by Adam Figman | @afigman
The Raptors don’t have much to fight for these days, but the Bobcats should be are trying to sneak into the Playoffs, which means they need every attainable win. They hung on in Toronto, putting an end to a five-game road losing streak. Charlotte point man D.J. Augustin dropped a game-high 23.
The Thunder jumped out to a 29-14 lead after one, cruising from there to dominate the lowly Cavs. Russell Westbrook only played 24 minutes, but was still able to put in game-high 20 (and a crushing dunk) in the W. OKC is sitting at fourth in the West, and with Kendrick Perkins rumored to be just days away from returning, we might get to see what kind of cojones they’ve got in the coming pre-postseason (confusing, huh?) weeks.
The Suns are a few levels below the cream of the crop when healthy, and without Steve Nash, they’re zero match for a contender like the Magic. Orlando won in Phoenix for the first time in 10 years, mostly behind Dwight Howard and his 26 points, 15 boards and 5 blocks. Aaron Brooks, who got the start with Nash sidelined (pelvis injury), led the Suns with 19 points and 10 dimes.
The most important part of playing basketball is scoring points. The Bucks did practically none of that, and so, you know, they lost. By a lot. Putting in a franchise-low 56, Milwaukee scored the lowest number of points against the C’s since the arrival of the shot clock. No Celtic needed to play more than 30 minutes, and Ray Allen’s 17 points was somehow the game-high. Earl Barron led the Bucks with, um, 10. The Bucks know they’re in a race for a Playoff spot, right?
Meanwhile, capitalizing off the Bucks misfortune, the Pacers ran right through the Knicks, who brought absolutely no fire yesterday. Tyler Hansbrough (29 points, 8 boards) went to work, while Amar’e Stoudemire led NYK with 28. The Pacers win the tiebreaker with the Bobcats, meaning they’re the current eight seed in the East; the Knicks are only a half-game up on the Sixers for the sixth seed.
Another runaway. The Warriors stuffed the TWolves, led by Stephen Curry (24 points) and Monta Ellis (16). Sadly, Kevin Love’s streak of 53 consecutive double-doubles has come to an end, as his 6 points and 12 boards ain’t gonna cut it. But come on: 53! That’s a lot of double-doubles. Props to Kevin for doing something no NBAer before him has accomplished.