The NBA Roundup: March 23, 2013

It was not a good day for Lakers and Celtics fans. Memphis and Atlanta lost games they should’ve easily won. It was a turn-the-tables-on-the-favorites Saturday. Too bad the Heat were too good to get beaten by the lowly Pistons.

Day’s Best:
  •        LeBron James shot 12-of-15 from the field to finish with 29 points on top of 8 rebounds and 8 assists, leading Miami to its 25th straight win. The ’71-’72 Lakers are seriously looking over their shoulders now.
  •        What if John Wall played like this in every game – 24 points, SIXTEEN ASSISTS, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals? Well, he’d be more than just a Washington WALLflower that’s for sure. #someconsistencyplease
  •        Carmelo Anthony pouring 37 big ones on the Raptors. Melo didn’t do much else aside from scoring, but the Big Apple bigwigs aren’t paying him to do what Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd can (much better at that) anyway. A badly needed win for the embattled Knicks.
John Wall put up great numbers in the Wizards'
upset win over the Lakers.
(image by Matt York/AP)

Day’s Worst:
  •       Kobe Bryant and the Lakers lost to the Washington Wizards and are teetering just on the edge of Playoff advancement or elimination. He had a wicked double-double, but he did miss 10 field goals and committed 6 turnovers. #wakeuptherealKobe
  •        Jeff Green had a great run of games while it lasted, but against the Mavs he was just… okay. He shot just 5-of-11 from the floor to finish with 10 points and 5 turnovers.
  •        So Toronto’s Terrence Ross took 10 shots in 19 minutes. Five of those shots were from beyond the arc. He made only 2 field goals and NONE from threelandia. He shot more FGs than Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry. #nobusinessdoingthat

Final Score: Indiana 102, Milwaukee 78
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Tyler Hansbrough turned in a team-high 22 points with 12 rebounds, and Indiana surged past Milwaukee, 102-78, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday. Paul George followed with 20 points, eight boards and six assists, and the Pacers received 10 points apiece from D.J. Augustin, Ian Mahinmi and Jeff Pendergraph in their third straight win. Roy Hibbert chipped in 11 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks. The struggling Bucks shot just 30.7 percent and saw Brandon Jennings go 1-for-15 from the field in the team's fifth loss in seven games. Monta Ellis scored a team-best 22 points and Larry Sanders had six points and 12 rebounds before getting ejected in the third.

Final Score: Oklahoma City 97, Orlando 89
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant poured in 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 97-89 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday. Russell Westbrook added 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds and Serge Ibaka finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder, who had dropped two straight entering the game. Kevin Martin scored 15 off the bench in the win. Maurice Harkless scored 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds and Jameer Nelson added 16 points and 10 assists for the Magic, losers in six straight. Orlando guard Arron Afflalo left the game in the second quarter with an apparent hamstring injury and did not return.

Final Score: New York 99, Toronto 94
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony poured in 37 points in his second game back from injury, with the All-Star's efforts enabling the New York Knicks to clinch a postseason berth following a 99-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Two days upon returning to the lineup after sitting out six times in an eight-game span due to knee troubles, Anthony carried the Knicks to a third straight win that secured the current Atlantic Division leaders a spot in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs for a third consecutive season. Anthony did get plenty of help from Kenyon Martin, who amassed 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting while pulling down 11 rebounds in just his 10th game in a New York uniform. J.R. Smith added 14 points in the triumph. The Raptors suffered their third straight loss and 10th in 13 outings despite a career-best 35-point effort from Alan Anderson and 18 points out of DeMar DeRozan. Leading scorer Rudy Gay was held to just four points, however, while making good on a mere 2-of-7 field goal attempts.

Carmelo Anthony dropped 37 as the Knicks won their third straight to
stay within striking distance of the East's second seed.
(image by Nathan Denette/AP)

Final Score: Portland 104, Atlanta 93
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Wesley Matthews scored a game-high 28 points and connected on 5-of-8 from 3-point range, as the Portland Trail Blazers ended a four-game skid in Atlanta with a 104-93 win over the Hawks on Friday. Damian Lillard had 22 points and was also hot from beyond the arc, making 4- of-5 shots, for the Trail Blazers, who have won two straight -- both on the road -- despite having dropped 14 of their last 17 as the visitors. LaMarcus Aldridge had a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and J.J. Hickson supplied 15 and 10 rebounds in the victory. Josh Smith poured in 24 points to go along with 10 boards and four assists for the Hawks, who have dropped two of three. Jeff Teague and Al Horford scored 15 and 21 points, respectively in defeat, while Horford also pulled down 17 rebounds.

Final Score: Miami 103, Detroit 89
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Miami Heat continue to win games, and keep on making them interesting as well. After battling back from large deficits in their previous two victories, the Heat dug themselves an early 11-point hole against the lowly Detroit Pistons before dominating the second half en route to a 103-89 decision that extended their winning streak to 25 games. LeBron James once again led the way for Miami, now eight games shy of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers' NBA standard for consecutive triumphs, with the reigning league MVP tallying 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting along with eight rebounds and eight assists. Dwyane Wade added 19 points, with Shane Battier netting eight of his 11 after halftime. The Pistons lengthened a streak in the opposite direction, losing for the 10th consecutive outing despite a 23-point, 15-rebound effort from Greg Monroe. Jose Calderon and Kyle Singler each finished with 18 points in the setback.

Final Score: Houston 116, Cleveland 78
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - James Harden scored 20 and was one of seven Rockets in double-figures as Houston smoked the Cleveland Cavaliers, 116-78, on Friday at Toyota Center. Omer Asik chipped in with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds and rookie Thomas Robinson had 15 points with six boards as Houston improved to 4-1 on its seven-game homestand. Chandler Parsons ended with 13 points, Patrick Beverly had 11 and Donatas Motiejunas finished with 10 in the victory. The injury depleted Cavs were no match for the high-octane Rockets offense, which shot a scorching 57.1 percent. Kyrie Irving sat a six straight game and Dion Waiters' bum knee put him out for a second in a row. Shaun Livingston scored a team-high 14 points and Wayne Ellington followed with 13 in Cleveland's fifth straight setback.

Final Score: New Orleans 90, Memphis 83
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Robin Lopez scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and Anthony Davis chipped in with 18 points and 15 boards to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 90-83 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. Greivis Vasquez added 12 points and nine assists and Eric Gordon finished with 11 points despite going 4-for-13 from the field for the Hornets, who have won two straight. Mike Conley scored 20 points and Marc Gasol finished with 16 points and six boards for the Grizzlies, who had won eight of their last 10 entering the contest. Zach Randolph scored 14 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Jerryd Bayless donated 12 points off the bench in the setback.

Final Score: Dallas 104, Boston 94
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Brandan Wright had a season-high 23 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 22, with the duo leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 104-94 victory over the slumping Boston Celtics at American Airlines center. Wright finished 11-of-16 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds for Dallas, which also got a boost from Vince Carter's 19 points off the bench and Shawn Marion's return to the lineup to prevail for the seventh time in their last 10 outings. Out since March 4 due to a strained left calf, Marion put up 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds to help send the Celtics to a third straight loss and fifth defeat in seven contests. Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass each posted double-doubles in the setback, with Garnett compiling 16 points and 12 rebounds and Bass pulling down 11 boards along with 16 points. Paul Pierce also ended with 16 points for Boston, which fell a half-game behind Chicago for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Final Score: San Antonio 104, Utah 97 (OT)
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - It wasn't easy, but San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich earned his 900th career win. Tony Parker, who had missed the previous eight games because of a sprained left ankle, scored a team-high 22 points and Kawhi Leonard added 21 points and eight rebounds to lead the Spurs to a 104-97 overtime victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday. Tim Duncan added 19 points and 16 rebounds, and Danny Green scored 15 points for the Spurs, winners of four straight. Popovich became the 12th coach in NBA history with 900 career wins. Mo Williams scored 23 points and dished out eight assists, and Al Jefferson finished with 18 points and 13 boards for the Jazz, losers of three in a row and eight of 10.

Final Score: Minnesota 117, Phoenix 86
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Andrei Kirilenko led seven Minnesota players in double figures with 20 points as the Timberwolves cruised to a 117-86 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday. Dante Cunningham chipped in with 18 points and Greg Stiemsma finished with 14 points and 10 boards for the Timberwolves, who had dropped 12 of their last 15 games entering the contest. Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour finished with 12 points apiece while Nikola Pekovic and Chase Budinger each added 11 in the triumph. Luis Scola had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Goran Dragic finished with 13 points and 10 assists for the Suns, losers in six of their last seven games.

Final Score: Washington 103, LA Lakers 100
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Even with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol back in the lineup, the Los Angeles Lakers failed to hold an 18-point lead. John Wall had 24 points and a career-high 16 assists, and the Washington Wizards beat the Lakers, 103-100, Friday night. Trevor Ariza netted 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards, who were down 59-41 a minute into the third quarter. Bryant missed the previous two games with an ankle sprain and Gasol had sat out the last 20 with a foot problem. Bryant had 21 points and 11 assists, but his potential tying 3-point shot at the buzzer hit off the rim. Gasol had just four points and eight rebounds. Dwight Howard totaled 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost back-to-back contests. They're 1 1/2 games ahead of Utah for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Wizards, winners in five of their last six games, saw their lead trimmed to 101-000 following a Bryant 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left. The Wizards were then nearly given a 5-second call for not getting the ball inbounds, but were awarded a timeout. Wall then hit two from the charity stripe with 1.5 seconds left. Howard delivered a perfect baseball pass to Bryant, but his 3-point shot from the right wing was off the mark.

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