Thursday, March 25th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  19 responses

The Post Up: Ugly Losses

Make for bleary-eyed writers.

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Twenty-six points. The Raptors set a new franchise record last night. They lost two consecutive home games by 26 points. The Thunder on Friday and then the Jazz last night. I always feel like blowout wins are the easier game stories, but last night, it was painful all around. With the Raptors trailing by 18 at the half and then losing by 26, the game was over before it began.

While the Jazz locker room was filled with happy faces and guys joking about the win and laughing when asked about the ridiculously drunk woman sitting baseline –seriously, she was a trip and she’s probably not feeling too hot today– the Raptors locker room was silent. As silent as a locker room filled with players, media and a birthday superstar can be. Last year the Raptors got the W on Chris Bosh’s birthday when they faced the Clippers, this year they were blown out, the team is fighting for playoff positioning and have been a disappointment for the past month.

The game story was easy, but I left the arena feeling a weight on my shoulders and I’m not the one with a playoff spot to lose. I don’t know how the Nets writers do it. It’s damn draining.

So, yes. Jazz won 113-87 and Deron Williams led the way with 18 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds. He was awesome. There are certain players that are mindblowingly good to watch live. Deron is one of them. Dwyane Wade’s another. Guys who just blow you away every time you get to watch them up close, see the decision-making, the cuts, moving without the ball, etc.

Saddest moment of the night was the young Raptors fan who stood up every chance he got with a “Happy Birthday Bosh” sign, while everyone else in his section remained sitting and miserable. Somehow seemed fitting.

In an Eastern Conference battle between Atlanta and Orlando, the Hawks came out on top, thanks to a dunk at the buzzer by Josh Smith who flew to the basket, crashing the offensive glass and slaming home a Joe Johnson miss to help Atlanta clinch a spot in the playoffs. Johnson finished with 17 points, six rebounds and eight assists as Al Horford put in 12 points and 11 rebounds. Dwight Howard had 19 points and 24 rebounds in the loss.

If we were wondering the influence Tyreke Evans has on the Kings, they lost to the Nets, 93-79 without him last night. Yikes. New Jersey picked up their eighth win of the season and Brook Lopez had a 26/13/4/4 line and Devin Harris added 24 points and nine assists.

In Boston, the Celtics pulled out the 113-99 victory over the Nuggets meaning Denver has lost two straight and will face Toronto on Friday. That should be lovely, right? Melo had 32 in the loss while Paul Pierce scored 27, Rondo finished with 11 points and 15 assists and Kevin Garnett added 20 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

LeBron watch: 38/6/9/1

The Cavs won their eighth straight game by taking down the Hornets, 105-92. Cleveland shot 57 percent from the floor compared to 44 percent for New Orleans. JJ Hickson added 20 points and nine rebounds while Marcus Thornton had 20 for the Hornets as Chris Paul played 31 minutes and continues to try and work his way back into playing shape after the score on his knee.

KD with 25 points, Jeff Green with 19 and rookie James Harden with 23 off of the bench as the Thunder race to a 122-104 win against the Rockets. Glad to see them get back on track after a couple of tough losses.

I think I’m all basketball’d out. Wow. Don’t say that often, but my head is spinning a little from reading all of these franchise records and 2009-2010 highs and lows for the Raptors. I think those were the most important pieces of the evening. I may be missing something crucial. If I am, help me help you by letting me know in the comments. Much appreciated.

Woah. Almost missed this: Stephen Jackson’s sore hand be damned, Jax scored 37 points in a Bobcats victory over the poor T-Wolves. Also Steph Curry had 30 points and 11 assists in the Warriors 128-110 victory over the Grizz.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Uh oh… D … FENSE … D … FENSE … Artest was Beating!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    This has got to be one of the only times Holly hasn’t mentioned Kobe, the day after he played. Weird.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Beasting** lol

  • http://slamonline.com MooButter

    I wondered what “Artest was Beating!!!” meant.

  • http://philaflava.blogspot.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I’m linked up! Okay. Anyways, the Thunder have the Rockets’ number now. Man…

  • vtrobot

    thank you, holly. i feel bad for you. rough trip for the nugs. i think it’s going to mess then up mentally. they have to head to dallas soon too. that’s going to be rough. “boston is old”, “rondo sucks”, “KG is done”. ha ha. i’m a big fan of both d. will and drunk women. here’s to both.

  • http://philaflava.blogspot.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Stephen Curry is the man.

  • http://philaflava.blogspot.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Something needs to be about Reggie Williams’ strong play for the Warriors. He was called up from the D-League with little expectations to fill the role of the Warriors’ injured players, and he has consistently played good basketball. The man can play; I just hope other teams realize this. He’s a keeper in this league.

  • http://slamonline.com CB 34

    teddy: I like reggie too. i’m glad they signed him for the next season as well. He’ll be in the league for a while.

  • peter

    Anyone else like how the Cavs and Lakers are both putting together winning streaks to close the season?

  • Lebran

    You cant mention a Jax line without mentioning how many shots dude put up to get there.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    Stephen Jackson ftfw!

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Anybody else still think Tim Duncan is superior to Pau Gasol at this point in their careers? Didn’t think so.

  • http://www.another48minutes.com Gerard Himself

    I watched Nets-Kings, and it was ugly. Except for Brook Lopez’ play, he’s amazing. It was good to see my team win again, ugly or not, I don’t care. But whenever Devin Harris and Lopez are not in the the game, the Nets are screwed. Only when Harris is out, you se what they miss. Harris creates. And Lopez is just special. He made some tough baskets, also some and-ones. More and more I’m seeing the Duncan in him. Granted, if Tyreke Evans would’ve played, we probably had no chance. But hey, I’ll take every win I can get!

  • vtrobot

    @ peter: since i’d like the celts to win it all, “no”, i don’t like those win streaks.

  • LA Huey

    @James, your typo didn’t necessarily appear to be one because of the player involved. =P

  • Bruno

    I watched only the first quarter of the spurs-lakers and george hill was on fire then I came back late and saw LA won (yes!!) but i was curious about what happen with hill he only score one time in the second half, was LA good on D or Los Spurs were ice cold
    I thought i’d read about it here Holly and not even one word about that game

  • http://www.slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Bruno: As I said in the Post Up, I was at the Raptors game, working. By the time I got home, all of the games were over. I scanned the most impressive boxscores/highlights that I saw, but the SA/LA game didn’t really stand out.

    I’m kinda bummed I missed the Atl game.

  • Bruno

    I missed that game too … watch out for the hawks in the playoffs