Post Up: Comeback and Clinch

The Hawks' comeback win from 18 points down clinched a Playoff berth on Tuesday.
by March 04, 2015
10

Kings 124 (21-37), Knicks 86 (12-47)

Well, that was an ugly game for the Knicks—they suffered their worst loss of the season last night as the visiting Sacramento Kings won by 38 points at the Garden. DeMarcus Cousins returned after missing two games with an injury and finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Rudy Gay scored a game-high 25, and Ben McLemore added 20.

In the second quarter, the Kings held the Knicks to 25 percent shooting as they themselves went on a 17-0 run leading up to their 65-39 halftime lead. Their lead extended to as many as 44 points, and the Knicks never caught up.

Hornets 104 (25-33), Lakers 103 (16-43)

‘Twas a close one at the Time Warner Cable Arena last night in Charlotte as the Hornets hosted the Los Angeles Lakers. With the score all tied up at halftime, the home team came out with a 12-1 run early in the third quarter that gave them an 11-point lead, their largest of the night. But L.A. didn’t go away. They kept pushing and tied the game four times in the final period, although they never got that coveted lead. Jeremy Lin led the Lakers with 23 points and 8 assists off the bench in the loss. On the winning side, Gerald Henderson scored 21, and three guys—Al Jefferson (21 points, 16 rebounds), Mo Williams (20 points, 13 assists), and Cody Zeller (10 points, 11 rebounds)—finished with the double-double.

Cavaliers 110 (38-24), Celtics 79 (23-35)

Tuesday had its share of blowout wins. First the Kings, and now the Cavaliers who hosted the Boston Celtics at the Q yesterday night. After dropping two games in a row on the road, Cleveland was ready for an uplifting home win. Signs of such a win were evident when LeBron James finished with 12 and Kyrie Irving with 10 to give the Cavs a 29-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.

From then on, the Cavs continued to extend their lead, which hit 44 at one point. LeBron finished with 27 points to lead all scorers. These two points put him past former teammate Ray Allen for 21st on the all-time scoring list:

A total of seven Cavs (compared to the Celtics’ two) finished in double figures on a night when they went 14-14 from the line. They beat the Celtics in multiple categories—44-22 in the paint, 15-4 in fast breaks, and 52-42 in rebounds. And of course, the final score, which was Boston’s worst loss of the season.

Hawks 104 (47-12), Rockets 96 (41-18)

With the win over the Harden-less Houston Rockets last night, the Atlanta Hawks clinched a Playoffs berth—and what better place to brag than on your official Twitter account, right?

The Hawks were down 18 points with 1:44 left in the first half. At the break, the Rockets’ lead was 14. The home team made up a portion of that deficit in the third, outscoring Houston by 5 which resulted in a 9-point gap heading into the fourth. With two early back-to-back 3-pointers, the Rockets quickly went up by 15.

But then! Paul Millsap (18 points, 14 rebounds), Jeff Teague (25 points, 6 assists), and the Hawks went on a 21-3 run to take a 3-point lead with 4:02 left in the game. This beaut was a part of said run:

Donatas Montiejunas (14 points, 7 assists) took a 3 for Houston and tied the game at 93. After the teams exchanged a couple more 3-pointers, Al Horford (18 points, 8 rebounds) hit the jumper to put the Hawks up by 2. With less than a minute left, the Hawks nailed all six of their free throws, and that was game.

Bulls 97 (38-23), Wizards 92 (24-35)

The Chicago Bulls hosted the Washington Wizards last night at the United Center without a lot of their main guys. No Derrick Rose, no Jimmy Butler, and no Taj Gibson. But despite being shorthanded, the Bulls pulled off a win to give the Wizards their seventh loss in eight games.

Nikola Mirotic led Chicago with 23 points, Aaron Brooks added 22, and Pau Gasol finished with 20 points and 10 boards. The Bulls had a 12-point lead earlier in the fourth quarter, but the Wizards pushed forward. Otto Porter’s jumper brought the Wizards within 3 points with less than two minutes remaining.

Speaking of Otto Porter…

But soon after, Gasol’s free throws at the end of the game sealed the win for Chicago.

Jazz 93 (24-35), Grizzlies 82 (42-17)

The Utah Jazz handed the the home team Memphis Grizzlies their third loss in four games last night at the FedExForum. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors finished with 21 points apiece, and Rudy Gobert brought down a career-high 24 rebounds to go with his 15 points for the Jazz.

With 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, Utah had a 14 point advantage—their largest lead of the night. Memphis got back within 2 with 2:15 left on the clock, but Gobert threw down a couple slams, including this:

Nuggets 106 (21-39), Bucks 95 (32-28)

After losing six in a row and firing head coach Brian Shaw, the Denver Nuggets played host to the Milwaukee Bucks last night at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets weren’t very welcoming though. The home team opened up with a 20-9 lead on their guests, before the Bucks managed a 13-1 run and eventually ended the first quarter 29-29.

Denver went on more runs to finish the first half and in the fourth quarter too. They built up a lead as great as 15 in the final period. Danilo Gallinari finished with a season-high 26 points, and both Kenneth Faried (14 points, 14 rebounds) and Ty Lawson (16 points, 10 assists) recorded double-doubles in the win. Ersan Ilyasova scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth to lead the Bucks, but to no avail as the Nuggets won their first home game since January 14.