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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  57 responses

Post Up: Extra Extra

Utah and Dallas play three OTs, Lob City clips the Thunder and LeBron finishes the Nets.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

With about 3 minutes left in the third overtime of Mavs-Jazz, I let out a yawn. And yet, 4 NBA games were still hanging in the balance. I guess that’s why I get paid the big bucks, fellas. Let’s get it…

Hawks 109, Raptors 87

If not for a slip-up on Sunday, this would have marked Atlanta’s 8th straight win over the Raptors. That said, the Hawks will take the 1-1 split for the home-and-home after a bad loss on the first leg. Last night, Jeff Teague racked up 19 points and 10 assists against the Raps’ back-up point guards, Ivan Johnson bullied (can he do it in any other fashion?) his way to 21 points off the pine and the Hawks stayed tied with Orlando for the No. 5 seed in the East. Joe Johnson (6-13, 18 points), Josh Smith (15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists) and former Raptors star Tracy McGrady (9 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter) helped ATL’s cause, which was aided in large part by a 28-5 advantage on fast break points. Toronto’s DeMar Derozan continued his solid play of late, leading all scorers with 22 points.

Hornets 75, Bobcats 67

Ew! I didn’t watch a single second of this game, but I’m told that this is indeed the final score. More gross things: New Orleans shot 34 percent from the field, Charlotte shot 30 percent. The Hornets were 1-11 from 3-point range, the Bobcats were 1-16 from deep. The ‘Cats also missed 10 free throws. In the third quarter, the teams shot a combined 6-40 (15 percent) from the floor. After three quarters, the game was tied at 47. Seriously. Had Gerald Henderson (27 points) and Greivis Vasquez (20) not been around, who knows how few points we may have seen. Keep this in mind, too—should the Bobcats lose their remaining games, that will be the all-time worst winning percentage for a season in NBA history.

Magic 113, Sixers 100

Ryan Andersen stepped up in the absence of Glen Davis and Dwight Howard, scoring 26 points and grabbing 16 rebounds to lead the Magic to a second straight win, this time over the reeling Sixers. Orlando’s rag-tag lineup (which included Daniel Orton as a starter) scored 40 points in the second quarter—the most given up in one quarter all season by Philly, the League’s No. 1 defense. The Magic found a way to outrebound the Sixers 46 to 30 despite missing the bulk of their frontcourt, and improved to 3-4 without Howard. Both teams were hot from the field (both over 50 percent shooting) and both point guards played well, as Jameer Nelson dropped 13 dimes and 16 points and Jrue Holiday had 18 and 8 assists, but it was Jameer’s Orlando squad that came out on top.

Pacers 111, Timberwolves 88

When a team jumps out to a 32-7 lead to start a game, it’s usually a bit tough to come back (unless the team with the lead is the Wizards, but let’s not go there). That’s exactly what the Pacers did, while Minnesota missed 10 of its first 11 shots to open the ballgame. Without Kevin Love to deal with down low, Indiana’s bigs took advantage and torched the Wolves—David West scored a game-high 22 points and had 10 rebounds and Roy Hibbert swatted away 5 shots to go with his 12×11 double-double on the night. The Pacers won the rebounding battle handily (58-45) and held the Wolves to 37 percent shooting and, coincidentally, led by 37 points at one point. It’s the 10th time in 11 games that Indy’s scored 100+ points, while JJ Barea’s 14 points and 9 dimes was the best Minny could find on offense.

Heat 101, Nets 98

On a night when Deron Williams and Dwyane Wade both got DNPs due to rest, it’s only right that LeBron James took center stage. Until the final minutes of the game, it looked like the New Jersey would pick up its most improbable upset victory of the season. But LeBron checked in midway through the fourth and flipped the switch—he scored the final 17 points for the Heat over the last 5:35 of the ball game, part of a 37-point, 7-assists, 6-rebound effort for The King. His driving lay-in over Kris Humphries with 51 seconds gave Miami its first lead of the entire game (after trailing by as many as 13 in the second half) and that’s about the time the “MVP!” chants began from the heavy Heat crowd in Newark. From there, it was all academic. LBJ’s crazy finish ruined a big night for Hump (29 points), MarShon Brooks (who tied a career-high with 24 points) and the Nets, who shot 50 percent from the field. Not to be forgotten, Chris Bosh added 22 points and 15 rebounds for good measure. Peep the 17-point finish from Bron Bron below:

Wizards 87, Bulls 84

Sure, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng didn’t play. And sure, the Wizards ought to be more concerned about ping-pong balls. But let me enjoy this one, okay? Kevin Seraphin—briefly property of the Bulls, only to be traded for nothing more than cap space—led Washington with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. The Wizards outscored the Bulls 48-22 in the paint and 20-2 on fast break points in the win, just the 7th home loss for Chicago this season. Both teams shot 38 percent on the night, and both had 15+ turnovers, but the Wiz used a 13-0 run to grab the lead in the fourth quarter, and held off a furious comeback in the waning moments from the Bulls to escape Chi-Town with the W. CJ Watson (17 points, 8 rebounds) hit a 3 with 16.5 seconds left to get the Bulls within 1, and he had a look at another trey with under 5 ticks to go, but it fell short. Whew.

Nuggets 105, Rockets 102

For the second straight night, these two locked horns, battling for position in the Western Conference standings, and for the second straight night, Denver came out on top. It’s officially time for concern—and possible panic—in Houston, as the Rockets have dropped 4 straight (and 4 in a row at home) and are on the verge of being left behind come Playoff time. Arron Afflalo scored 26 points, Ty Lawson had 25 and Andre Miller came off the bench to dish out 13 assists for the Nuggets, who rallied back from an 11-point first-quarter deficit and held off a late push from Houston. Even so, after Afflalo split a pair of free throws with less than 5 seconds left, Chandler Parsons (21 points) had a chance to tie the game, but his desperation 3-pointer rimmed out.

Jazz 123, Mavericks 121 (3OT)

Yep, 3 overtimes. Let’s get you caught up real quick, in video form—here’s how the fourth quarter and the first overtime ended, courtesy of Paul Millsap and Dirk Nowitzki:

The Mavericks fell behind by 3 in the third overtime, before Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki each missed potential game-tying deep jumpers and the Jazz came away with the marathon victory over the defending champs. The win kept Utah’s dwindling Playoff hopes alive, and it produced some freaky stats—starting with monster games from Dirk (40 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) and Al Jefferson (28 points, 26 rebounds). The teams hit a combined 26 threes and 9 players played 45+ minutes. Incredibly, the teams only combined for 66 points in the paint and Utah won despite turning the ball over 21 times. It seemed like—as sloppy as this game was for the most part—every single big shot hit bottom, until the final seconds.

Suns 125, Trail Blazers 107

Phoenix desperately needed this win to stay alive for a Playoff spot. Portland put Luke Babbitt and Jonny Flynn in the starting lineup. The differing agendas led to a predictable outcome, as the Suns sped out to a double-digit lead after one quarter and never looked back, riding 20 points and 10 rebounds from Marcin Gortat to the win. Steve Nash needed only three quarters to dish out 13 dimes, helping Phoenix shoot an absolutely insane 60 percent from the floor on the night. Six players scored in double figures, the Suns were up by 20 after the third and they cruised to win No. 4 over their last 6 games. JJ Hickson and Jamal Crawford each scored 22 points to lead the Blazers. PDX is clearly a different team without Aldridge, Felton and Batum.

Clippers 92, Thunder 77

There’s the Nick Young that the Clippers traded for—Swaggy P scored 19 points off the bench on 7-10 shooting, helping the Clippers take down Oklahoma City for the third time this season. Lob Angeles locked down on defense, allowing the Thunder to score just 25 points in the entire second half. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 24 points but needed 18 shots to get there and turned the ball over 5 times, while Russell Westbrook could muster only 9 points on 6-14 shooting (zero free throw attempts) and had 5 turnovers of his own. Neither KD nor Russ scored a single point in the third quarter, when OKC was outscored 23-14. In that period, the Clippers experimented with a zone defense and upped their weakside help on Durant, forcing OKC into bad, longrange shots. The Thunder made just 5 of 22 three-point attempts and shot 38 percent form the field.

Spurs 120, Warriors 99

OKC’s loss gave San Antonio the opportunity to slide into the top spot in the West by just a fraction, and the Spurs did just that with a blowout victory over the Warriors. Could this win have been any more classic Spurs? Gregg Popovich continues to rest his stud players—even in-game. Tim Duncan played only 12 minutes, and was 5-8 with 13 points, while Tony Parker (8 points, 5dimes) and Manu Ginobili (12 points) didn’t play much either—TD and Manu hung out on the bench together for most of the second half. Heck, with a 32-point lead, the Spurs didn’t miss ‘em. Nate Robinson scored a season-high 30 points and rookie Klay Thompson had 29, but the Warriors simply cannot beat the Spurs—that was the Dubs’ 14th straight L against San Antonio.

Lines of the Night: Dirk (40 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) and Al Jeff (28 points, 26 rebounds) had a stat-battle over 3 OTs in Utah.

Dunks of the Night: James Johnson, Shannon Brown and Vinsanity delivered big throwdowns on Monday.

Tonight: TNT has Celtics-Knicks at 8 and Spurs-Lakers at 10:30, the best of a 5-game schedule for Tuesday.

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The Pacers are going to be a handful in the 2nd round (if they get there) for either MIA or CHI, more so with CHI than MIA.
    Scotty Brooks and Vinny Del Negro battled it out last night for the “the only reason I have a job is because of great players” award and Brooks came out on top. John Wooden was rolling over in his grave watching that one-on-one orgy.
    When will Doug Collins finally get some criticism for the way Phili has faultered down the stretch? There’s no exscuse for that team to lose to the DHow-less Magic.

  • AsadSaleh3

    Chris Paul is a surgeon. Can do whatever he wants in any game. Clippers will be in the 2nd round of the playoffs if they stay healthy.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    Lebron is a physical freak, but at this point he needs to get some rest before the playoffs. As for Humphries: he’s going to get a big contract somewhere. The guy can flat-out play.

  • AsadSaleh3

    @Dagger Yes, Kris will be getting a great contract soon.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    The Pacers were already pretty tough last year but I still don’t believe they can actually beat the Bulls in a 7-game series, don’t get me wrong. I think it will be close, it will be nasty, we’ll see a 40% shooting series from Drose, but at the end of the day Chi’s defense is too good and they have a superstar. That’s so important in the playoffs, the only team I can remember winning a ‘ship without a superstar are the 04 Pistons. Again, the only team I’m worried about as a Bulls fan is the Heat (I don’t think will win that series, unless LeBron has a meltdown).

  • ALD

    anybody else feel bad for the nets last night?

  • T-Money

    i don’t really understand the media’s obsession with rest the past few years. when i started watching basketball in the mid 90s, you’d hear about players sitting out the very last game of the season and that was about it. now we’re talking about resting guys right after the all-star break… i mean, at its core, professional sports is still just highly competitive entertainment. paying customers bought tix to the heat game yesterday with the expectation of seeing the big 3 in action.

  • T-Money

    and the nets are awful. they look decent on the surface but the core players outside of deron are all terrible defenders (humphries, brooks, green, morrow, lopez). i really don’t see how they can keep deron this summer unless orlando makes a move.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Deron Williams “DNP becuase of rest”? What are they resting him for?

  • AsadSaleh3

    Forget the paying customers. Teams want their players to be as rested and healthy as possible going into the Playoffs in this shortened/hectic season where star players have gotten hurt quite a bit.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I think Chris Paul will make 1st team all NBA this season.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    If they did not have that six game slump, he would probably get MVP consideration. If they had a decent coach, also.

  • RobbieJay

    i was at the nets game, i think it was 90% heat fans out there lol

  • Fat Lever

    Sixers are fulfilling the No Limit Tank style prophecy! Let’s get it! Keep losing! BTW, Vogel deserves some major consideration for COY. Doug Collins, not so much.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    BTW, did anyone see KD win that full-court sprint (with the basketball) against BG and then make the basket with great body control + the foul? KD keeps me amazed.

  • Heals

    Match-ups, match-ups, match-ups. LAC playing well vs OKC but may not even get a chance to play them cause Mem could easily knock them off. Props to Phx for fighting it out in obscurity. Wish DWest woulda got a look at the 3 when Dal was trying to tie it so that he could shut the Utah fans up…

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    Man, I say this as a huge Bulls fan, but I’m getting tired of Derrick Rose this year. A bad back, turf toe, bloody groin??, sprained ankle, and now a mystery foot injury. He’s become one of the most fragile players in the game. And when he actually does gather up the strength to play, he’s complaining to the media after the game. I don’t like the path he’s going down. I used to think it was “when Rose get’s healthy for the playoffs”, now I’m thinking “if Rose get’s healthy for the playoffs”. I hate all this saving him for the playoffs talk. What happens if the Bulls slip up and they lose in the first round? Then all this saving him for the playoffs cr@p was a waste and he missed a third of the season for nothing. The sky is falling people!

  • Fat Lever

    By the way, after reading the title of today’s Post Up, it reminds me of that Paula Perry track that DJ Premier produced. Dope song, check it out.

  • ALD

    deron williams dnp because of sore calfs

  • Mike From Spain

    The T-Wolves have imploded completely.

    Or have they got an incentive to finish as low as possible so that the NOH pick is high, and thus Stern does not look as bad for the CP3 trade? hmmm

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    So I suppose the weekly swing of MVP leading contender changed last night. Until KD does something ridiculous in the next game or so.

  • http://sportsbybrooks.com/boxscores-never-lie-or-exaggerate-on-twitter-30011 Allenp

    ok, so is it that good teams just don’t let LeBron get to the rim like that? That has to be it, right? There is no other explanation for why he doesn’t give every single team in the League the same thing the Nets got last night at crunch time.

  • http://sportsbybrooks.com/boxscores-never-lie-or-exaggerate-on-twitter-30011 Allenp

    And Rose has been hurt. And all of his injuries tie together. One lower body injury impacts the way you run and work which leads to other injuries.
    I don’t think he’s fragile, he just carried a crazy load last year and maybe it’s catching up with him. He’s only human.
    And T-Money, I said the same thing about it being entertainment on the article about Pop resting his players.
    Pop actually admitted the truth of that, but said his job isn’t directly tied to the entertainment aspect. His job is tied to winning games and having sustained success. Because basketball isn’t the WWE you’re going to have inevitable conflicts of interest. Same thing happens in boxing and other sports.

  • http://slamonline Brion

    If I was a Nets player I would be frustrated with the hometown fans. That was like a road game for them.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    I think so allen…. no good team let’s lebron just WALK to the rim like that. otherwise he’d just do it. also does it seem like the wizards are improving ? shouldn’t KD’s game have some impact on his mvp chances? it better. and if D. rose isn’t fully healthy when the bulls get indiana in the 2nd round…. indiana might wash them.

  • http://sportsbybrooks.com/boxscores-never-lie-or-exaggerate-on-twitter-30011 Allenp

    The Wizard are a different team from night to night. Just like they have been since Wittman took over for Saunders. There is no change.

  • T-Money

    random thought: if stern had not blocked the cp3 trade to the lakers, they would be the favourite to win it all.

  • MaxIsNative

    Another random thought: The Spurs bench could replace the Wizards starting 5 and make it to the playoffs as the 8th seed…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Diesel, with all due respect, you sound ridiculous. This is an abnormal and strenuous season, how is he all of a sudden “fragile” when he never missed more than four games in his first three seasons? Fans overreact too much.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No big deal but Russell Westbrook was 4 of 16 not 6 of 14.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Thunder shot 5-22 from 3? Holy great shooting percentage batman.

  • aussieheatfan
  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    The MVP race is so competitive this year between Durant and Bron. It’s fun to see them go off every other night. My mind switches back and forth between who should have MVP. It’s been a long time since we had two small forwards vying for the trophy.
    I was remembering a few Clippers games back when Chris Paul dribbled the ball up and immediately shot a 3. Drained it. The announcers said “He took a play right out of Chauncey’s book.” Made me laugh because that is CB’s most notorious move.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    nbk
    I was watching that game and he got some pretty good looks. You could tell he was getting frustrated though and Ibaka was hitting the offensive glass like it was nothing. I think at this point of the season the MVP is no doubt LeBron James. ESPN crucifies Bron after every “bad” game but let KD have a sub-par game with 7+ turnovers then it’s nothing? Don’t get it at all.

  • http://sportsbybrooks.com/boxscores-never-lie-or-exaggerate-on-twitter-30011 Allenp

    Your mind switches back and forth because you want it to. Also, the main knock on LeBron, and it’s completely justified, is that he tends to vanish in the clutch too much. Durant doesn’t vanish in the clutch, but they do lose games they should win, and he does settle for contested jumpers a lot.
    I think it’s interesting that Durant has been deemed clutch when in reality he and LeBron have had the same number of clutch moments this year, but Durant just doesn’t seem as disengaged at times. He still struggles, but it looks like he’s trying.
    So appearing to be not trying is still the biggest sin in sports.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    @Slick Ric – Rose has always had issues with his knees and back. Most of the time he plays through it, but this year with the condensed schedule its caught up to him. That worries me considering he’s a young guy. This condensed schedules shouldn’t be affecting a 22 year old player like this. I hope I’m wrong and it all works out…I’m just saying its worrying me more than it has before.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    The Wizards are who the Bulls thought they were, and they let them off the hook!!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    It just wasn’t RW’s night last night. He seems to always struggle against Chris Paul, or atleast Paul always seems to get the better of him.
    .
    The MVP race has been over.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/40886/outscoring-opponents-in-the-clutch nbk

    Click my name. Specifically Lakeshow. Some crunch time fun for y’all.

  • http://slamonline.com Yusuf Y

    Speaking of Rose and the Bulls, what happened to Enigmatic? That guy had some nice stuff to stay.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    ^ Good ol’ Henry Abbott and more of his biased samplings.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Lol you of all the people in the world are the last one anyone needs to hear about a bias. Plus he’s using full stats from 5 years dumbass, there is no way to even follow a bias if there was one.

  • Kadavour

    watched Westbrook vs Paul twice in a week and the difference in their abilities as PGs is more vast than i imagined. If Westbrook didn’t just pass it directly to Durant to go one on one, then there was no further evidence of this guy penetrating the defense to open up scoring opportunities for a team mate. I can’t call this man a PG. i just don’t see that ability there.

  • robb

    Chris Paul is SICK, his handles are insane. At one point he made Russell drop to the floor, crazy stuff

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yuseuf Y, rumor has it if you say his name 3 times, he pops in to say hello. We need one more person to say, “Enigmatic!”
    -nbk, what did you take from that article?

  • http://slamonline.com Yusuf Y

    lol aight just wondering

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    KD disappeared in the clutch last night *just saying*

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I took that I want better defenders than offensive players at the end of games. Specifically rim Protection. And size of course.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I just thought you’d enjoy what it said about your Lakers, and the glimmer of hope it provides for Mike Brown and winning in the playoffs.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    I read that article NBK, some interesting stuff. It confirms a lot of what I knew and illustrates a lot I didn’t. I think most of those seasons In Cleveland Lebron lead the league In fourth quarter scoring didn’t he? The fact that Mike Brown lead teams have excelled In this area, with him being a very defensive minded coach confirms a lot of articles on Truehoop over the last month or so stating that crunch time DEFENSE Is more a recipe for success In this area. The last second 30 foot heaves are what stick In the memory, but like all of basketball bread and butter effort and execution count for more than flash.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    He did for a couple seasons in Cleveland. I’m pretty sure Wade or Melo lead the league in 4th quarter scoring for a year in there. But yeah basically I got the same thing out of that article that you did, it just helps to confirm some beliefs I’ve had for a long time.

  • AiRsMiTh

    I forgot about the Warrior’s game last night, but I guess that wasn’t such a bad thing. Good to see Klay Thompson continuing to put up numbers. Those videos of Steve Nash ooping it to Shannon Brown and VC dunking are NICE.

  • http://dillanleuyahoo.com Holy Baller

    I’m firmly convinced that NBK just hates the Thunder lol. And he’s also been up LeBron’s jock for far too long.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    you still don’t know what hate is. Which i guess isn’t surprising given the level of intelligence present in your comments….

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    That VC Jam brings back childhood memories… I used to love homie when he was at UNC

  • http://dillanleuyahoo.com Holy Baller

    Lol you remind me of Brian off of Family Guy. Think you’re superior in every single way, you f*cking jack@ss.

  • Mike from Spain

    nbk, this last comment reminded me of eboy, whatever happened to him

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