Post Up: Welcome Back
Danny Granger finally made his return on Saturday.
by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz
Last night, Wall and Beal beat Lin and Harden, Wade and LeBron dominated the Sixers and Al Horford played hero in Milwaukee. Let’s go.
Wizards (17-37) 105, Rockets (31-27) 103
Houston led by 11 at halftime, but the Wizards nearly drew even in the third quarter and, after a tight fourth, came out with a come-from-behind W.
The game was tied at 103 with 5 seconds remaining when Emeka Okafor went to the line for Washington. He hit the first and missed the second, but Bradley Beal grabbed the offensive board and got fouled. He also split a pair, but there wasn’t enough time left for Houston to attempt a final shot.
Beal finished with 21 points. Okafor double-doubled with 17 points and 11 boards, and also blocked 3 shots. John Wall scored 12 points with 11 assists. Washington is playing above-500 ball since Wall’s return from injury, and it’s fair to wonder whether they’d be in the hunt for a Playoff spot if he never got hurt.
James Harden led Houston with 27 points. Chandler Parsons scored 24 with 5 treys. Jeremy Lin scored just 5 points, giving him a total of 14 in two games this weekend.
Nuggets (35-22) 113, Bobcats (13-43) 99
Denver’s offense was hot throughout last night’s win in Charlotte. The team hit 53 percent of their shots, and were led by Ty Lawson (20) and JaVale McGee (17).
Different guys contribute every night for the Nuggets, which makes them a potentially dangerous team. However, come Playoff time, not knowing exactly where points are coming from could work against them.
Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 24 and 5 dimes. Jeffery Taylor scored 18 off the bench, and is quietly having a productive rookie season after being taken with the first pick in the second round last year.
Cavaliers (18-37) 118, Magic (15-41) 94
Kyrie Irving scored only 12 points for Cleveland, but seven different guys scored double-figures to help Cleveland pick up a road win on Saturday. The game was tied at halftime before Cleveland dominated the final two quarters.
Marreese Speights was the team’s high-man with 18 off the bench, and he added 8 boards. Rookie Tyler Zeller scored 16 with 7 rebounds and CJ Miles and Wayne Ellington combined for 7 threes.
The Magic’s leading scorer was Arron Afflalo with 16. Newcomer Tobias Harris scored 14 off the bench, and also tallied 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Heat (39-14) 114, 76ers (22-31) 90
Dwyane Wade had a huge night for Miami on Saturday. He connected on 14-of-18 shots overall, and finished with 33 points. Meanwhile, LeBron James triple-doubled with 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Needless to say, Philly didn’t stand much of a chance. Miami won every quarter and shot nearly 15 percentage-points higher from the field than Philadelphia. Miami has now won 10 in a row.
Jrue Holiday played well for the Sixers in the loss, scoring 21 points with 6 assists. Nick Young added 19. Evan Turner scored 16 with 7 boards, but committed 5 turnovers—just one fewer than the Heat.
Pacers (35-21) 90, Pistons (22-36) 72
The Pacers held the Pistons to just nine first quarter points, setting the pace for an easy Indiana win.
Indy was led by George Hill (17), David West (16) and Paul George (12, 12 boards, 8 assists). Danny Granger finally made his return, though he was rusty to say the least. He hit just 1-of-10 shots and finished with 2 points in 19 minutes. It looks like he’ll need some time to round into playing shape.
The Pistons made under 34 percent of their overall shots, including 2-of-14 from downtown. Despite forcing 20 turnovers, they scored only 10 fast break points. Will Bynum was the high-scorer with 15. Greg Monroe double-doubled with 12 and 12. Charlie Villanueva came off the bench to miss 10 of his 11 field goal attempts.
Hawks (31-23) 103, Bucks (26-28) 102
Milwaukee led 93-83 with 6:43 left but trailed 101-100 about five minutes later. With 10 seconds left, Monta Ellis put the Bucks up with a clutch bucket, only for Al Hoford to give his team the lead a few seconds later. Ellis had a chance for the win at the buzzer, but couldn’t connect on a very tough shot.
Horford scored 23 points with 11 rebounds. Jeff Teague (9 assists) also scored 23, and Devin Harris dropped 21 on an efficient 7/11 shooting. Josh Smith made only 6-of-19 shots, but double-doubled with 15 points and 13 boards.
JJ Redick scored 16 off the bench in his debut for the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova was the team’s leading scorer with 19. Larry Sanders grabbed 19 rebounds, and Ellis finished with 14 points and a rare 10 assists.
Clippers (40-18) 107, Jazz (31-25) 94
Lob City dominated the second quarter—36-20—and ended up with an easy win on Saturday. Caron Butler led the way with 21 points, and Blake Griffin added 18. Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford were both big off the bench, combining for 30 points on 24 shots. The Clippers hit over 51 percent of their shots.
Utah was led by 23 from Gordon Hayward, who knocked down 13/14 free throws. Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson—one of whom I really thought would be gone by now—combined for 35 points but only 6 rebounds. They need much better work on the glass from those two to pull out tough games like this one.