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Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  34 responses

Post Up: Rockets on the Rise

James Harden leads the Rockets to a big win over the Spurs.

by Peter Walsh

Hawks 104 (39-31), Bucks 99 (34-35)

A back and forth game between two teams fighting for playoff positioning came down to the last two minutes. After holding tough for the first 46 minutes, Milwaukee fell apart and the Hawks outscored ‘em 12-2 down the stretch to steal a win. The Bucks led 97-92 after Monta Ellis’ hit three straight 3-pointers and Milwuakee had the rock with a chance to extend their lead but Ellis turned the ball over and Josh Smith converted a layup at the other end. That was the start of the downfall for the Bucks as they went on to commit five turnovers and did not score another field goal. Al Horford led the way with 24 points, 7 boards and 6 assists while frontcourt mate Josh Smith went for 23 points and 9 boards. Ellis scored 20 points on 8-15 shooting and Brandon Jennings finished with 12 points on 4-15 shooting and 13 dimes.

 

Heat 109 (55-14), Bobcats 77 (16-54)

The Heat fell behind by 11 early in the first, but c’mon, did you really think the Bobcats were going to end their winning streak? Sans Dwyane Wade, who sat with a sore knee, Miami went on a 15-0 run after trailing 19-8 and blew Charlotte out the rest of the way to win their 26th straight. LeBron scored 32 (11-14 shooting), dropped 10 dimes, grabbed 8 boards, blocked 3 shots and had 3 steals. Kemba Walker scored 20 to lead Charlotte.

 

Rockets 96 (39-31), Spurs 95 (53-17)

The Rockets took a seven-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but, with the Spurs trailing 89-83 halfway through the quarter, Tony Parker scored 10 straight points to give the Spurs a lift and a four point lead. The Rockets couldn’t buy a bucket, missing seven straight shots, and it looked like San Antonio had evaded the threat and would remain atop the Western Conference with room to breathe over Oklahoma City. But James Harden wouldn’t give up and with Houston trailing by one, the Beard nailed a tough 15-foot jumper to put the Rockets up by one with 4.5 seconds to go. Pop drew up a play for Tim Duncan after a timeout but the future Hall of Famer missed a jumper over Omer Asik and the Rockets made a major statement with the win. Harden finished with 29 points, 9 boards and 6 dimes and Chandler Parsons finished with 20 points and 8 boards. Parker scored 23 and dropped 7 dimes while Duncan scored 17 and grabbed 7 boards.

Thunder 103 (52-19), Blazers 83 (33-37)

The Blazers took a 47-45 lead into the half on the road in Oklahoma City but the Thunder used a big second half to run away with a 20-point win. Serge Ibaka led the second half charge with 16 points and 7 boards and Kevin Durant scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed 10 boards while Russ Westbrook chipped in with 21. Nicolas Batum scored his 1,000th point of the season–the first time he has eclipsed 1,000 points in his career and Dame Lillard finished with 19 points and 6 assists.

Bulls 104 (38-31), Timberwolves 97 (24-44)

Even with Joakim Noah and Rip Hamilton out, the Bulls were able to pull off a win against the undermanned Timberwolves. Minnesota went on a 10-2 run midway through the third quarter to cut Chicago’s 16-point lead down to eight heading into the fourth. Minnesota kept the pressure on in the fourth and eventually cut the lead down to five but the Wolves continually shot themselves in the foot with bad turnovers and silly fouls. A disciplined Chicago team took advantage and built their lead back to 15 to hold off the home team. Nate Robinson came off the bench to score 22 points and drop 10 dimes, Jimmy Butler scored 20 and grabbed 9 boards and Carlos Boozer finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Derrick Williams tied a career-high with 28 points and Ricky Rubio scored 15 points, dropped 8 dimes and grabbed 5 boards.

Mavericks 113 (34-36), Jazz 108 (34-36)

With a win over the struggling Jazz, the Mavericks are right back in the thick of the playoff hunt. At 34-36, Dallas is two games under .500 for the first time since December, 9-4 in the month of March and two games behind Los Angeles for the eighth seed in the West. Mike James led the way with a season-high 19 points, 5 dimes and 3 boards and Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points and grabbed 6 boards.

Nets 102 (41-29), Suns 100 (23-48)

Goran Dragic was magnificent with 31 points, 12 dimes and 9 boards but it wasn’t enough as the Suns fell behind by too much early on and the Nets held on for the dub. The Nets took a 55-43 lead into the half and looked like they were on their way to a blowout win over the hapless Suns. But Phoenix got a spark from Wesley Johnson, who scored 17 points in the third quarter, and the Suns went up 76-75 at the end of the third. The Nets pulled back ahead in the fourth and were up 102-99 with three seconds left and Dragic on the stripe. The point guard hit the first and missed the second on purpose. Hamed Haddadi grabbed the board, went up for the game-tying shot but it fell short and the Nets escaped with a win. Deron Williams led the Suns with 20 points, 11 dimes and only 1 turnover and Brook Lopez scored 21 points.

Sixers 117 (27-42), Kings 103 (25-46)

The two teams played even in the first half but the Kings got crushed in the third and fourth quarters as the Sixers outscored them 59-44 to get the double-digit win. Jrue Holiday led the way with 21 points, 10 boards and 7 dimes while Dorrell Wright (22) and Lavoy Allen (20) came up big off the bench.

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  • Phil

    that’s how you win the game the harden way!

  • spit hot fiyah

    my bracket is on FIRE y’all! those that are in the group check it out. tied for 74th overall. i think i have a legit shot at a top ten finnish. all my elite eight picks are still alive.

  • http://twitter.com/vannshy vannshy

    TP did a 12-2 run all by himself when they were down by 8 i think, and they went away from him in the last 2min of the game, smh.

  • http://twitter.com/niQknacks niQ

    On fire? Or on fiyah?

  • christianbullen

    Damn.. definitely didn’t think Goran Dragic had those kind of numbers in him when he was backin up Nash a few years back.

  • Max

    Sacramento’s D is so miuch sh*t.

  • Max

    Damn broseph.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that’s awesome man.

  • spit hot fiyah

    just FIRE with caps lock. it might be upgraded to fiyah after the next round

  • LakeShow

    How good is Harden?
    I think he’s going to be a top 10 player next season…. And also the 2nd best SG behind Kobe. He is better than I thought he was in OKC that’s for sure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    So you believe that Kobe is still going to be the top 2 guard next season when he is not even the best this season?

  • LakeShow

    KB is obviously the best this season, but I don’t know about next year.
    Harden is coming for that number 1 spot at SG that’s for sure.

    I’m trying to decide who is better right now between Westbrook and Harden…

  • Caboose

    Please don’t start this. Kobe is not the best 2 guard this season. He’s the best offensive 2-guard this season, so your initial statement is correct if you insert “offensive” in there.

  • Caboose

    Byron Mullens is unarguably the worst player in the NBA. He has the exact same game as Bargs but he’s even softer, worse shooter, more selfish, less basketball IQ, and worse help defense. Sorry for the rant, but it hurt my brain to watch him last night.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    “obviously” isn’t the best choice of words especially when you consider that Wade has a higher PER, TS%, eFG%, TRB%, ORtg, DRtg, DWS, WS/48 and 0.1 less WS despite using a smaller % of his team’s possessions and playing less games/mins.

  • LakeShow

    You mean the worse player that gets more than 25 mins a night?
    Cause i’ll find you some worse players man.

  • LakeShow

    Sorry, he’s the overall best SG in the L. How bout that.

  • Max

    That dude is frustrating to watch.
    Might sometimes look nice on the boxscore with the occasional 15 point game.
    But if you watch the games… Auwtch.
    That’s why he couldn’t get any burn in OKC.

  • RKJ92

    oh wtfff… no he isnt.. just stop, James Harden is the best HANDS down do you have any idea how efficient he is compared to Kobe, like this is just ridiculous..

  • LakeShow

    Your opinion is worth zilch.

  • LakeShow

    Your Opinion < My poo I took this morning

  • Caboose

    ADVANCED STATS MEAN NOTHING! THEY’RE LIES BY THE LIBERAL SPORTSCASTERS TO BLIND YOU FANS FROM THE TRUTH! THAT ESPN AND THE LA TIMES ARE FAIR AND BALANCED!

  • Caboose

    Ok, haha, he does the most damage to his own team than any other player.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    There is an argument for Kobe this season. Albeit a very sh*tty, caveman esque argument, but an argument nonetheless.

    .

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=bryanko01&y1=2013&p2=wadedw01&y2=2013&p3=hardeja01&y3=2013

    .
    In reality, Harden and Wade have been better overall. Kobe has been better offensively than Wade, comparable to Harden although less efficient, but inferior to both defensively. Even though Harden has not been any good on that end either.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no he isn’t. That’s complete bullsh*t.

    .

    You could make an argument for Wade, Bryant or Harden.

    .

    Statistically, and contrary to your biased beliefs, the only one you can’t make an argument for is Kobe, who has been downright awful defensively and uses an incredible amount of his teams possessions to get his pretty offensive numbers. If you want to make your argument about his team situation more than about his output, sure, but there is no statistical argument for Bryant as the best, or second best SG this season.

    .

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=bryanko01&y1=2013&p2=wadedw01&y2=2013&p3=hardeja01&y3=2013

  • LakeShow

    okay

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    According to Hoopdata.com, Ellis is the only player who averages five shots per game from 16 to 23 feet and makes fewer than 40 percent of them (he’s at 35 percent). He also takes 3.5 3-pointers per game and makes just 23.9 percent of them. So if he’s shooting anything from more than 15 feet, there’s less than a 3-in-10 chance it will go in. And we haven’t even mentioned his dreadful defense yet. You want to pay Monta about $7 million a year. Then it’s fine. – http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9030601/the-worst-contracts-nba

    .

    Any questions?

  • Slick Ric

    None of that changes the fact that you were wrong by saying he’s a below average player….Overrated and Overpaid? Sure, but when I think of below average players, guys like Jimmy fredette come to mind.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I said Ellis was slightly above average. Read better

  • ididfakeshowsmom

    Everyone else’s opinion>>>> Your Kobe crush influenced opinions. You’re simply an internet male groupie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/starkpwnsyou Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    You obviously didn’t watch the Rockets last season.

  • christianbullen

    Nope.

  • Slick Ric

    Excuse me then, you’re still wrong though. A player like mo Williams is one I would consider slightly above average.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Oh I’m wrong under your own definition? Well can’t really do anything about that now can I? Ellis is slightly above average, big stats don’t mean big time player. Ellis, in fact, has about the exact same net production when comparing him to his opponent as……..Mo Williams.

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