Gasol. The win marks seven straight for the Lake Show.