Post Up: One Last Go Round
The final week of the regular season kicked off with an eight-game slate.
After watching their win streak disappear at the hands of the Bulls, the Heat were out for revenge to kick off the final week of the regular season. The contest was close throughout and after the Bulls cut what was a 15-point deficit to just one, Miami snapped out of their funk and went on a 13-4 run to give them control of the game. In what was likely their last regular season appearance of the year, LeBron and DWade each did their thing. James finished with 24 points, 7 boards and 6 assists while Wade scored 22. Carlos Boozer scored 16 points and grabbed 20 boards to lead Chicago.
The Raptors led wire-to-wire and pushed the lead to as many as 21 in a defeat of the Nets. Brooklyn cut the deficit to eleven heading into the fourth quarter to give the game some life. The Nets continued to threaten, scoring 28 points in the final quarter, and cut Toronto’s lead to just four with 24 seconds left. But, BK had no answer for DeMar DeRozan who scored 14 points in the quarter to lead T.Dot to the dub. DeRozan finished with 36 points on 12-22 shooting while Rudy Gay scored 26 and grabbed 10 boards. Deron Williams led the Nets with 30 points and 7 assists.
With yesterday’s win over the Pacers, the Knicks locked up the second seed and will face the Celtics in the opening round of the playoffs which begin Saturday. New York used a big first half to give them a 20-point cushion–eventually cut to seven at the half–and enough breathing room to hold on for the win. Melo scored 25 and hurt his shoulder, sidelining him for the fourth quarter. I’d be shocked if we saw him again before Saturday. Chris Copeland scored 20 and J.R. Smith dropped 15 and grabbed 8 boards. Born Ready scored a season-best 22 points to lead Indiana–a nice homecoming for the Brooklyn native.
Philly led wire-to-wire and were up by as many as 28 in the win. Six different Sixers scored in double-figures including Dorrell Wright (15), Jrue Holiday (14), and Thad Young (14 points, 9 boards). Tristan Thompson scored 12 points and grabbed 12 boards for the Cavs.
The Nuggets won the game but lost Kenneth Faried to an ankle injury. He left the game and while X-rays were negative, his status for game one of the playoffs is unknown. After such a great year it would be so wack if the Nuggets’ playoff chances went down the drain due to injuries. Andre Iguodala put together a nice 28-point, 9-assist, 7-rebound game, Ty Lawson made his return with 12 points and 10 dimes and rookie Evan Fournier scored 24. Dame Lillard led the Blazers with 30 points. It has been a disappointing end of the year with Portland as last night’s loss marked their 11th-straight.
Dirk reached the 25,000 point mark in last night’s game. In honor of that incredible achievement, here’s 12 minutes of Dirk highlights!
James Harden led the Rockets with 29 points as Houston climbed into the sixth seed with an easy win over Sacramento. The Rockets have the same record as the Warriors but own the tiebreaker. Houston plays Phoenix tonight before finishing the regular season against the Lakers on Wednesday. Omer Asik scored 10 points and grabbed 12 boards and Chandler Parsons finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. John Salmons scored 14 points for Sacramento.
Behind 26 points and 17 rebounds from Dwight Howard and 23 points from Steve Blake, the Lakers won their first game sans Kobe. L.A. blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead and Tim Duncan’s three-point play with 1:24 remaining cut the Laker lead to just four. The Lakers pushed the lead back to six but the Spurs cut it right back to four after a Cory Joseph layup. In the final minute, Gary Neal, Joseph and Danny Green all missed 3-pointers and the Lakers were able to hang on for the tough win. Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Danny Green scored 16.