by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
Tough night of basketball, guys obviously looking forward to the break.
I gotta be up at 5:30 AM so these’ll be quick…
The Magic led early but Jeff Teague hit a three that gave the Hawks momentum. The Hawks grabbed the lead late in the first quarter and led from there on out. Josh Smith scored 30, grabbed 10 boards and dropped 5 dimes. Al Horford scored 26, grabbed 12 boards and also dropped 5 dimes. The Magic have lost 24 of their last 27 games.
Dion Waiters hit a jumpshot with under 10 seconds to go to put Cleveland up 95-93 and the Cavs looked like they were on the way to the biggest win of their season. But, Kawhi Leonard wasn’t even entertaining the idea of a loss against the lowly Cavs and nailed a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds to give San Antonio a 96-95 lead and the win. Leonard finished with 13 points and 10 boards. Tony Parker scored 24, dropped 7 dimes and grabbed 6 boards. Waiters scored 20 for Cleveland.
Paul George dropped his first career triple-double with 23 points, 12 boards and 12 assists as the Pacers routed the Bobcats. David West missed the game with an eye injury but Tyler Hansbrough stepped up and netted a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double. Charlotte led 66-60 late in the third when the Pacers bench amassed an 18-4 run to break the game open.
Both teams looked exhausted and shot under 40 percent in an ugly game. KG hit a turnaround bank shot late to give the Celtics a five-point lead. The two teams went on to trade missed baskets before Chicago forced a five-second violation with 49 seconds left. Marco Belinelli hit a layup to cut the deficit to one but the Celtics hit a layup as the shot clock expired on the other end to push the lead back to three. The Celtics hit their free throws down the stretch to ice it. Brandon Bass led the Celtics with 14 points and 9 boards. Joakim Noah grabbed 16 boards.
In an up and down game, the Nets broke off a 15-2 third quarter run to push a seven-point lead to 20. Brooklyn held off Denver for a nice home win before the All-Star weekend. C.J. Watson scored 25 points, Joe Johnson scored 26 and dropped 9 dimes and Brook Lopez chipped in with 23 points and 8 boards. Ty Lawson scored 26 points and handed out 9 assists.
The game was tied at 55 with under three minutes to go in the third quarter when Kyle Lowry was ejected after his second technical foul. John Lucas III entered the game as his replacement and immediately nailed a 3-pointer. The Raptors then went on to extend the lead to nine and the Knicks were unable to come back. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 20 points and Alan Anderson scored 26 off the bench. Carmelo Anthony shot a woeful 5-24 from the field and scored just 12 points. He hurt his arm during the game and may miss the All-Star game. J.R. Smith scored 26 off the bench.
The score was tied with five minutes to go when Will Bynum scored six straight points to make the score 82-76. Bynum then hit Jose Calderon for a 3-pointer. Kyle Singler followed that up with two free throws to cap an 11-0 run and give the Pistons the advantage. Bynum finished with 20 points and 8 dimes and Calderon scored 24. Emeka Okafor scored 20 points and grabbed 9 boards.
Monta Ellis scored 28 points and Brandon Jennings chipped in with 21 as the Bucks gained a four game lead over the Sixers for the eighth seed in the East. Ellis hit a shot to put the Bucks up 93-90 but Ev Turner hit a layup with 20 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to one. Ellis then hit his free throws on the other end to ice the game. Jrue Holiday scored 16 points and dished out 12 assists.
The Hornets beat down a run down Blazers team and led by as many as 39 in the win. Anthony Davis finished with 21 points and 11 boards while Greivis Vasquez scored 10 points and dished out 8 assists.
Al Jefferson stole Luke Ridnour’s cookies and drove the length of the floor for a layup with under three minutes to go in the third quarter that started a 23-7 run. When it was all said and done, the Jazz were up 81-67 and the lead proved to be too much for the Wolves to overcome. Jefferson finished with 20 points and 11 boards. Derrick Williams scored 24 points and grabbed 16 boards and Ricky Rubio scored 18, dropped 10 dimes and grabbed 9 boards.
The Kings trimmed an 18-point deficit down to seven with five minutes left in the third quarter when Vince Carter turned back the clock to push the Mavs to a victory. Carter hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a 30 second span then hit three more over the final minute of the quarter to put the Kings away. Carter finished with 26 points. Boogie Cousins score 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
The Clippers hung 46 on Houston in the first quarter and were able to keep the Rockets at bay the rest of the way to earn the win. Blake Griffin scored 20 points and grabbed 11 boards, Chauncey Billups scored 19 and Chris Paul dished out 11 assists. Chandler Parsons scored 17 for Houston.