by Adam Figman | @afigman
Two teams that’ll be battling it out for a playoff spot battled it out last night, with the Bobcats prevailing behind DJ Augustin’s 31 points and a late, clutch J from Gerald Henderson. Thad Young led the Sixers with 21, and though his squad probably should’ve taken the Magic the night before, it’s hard to argue they should’ve gotten the W last night, as Philly shot 45.9 percent from the field and just 21.4 percent from deep. The Bobcats now have a half-game lead over the Sixers, giving the Cats the inside track to the postseason while the 76ers sit at ninth.
Extra sloppy. Both groups shot below 37 percent from the floor, but it was the Bulls who came out on top, led by their All-Star point man Derrick Rose and his 26 points. DRose made a couple of clutch plays late, while his team jumped ahead of the Mavs in the final quarter and then made the necessary plays to earn the victory. Or the Mavs were just downright terrible. Either way. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 19.
On paper, this looks like just another road loss, but in reality, it holds some weight. As the Clippers make the slow, torturous uphill climb towards the Playoffs, it’s mid-level Western Conference squads like the Blazers that they’ll be chasing. So an L to Portland means they lose a full game on their direct competition, which is never a good thing. The Blazers just brought more fire last night, grabbing the lead in the second quarter and dominating the ball from there out. Wesley Matthews did work, putting in 28, while LaMarcus Aldridge matched that scoring figure and snatched 8 rebounds. The Blazers also shot 56.4 percent from the field, so, yeah, they were flowing pretty well. In the loss, Eric Gordon dropped 35 for the Clips.
Actual Stats: DJ Augustin: 31 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 three-pointers, 1 steal
Moment of the Night: Will these ever get old? Ever?