The NBA Roundup: March 27, 2013

My my my. If there’s anything we can take away from the Mavericks’ OT win over the Clips, it’s the fact that the boys from Dallas are getting sick of their beards. They want to shave, but they may not till they reach .500. In other eclectic news, Nikola Pekovic netted his 23rd double-double of the season, while JR Smith waxed hot to bury Boston.

Day’s Best:
  •        Dirk is playing like the Dirk of early-to-mid 2011. He scored 33 points in the Mavs’ landmark win over the Clippers, including eight straight late to put the outcome beyond doubt. The big Q is this – has Dirk’s renaissance come a little too late?
  •        Pekovic’s line against Detroit – 18 points, 11 rebounds, 70% FG shooting, and 4-of-5 from the line. #MarvelousMontenegrin
  •        JR Smith was far from shabby tonight. 32 points on 54% FG shooting to go along with 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and, best of all, ZERO TURNOVERS? Let’s go Big Apple! 

Dirk Nowitzki seems to have come alive of late,
but it might not be nearly enough for
the Mavs to enter the postseason.
(image by Glenn James/Getty Images)

Day’s Worst:
  •        Avery Bradley was awful. Can’t fault his effort, but we have to fault his shot selection and his inefficiency. 3-of-11 from the field, no steals, and no assists. #SoBad
  •        Brandon Knight hasn’t been his best self ever since he got demolished by DeAndre. Heck, he hasn’t been his best self ever since he lost his ankles against Kyrie. Against the T-Wolves, Knight registered just 7 points on 3-of-10 shooting along with 4 turnovers.
  •        Matt Barnes’s airball three in OT. You cannot possibly be that open and miss everything. I mean, you’re an NBA player, not a pick-up player in some baranggay covered court.

Final Score: New York 100, Boston 85
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony carried the load offensively in leading the New York Knicks to a fifth straight win with a thorough 100-85 pasting of the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Both teams were missing key players due to injuries, but while the Knicks continued to keep pace in the Eastern Conference standings, the Celtics have dropped to the No. 7 seed with their fifth straight loss. Smith totaled 32 points and seven rebounds, while Anthony added 29 points and eight boards for the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks, who are percentage points ahead of the Indiana Pacers for the second seed in the East. The Celtics committed 20 turnovers to New York's eight and were outscored in second-chance points by a 29-6 margin. Jeff Green paced Boston with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Pierce and Jordan Crawford chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively, in the setback.

Final Score: Minnesota 105, Detroit 82
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - J.J. Barea scored 21 points off the bench and led the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 105-82 rout against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday. Nikola Pekovic registered a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who came into the game off a 104-97 loss against Chicago on Sunday. Luke Ridnour tallied 15 points and Ricky Rubio had 14 points and nine assists. Jose Calderon scored 14 points while Greg Monroe had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who snapped a 10- game losing streak with a win at Charlotte on Saturday.

Nikola Pekovic seems to be this season's Marcin Gortat.
(image by Paul Sancya/AP)

Final Score: Dallas 109, LA Clippers 102 (OT)
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki scored eight of Dallas' 12 points in overtime, as the Mavericks kept their playoff push going with a crucial 109-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Center. Nowitzki finished with 33 points and nine rebounds in leading the Mavericks to their third straight win, putting them one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference standings. Vince Carter followed with 14 points as Dallas had six players score in double figures. Chris Paul certainly didn't play like someone who had a swollen knee, as the All-Star point guard scored 33 points in a losing effort. The Clippers, who already know they're headed to the postseason, had won three of four coming in.

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