by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack
Nets win! Nets win! Nets win!
They got to 10. Bet they are thanking the basketball Gods from saving them from being on the bad side of history. Not only did the Nets get to 10 victories on the season, they got into double-digits by taking down the Spurs, 90-84. A 15-4 run in the fourth gave New Jersey control and without Manu Ginobili (back spasms) to give them a scoring boost, the Spurs were unable to come back and lost on the day after they defeated the Celtics in Boston. Brook Lopez had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets in the win, while Courtney Lee scored 19 and Devin Harris had 17 points and nine assists. George Hill scored 19 points for San Antonio in the loss.
Well, the Raptors live another day after hanging on to defeat the Charlotte Bobcats, 103-101. I’ve got a feeling all of their games from here on out are going to go down to the wire while they fight for their playoff lives. Big three from Hedo Turkoglu down the stretch after being benched for disciplinary reasons against the Heat. Big turnover when he stepped on the sidelines, too. I cringed because the frustration was written all over his face. Even if you’ve gotten yourself into a mess, if you’re busting your ass to make it better, I’ll root for you to sort things out.
Now, if you were watching the game, what the hell was that no-call on Gerald Wallace when he almost took off DeRozan’s head on the dunk? Crazy. Also, very weird seeing Michael Jordan sitting courtside, heckling the refs. How is this going to work? It’s got to be so, so distracting to hear MJ ripping the refs while you’re at the free throw line playing against his team.
In New Orleans, the Lakers stumbled and fell, 108-101. Chris Paul scored 15 points and dished 13 assists, Marcus Thornton scored 18 and Darren Collison added 17 off of the bench as the Lakers hit just seven of 29 3-pointers. They wasted a 26-point, 22-rebound night from Pau Gasol and 31 points from Kobe Bryant in the loss that had the Lakers trailing by as many as 17 in the fourth before they made up some ground in garbage time.
In Dallas the Mavs took down the Nuggets, 109-93 and Dirk Nowitzki had his second career triple-double. 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists ensured the Mavericks held onto the number two spot in the western conference for at least another day as the Nuggets have lost five of their last six. While Shawn Marion scored 21 points, his most important contribution to the game was his defense on Melo as he hounded him into 3-for-16 shooting for a season-low 10 points. JR Smith had 27 points off of the bench for Denver while Roddy Beaubois played just under 15 minutes and scored just five points after his 40-point explosion on Saturday night.
In Utah, the Jazz scored 44 in the first quarter and then struggled to keep the Knicks at bay, allowing them to come back in the third before shutting them down in the fourth when New York scored just 11 points. Utah got the 103-98 victory and also took over 1st place in the Northwest Division after the Nuggets lost to Dallas. Al Harrington had 26 points and 17 rebounds off of the bench for New York while David Lee scored 16. Carlos Boozer scored 26 points to go with 14 rebounds to lead the Jazz as Deron Williams added 23 points and 14 assists and Paul Millsap added 14 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench as Utah shot 57 percent from downtown in the win.
The Bulls face the Suns tonight and I’ll be watching, actively rooting against them. It’s weird to be pulling for the Raps so much. I just want to cover a playoff series, dammit! Sorry in advance to our Bulls readers. I guess we’re opponents for the next few weeks.