By: Holly MacKenzie
Not a terribly exciting evening around the NBA last night. I enjoyed the Portland/LA game and the things that it brought to light. Cleveland/Milwaukee had an exciting finish (Thanks, LeBron and Michael Redd!), and it was cool to see Austin Croshere get off of the bench to score 14 points in 10 minutes on 6-6 shooting to help Monta and the Warriors pull away from the Sonics.
The Rockets got lucky in facing Washington. It’s going to be a rough finish to the season for those guys.
The Suns just managed to take down the Grizzlies in a game that was much closer than the score shows. Without Raja making it rain threes in the fourth quarter, they would have been doomed. The guy makes three shots the entire night, all in the fourth, when they need him most.
The new boys in Cleveland looked a little rough last night. Things definitely weren’t as smooth as their game against Memphis. I’m looking forward to how they gel in the weeks to come.
Just have to say that Jordan Farmar was great for the Lakers last night. Could the guy be a future all-star?
Speaking of the Lakers, Kobe was rocking the high-socks look last night and I loved his shoes. I’m not sure if they were his usual whites, but they looked nice. Konate, solve this mystery for me!
Bron needs 54 more points to score 10,000 in his career. By the time his career is through I can only imagine the amount of records this guy will break.
With the Rockets now out (?) of the playoff race, the possibility of the Lakers meeting the Nuggets seems more and more likely. I watched an interview with Coby Karl about how it would be to face his father come playoff time. Has a father/son duo ever gone against each other in the playoffs?
Stephen Jax was back in action last night. Happy to see it, although it was Austin Croshere who stole everyone’s thunder, including Monta’s 30 points and Baron’s seven steals. Funny how it is Croshere to save the day while Nellie chooses to bench CWebb. Just saying.
Looking at tonight’s schedule, there are some good games. Cleveland and Boston is a must-see. After pouring in 35 last night, lets see how much Bron has left in him against the Celtics. Phoenix and New Orleans, lets see who can manage to pull out a win since both teams look more than a little shaky right now. If they could somehow have it go down like their last battle, I would be very thankful. Detroit and Utah should be entertaining as well. Detroit has been rolling and Utah is coming off of the loss to Minnesota last night. If Detroit wins this one, well, I am already a believer but I will be even more impressed. I look for Utah to come out focused at home.
Miami finally won another game last night. They won big, too. I have sort of been avoiding most Heat games besides the occasional flip to see how they look with Marion in there and when I saw the final score, I almost had to add up the individual player points just to make sure it was correct.
Quote of the night
“I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I know what to do. I just don’t know where to start.”
Miami 107 Sacramento 86
After dropping 11 straight and 26 of their last 27 games, the Miami Heat finally caught a break when they faced the Sacramento Kings last night. Not only getting the victory, the Heat blew out the Kings 107-86 on their home court. While Sacramento led by as many as seven points early, the Heat outscored the Kings 28-20 in the second quarter and took a 58-52 advantage at the break. It was in the third where Miami blew the game open, holding Sacramento to only 11 points while scoring 31 of their own. On the way to their 21-point victory the went up by as many as 28 points in the game and were led by Shawn Marion and his 24 points on 10-14 shooting as the team finished the game connecting on 52% of their field goals as compared to only 42% for the Kings. Besides Marion’s night, Udonis Haslem had 17 points, Dwyane Wade scored 15 points and dished 9 assists, Mark Blount scored 14 points and pulled down 9 rebounds and Earl Barron and Ricky Davis added 11 points apiece. Spencer Hawes had 16 points off of the bench to lead the Kings while Ron Artest and Kevin Martin scored 14 points apiece in the loss.
Milwaukee 105 Cleveland 102
In a close contest between the Bucks and the Cavaliers, Michael Redd hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Bucks their third win in four games. While Redd saved the day for the Bucks, and LeBron James was huge for Cleveland with 35 points, Mo Williams was the player of the game as he poured in a season-high 37 points. With Zydrunas Ilgauskas sitting the game out for Cleveland, Williams led the Bucks to a 57-53 halftime lead. The Cavs would come back from the deficit and go into the fourth up by three. The final quarter would go back and fourth as James hit a game-tying layup with six seconds remaining. Not wanting to take it into overtime, Redd threw up a three-pointer that dropped with .1 seconds on the clock to give the Bucks the victory. Williams added 7 rebounds and 6 assists to his 37 points, Redd finished with 25 points, Andrew Bogut scored 16 points and Desmond Mason added 11 points and 11 boards. James had 35 points and 6 assists as Wally Szczerbiak had 13 points while Damon Jones and Joe Smith each scored 12 points apiece and Ben Wallace pulled down 11 boards.
Minnesota 111 Utah 101
The playoffs may be out of reach for the Timberwolves, but they have no intention of mailing in the rest of their games this season. Last night, they brought it against the Jazz and used a strong defensive effort in the fourth quarter to steal the game away, 111-101. With the trio of Randy Foye, Al Jefferson and Rashad McCants scoring 64 points together, Minnesota was able to overcome 34-point effort from Carlo Boozer. With the game tied at 72 to start the fourth quarter, the Timberwolves held the Jazz to only 6-21 shooting in the period while they exploded for a 39-point effort themselves, big enough to hold off the Jazz and take the impressive victory. While McCants finished with 22 points off of the bench, Al Jefferson had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Randy Foye scored 20, Ryan Gomes provided a spark with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes of play. Besides Boozer’s 34, the Jazz had an 18-point, 9-assist performance from Deron Williams, an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double from Mehmet Okur and 10 points from Matt Harpring.
Phoenix 127 Memphis 113
The Suns narrowly escaped with a win on the road against Memphis last night. While the score looks like the victory was an easy one, the 127-113 decision went down to the wire and the Suns were saved by the hot-shooting of Raja Bell in the final period. While Phoenix led 61-53 at the half the Grizzlies cut the lead to only one going into the fourth and then quickly took a two-point lead at the start of the quarter. The lead did not last long, as the Suns put together a 37-point effort while holding the Grizz to 24 points in the period. Phoenix got a boost from Raja Bell who scored all nine of his points in the final 12 minutes, hitting all three of his three-point attempts to keep Memphis at bay. Amare Stoudemire finished with 25 points, Steve Nash had 25 points and 13 assists, Grant Hill had 23 points and Shaquille O’Neal had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Leandro Barbosa had 17 and Boris Diaw added 15 off of the bench. Rudy Gay finished with 36 points for Memphis, Juan Carlos Navarro had 23 points and Hakim Warrick had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Conley had 15 points and 11 assists and Darko Milicic added 15.
Golden State 105 Seattle 99
With Stephen Jackson back in the lineup the Warriors were hoping to get back on track with a win against the Sonics. They ended up with the win, another 30-point performance from Monta Ellis and a surprise 14-point perfect third quarter from Austin Croshere to go along with it. While the Warriors trailed by 13 early, they were able to churn out a 27-point third quarter while holding Seattle to only 17 points. Croshere provided the spark off of the bench as he shot 6-6 from the floor in the period and scored a season-high 14 points to give the Warriors an 80-74 lead going into the fourth where they would never trail, going up by as many as 16 before weathering a final rally by the Sonics to take the 105-99 victory. Besides Ellis and his 30 points Baron Davis had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 7 steals, Jackson added 17 points and Mickael Pietrus added 11 off of the bench. Jeff Green and Kevin Durant each scored 21 points for Seattle while Nick Collison had 21 points and 13 rebounds,Mickael Gelebale added 12 points off of the bench and Luke Ridnour added 15 assists to go with his 8 points. The Sonics were without Earl Watson (ill), and Damien Wilkins (sprained wrist).
Houston 94 Washington 69
While the Rockets just learned that they will be playing the rest of the season without their superstar, they faced a Wizards team that is without two of theirs. Being without one star is better than being without two and the Rockets were able to win their first game without Yao Ming easily, knocking off the Wizards, 94-69. Holding Washington to only 23 first half points, the game was already over by halftime with Houston leading, 51-23. The second half was more of the same as the Wizards never led and the Rockets went up by as many as 31 points in the game and out-rebounded Washington 55-37. Luther Head had 18 points off of the bench to lead the Rockets while Luis Scola scored 14, Rafer Alston had 13 and Tracy McGrady added 11. The Wizards were led by Antawn Jamison’s 18 points and 9 rebounds while Nick Young had 16 off of the bench and Oleksiy Pecherov added 11 as the Wizards shot only 31% in the game as compared to 48% for Houston.
LA Lakers 96 Portland 83
As the Lakers were looking to win their ninth straight, they met a Portland team who was without all-star Brandon Roy but armed with plenty of energy. After getting down by as many as 15 points in the first quarter, the Lakers had cut the lead to seven at the half where Porltand led, 51-44. In the third quarter it was all LA as the Trailblazers were held to only 14 points while LA rang off 23 to take a two-point lead into the fourth quarter. By the final quarter the Lakers had found their groove and they went on to outscore Portland 29-18 on their way to the 96-83 victory as Kobe Bryant scored 11 points in the decisive final period. While Bryant finished with 30 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, Jordan Farmar tied a career-high with 21 points off of the bench, Pau Gasol scored 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds and Lamar Odom added 11 rebounds. The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge and his 24 points while Steve Blake had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, Travis Outlaw had 18 points and Martell Webster added 12.