The NBA Roundup: March 28, 2013

The streak is over! Thank you, Bulls! Oh, but give credit where it is due – the Heat were pretty impressive in winning 27 straight. Of course, the biased guy in me would also want to say the Bulls were even more impressive in putting a stop to that streak sans Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Aside from Miami’s loss igniting applause from all around the globe, however, other good things happened today, like two young guns dueling in Charlotte, Reggie Evans adding 20+ points to his 20+ rebounds, and, hey, is that the Roy Hibbert All-Star collector’s edition we see?

Day’s Best:
  •       Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer paired up for 49 points to lead a herculean effort from the Chicago Bulls to interrupt Miami’s self-conscious date with history. The super play of the night, however, belonged to Jimmy Butler, who gave Chris Bosh his latest moment of humiliation with an over-the-back-alley-oop dunk. Pure awesome.
  •        Kemba Walker may have enjoyed the W, but we cannot fault the effort of Orlando’s Tobias Harris. The former Tennessee Volunteer recorded 29 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 blocks in a superhuman performance worthy of notice. Walker wasn’t too shabby, too. He led Charlotte with 34 points on 13-of-23 FG shooting to go along with 9 dimes, 7 boards, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Wow. These kids today.
  •        Roy Hibbert, the 2012 All-Star anomaly, scored 28 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked 3 shots to lead Indiana past the Rockets. Man, if only he can be this good every night, then I might stop ribbing him. MIGHT.

Luol Deng (R) and the Bulls were successful in
halting Miami's win streak.
(image by Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Day’s Worst:
  •        So we can blame GSW’s loss to Sac-town squarely on Klay Thompson’s butt-awful FG shooting. The 6’7” Cal native finished with just 4 points, making only 1 of his 13 shots. Kids, don’t do this at home… or anywhere for that matter.
  •        I’m BIG on James Harden. I mean, he’s the new superstar for sentimental favorites, the Houston Rockets, but, man, he was just too terrible against Indiana. The Beard connected on just 6 of his 24 shot attempts to go along with 3 turnovers.
  •        I love the fact my former fave Fantasy NBA PG Jameer Nelson had 11 assists today, but I hate the fact he had 5 turnovers and missed 13 of his 19 field goals. Quo vadis, Orlando?

Final Score: Charlotte 114, Orlando 108
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson scored 34 points apiece and led the Charlotte Bobcats to a 114-108 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Walker shot 13-of-23 from the field and had nine assists and seven rebounds. Henderson was 12-of-18 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the foul line for the Bobcats, who snapped a two-game skid. Tobias Harris had a team-high 29 points and grabbed nine boards for the Magic, who have lost eight straight games. Kyle O'Quinn registered a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, as did Jameer Nelson, who finished with 13 points and 11 assists. Maurice Harkless scored 18 points in the setback.

Final Score: Boston 93, Cleveland 92
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Jeff Green's layup at the buzzer prevented the Boston Celtics from enduring a sixth straight loss, with the basket accounting for the deciding points in a 93-92 comeback win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Green finished with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Brandon Bass scored a season-high 22 points to help Boston rally from a 14-point deficit with eight minutes remaining and earn a much- needed victory. Paul Pierce nearly notched a triple-double in the triumph, accumulating 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Wayne Ellington netted 16 points for Cleveland, which was outscored by a 21-6 margin over the final eight minutes and shot just 36.8 percent in the fourth quarter. C.J. Miles and Marreese Speights each had 13 points off the bench in the loss, the Cavaliers' sixth in a row and eighth in nine games.

Final Score: Philadelphia 100, Milwaukee 92
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Spencer Hawes scored 15 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers ended a three-game losing skid versus Milwaukee to down the Bucks, 100-92, on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center. Damien Wilkins and Jrue Holiday netted 18 points apiece for the 76ers, who have won two of their last three. Thaddeus Young donated 14 points and seven boards and Dorell Wright had 14 points in the victory, the Sixers' third consecutive at home. Monta Ellis scored a game-high 29 points to go along with seven assists for the Bucks, who have lost four straight and seven of their last nine. Larry Sanders scored 15 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Ersan Ilyasova chipped in 13 points and had 18 boards in defeat.

Final Score: Atlanta 107, Toronto 88
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Al Horford and Jeff Teague each came through with double-doubles and the Atlanta Hawks officially clinched a playoff spot with a 107-88 decision over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday. Horford amassed 20 of his 26 points in the second half and finished with 12 rebounds, while Teague totaled 24 points with 13 assists to help Atlanta secure a trip back to the postseason for a sixth consecutive time. Josh Smith donated 19 points in the victory. Rudy Gay returned from a one-game absence to tally 15 points, 12 rebounds and two steals, but the Raptors dropped their fifth in a row. Jonas Valanciunas finished with 19 points and eight boards, while Terrence Ross and Alan Anderson contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively, in the setback.

Final Score: New York 108, Memphis 101
New York, NY (Sports Network) - J.R. Smith scored a game-high 35 points off the bench, as the New York Knicks held off a furious second-half surge from the Memphis Grizzlies to notch their sixth straight victory with a 108-101 decision on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony followed with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton added 16 and 13 points, respectively, for the Knicks, who nearly blew a 30-point third- quarter cushion. Mike Conley contributed 26 points and six assists, while Jerryd Bayless tallied 24 points in the setback, Memphis' second in a row and third in its last four games.

Final Score: Indiana 100, Houston 91
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Roy Hibbert poured in a game-high 28 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 100-91 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Lance Stephenson scored a season-high 21 points, while Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough added 16 points apiece for the Pacers, winners in five of their last six games. James Harden scored 22 points to pace Houston, but was just 6-for-24 from the field. Greg Smith added 18 points and 19 rebounds and Chandler Parsons chipped in 11 points for the Rockets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Final Score: LA Clippers 105, New Orleans 91
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin scored 19 points and led the Los Angeles Clippers to a 105-91 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday. Chris Paul had 16 points and nine assists while Caron Butler and Jamal Crawford scored 13 points apiece for the Clippers, who have won three of their last four games. Eric Gordon had a game-high 24 points for the Hornets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Anthony Davis recorded 19 points and nine rebounds and Robin Lopez had 13 points and eight rebounds in the setback.

Final Score: Oklahoma City 103, Washington 80
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Russell Westbrook scored 21 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder stayed hot at Chesapeake Energy Arena by taking a 103-80 decision over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Kevin Durant followed with 20 points, six boards and six assists for the Thunder, who have won three straight overall and nine of their last 10 games at home. Kevin Martin supplied 18 points in the victory. John Wall, who was coming off a career-best 47-point performance versus Memphis on Monday, finished with 18 points and 12 assists for Washington, but shot a mere 3-of-18 from the floor.

Final Score: LA Lakers 120, Minnesota 117
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant supplied 31 points and his block from behind with the clock expiring allowed the Lakers to hold on for a 120-117 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at Target Center. Bryant could've clinched the victory at the free throw line, but misfired on his second attempt with 3.4 seconds left. Ricky Rubio grabbed the rebound and raced down the court to attempt a potential game-tying 3-pointer, but it fell short after Bryant got just enough of the ball on his block from behind. Dwight Howard amassed 25 points and 16 rebounds, Pau Gasol totaled 17 points with nine boards and Steve Nash had 16 points with eight assists in the Lakers' 22nd straight victory over Minnesota. Rubio had 13 points and seven assists in the setback for the Timberwolves, who had won two of three coming in. Nikola Pekovic finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds, while Dante Cunningham scored 18 in defeat.

Final Score: Chicago 101, Miami 97
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The streak is over. Luol Deng scored 28 points, Carlos Boozer added 21 with 17 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls clamped down defensively to come through with a 101-97 victory over the Miami Heat and put an end to the reigning NBA champions' 27-game unbeaten run. Jimmy Butler chipped in 17 points for Chicago, which limited the Heat's potent offense to a 44.4 percent success rate from the field in the second half to deal Miami its first defeat since a 102-89 setback at Indiana on Feb. 1 -- despite All-Star center Joakim Noah sitting out a third straight outing with an injured foot. LeBron James still managed 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting in the setback, and Dwyane Wade returned from a two-game absence to provide 18 points and seven rebounds. Those efforts still weren't quite enough to prevent Miami to extend the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, trailing only a 33-game effort by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Chris Bosh finished with 21 points for the Heat.

Final Score: San Antonio 100, Denver 99
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Tim Duncan posted a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds, as all five San Antonio starters scored in double figures in the Spurs' 100-99 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday at AT&T Center. Danny Green drained six 3-pointers en route to 20 points, while Tony Parker registered a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists for the Spurs, who have won six straight at home and five of their last six overall. Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter added 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the victory. JaVale McGee led the Nuggets with 21 points and 11 boards, while Wilson Chandler chipped in 15 points for Denver, which has lost back-to-back games on the heels of a 15-game winning streak. Andre Miller finished with 14 points and eight assists, but missed a potential game-winning shot as time expired.

Final Score: Utah 103, Phoenix 88
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Gordon Hayward netted 25 points and dished out six helpers and Al Jefferson also supplied to 25 points and snagged nine rebounds as the Jazz took a 103-88 decision over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday at EnergySolutions Arena. Paul Millsap and Randy Foye each had 12 points for the Jazz, who have won two straight following a four-game losing skid. Derrick Favors donated nine points and pulled down 13 boards, while Mo Williams had eight points and 10 assists in the victory. Utah is now one-game behind the Lakers for the West's eighth playoff spot. Wesley Johnson scored 22 points and Luis Scola had 20 and grabbed seven rebounds for the Suns, who have dropped their last four games and 10 of 12 overall.

Final Score: Sacramento 105, Golden State 98
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Isaiah Thomas poured in a game-high 31 points to go along with seven assists to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 105-98 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. DeMarcus Cousins added 14 points and Marcus Thornton finished with 13 for the Kings, who have taken three of four from the Warriors this season. David Lee and Stephen Curry both recorded double-doubles for the Warriors, who had won two straight entering the contest. Lee finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Curry had 17 points and 12 assists in the setback.

Final Score: Brooklyn 111, Portland 93
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Reggie Evans poured in 22 points and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds, as the Brooklyn Nets pummeled the Portland Trail Blazers, 111-93, on Wednesday at the Rose Garden. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 28 points, while Andray Blatche, Gerald Wallace and MarShon Brooks each added 12 points for Brooklyn, which has won two straight to remain 2 1/2 games back of the Atlantic Division-leading New York Knicks. LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team-high 24 points, while Damian Lillard finished with 15 points, despite being held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season. Meyers Leonard added 11 points and nine boards for the Blazers, who have lost two straight and sit 3 1/2 games back of the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Reggie Evans was super solid at the slot as Brooklyn upended Portland.
(image by Cameron Browne/Getty Images)

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