The NBA Roundup: March 30, 2013

The Jazz were the big winners today, coming back from a double-digit deficit to beat the Blazers and snatch back eighth spot from the Lakers. In other news, the Big Fundamental nailed the game-winner that deflated the Clippers’ challenge, while New York continued to roll with its seventh straight W.

Day’s Best:
  •        Mo Williams, Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap all combined to scored 75 points and lead Utah’s second half rally to overcome the Portland Trail Blazers. This win pushed the Jazz to a tie with the Lakers, but because the Jazz own the tie-breaker over LA, they are currently in eighth while Kobe & Co. are outside looking in.
  •        Tim Duncan hit an improbable and-1 fifteen-foot-floater that pulled the rug from under the Clippers as the Spurs remained entrenched atop the West ladder. The Clips, meanwhile, fell to fourth, half a game behind the Nuggets.
  •        Out in the East, the Knicks stretched their winning run to seven games after beating the Bobcats. JR Smith was on fire here, scoring 37 points on 12-of-18 FG shooting and 11-of-12 FT shooting.

Mo Williams led a furious second half rally as
Utah reclaimed eight seed out West.
(image by Cameron Browne/Getty Images)

Day’s Worst:
  •        OKC’s Kevin Martin continues to be a boom-bust player. In the Thunder’s loss to the lowly Wolves, Martin hit just 1-of-9 field goals to finish with 4 points. Needless to say, he’ll have to be more explosive if OKC wants a return trip to the NBA Finals.
  •        The Hawks are locked in for the postseason, but their loss to Boston today means the Cs still have a shot at moving up the ladder and supplanting ATL from the sixth seed. I blame Josh Smith, who missed 16 field goals and turned the ball over 4 times.
  •        By all indications, Blake Griffin underperformed against Tim Duncan’s Spurs today. Griffin made just 7 of his 20 field goals and hauled down only 7 rebounds in 38 minutes.

Final Score: Orlando 97, Washington 92
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Most of the time, a good way to end a lengthy losing streak is to play a team which you've had success against on your home court. That's just what Orlando needed and got on Friday, as the team downed Washington, 97-92, ending an eight-game losing skid en route to picking up its seventh straight victory over the Wizards at home. Tobias Harris scored a career-high 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds and Maurice Harkless added 18 points and grabbed nine boards for the Magic, who picked up a victory for the first time since March 10. E'Twaun Moore and Andrew Nicholson scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the much-needed win. John Wall led all scorers with 35 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Martell Webster chipped in 19 points for the Wizards, who have lost two straight.

Final Score: Boston 118, Atlanta 107
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce recorded a triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, as the Boston Celtics held off the Atlanta Hawks, 118-107. Jeff Green added 27 points for the Celtics, who sit 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Jason Terry made five 3-pointers en route to 24 points. Brandon Bass donated 13 points for Boston, which has won two in a row since a five-game skid. Mike Scott and Josh Smith ended with 19 and 18 points, respectively, for the Hawks, who went 2-2 on a four-game road trip. Jeff Teague tallied 17 points and seven assists. Anthony Tolliver had 14 points and seven rebounds for Atlanta, which was without the services of center Al Horford (stomach illness). Shelvin Mack finished with 12 points and nine assists.

Final Score: Philadelphia 97, Cleveland 87
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Evan Turner had 23 points and 13 rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers took a 97-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Jrue Holiday scored 20 points, Thaddeus Young added 18 points while Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers, who have won two straight. C.J. Miles scored 19 points and Tyler Zeller added 14 points and 10 boards for the Cavaliers, who have lost seven consecutive games.

Final Score: Toronto 99, Detroit 82
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan scored 21 points apiece as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Detroit Pistons, 99-82. Amir Johnson had 20 points and eight rebounds while Jonas Valanciunas recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Jonas Jerebko and Andre Drummond scored 20 and 17 points, respectively, for the Pistons, who have lost 12 of their last 13 games. Greg Monroe recorded 11 points and 13 rebounds in the setback.

Final Score: Memphis 103, Houston 94
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Zach Randolph totaled 21 points with 12 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies ended a two-game skid by knocking off the Houston Rockets, 103-94, on Friday at FedExForum. Marc Gasol, who continues to battle an abdomen tear, also poured in 21 points and Mike Conley had 15 with 10 assists to help the Grizzlies take a fifth straight home win over the Rockets. Tayshaun Prince donated 10 points and eight rebounds in the victory. The Rockets, losers of two straight since a three-game winning streak, received just 21 points combined between James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. Chandler Parsons and Donatas Motiejunas each scored 16 in defeat.

Final Score: Minnesota 101, Oklahoma City 93
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Nikola Pekovic recorded a double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-93, on Friday at Target Center. Chase Budinger supplied 13 points off the bench, while Andrei Kirilenko chipped in 12 points for the Timberwolves, who have won two of three. Kevin Durant scored 36 points and grabbed seven boards for the Thunder, who had a three-game winning streak come to an end. Russell Westbrook had 18 points to go along with nine rebounds and Serge Ibaka had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards in defeat.

Final Score: Miami 108, New Orleans 89
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - LeBron James made seven 3-pointers en route to 36 points and the Miami Heat clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 108-89 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Dwyane Wade added 17 points and nine assists for the Heat (57-15), who had their 27- game winning streak snapped in Chicago by the Bulls on Wednesday night. Norris Cole and Chris Bosh tallied 12 and 10 points, respectively. Ryan Anderson ended with 20 points for the Hornets, who fell to 3-3 on a seven-game homestand. Eric Gordon had 17 points, Brian Roberts donated 13 points and Anthony Davis recorded 11 points and four steals. New Orleans had won six in a row at home against Miami.

Final Score: San Antonio 104, LA Clippers 102
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Tim Duncan made a three-point play with 2.2 seconds left and Chris Paul's shot at the buzzer misfired, as the San Antonio Spurs held on to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers, 104-102, on Friday. Duncan made the game-winning shot from 16 feet out while taking a foul from Willie Green. His free throw created the two-point edge late. Duncan had 34 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who have won six of their last seven games. Tony Parker scored 24 points and dished out eight assists. The victory gives the Spurs a 2 1/2-game advantage over the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top spot in the Western Conference. Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford scored 18 and 16 points, respectively, and Paul had 14 points and 12 assists for the Clippers, who were coming off a 105-91 win over New Orleans on Wednesday.

Final Score: Denver 109, Brooklyn 87
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Evan Fournier stepped up with a career high 19 points, and the Denver Nuggets continued their winning ways at home with a 109-87 drubbing of the Brooklyn Nets. Fournier received a surplus of minutes with Ty Lawson out of the lineup and took advantage, making 6-of-9 shots from the field. Lawson sat with a plantar fascia tear in his right heel, but is considered day-to-day. The Nuggets had lost two in row on the heels of winning 15 straight, but continue to find success at the Pepsi Center, where they have won 18 in a row. Wilson Chandler had 16 points, with Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufos each scoring 13. Brooklyn fell to 4-2 on its eight-game road trip, trailing by double digits the entire second half on Friday. Deron Williams scored 19 and Reggie Evans finished with 15 points and 16 boards in defeat.

Final Score: Utah 105, Portland 95
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz overcame a nine-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter and went on 19-3 run over the final 3:33 in regulation to take a 105-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Mo Williams scored 28 points, including 12 during the late swing, for the Jazz, who are now tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings with nine games left on the schedule. Paul Millsap recorded a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Al Jefferson scored 22 points in the victory, their third straight. Damian Lillard had a team-high 24 points for the Trail Blazers, who are on a three-game losing streak. J.J. Hickson recorded a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Nicolas Batum also scored 17 points in defeat.

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