The Post Up: Warriors Go Home

by April 15, 2008
9

By: Holly MacKenzie

All good things must eventually come to an end and last night was the end for the Golden State Warriors. It was a deflating finish to an otherwise exciting night in the NBA. Denver will be fun in the playoffs for sure, but they just are not the Warriors.

Ramon Sessions! 20-24-8 and only 2 turnovers. Sure, the Bucks didn’t play any defense and it wasn’t really a priority of Chicago’s either, but that is a crazy line. He will be back next season.

There was chaos all around last night. What I thought would be a relatively quiet night turned out to have plenty of action.

Cleveland and Philly had the Sixers coming back out of the locker room to watch as Cleveland won the game on free throws with .2 left on the clock, ensuring a first round series with Washington. How excited is everyone for that? It IS the match up of the East, at least until we get to Detroit and Boston. Let’s see what DeShawn comes up with for this series.

Sacramento defeating New Orleans and almost taking down the Spurs…. I’m a little worried for the Lakers tonight.

Nellie being controversial and leaving Baron on the bench at the end of the game. I know he had a rough start, but that was a bold move. So, in the end it was the Suns ending the Warriors season and allowing Melo to breathe a little easier.

Chicago shot 67% in their game last night. In the entire game. Funny watching two teams who will not make the playoffs. 151-135. Enough said.

Hardwood Paroxysm has the Nash/Kidd “there can only be one” commercial up. Crazy how different Nash looks when there is only half of him. I am loving these and they are only going to get better as the playoffs go on. There are so many I want to see, what would your pairing be? Sheed and Duncan might be my top pick.

Interesting stuff on the Sonics previous owner attempting to sue Clay Bennett over his attempts to move the team from Seattle. After seeing the video of the fans staying after the game and giving the deafening “Save Our Sonics” cheer, I hope they can find a way to keep the team where it belongs.

Before we get onto the recaps, how busted did Melo look in that mugshot? Thankfully, no one was hurt in his little incident.

It’s going to be an interesting postseason.

Cleveland 91 Philadelphia 90

In a game that allowed the Cavaliers to clinch homecourt, things went down to the wire. While the Sixers had heard the final buzzer and were in the locker room starting to celebrate their one-point win courtesy of a jumper from Louis Williams with 5.1 seconds on the clock, it wasn’t over. After the refs had huddled to review the final play they determined that a foul had been called with with time remaining on the clock and that Samuel Dalembert did foul Devin Brown with .2 seconds remaining. The Sixers had to be brought out from the locker room as Brown attempted his free throws. Despite the odd circumstance, Brown went to the line and knocked down both free throws giving the Cavaliers the one-point victory in what had been a close game throughout, with the Sixers outscoring Cleveland 31-24 in the final quarter as they had come from behind to get what they thought was the victory. LeBron James finished with 27 points for the Cavs, Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 22 points and Brown added 13 points off of the bench. Andre Miller had 26 points for Philadelphia, while Williams had 21 off of the bench, Thaddeus Young and Willie Green scored 11 points apiece, Andre Iguodala scored 10 points and Dalembert pulled down 10 rebounds.

Utah 105 Houston 96

The Utah Jazz are like two different teams when their home and away records are compared. The dominance at home continued last night as the Jazz took down the Rockets 105-96, moving closer to grabbing homecourt advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. With Houston leading by one at the end of the first quarter, the Jazz stepped it up in the second, outscoring the Rockets 35-19 as they took a 56-41 lead into the break and extended their lead to 17 points at the end of the third quarter. In that second period, the Rockets went scoreless for almost six minutes as the Jazz pulled away. While Houston would outscore Utah 29-21 in the final quarter, they were out-rebounded 50-30 and could not recover from the 17-point deficit as the Jazz went on to get the victory and the season-series from the Rockets, 2-1. Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jazz. Deron Williams scored 17 points and dished 9 assists, Mehmet Okur had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Ronnie Brewer added 12 points of his own. Luis Scola had 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Rockets while Bobby Jackson scored 19 points, Tracy McGrady had 22 points and Shane Battier scored 10 in the loss.

Phoenix 122 Golden State 116

In a game that the Warriors needed to win or “go home”, they came up just short after staging an impressive rally in the third quarter. With the Suns running away with the game in the first half, leading by as many as 17 points in the second quarter and holding on to a 71-57 lead at the break thanks to a 40-point second quarter, things were definitely in their favor. With Coach Nelson benching Baron Davis after a 2-13 performance in the third quarter, the Warriors rallied and outscored the suns 38-19 in the period to take a 95-90 advantage into the fourth. They were led by Stephen Jackson (6-8 field goals in the quarter), and Kelenna Azubuike. In the fourth, the Warriors extended their lead to as many as 11 before the Suns came charging back. Behind the play of Amare Stoudemire the Suns went on an 11-0 run to tie the game with under five minutes to play. A three-pointer by Jackson tied the game again with three minutes remaining in the game, but Golden State did not have an answer for the Suns as Stoudemire hit free throws and Leandro Barbosa all but sealed the victory with a corner three to extend their lead to 117-112. Stoudemire finished with 28 points to lead the Suns, Shaquille O’Neal had 19 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Nash had 13 points, 14 assists and 9 rebounds, Raja Bell scored 16 points and Barbosa added 19. Jackson finished with 23 points for the Warriors while Monta Ellis scored 20 points, to go with 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals, Andris Biedrins had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Azubuike finished with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

San Antonio 101 Sacramento 98

After struggling in their last few games, the San Antonio Spurs were able to get a victory over the Sacramento Kings, but it came down to the final possession. While the Spurs led throughout the first half and held onto a 56-51 lead at the break, they were unable to hold onto an 83-76 lead at the start of the fourth and allowed the Kings to get back into the game. As the Kings put together an 11-0 run, they turned their deficit into a six-point lead midway through the quarter. Tony Parker brought the Spurs back within one as he scored five in a row and the Spurs went ahead for good on a layup by Fabricio Oberto that gave them a 97-95 lead. The Kings made things interesting when John Salmons was fouled by Tim Duncan as he scored a layup and then hit the free-throw to draw the Kings within 99-98. Michael Finley hit two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to extend the Spurs lead to three points and the Kings missed back to back three-pointers on their final possessions. Parker finished with 32 points and 11 assists while Duncan and Finley each had 19 points and Oberto added 17 points and 8 rebounds. Salmons scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Kings as Spencer Hawes scored 17 points, Beno Udrih scored 16 points and Francisco Garcia added 15 in the loss.