By: Holly MacKenzie Starting out with the biggest news from last night, Houston, 20 straight! Wild, how they have strung together this many wins to tie the second longest streak in NBA-history. Good for them. Now, to see how things shake out in the playoffs and also to see where everyone ends up being seated in the West. I recapped the game below, but if you haven’t already, check out Lang’s game notes.The game of the night for me was the Spurs and Hornets match up. It didn’t disappoint, at least for someone who was rooting for the Hornets. Holding the Spurs to only 8 fourth-quarter points? Impressive. CP finishing with 26 points and 17 assists while the entire San Antonio team finished with 18 was fantastic also.
17 assists, 3 turnovers, and 3 steals. Efficient.
Watching Bowen get tangled with Paul frustrated me. It has got to be so frustrating playing against him. Of course, Russ decided to send me the clip of CP nailing Julius Hodge. That is a moment I like to pretend never happened.
Since most of the games were blowouts, I decided to try something different and just give a brief rundown of those games. To be honest, the blowout wins are the toughest to recap because it is pretty much the same recap every time.
Nice game for Bron last night, although some of those free throws that he missed would have benefited his team. With Cleveland missing 10 free throws last night and losing by five, they seem really important. Still, 42 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Chosen One, indeed.
Big win for Philly over the Pistons. They have come out of nowhere and are really, really impressing me. First that big win over the Suns and now this? They are rolling in the East and are looking good in their push to the playoffs. If this ends up being a first round match up for them, it’ll be interesting.
I joined in on a live blog for the Raptors/Golden State game last night and while the Warriors were strong in the fourth and came out looking good, I really was not impressed as they let the Raptors hang around for far too long, taking a lead in the fourth behind the play of TJ Ford off of the bench. If the boys want to make the playoffs then they’d better step their game up. Especially when facing a Toronto team without Chris Bosh.
After a busy night, we’ve got three games on the slate for tonight and I am looking forward to seeing the Cavs and Wizards match up. Especially, if Caron does make his return. I also want to watch the Golden State/Phoenix game. It’ll be interesting to see how Golden State responds on the second night of a back-to-back and to see if Phoenix will be successful at trying to slow things down.
Houston 83 Atlanta 75
With a chance to tie the second longest winning streak in NBA history, the Rockets were ready to fight for their 20th straight victory. Good thing, because the Hawks didn’t make it easy as they fell to Houston, 83-75. With things tied at 18 after the first quarter, the second quarter was a low-scoring affair for both with the Rockets scoring only 14 points and the Hawks managing 15. The 33-32 halftime score represented the Rockets lowest scoring half of the season. Things were better in the third quarter for Houston, but they still lead by only two, 59-57, going into the fourth. With their lead cut to one with five minutes remaining, McGrady willed the Rockets on a 10-0 run and they were able to close out the Hawks from there. Both teams shot 33% in the game. Tracy McGrady led Houston with 28 points and 9 assists, Shane Battier scored 15 points, Chuck Hayes added 8 points and 12 rebounds and Luis Scola had 12 rebounds. Josh Smith had 16 points and 22 rebounds for the Hawks while Joe Johnson scored 28 and Al Horford added 11 points and 9 boards.
New Jersey 104 Cleveland 99
After a rough start since the Jason Kidd trade, the Nets were in need of a win. While LeBron James did his best to give the victory to the Cavs, his 42-point effort was not enough as the Nets held on for the 104-99 victory in Jersey last night. From the opening tip, the Nets set the tone, coming out aggressive and they led by 15 after the first 12 minutes, 38-23. Cleveland played better in the second half, but the lead was still 11 at the half. After being outscored by 2 in the third, it was in the fourth where the Cavs would mount their comeback, behind the play of James and Damon Jones. By starting the fourth outscoring NJ 22-10, they were able to cut their deficit down to only one, 90-89 midway through the period. The Nets would not given in though, and they responded by going up by five. When the Cavs cut the lead down to one in the final minute, New Jersey was clutch at the free throw line to grab the win. Richard Jefferson had 24 points for the Nets, Bostjan Nachbar scored 21 off of the bench, Devin Harris had 19 points and Vince Carter added 14. James finished with 42 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists for the Cavs. Devin Brown scored 19 off of the bench and Damon Jones added 12. Anderson Varajao had 9 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.
Philadelphia 83 Detroit 82
The 76er’s have been on a roll lately as the Pistons learned last night. Thanks to a subpar first quarter, Detroit was unable to recover in their game against Philadelphia and they lost the game 83-82, after Chauncey Billups missed a game-winning jumper as time expired. While Philadelphia led by as many as 12 points early, the Pistons would come back to take the lead in the third quarter as they outsored Philly 25-18 to take a 67-66 lead into the fourth. With Andre Iguodala going on a personal 5-0 run to put the 76er’s up 77—73 midway through the final quarter they went cold. While Detroit would cut the lead to 83-82 on free throws from Billups with 28 seconds remaining, neither team would score again and the 76er’s got the W. Besides Iguodala’s 22 points, Philadelphia got 16 points from Rodney Carney and 12 points and 11 boards from Reggie Evans. Andre Miller added 10 points and Samuel Dalembert added 15 rebounds. Rasheed Wallace had 17 to lead Detroit while Antonio McDyess had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Billups finished with 15 points and Tayshuan Prince added 13.
Utah 114 Milwaukee 110
Coming off of a loss Tuesday night, the Utah Jazz wanted to stop their road woes with a victory in Milwaukee. After coming out strong and going up by as many as 16 points thanks to a 40-point opening period, the Jazz settled in and allowed the Buck to not only get back into the game, but go ahead by as many as 11 points by the midway point of the fourth quarter. In the final minutes of the game, the Jazz finished strong, taking the ball hard to the hoop, getting to the free throw line and using a 12-2 run to trim the lead to only one. After the Bucks turned the ball over with 13 seconds remaining, Mehmet Okur hit two free throws to keep Utah up by four and they got the win from there. Deron Williams led the Jazz with 26 points and 13 assists. Carlos Boozer scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Mehmet Okur had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Ronnie Brewer added 21. The Bucks were led by Charlie Villauneva and his 26-point, 9-rebound night. Michael Redd also scored 26, Andrew Bogut added 11 points and 15 rebounds and Charlie Bell scored 24 off of the bench.
Golden State 117 Toronto 106
Coming into their match up with the Warriors without Chris Bosh, the Raptors knew they were in for a tough game. While the Warriors came out strong, holding Toronto to only 17 points in the first quarter while they scored 35 themselves, their 20-poinr lead would not last long as the Raptors impressed while keeping up with the Warriors pace.Trailing 58-48 at the half, the Raptors went into the fourth down by nine points before TJ Ford led the way with 13 points in the final quarter. Midway through the period, the Raptors were able to take the two-point lead. Golden State responded immediately and were solid the rest of the way through. With Baron Davis scoring 10 points while dishing 6 assists in the period, the Warriors held off the Raptors in the final minutes to grab their 40th victory of the season. Davis finished with 23 points and 15 assists for Golden State as Monta Ellis scored 23 points also. Stephen Jackson scored 19 points, Mickael Pietrus had 14 and Andris Biedrins added 12. The Raptors were led by Ford’s 23 points and 8 assists off of the bench. Anthony Parker scored 22 points, Andrea Bargnani had 14 points and Carlos Delfino and Kris Humphries each added 10.
The rest of the games last night all happened to be blowouts, so I’m just going to run you through the results real quick. San Antonio was crushed by New Orleans 100-75. Aggrey Sam and Toney Blare have got you covered with game notes for that match up. Chris Paul is great. David West also scored 29 points as the Hornets blew the Spurs out of the water in the fourth quarter, holding them to only 8 points in the period while going for 24 themselves.
Orlando took down the Clippers with ease, dropping them 110-88, as they came out strong and rolled to the win from there. Dwight Howard had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic, Rashard Lewis scored 19, Hedo Turkoglu scored 17 points and Maurice Evans and Carlos Arroyo each scored 13. Corey Maggette scored 22 points for the Clippers while Cuttino Mobley and Al Thornton each scored 17 points and Tim Thomas added 14.
The Celtics notched their 51st victory by easily handling the Sonics, 111-82. In a game that saw them lead by as many as 37 points, the Celtic were able to play their entire roster, with no player getting more than 26 minutes in the contest. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett each scored 18 points to lead Boston, Paul Pierce scored 14 points and dished 11 assists and Eddie house had 11 points off of the bench. Seattle was led by Kevin Durant’s 16 points while Johan Petro had a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double and Earl Watson added 11 points.
Dallas defeated Charlotte 118-93, spoiling Gerald Wallace’s return to action since that nasty concussion. A 36-point first quarter helped the Mavericks to jump out early in a game where the Bobcats never led, going up by as many as 31 points on their way to the victory. Getting out-rebounded 47-32, the Bobcats gave up 53% shooing to the Mavericks while finishing 45% from the floor themselves. Dirk Nowitki scored 26 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for Dallas as Josh Howard scored 24 points and Brandon Bass added 16. Raymond Felton scored 21 points for the Bobcats while Matt Carroll and Gerald Wallace added 14 points apiece and Emeka Okafor scored 8 points while pulling down 11 rebounds.
Denver dropped Memphis 108-86 in Denver last night. With Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony struggling the Grizzlies were able to take an early 12-point lead. After the Denver role players stepped up, the lead did not last long as Denver outscored Memphis 61-36 over the second and third quarters, blowing the game open before the fourth quarter. With Iverson held to only 8 points and 8 assists in the game, Anthony finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds as Kenyon Martin scored 23 points , Linas Kleiza scored 19 and Marcus Camby added 8 points, 10 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. The Grizzlies were led by Juan Carlos Navarro’s 16 points off of the bench while Hakim Warrick, Mike Miller and Brian Cardinal all scored 12 and Javaris Crittenton had 11.