Post Up: Game On The Line

Wizards 125 (40-24), Trail Blazers 124 (28-35)

First, the good: Washington erased a 21-point deficit behind 39p from John Wall, and 26p from Bradley Beal. With Saturday’s win, the Wizards passed Boston to claim the second seed, having now won seven of their last 10. Scott Brooks’ squad is exceeding expectations, and it’s been fun to watch.

Now, the not-so-good: Markieff Morris pretty clearly looked to have stepped out of bounds prior to hitting a game-winning jumper. The play was not reviewable, and Portland fans are stuck with a sour taste in their mouths from a controversial loss.

Nuggets 105 (30-35), Kings 92 (25-40)

Jamal Murray scored 11 fourth quarter points and Nikola Jokic added a double-double (20p, 14r), helping Denver gain ground over Portland for the Western Conference’s eighth seed. Gary Harris stepped up for the Nuggets, leading all scorers with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Buddy Hield turned in a nice performance (17 points, six boards), but there weren’t many positives for Dave Joerger.

Thunder 112 (36-29), Jazz 104 (41-24)

The Brodie is on a mission. Russell Westbrook dropped 33 points with 14 dimes and 11 rebounds en route to his 32nd triple-double of the season. Victor Oladipo added 22 and Enes Kanter scored 16, spoiling quality nights from Dante Exum and Alec Burks (22 and 21 points, respectively).

Clippers 112 (39-26), 76ers 100 (23-41)

With Saturday’s W, the Clippers have now beaten Philadelphia in 10 of their last 11 games. Chris Paul led the way with 30 points, DeAndre Jordan double-doubled (20r, 19p), and Blake Griffin added 15. The Sixers battled to the finish, outscoring L.A. 37-21 in the fourth quarter; earning Doc Rivers’ respect in the process.

“I can tell you what Philly is not, and that’s the worst team,” Rivers said“People who have never coached have no idea how hard it is to get a team that’s not winning to buy into roles. That is a near impossibility, and yet Brett [Brown] somehow pulls that off.”

Pistons 112 (32-33), Knicks 92 (26-39)

The Pistons raced to an 18-point lead in the first quarter, and never looked back. Tobias Haris scored 28 points- 23 n the first half alone- and Andre Drummond dominated the boards for a 24p/15r line. The Knicks continued their second half swoon, having now dropped seven of their last 10, managing just 11 fourth quarter points.

Cavaliers 116 (42-21), Magic 104 (24-42)

The Cavs snapped a three-game skid thanks to a 24p/13a/12r triple-double from LeBron James, 22 points from Kyrie Irving, and 50% team shooting from beyond the arc. Orlando, on the other hand, converted just 19% of their 3-point attempts.

“Tonight was a good step in the right direction,” James said after the victory. “Everyone has to be productive. It’s a process. We don’t get too high, and we don’t get too low in a long season. I’m just doing whatever I need to do to help this team win.”

Pelicans 125 (25-40), Hornets 122 (29-36)

Have a birthday, Anthony Davis! On the day he turned 24, AD scored 46 points to go with 21 boards, lifting the Pels to an overtime victory. Davis put the team on his back in this one, scoring 24 of his points between the fourth quarter and OT. DeMarcus Cousins, who managed just 11 points, racked up five fouls by the start of the fourth quarter. The Hornets can take solace in a career night for Marvin Williams (27p, 10r), as well as 24 points apiece for Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. Charlotte will have a tough road to the postseason, now trailing Milwaukee 3.5 games for the eighth seed.

Heat 104 (31-34), Raptors 89 (38-27)

The Heat continue their torrid run, having now won 21 of their last 25 games. Dion Waiters had a team-high 20 points, Tyler Johnson added 16 off the bench, and Goran Dragic scored 15 before eventually leaving with an eye injury. The Dragon showed off his shiner late in the game:

Suns 100 (21-44), Mavericks 98 (28-36)

He’s all of 20 years old, but Devin Booker is a seasoned pro in pressure situations. In the game’s final possession, Booker hit a fadeaway jumper at the top of the key to wrap up the win for Phoenix.

T.J. Warren had 16 points with eight boards in the win and Alan Williams continued his run of stellar production off the bench. The loss sets Dallas back one game further in their playoff chase, despite 23 points apiece from Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki.

Bucks 102 (31-33), Timberwolves 95 (27-37)

Karl-Anthony Towns‘ 35 points weren’t enough against Milwaukee, as seven Bucks scored in double-digits to assume sole possession of the eighth seed. Jason Kidd‘s squad is now riding a six-game winning streak, and the former 10-time All-Star couldn’t be happier.

“We’d love for everybody to score 10 points but the big thing is these guys kept fighting,” Kidd said. “There are a lot of tired bodies in that locker room.”

Tony Snell led the Bucks with 19 points, and Ricky Rubio scored 22 points while dishing out eight assists for the Wolves.

Spurs 107 (50-14), Warriors 85 (52-13)

Well, this wasn’t the primetime showdown ABC executives were probably expecting before the season. The Spurs- sans Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Dejounte Murray, and LaMarcus Aldridge– were in control every moment of this game. Steve Kerr gave out minutes to his younger players, and Ian Clark took advantage of the opportunity, netting a career-high 36 points. Golden State will look to regroup before Tuesday’s match-up with the 76ers.

Hawks 107 (36-29), Grizzlies 90 (36-29)

It hasn’t been pretty for the Grizzlies of late. Memphis has now dropped five straight, shooting a dismal 17% from long-distance against the Hawks. Paul Millsap, Dennis Schroder, and Kent Bazemore all scored 15+, and recent pick-up Jose Calderon added 14 off the bench. In a game they led by 26 at one point, Saturday’s win pushes Atlanta’s fifth-seed lead to 3.5 games over the Pacers.