The NBA Roundup: April 10, 2013

Damian Lillard was a sight to behold today, hitting 5 triples on his way to 38 points, 9 assists, and 3 steals, but Kobe Bryant was even better, hitting ALL EIGHTEEN of his free throws to finish with 47 markers and then some. And now the Lakers are a full game ahead of Utah for eighth spot. Also, you wouldn’t believe how monstrous (good monstrous) Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic were against the Playoff-bound Bucks.

Today’s Best:
  •        After leading the Lakers over the Blazers, Kobe Bryant tweeted how Damian Lillard was for real. Coming from a guy who score 47 points on top of 8 boards, 5 assists, 4 blocks, and 3 steals? That’s saying A LOT.
  •        Get this – Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic combined for 60 points and 39 rebounds to lead Orlando’s conquest of Milwaukee. That’s like three Dwight Howards right there.
  •        The Denver Nuggets might just be the scariest team in the West. They have winning records against 7 of the other 8 West Playoff-worthy teams (the only exception is San Antonio; they went 2-2 against the Spurs this season).

Corey Brewer and the Nuggets might just be
peaking at the right time.
(image by Garrett W. Elwood/Getty Images)

Today’s Worst:
  •        Cleveland’s Alonzo Gee didn’t exactly maximize his 31 minutes on the floor. Gee missed all of his three-pointers and ended up with a meager 4 points and 2 rebounds in the Cavs’ loss to Detroit.
  •        Andre Iguodala has a nice triple-double line today – 12-13-10, but it was dampened by his day-high 7 turnovers. Yes, I am nitpicking, but he really has to cut down on those TOs if Denver is to achieve a deep postseason run.
  •        Jeff Green’s anemic outing against the Nets doomed Boston. Green finished with only 11 points and 4-of-17 FG shooting while playing 35 minutes. This loss is Boston’s sixth in the last ten.

Final Score: Detroit 111, Cleveland 104
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Led by a career-high 29 points from Andre Drummond, the Detroit Pistons earned a season sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night with a 111-104 victory at Quicken Loans Arena. Drummond, who was taken ninth overall in last year's NBA Draft, finished 10-of-11 shots from the floor and also collected 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who won all four matchups in a season with Cleveland for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Greg Monroe added 23 points and eight rebounds, Rodney Stuckey dropped in 18 points to go with seven assists and Will Bynum netted 16 off the bench for Detroit. The Pistons have won back-to-back games after dropping eight straight. Kyrie Irving had 27 points and nine assists, but missed a crucial free-throw in the final minute for the Cavaliers. Tristan Thompson recorded 19 points and eight rebounds and Dion Waiters, taken five spots ahead of Drummond in last year's draft, tallied 11 off the bench. The Cavaliers have now lost three-straight games and are just 14-25 at home on the campaign.

Final Score: Orlando 113, Milwaukee 103 (OT)
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Tobias Harris matched a career-high with 30 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer with under two seconds left in regulation, as the Orlando Magic outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime, 113-103. Harris also corralled a career-best 19 rebounds and dished out five assists for the Magic, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Nikola Vucevic put up a career-high 30 points and ripped down 20 boards, while Beno Udrih also had a double-double with 13 points and 11 assists. Doron Lamb shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range on his way to 16 points, while Maurice Harkless chipped in 14 points in the victory. Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points and 11 assists, but he shot only 7- of-27 from the field. John Henson scored 17 points and put up career-highs in rebounds (25) and blocks (seven), while Mike Dunleavy also netted 17. J.J. Redick and Marquis Daniels had 16 and 14 points, respectively. Milwaukee has now lost four of its last five games, but it has already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Final Score: Atlanta 124, Philadelphia 101
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith netted 28 points to go with 12 rebounds and the Hawks' bench contributed 53 points as Atlanta took care of the Philadelphia 76ers, 124-101, on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. John Jenkins fell just two points short of his career-high with 21 points, while Jeff Teague registered his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 assists in the win. Mike Scott added 17 points and nine rebounds. Al Horford added 16 points and nine boards as Atlanta snapped a three-game losing skid. The Hawks now have a 2 1/2 game lead over Boston, which lost to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Thaddeus Young was the lone bright spot for Philadelphia, which was eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week. He poured in 28 points on 14-of-20 from the floor, and at one point late in the third quarter, had hit half of the Sixers' field goals.

Final Score: Miami 103, Washington 98
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ray Allen scored 23 points and led the Miami Heat to a 103-98 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Although LeBron James (hamstring), Dwyane Wade (ankle) and Chris Bosh (knee) did not play, Miami was still able to hold its own and take the victory, its 62nd of the season, breaking the franchise's single-season record set by the 1996-97 team. In addition, Miami also clinched at least a share of the best record in the NBA and homecourt advantage throughout the entire NBA Playoffs. Rashard Lewis scored 17 points, Shane Battier added 15 points and Mike Miller had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Heat. A.J. Price had a game-high 23 points off the bench for the Wizards, who were looking to win their 10th straight game at home for the first time since Dec. 13, 2006 - Jan 20, 2007. John Wall nearly recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in defeat.

Final Score: Brooklyn 101, Boston 93
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Deron Williams scored 29 points as three different players netted at least 20 points for the Brooklyn Nets, who earned a 101-93 road victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Williams also handed out 12 assists and nailed all 10 attempts from the free- throw line for Brooklyn, which brought its magic number to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs to two. Brook Lopez added 20 points and Joe Johnson tallied 20 as well for the Nets while Reggie Evans brought in 14 rebounds. The Nets have won three of their last four games and with the win captured the season series with Boston, 3-1. Paul Pierce hit 7- of-11 shots from the floor to finish with a team-high 23 points for Boston, which split a four-game home stand with the loss. In his second game back after missing eight games due to foot injury, Kevin Garnett dropped in 11 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Jeff Green also tallied 11 points but managed to connect on just 4-of-17 attempts from the floor while Brandon Bass added 10 points.

Final Score: Phoenix 102, Dallas 91
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Goran Dragic scored a team-high 22 points and dished out 13 assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 102-91 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. P.J. Tucker and Luis Scola added double doubles for the Suns, who had dropped 10 straight games entering the contest. Tucker finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Scola added 11 points and 15 boards. Wesley Johnson poured in 17 points despite being held scoreless in the second half. Shawn Marion scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki added 21 points and eight boards for the Mavericks, who were eliminated from playoff contention following the Lakers 113-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. It is just the first time Dallas will miss the playoffs since the 1999-00 season.

Final Score: LA Lakers 113, Portland 106
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant shot 14-of-27 from the field and a perfect 18-of-18 from the foul line for a season-high 47 points as the Los Angeles Lakers held off the Portland Trail Blazers, 113-106. Bryant stuffed the stat sheet elsewhere as well, finishing with eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals for the Lakers, who have won five of six and moved a game up on Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Pau Gasol tallied 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, while Dwight Howard added 20 points, 10 boards and three blocks. Damian Lillard scored a career-best 38 points while dishing out nine assists for Portland, which extended its losing streak to nine games. LaMarcus Aldridge notched a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds, while Luke Babbitt shot 4-of-5 from 3-point range for 12 points off the bench.

Final Score: Sacramento 121, New Orleans 110
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Jason Thompson tallied 20 points as three different players reached the 20-point plateau for the Sacramento Kings who coasted past the New Orleans Hornets, 121-110, Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena. Thompson connected on 8-of-12 shots from the floor and also had eight rebounds for the Kings which ended a four-game losing streak. John Salmons had a game-high 22 points and Marcus Thornton added 20 off the bench while nailing 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Isaiah Thomas also got in the mix with 15 points while DeMarcus Cousins put in 11 points before fouling out. Eric Gordon led all scorers with 23 points for New Orleans while also handing out seven assists. Anthony Davis recorded a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) as well for the Hornets who have lost four of their last five games. Robin Lopez and Brian Roberts each added 20 points as well for the Hornets while Xavier Henry chipped in 15. It was the second-straight game New Orleans had five players in double figures.

Final Score: Denver 96, San Antonio 86
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Andre Iguodala finished with a 12-point, 13- rebound and 10-assist triple-double, and the Denver Nuggets posted their franchise-record 21st win in a row at home with a 96-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Perhaps more importantly, the win moved Denver a full game ahead of idle Memphis for the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference standings with four games to play. The Nuggets matched the club record for wins with their 54th on the season, despite not having Ty Lawson (plantar fascia tear) for the fifth straight game. Denver received 29 points and eight rebounds from Wilson Chandler, as well as 28 points off the bench from Corey Brewer in the victory. The Spurs are now tied with Oklahoma City for the top spot in the West. Tim Duncan and Gary Neal each had 17 points in the setback. Tony Parker sat with a neck injury for the third time in four games and Manu Ginobili missed his sixth in a row with a hamstring issue.

Final Score: LA Clippers 111, Minnesota 95
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin and Chris Paul paced seven teammates in double figures with 19 points apiece as the Los Angeles Clippers downed the Minnesota Timberwolves, 111-95, at Staples Center. Paul also dished out 11 assists for the Clippers, who have already clinched their first-ever Pacific Division crown and remain two games back of Denver for the third seed in the Western Conference. Willie Green connected on all three of his 3-point attempts for 15 points, while Matt Barnes (14 points), Jamal Crawford (11 points) and Lamar Odom (13 rebounds) were impressive off the bench. DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler each netted 10 points for the hosts. Nikola Pekovic led all scorers with 20 points for Minnesota, which has lost back-to-back games. Derrick Williams tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea poured in 12 points apiece, and Luke Ridnour chipped in 11 points in the losing effort.

Lamar Odom and Blake Griffin can afford to laugh as the
Clippers routed the T-Wolves.
(image by Mark J. Terrill/AP))

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