Post Up: Dame Time

by April 09, 2017

Nets 107 (20-60), Bulls 106 (39-41)

The Bulls enjoyed a solid performance from Dwyane Wade in his return from a fractured elbow, but that’s the only comfort they can take from Saturday’s loss. In a defeat that leaves them tied with Miami for the eighth seed, the Bulls were outscored 32-24 in the fourth quarter. Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert scored 19 points apiece while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson double-doubled with 16 points and 12 boards. In their final home game, the Nets gave back to the fans after a trying season.

Celtics 121 (51-29), Hornets 114 (36-44)

Isaiah Thomas and Kemba Walker went head-to-head in an entertaining duel, as Boston handed Charlotte their third straight defeat. Thomas led all scorers with 32 points, while Nicolas Batum notched 31 on four 3-pointers. While the Hornets are comfortably out of the playoff picture, the Celtics are still in the running for the first seed- trailing Cleveland by 1/2 a game.

Pacers 127 (40-40), Magic 112 (28-52)

Paul George’s 37 points came at the best possible time, guiding the Pacers to their third straight win. Moreover, Indiana gained a game over Chicago in the Eastern Conference playoff picture; improving to 79% odds of making the postseason, per Five Thirty Eight.

Heat 106 (39-41), Wizards 103 (48-32)

James Johnson’s renaissance season continued Saturday, scoring the game-winning layup in a must-win game for Miami. Neither Bradley Beal nor John Wall were able to exceed 16 points, as Markieff Morris led the team with 21. Each of Miami’s remaining games are vital, and they come against tough competition. The Heat play Cleveland on Monday, then Washington again on Wednesday.

Bucks 90 (41-39), 76ers 82 (28-52)

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 20/10/6 line guided Milwaukee to victory, and a subsequent playoff berth. Greg Monroe had a stellar night off the bench, scoring 17 points with five boards. The Sixers continue to assess their options for next year and beyond- TLC scored 12 points in a starting role, Alex Poythress grabbed eight boards off the bench and Richaun Holmes double-doubled (17p, 10r).

Clippers 98 (49-31), Spurs 87 (61-19)

The Clippers rolled to their fifth straight W behind 19 points from Chris Paul, 18 from Blake Griffin and 17 by DeAndre Jordan. Despite already clinching the No. 2 seed, Gregg Popovich deployed all starters in Saturday’s match-up. Kawhi Leonard went for 28 points with five boards and five dimes, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol scored 18 and 15 points, respectively.

Trail Blazers 101 (40-40), Jazz 86 (49-31)

In his third career 50-point game, Damian Lillard torched the Jazz for 59- including 26 in the first quarter alone. Lillard’s total was a franchise record, surpassing Damon Stoudamire’s 54 points in 2005. Dame spearheaded Portland’s offense, as the Blazers’ second-highest scorer was Moe Harkless, who netted 12.

Warriors 123 (66-14), Pelicans 101 (33-47)

Kevin Durant looked like he hadn’t missed a beat in his return from an MCL sprain, filling up his stat sheet with 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists over 31 minutes. Having shifted their focus to player development, the Boogie and Brow-less Pelicans were unable to mount much resistant; allowing 51% shooting from the Warriors in a lopsided home victory. 10-day contract signees Quinn Cook and Jordan Crawford made a positive impression off the bench, scoring 22 and 21 points, respectively.