By: Holly MacKenzie
After the jam-packed weekend, it was a pretty tame Monday night even with six games on the schedule. I am getting so spoiled with these West coast games, that I just want more, more and more. The Detroit/Denver game had an exciting finish, I hope I wasn’t the only one watching.
JR Smith and those three free throws killed me last night. JR, you can score 40+ all you want, but when you draw the foul on Chauncey Billups on a three-point shot with 6 seconds left and you are down by three, you absolutely need to hit those shots. If only he could have shot the free throws from the three-point line.
New Orleans have now lost three straight. Could this be their free-fall? They better be careful in the West.
Losing to the Caron-less Wizards was gross. No offense to Washington, but New Orleans should have had that game. Props to Stevenson for taking the game-winning shot after missing it on Cleveland. With the game tied, he jacks the three and hits it.
Why San Antonio is just too good: They shoot 1-17(!) in the first quarter against Atlanta, score only 5 points and still finish the game shooting 42% and defeating the Hawks. Yes, it is the Hawks, but that is just ridiculous.
Kurt Thomas with 9 rebounds in his 13 minutes with the Spurs last night. Yes, he is going to provide valuable in the playoffs. It will be funny to see how it unfolds if they face the Suns. I think he is pretty happy with in situation now.
Nice to see TP back in action and finding his groove.
Gerald Wallace has had to undergo some more tests after suffering effects from the concussion he sustained on Friday night. Well wishes continue to be sent his way. This is his fourth concussion in four years? Damn, I didn’t realize that at the time.
Detroit is looking pretty good right now. 60 points from Prince, Billups and Rip. 20 each. Not too bad.
Why can’t Kapono get any three’s up in a game for Toronto? Carlos Delfino had six for the Raptors last night.
Is anyone else with me in thinking Al Horford is the choice for ROY? I really like Durant, obviously, but this guy is like a double-double every night and he just looks smooth. Comfortable and has a good feel for the game, I really like watching him play.
It was really nice to see Shaun Livingston during the Clippers broadcast. I do kind of hope he holds off on his coming back until next season, just to give himself some more time. I think I’m just nervous for him and really hope things go well for him. He deserves for things to go his way after all of the rehabbing and hard work to make it back.
Toronto 102 Indiana 98
It was not the type of game the Raptors had hoped for but they got the grind it out victory against the Pacers, defeating them 102-98 after a strong effort in the fourth. With Toronto leading 54-46 at the break, the Pacers came out strong in the third and the Raptors was helpless in trying to defend them, giving up 31 points in the quarter as Indiana was able to tie the game at 79 all going into the final period. In the fourth, the Raptors wouldn’t wait long to begin their push. After going down by two points, Carlos Delfino led the Raptors as they rang off a 13-2 run that put them up by nine. The Pacers were not done and continued to scrape back, cutting the lead to three in the final minutes, but they were unable to complete the comeback as Kareem Rush missed a three-pointer and Anthony Parker made one of two free throws to keep the Raps on top. Chris Bosh had 24 points and 10 boards to lead the Raps while Delfino had 23 points off of the bench as he hit 6-7 from beyond the arc. TJ Ford had 16 points and 7 assists and Anthony Parker added 8 points and 11 rebounds. Danny Granger had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana while Marquis Daniels added 20 points as well. Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy each added 17 points and Kareem Rush scored 13.
Washington 95 New Orleans 92
After missing the game-winning shot against Cleveland on Saturday, DeShawn Stevenson was ready to give it another go against the Hornets last night. It worked out well for him as he capped off a career-night, hitting the game winning three-pointer at the buzzer to finish with 33 points on the evening. After New Orleans led by as many as 15 points in the game the shorthanded Wizards fought back and took a one-point lead in the final minutes. Hilton Armstrong was sent to the free throw line for the Hornets, and after he missed both shots, the Wizards were called for a lane violation with 7.6 seconds remaining and Armstrong hit the free throw to tie the game up at 92. Before the Hornets could get themselves back on defense, Stevenson had already gone the length of the court and jacked the three as the buzzer sounded to give the Wizards the huge victory with Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas still out. In addition to Stevenson’s 33, Brendan Haywood and Roger Mason added 12 points apiece and Antawn Jamison had a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. Chris Paul had 22 points and 8 assists for the Hornets who have now dropped three straight. David West scored 13, Morris Peterson had 18 and Peja Stojakovic added 11 in the loss.
Dallas 102 Chicago 94
In Jason Kidd’s first game back in Dallas things went well for the Mavericks last night. Kidd had a strong game, Erick Dampier dominated inside and the Mavs held off the Bulls, 102-94 for the victory. After opening the game by outscoring Chicago 29-14, the Mavericks never trailed in the contest, went on to lead by as many as 17 points, and withstood run after run by the Bulls as they attempted to come back from the early deficit, but ultimately were unable. They got as close as nine points midway through the fourth period but the Mavs responded with Kidd assisting on a Nowitzki three-pointer to keep the lead in double-figures and go onto the victory from there. The Mavericks defense didn’t make it easy for the Bulls to try and come back as Erick Dampier finished with 16 rebounds and a season-high 7 blocked shots before he fouled out of the game. Dallas won despite having 20 turnovers as compared to only 13 by Chicago, due in large part to holding the Bulls to only 39% shooting in the game. Kidd finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists while Nowitzki scored 29 points to go with 10 rebounds, Jerry Stackhouse had 23 off of the bench and Josh Howard added 16. Ben Gordon scored 25 points for Chicago as newly acquired Drew Gooden had 17 points and 8 rebounds and Larry Hughes scored 14. Luol Deng had 10 points and 9 rebounds and Thabo Sefolosha added 10 as well.
San Antonio 89 Atlanta 74
After an opening quarter that was equal parts disgusting and amazing, the San Antonio Spurs shook themselves off and came back to defeat the Hawks 89-74. At the end of the first quarter, the Hawks led San Antonio 16-5. It was a franchise-low for points as the Spurs shot only 1-17 in the period. Despite the horrendous opening, they still finished the game shooting 42% from the floor while the Hawks came in at only 33%. After the rough start the Spurs still trailed by seven points at the half, but that changed quickly in the third. Outscoring the Hawks 27-11 in the period, Tony Parker led the charge as the Spurs went on a 21-4 run to take control of the game and go into the fourth 57-48. In the final period, the Hawk were unable to cut into the lead and after they cut the lead to seven points, the Spurs responded by scoring eight straight. Tim Duncan had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs while Tony Parker had 15 points and 9 assists and Manu Ginobili added 13 points. Joe Johnson had 17 points to lead the Hawks as Zaza Pachulia scored 14 and Al Horford had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Detroit 98 Denver 95
It was a thriller in Denver that ended in frustration. Coming off of a 30-point victory over Phoenix, the Pistons came in to Denver and found themselves in a much tighter game against the Nuggets. With each team battling throughout the first half, the score was tied 49 all at the break. After scoring 24 points apiece in the third, the teams were tied going into the fourth before the Pistons took an early lead and went ahead by as many as seven points before the Nuggets would cut the deficit back to four on a three by Allen Iverson. Iverson would then cut the lead down to three as he hit one of two free throws and then JR Smith managed to draw the foul on Chauncey Billups as he was shooting a three with 6.2 seconds on the clock. With three free throws and the chance to tie the game, Smith knocks down the first, but misses the second. He intentionally misses the third, but the Nuggets are unable to grab the rebound and the Pistons squeak out the victory. The Pistons had 60 points from the combo of Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Billups. Prince added 9 assists and Billups 8 as well. Antonio McDyess scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and Rasheed Wallace added 10 points and 9 rebounds. Allen Iverson and his 28 points led the Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Smith added 13 points in the loss.
Boston 104 LA Clippers 76
The LA Clippers found themselves in a rough game against the Celtics last night and by the end of it, they just wanted it to be over. Losing 104-76, the Clippers simply could not keep up with the Celtics who were on the last game of their West Coast road swing. While it would have been a tough match up for LA with all of their players, they were without Chris Kaman and Sam Cassell and left with a recipe for disaster. After leading 45-36 at the half, the Celtics pushed their advantage to 77-57 going into the fourth and the game was safely out of reach in the final period. Paul Pierce and James Posey scored 17 points apiece to lead the Celtics while Ray Allen had 15, Kevin Garnett scored 11 and Leon Powe added 12. Tim Thomas finished with 15 points and 9 rebounds while Corey Maggette and Al Thorton had 11 apiece to lead the Clippers and Brevin Knight added 10 points in the loss.