Post Up: Stayin’ Alive

The Hawks, Pacers, Bulls and Blazers pick up wins to keep their playoff hopes alive.
by April 07, 2017
Paul Millsap

Magic 115 (28-51), Nets 107 (19-60)

Though the Nets made another fourth quarter surge, the Magic got revenge for last Saturday’s loss in Brooklyn behind 22 points and 11 assists from Elfrid Payton, 21 points from Aaron Gordon and 20 points from Jodie Meeks.

After the game was tied at 50 at halftime, the Magic made their run in the third quarter, outscoring the Nets 36-21. They built a 17-point lead and were able to survive a season-high 32 points from Jeremy Lin.

Bulls 102 (39-40), Sixers 90 (28-51)

With 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Jimmy Butler picked up his second triple-double of the season and the helped the Bulls remain in the playoff hunt.

Chicago led for the majority of the game. They pulled down 57 boards, the 20th time this season they’ve had at least 50 rebounds. The Sixers shot 36% from the field and 21% from downtown.

The Bulls, on the other hand, had 27 assists on 39 field goals, getting 22 points and 8 rebounds from Nikola Mirotic.

Pacers 104 (39-40), Bucks 89 (40-39)

The Pacers remain half a game ahead of the Heat for the final spot in the East. Indy took control in the third quarter. Paul George finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Jeff Teague had 15 points and 7 assists and Thad Young chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bucks got 25 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists from Giannis Antetokounmpo, but Khris Middleton and Greg Monroe combined for just 14 points. They had 21 turnovers and were a minus-12 on the glass.

Wizards 106 (48-31), Knicks 103 (30-49)

The Wizards led for most of this game. Bradley Beal scored 25 and John Wall had 24 points points and 8 assists. The Knicks rallied from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to tie the game at 101 with 50 seconds left. Then Wall left Willy Hernangomez in the dust with a crossover before he packed a left-handed dunk. Washington held on from there.

Hawks 123 (40-38), Celtics 116 (50-29)

The Hawks exploded for 71 first half points, a season high. The Celtics tried to make a comeback, cutting a 20-point down to seven a few times during the fourth quarter. But Paul Millsap and Tim Hardaway Jr. continued to score for Atlanta, and the Bucks earned a big-time win, moving them to within sole possession of the East’s fifth seed.

Taurean Prince had a career-best 20 points and Dennis Schroder added 18 and and 5 assists. Millsap had 26, 12 and 4 off the bench, while Hardaway Jr. had 23, 5 boards and 5 dimes. Boston had 38 rebounds, compared to Atlanta’s 52. The C’s have now lost two in a row and are a game and a half behind Cleveland for the East’s top spot.

Blazers 105 (39-40), Wolves 98 (31-47)

The Wolves opened a 15-point advantage in the third quarter. Then Damian Lillard woke up. Then Allen Crabbe decided not to miss. Then the Wolves couldn’t buy a bucket. Then, all of a sudden, the Blazers put themselves a game and a half ahead of the Nuggets for the West’s final playoff spot.

Crabbe made 8 three-pointers, a career-high, on his way to 25 points. The Blazers took the lead on a gutsy three-ball from Crabbe, a fast-break knockdown from the right wing.

Lillard had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Portland got it done on defense in the fourth, forcing Minnesota to miss their first 12 shots from the floor. They ended up with just 11 fourth quarter points, wasting a combined 79 points, 31 rebounds and 12 assists from Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio.