The Post Up: Center of Attention
Lakers win, but their big man goes down.
by Sam Riches / @sam_riches
After starting the third quarter with a 26-2 run, the Bulls snapped the Knicks seven-game winning streak and kept the race for the League’s best record alive. Derrick Rose led all scorers with 26 points. Carmelo Anthony was the high man for the Knicks with 21, followed by Bill Walker with 18. Amar’e Stoudemire sat out his third straight game with a sprained ankle and is likely to rest in the season finale tonight against the Celtics. Carlos Boozer brought some Windex to MSG and cleaned the glass for 22 rebounds, to go alongside 14 points. Ronnie Brewer sprained his thumb diving for a loose ball in the second quarter and Joakim Noah tweaked his already sprained right ankle, but neither injury appeared to be too serious. With the win, the Bulls have now defeated every team in the League.
With Z-Bo and Tony Allen watching from the Grizzlies bench, the Blazers cruised to victory and clinched the sixth seed in the West. LeMarcus Aldridge led the way with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Mike Conley paced the Grizzlies with 17. Rudy Fernandez broke out of a shooting slump, wetting four of five from deep and tallying 18 points off the bench. Andre Miller attempted to convert an alley-oop in the second quarter but failed miserably, much to Blake Griffin’s delight.
Andrew Bynum got hurt. The big fella came crashing to the floor early in the second quarter after stepping on DeJuan Blair’s foot and hyperextending his already surgically repaired right knee. An MRI later today will determine his fate. With Greg Popovich opting to rest his starters, Gary Neal led the Spurs with 16 points. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 27 points, while Lamar Kardashian added 23 and Pau Gasol doubled up with 17 and 17. With the loss, the Spurs are now tied with the Bulls for the League’s best record at 61-20; the winner will be decided tonight as the San Antonio visits the Phoenix Suns and the Chicago hosts the New Jersey Nets.