The Post Up: Sonics Stop San Antonio

By: Holly MacKenzie

I was pretty worried when I heard that Caron was going to sit out the game against the Raptors with a strained hip flexor. I should have known better. While the Raptors made it interesting in the final minutes of regulation and in overtime, in the end it was the Wizards who wanted the ball, wanted to make the big plays and were the aggressors as Toronto was stuck playing catch up. Nice to see Antonio Daniels playing so well.

Andrew Bynum chatting up with the announcer during the Laker/Knicks game. It hurts to think of another six weeks without him. Great to hear the swelling in his knee is down and he is optimistic about his progress, though I love this kid. Imagining him with swelling the size of a watermelon? No thanks. Get Well, Andrew.

Yao and crew came up big against the Warriors last night. I was pulling for my boys from Golden State, but, it just wasn’t happening as they couldn’t get the stops at the end of the game and the Rockets were solid down the stretch.

Udonis Haslem with the ankle sprain? Come on basketball Gods, give Miami a break.

Have the Cavaliers really won the past five match ups against LA? Shoot.

I tried to watch the Garnett and Allen-less Celtics in Miami last night and I couldn’t do it Ugly, ugly game.

That game in Washington was a total flashback to the flub last year when Morris Peterson grabbed the ball after the Wizards had thrown it into the air to celebrate their “win” and knocked down a three at the buzzer to steal the victory.

Kelenna only getting four minutes last night…..come on Nellie, give the guy some time!

The replay of Balkman clocking Vujacic in the face was wild. My own messed up jaw felt that pop. The Lakers may have got the win, but, they need to thank Isiah and the Knicks for their patented fourth-quarter breakdown. Take it and run, Lakeshow. Run all the way to Toronto, take credit for the win and get this road trip off to a good start.

Durant looked as though he broke through that rookie wall that was mentioned yesterday. It makes me crazy that the Spurs will coast through this regular season and have everyone talking about how this is the year the will collapse when they will somehow manage to pull it all out in the playoffs, again.

Detroit 110 Indiana 104

Thanks to a hot shooting night from the Pacers the Pistons needed solid play down the stretch to earn their third victory in as many games against Indiana this season. Rasheed Wallace capped off his night by providing just what the Pistons needed in the final minutes, leading them to a 110-104 win on the road. With each team alternating high-scoring quarters in the first half, the Pistons led 59-57 at the break. The Pacer were unable to cut the lead in the third and they trailed 83-78 at the start of the fourth. They would trim the Piston lead to 101-99 with four minutes remaining in the game. It was here that Wallace shone, knocking down a three-pointer to extend the Piston lead to five before coming back on the defensive end and blocking a layup attempt by Danny Granger. After a jumper from Richard Hamilton, Wallace showed up on the defensive end again, blocking a three-point attempt by Travis Diener with 31 seconds left in the game. After Hamilton knocked down two free throws, the victory was sealed. Wallace had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots to lead Detroit in the win. Hamilton scored 15, Tayshaun Prince had 17 and Antonio McDyess had 10 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Chauncey Billups added 13 points and 8 assists. Mike Dunleavy had 25 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for an Indiana team that was without point guard Jamaal Tinsley. Troy Murphy and Travis Diener had 18 points apiece, Danny Granger added 16 and Jeff Foster had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Boston 117 Miami 87

Even without Ray Allen (flu), and Kevin Garnett (strained abdominal), the Celtics were able to dominate the Heat and crush them on their home floor, 117-87. With the Celtic bench stepping up big they led by 17 after the first quarter, 22 at the half and after Dwyane Wade left the game midway through the third quarter with flu-like symptoms, the lead swelled to as many as 39 points. The Heat suffered another blow as Udonis Haslem sprained his ankle and did not return. In the absence of Garnett and Allen, Leon Powe stepped up and scored a career-high 25 points to go along with 11 rebounds off of the bench. Rajon Rondo scored 23 points, Tony Allen had 20 points and 6 assists and Eddie House added 20 off of the bench. Paul Pierce finished with only 7 points in the game. Mark Blount had 20 points for the Heat, as Luke Jackson scored 14 and Earl Barron added 10. Dwyane Wade finished with only 7 points on 1-9 field goals.

New Jersey 87 Milwaukee 80

While the game was close in the opening quarter with Milwaukee leading 22-20 after one, New Jersey held the Bucks to only 13 points on 5-21 field goals in the second period to take a 40-55 lead at the half. In the third, the Bucks would continue to struggle as Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson led the Nets to a 61-54 lead going into the final quarter. After trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the fourth, the Bucks made a run by going on an 8-0 run to cut the New Jersey lead to only one with two minutes remaining in the game. Kidd stepped up in the final minutes by hitting a three and knocking down four free throws as he scored seven quick points in the final 1:42 of the game. With the free throws by Kidd coming after a three-pointer by Royal Ivey, the Jersey lead was extended to seven and the victory was sealed. Jefferson led all scorers with 20 points, Vince Carter had 16 points and 12 rebounds and Kidd finished with 9 points and 11 assists. Bostjan Nachbar added 14 points off of the bench and Josh Boone had 8 points and 9 rebounds. In the absence of leading scorer Michael Redd (knee strain), Ivey had 19 points and 6 assists. Bobby Simmons and Mo Williams had 14 points apiece while Williams added 8 assists as well. Andrew Bogut added 11 points and 9 rebounds.

Chicago 96 Minnesota 85

Both Kirk Hinrich and the Minnesota Timberwolves had shaky starts in their game last night. The difference for the Bulls was that Hinrich recovered and found his shooting touch when his team needed it most. After a close first half, it was Hinrich who broke a 49-all tie midway through the third quarter and he was only getting started. At the end of the third his 12 points in the period helped the Bulls go into the fourth with a nine-point advantage. In the final quarter the TWolves were unable to close the gap and Chicago was able to roll comfortably to the victory from there. Hinrich finished with 27 points, Andres Nocioni had 18 points and Joakim Noah had 10 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Al Jefferson had 20 points and 12 rebounds in the loss for Minnesota. Rashad McCants scored 16 and Marko Jaric added 14 points, 5 assists and 5 steals. Randy Foye had 11 points in his return from a knee injury.

Phoenix 125 Atlanta 92

Thanks to Amare Stoudemire’s 22 points in the first half and the Suns blistering 64% shooting from the floor, the Hawks were ran out of Phoenix last night as the Suns routed them, 125-92. Thanks to 19 blocked shots and an intense defensive effort the Suns held Atlanta to 34% shooting and they won despite being out-rebounded 50-36 including 26-4 on the offensive end. The Hawks attempted 102 shots as compared to the 81 that the Suns put up but, it didn’t matter. The Suns led by 19 at the half and they continued to pour it on in the second half as they went up by as many as 37 points while their starters got to enjoy the view from the bench. Stoudemire finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in 28 minutes of play. Shawn Marion had 19 points, Boris Diaw scored 13 and Steve Nash had 10 points to go with 10 assists. Grant Hill had 16 points coming off of the bench and Leandro Barbosa added 13 while Brian Skinner contributed 5 blocked shots. Marvin Williams had 18 points to lead Atlanta while Josh Childress scored 17 off of the bench and Zaza Pachulia added 12. Joe Johnson was held to 9 points and 8 rebounds in the loss.

>Seattle 88 San Antonio 85

The Spurs dropped a close decision to the Sonics last night for their third consecutive loss. The Spurs were without Tony Parker (heel injury), and they were unable to hold off the Sonics in the final minutes of the game after leading most of the way. With San Antonio holding a 66-63 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, Seattle came back at them full force and thanks to consecutive buckets by Kurt Thomas, they took an 82-81 lead with 1:30 remaining. The teams would trade leads and after a missed layup by Fabrico Oberto, Luke Ridnour hit two free throws to put Seattle up by three, 88-85 with 12 seconds on the clock. On the Spurs final possession Manu Ginobili missed a three and the Sonics 14-game losing streak was snapped. Kevin Durant had 26 points to lead the Sonics, Chris Wilcox had 16 points and 10 boards and Nick Collison added 14 points and 10 rebounds off of the bench. Kurt Thomas finished with 10 points. Manu Ginobili’s 29 points and 7 assists led San Antonio as Duncan had 27 points and 12 rebounds in the loss and Oberto added 12 points.

Washington 108 Toronto 104 OT

After learning they would be without Caron Butler for their game against the Toronto Raptors, the Wizards knew they would need everyone to step up the intensity if they wanted a win. Andray Blatche, who started in place of Butler played a big part in the victory, scoring 19 points to go along with 8 rebounds as the Wizards survived a miraculous three-pointer from Anthony Parker at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. After coming back from a 10-point deficit in the first half, the Wizards watched as the Raptors cut a 12-point deficit of their own to tie the game and force the extra period. In the overtime the Wizards struck first as Jamision was fouled on a three-point attempt and knocked down all three free throws. The overtime was a flurry of three-pointers from each team as Roger Mason and DeShawn Stevenson each knocked one down for the Wizards before Chris Bosh would hit what was only his second three of the season to cut the lead to 104-101 with 38 seconds remaining. After Jamison hit a shot and Jason Kapano hit another three for Toronto the Raptors would not get any closer than two as Antonio Daniels sealed the game on free throws. Antawn Jamison led the way with 24 points and 20 rebounds for Washington as Stevenson finished with 20 points, Antonio Daniels scored 15 and Roger Mason added 13. Chris Bosh poured in 37 points and 12 rebounds in the loss as Jose Calderon had 23 points to go with his 13 assists and Kris Humphries added 16 points off of the bench.

Houston 111 Golden State 107

As Yao Ming and Baron Davis roll, so do the Rockets and Warriors. Last night, it was Yao who helped the Rockets to a 111-107 victory over the Warriors as Baron struggled mightily from the field, connecting on only 6-22 shots in the contest. Thanks to strong play from Yao in the opening quarter (12 points, 11 rebounds), the Rockets led 33-18 after one and 60-46 at break. The Warriors mounted their comeback in the second half and after trailing by as many as 21 points in the game, briefly took a 102-101 lead after Davis hit a three-pointer with two minutes remaining. In the end Yao was too much for the Warriors as he scored eight points in the final 1:53 of the game to stop the Warrior run and put Houston back on top as they were unable to stop him from scoring or getting to the free throw line at will. With Yao finishing strong, so did the Rockets, winning without Tracy McGrady who missed the game with the flu. Yao finished with 36 points and 19 rebounds while Luther Head had 20 points and Rafer Alston scored 17 to go along with his 12 assists. As Davis struggled from the field, he still managed to finish with 21 points (on 22 shots), 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals. Stephen Jackson led the Warriors with 25 points 6 rebounds, 7 assists and a blocked shot as Andris Biedrins had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Monta Ellis scored 18 in the loss.

LA Lakers 120 New York 109

After losing Luke Walton in the first quarter to a hip pointer, the Lakers found themselves in a close contest against the Knicks. Trailing 61-58 at the half, the Lakers found themselves down 100-91 midway through the fourth. In the absence of Walton, Kobe Bryant played a bulk of his minutes at the three spot, leaving Sasha Vujacic to play the shooting guard. Vujacic filled in nicely, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the final quarter, connecting on three three-pointers and helping to keep the Lakers on top as they turned a 104-all tie into their 120-109 victory, closing the game by outscoring New York 16-5. In addition to Vujacic’s 20 points off of the bench, Lamar Odom had 22 points and 12 rebounds while Bryant finished with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists. Kwame Brown had 10 points and 11 rebounds, Derek Fisher scored 17 points and Ronny Turiaf had a 14-point, 9-rebound, 5-blocks effort off of the bench. Nate Robinson and Jamal Crawford each had 22 points to lead New York while David Lee had 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds and Zach Randolph added 16 points and 14 boards in the loss.