The NBA: Ty That Binds

Ty Lawson has been laying down the law up in the Rockies.

*All images are from the Associated Press.

"In high school, I was so aggressive. It's a mode I've got to get back into, which I feel like I'm doing.” – Ty Lawson on trying to be more assertive on the offensive end for the Denver Nuggets

Ty Lawson had his moments last season as either the main back-up to Raymond Felton, who hasn’t been very good this year for Portland, or the patch-up SG when JR Smith wasn’t around.

With both those guys out of Colorado, it was projected that Lawson would have a breakout season.

He was a little hit-or-miss to start this year, but, judging by his last few games, it sure looks like he’s finally hitting more than missing.

Together with Derrick Rose, Lawson was just named Player of the Week by the NBA (Rose for the East and Lawson for the West). In that span, Denver went- 4-0 to stay in contention for a postseason spot, all despite having a bevy of injuries.

Lawson has been so good lately that he almost got a triple-double against San Antonio, and he averaged a bit more than 19 points, 12 assists and about 7 rebounds per game last week. Oh, and he only turned the ball over 7 times over the 4 games. How about some Ty-sanity?

It’s slowly becoming apparent that the fortunes of these Nuggets now rest with how well, or how not well, Lawson will play for the rest of the season. He has definitely stepped up across the board, and is gradually rising up the ladder of the league’s best PGs.

It’s still a long way till the playoffs, and even then the Nuggets might find themselves outside looking in, but, at the very least, Lawson’s play should get him some consideration for this year’s Most Improved.

It’s crystal clear that though Nene is Denver’s anchor down low and Gallo and Al Harrington are the explosive and versatile wing scorers, Lawson is the Ty that binds all these Nuggets together.

After the JUMP, March 5, 2012 stat-stuffers:

UTA over CLE, 109-100
Al Jefferson had 25 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists as the Utah Jazz snapped a six-game road skid with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Gordon Hayward added 23 points and 5 assists off the bench for the Jazz, who won on the road for the first time since February 12 at Memphis. Kyrie Irving and Antawn Jamison each had 22 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost six in a row.

ORL over TOR, 92-88
Dwight Howard poured in 36 points on an efficient 16-of-20 shooting effort, but the Magic needed to overcome their All-Star center's woes at the foul line to edge the Raptors. Howard missed six consecutive free throws in the final three minutes, allowing the Raptors to cut a nine-point deficit to 87-85 in crunch time. J.J. Redick answered Toronto's 7-0 run with a three-pointer from the right corner with 9.8 seconds remaining, and added two free throws a little later to seal Orlando's third win in four games.

GSW over WAS, 120-100
Monta Ellis poured in 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting and dished out 8 assists, as the Golden State Warriors thumped the Washington Wizards. Klay Thompson drained four three-pointers en route to 18 points and Ekpe Udoh donated 17 points and 6 rebounds for the Warriors, who wrapped up a six-game road trip with a 3-3 mark. Nick Young had 25 points to pace the Wizards, who have dropped seven of their last eight games.

CHI over IND, 92-72
Luol Deng scored 20 points and the red-hot Chicago Bulls took down the Indiana Pacers. Derrick Rose added 13 points and 9 assists for the Bulls, who have won seven in a row for the first time since ending last season with a nine-game surge. Paul George and George Hill ended with 21 and 17 points, respectively, for the Pacers, who had a six-game winning streak snapped.

MIL over PHI, 97-93
Brandon Jennings dropped in a game-high 33 points and dished out 7 assists as the Milwaukee Bucks survived a fourth- quarter rally to escape with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Drew Gooden netted 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Ersan Ilyasova finished with 11 points and 18 rebounds for the Bucks, who snapped their three-game skid. Philadelphia fell to 2-8 this season in games decided by five points or less.

MIN over LAC, 95-94
Kevin Love scored his team's final four points down the stretch en route to a 39-point, 17-rebound performance as the Timberwolves held on for a victory over the Clippers. Chris Paul had a chance to tie the game for the Clippers with 2.7 seconds left after being fouled by rookie Derrick Williams on a three-point attempt. Paul connected on the first two free throws, but missed badly on the third allowing Minnesota to escape with the victory. The Clippers dropped to 2-2 on their current six-game road trip.

OKC over DAL, 95-91
James Harden scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Oklahoma City Thunder downed the Dallas Mavericks. Russell Westbrook added 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while Kevin Durant finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds as the Thunder became the first team in the Western Conference with 30 wins. Dallas lost for the fifth time in six games.

DEN over SAC, 119-116 (OT)
Ty Lawson made a three-pointer with four seconds left in overtime to lift the Denver Nuggets over the Sacramento Kings. Lawson ended with 16 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds for the Nuggets, who started a season-long nine-game homestand on Monday. Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans each finished with 27 points for the Kings, who have dropped four straight.

POR over NOH, 86-74
Nicolas Batum led five Trail Blazers in double figures with 19 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Raymond Felton each recorded double-doubles in Portland's drubbing of the lowly Hornets. Aldridge posted 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Felton chipped in 11 points and 10 assists for Portland, which climbed back to .500 (19-19) by snapping a three-game losing streak. The Hornets have lost four of five and six of eight overall.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Kevin Love (MIN) – 39
Dwight Howard (ORL) – 36
Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 33
Arron Afflalo (DEN) – 32

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Ersan Ilyasova (MIL) – 18
Kevin Love (MIN) & Joakim Noah (CHI) – 17

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
John Wall (WAS) – 14
Ty Lawson (DEN) – 13
Andre Miller (DEN) – 11

John Wall continues to impress as a young, up-and-coming star
for the Washington Wizards.
Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
A LOT with 3!

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Serge Ibaka (OKC) – 6
A LOT with 3!

Serge Ibaka (R) deflects the ball as Rodrigue Beaubois (M)
tries to drive strong.
Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Marcus Thornton (SAC) – 6
Kevin Love (MIN) – 5
A LOT with 4!

March 5, 2012 First Five
C – Dwight Howard (ORL) – 36pts, 13rebs, 2blks, 1stl
F – Al Jefferson (UTA) – 25pts, 13rebs, 7asts, 3blks, 1stl
F – Kevin Love (MIN) – 39pts, 17rebs, 5 treys, 2asts
G – John Wall (WAS) – 20pts, 14asts, 6rebs, 1stl
G – Brandon Jennings (MIL) – 33pts, 7asts, 4 treys, 4rebs, 2stls, 1blk

Al Jefferson's great play has heavily contributed
to Utah's chances of earning a playoff berth.

Honorable Mention:
Monta Ellis (GSW) – 25pts, 8asts, 5rebs, 2stls
Ty Lawson (DEN) – 16pts, 13asts, 7rebs, 2stls, 1blk
Gordon Hayward (UTA) – 23pts, 5asts, 4rebs, 1stl

Daily Zap:


*Game recaps were compiled and compressed from the Sports Network.
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