The Post Up: Suns over Spurs

by April 10, 2008

By: Holly MacKenzie

There were nine games on the schedule last night, but my focus was firmly on the match up that is waiting for us tonight. Denver @ Golden State, TNT. 8pm Est. Make sure you catch it because it will be intense.

As for last night, those Suns are looking good while the Spurs may have cause for concern as they struggled offensively in the second half again last night. It was good to see Leandro Barbosa find his game after disappearing as of late. In the fourth the Suns went up by as many as 21 points and when they are clicking they look tough to beat.

It’ll be one entertaining series to watch if the Suns do meet the Spurs in the playoffs because Bruce Bowen has managed to aggravate Amare again. Tempers were already flaring last night, so playoffs will bring with them a whole other monster.

Did you all catch that dunk Dwight had all over Andres Nocioni? That actually looked like it hurt. Dwight was huge last night.

Charlie V in Toronto, dropping in a season-high 38, including scoring 25 of the Bucks first 29 points. The Raptors still managed to win the game in the end though.

You know that stat I threw out yesterday about the Celtics being tied with the 95-96 Bulls for fewest double-digit losses in a season? Throw that out, because the Wizards took Boston down, now winning three straight against the Celts this season. Wouldn’t that make for an exciting series this postseason.

There is nothing better than seeing a healthy Gilbert Arenas pushing the ball on the break and dishing it off to his teammates. He said he was going to be an assist man as he came back. I think he’s going to do whatever his team needs of him for them to win and his presence is going to be a huge boost as the playoffs arrive.

Great to see that Bron’s back is cooperating and he is looking like himself again. Stay healthy, LeBron!

Phoenix 96 San Antonio 79

With each passing game turning into a chance to try and catch the Pacific Division title, the Suns are focused. This is why even when they found themselves down by as many as 10 in the first half against the Spurs last night, they remained calm. While down in the second quarter they used an 8-0 run to outscore the Spurs 29-21 in the quarter and tie the game at 45 at the break. In the third, the Suns had found their groove and put together an 11-2 run to take a 72-68 advantage into the fourth. The final quarter was a disastrous one for the Spurs and they were held to only 11 points while watching the Suns put in 24 points. At one point a 13-0 run extended the Phoenix lead to as many as 21 points in the final minutes of the game and the Suns went on to their second victory in as many nights. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 21 points while Shaquille O’Neal had 16 points and 9 rebounds, Steve Nash scored 12 points to go with 10 assists and Leandro Barbosa added 14 points. Tim Duncan scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Spurs while Tony Parker scored 20 points and Michael Finley added 10 points.

Washington 109 Boston 95

One night after an overtime victory against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics faced the newly healthy Washington Wizards. The result was another win for the Wizards as Washington has now won three straight games against the Celtics. With the game close and the Wizards leading 55-53 at the half, they clamped down defensively in the third quarter and held the Celtics to only 18 points, while dropping in 27 of their own and using a 10-0 run in the period to take an 82-69 lead into the fourth quarter. While the Celtics would cut the deficit down to six in the fourth quarter, the Wizards responded with an 8-0 run to keep their distance and go back up by double-figures with under two minutes to play. Antawn Jamison finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards as DeShawn Stevenson had 14 points, Caron Butler scored 13 points and dished 10 assists, Gilbert Arenas scored 13 points off of the bench and Brendan Haywood added 12 points. Paul Pierce led Boston with 28 points and 7 assists as Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Ray Allen added 13 points in the loss.

Philadelphia 101 Detroit 94

With the second seed locked up in the East, the Detroit Pistons opted to rest their starters and give their rookies and bench significant time against the Philadelphia 76er’s in preparation of the playoffs. The Sixers took advantage and took down Detroit 101-94 in a victory that kept them in sixth place in the East. With the Pistons hanging around in the first half and trailing 58-52 at the break, things were close in the second with Philadelphia leading 80-73 going into the fourth. In the final quarter the Pistons were unable to come back as they gave up 50% shooting to the Sixers while coming in at 43% themselves. Andre Iguodala led Philadelphia with 25 points, 6 assists and 5 steals. Andre Miller scored only 6 points but dished 9 assists on the night as Samuel Dalembert had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Willie Green scored 15 points and Louis Williams added 12 points off of the bench. Chauncey Billups scored 18 points for the Pistons, Juan Dixon had 13 off of the bench and Rodney Stuckey added 10 points.

Toronto 111 Milwaukee 93

After trading away Charlie Villanueva in the trade that brought TJ Ford to Toronto, the Raptors are fully aware of the potential that lies within him. Last night, it was on full display as Villanueva went off early and stayed hot the rest of the game, doing his best to keep the Bucks in the game. Despite Villanueva scoring 25 of his team’s first 29 points and finishing with 27 first half points for Milwaukee, the Raptors still held onto a 50-48 lead at the break. After putting together an 11-0 run to take a 12-point lead late in the third, the Raptors finished the third by outscoring Milwaukee 33-20 in the period as they took an 83-68 advantage into the fourth. The final quarter did not bring any relief for the Bucks as the Raptors did not let up and Milwaukee was unable to cut their deficit as Toronto went on for the victory. Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 32 points and 11 rebounds as Anthony Parker scored 18 points, TJ ford finished with 14 points and 7 assists and Rasho Nesterovic had 14 points. Jose Calderon added 12 assists off of the bench. Villanueva finished with a season-high 38 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks as Michael Redd scored 17 points, Andrew Bogut had 10 points and 9 rebounds and Ramon Sessions added 10 assists.

The Rest…

Cleveland avoided losing the season series to the Nets by defeating them 103-84 as LeBron James finished with 33 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Wally Szczerbiak had 14 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 13 points. Vince Carter scored 19 points to lead the Nets as Richard Jefferson added 15 points and Bostjan Nachbar added 14.

The Orlando Magic routed Chicago 115-83 as Dwight Howard dropped in 30 points and 14 rebounds. Rashard Lewis scored 21 points and Carlos Arroyo added 13 points and Hedo Turkoglu scored 12 points to go with 8 assists. Kirk Hinrich led the Bulls with 19 points while Aaron Gray and Ben Gordon each scored 13 points and Tyrus Thomas added 10 points.

The Hornets bounced back from their loss against the Jazz by dropping Minnesota 122-90 in Minnesota last night. Chris Paul had 19 points and 16 assists, Peja Stojakovic scored 24 points and David West added 22 points in the victory. Corey Brewer had 23 points off of the bench for Minnesota as Randy Foye scored 20 points and Al Jefferson had 14 points and 8 boards.

The Houston Rockets managed to take down Seattle 103-80 despite playing without Tracy McGrady who was out with a shoulder injury and losing Shane Battier midway through with an injured foot. Rafer Alston scored 18 points for the Rockets as Steve Novak added 17 off of the bench Luther Head scored 16 points and Luis Scola scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Kevin Durant had 26 points to lead the Sonics as Earl Watson scored 16 points and had 8 assists and Damien Wilkins added 14 points in the loss.

The Knicks defeated the Bobcats 109-107 last night with Jamal Crawford leading New York as he scored 18 points in the game. Fred Jones scored 15 points and Zach Randolph scored 15 points to go with 11 rebounds. Emeka Okafor had 24 points and 8 rebounds for the Bobcats while Raymond Felton also scored 24 points to go with 8 assists and Jason Richardson scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss.