The NBA Roundup: April 12, 2013

Of course the biggest news today was NOT Brooklyn dumping Indiana on the road, Chicago losing AGAIN to the Raptors, Dallas downing Denver in OT, or the Thunder beating the Blazers. It was Kobe Bryant tearing his Achilles heel and still managing to hit two important free throws in the Lakers’ BIG win over the Warriors. By now, however, we all know that Kobe’s done for the season. Insert sad face.

Today’s Best:
  •        Yes, his team lost, but Steph Curry put on quite a show at Staples. The second-generation NBAer made 17 of his 31 shots, including NINE triples, to end up with 47 points. #ExplosiveAsHell
  •        Oh but another guy had a 40+ night. Utah’s Al Jefferson came up big, unloading 40 points and 13 rebounds while missing just 8 of his 27 field goal attempts to lead the Jazz over a very game Timberwolves quintet.
  •        Now how about that soft Spaniard Pau Gasol? The much maligned big guy dropped a sublime triple-double on GSW – 26-11-10 on 9-of-13 FG shooting and 8-of-8 FT shooting. #WatchOutHeIsBack
Al Jefferson had one of his biggest games of the season
against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
(image by Rick Bowmer/AP)

Today’s Worst:
  •        Nothing worse than a superstar like Kobe, who could’ve had a really big chance to beat Miami in the postseason, getting such a major injury so late in his career. Will he ever be the same?
  •        Corey Brewer isn’t perfect. He will have a lot of off-nights for Denver, like this one. Against the Mavs, the former Florida Gator shot just 6-of-20 from the floor, including 2-of-9 from long distance.
  •        Can someone please tell this Will Barton kid that on a team with LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, and against the Thunder especially, he has no business chucking up 19 shots (and making just 8 of them).

Final Score: Brooklyn 117, Indiana 109
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - The Brooklyn Nets opened up a sizeable lead and saw it completely disappear, but fought back and was able to hold on for a 117-109 win over the Indiana Pacers to sweep the season series. Deron Williams had 33 points -- with 25 in the first half -- and dished out 14 assists, but appeared to injure his knee with 25 seconds left in the game when he collided with Paul George. He exited and was seen laboring on the bench. Brooklyn, winners of four in a row and victors in all three of their regular season meetings with Indiana, kept their hopes alive for the No. 3 seed as they trail the Pacers by two games with three left to play. Brook Lopez had 24 points and five blocks. Joe Johnson had 24 as well and Jerry Stackhouse added 13 points off the bench for the Nets, who were without Gerald Wallace. The veteran forward suffered a left heel contusion in Wednesday's win over Boston. The Pacers trailed by as many as 24 points in the third quarter, rallied to take the lead in the fourth, but couldn't hold on to the advantage as they lost for the third time in four games. David West had a team-leading 26 points with nine rebounds, Paul George scored 21 and Roy Hibbert had 18 points and 10 boards in the setback.

Final Score: Toronto 97, Chicago 88
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Amir Johnson scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the Toronto Raptors secured a 97-88 win over the visiting Chicago Bulls. Rudy Gay responded with 23 points and five steals for the Raptors as they won their second straight and fourth in their last five outings. DeMar DeRozan accounted for 19 points, Kyle Lowry came up one rebound shy of a triple-double while tallying 13 points and a game-high 11 assists, and Quincy Acy contributed 10 points and a career-high nine boards while playing just under 35 minutes to set a new personal best in that category as well. The Bulls, who are still playing without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah due to injury, were paced by Carlos Boozer's 19 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. Nate Robinson pitched in with 17 points and six assists off the bench, Nazr Mohammed had 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and Luol Deng finished with 10 points and eight assists as the team bowed for the third time in four outings. Boozer, who carried the Bulls in the first quarter with 13 points and eight rebounds, was hit with his fourth personal foul less than two minutes into the second half when he had 19 points, failing to score the rest of the way. Chicago's Richard Hamilton was assessed a Flagrant Two foul for a shot that he delivered to the head of DeRozan coming off a screen in the third quarter. Hamilton scored just seven points before his ejection.

Final Score: Philadelphia 97, Washington 86
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jrue Holiday netted 22 points to lead five Philadelphia players in double figures as the 76ers defeated the Washington Wizards, 97-86, on Friday night at the Verizon Center. Thaddeus Young tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds and four steals for Philadelphia, which snapped a three-game losing skid with the win. Spencer Hawes and Damien Wilkins scored 15 points apiece while recently signed Justin Holiday, older brother of Jrue, dropped a career-best seven points in 20 minutes of action. John Wall supplied a game-high 24 points for Washington but was the lone starter to reach double figures. Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin each had 10 points off the bench. Philly takes the season series, 2-1.

Final Score: Atlanta 109, Milwaukee 104
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith and Jeff Teague each supplied 24 points to propel the Atlanta Hawks' come from behind 109-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at Philips Arena. Smith added six rebounds, three assists, four steals and two blocks, while Teague dished out 10 helpers for the Hawks, who have won two straight and swept the season series versus the Bucks for the first time in 16 years. Al Horford registered 18 points and 17 rebounds while Devin Harris scored all of his 19 points in the second half in the victory. Monta Ellis recorded a game-high 27 points to go along with a career-high 17 assists and eight boards, while Ersan Ilyasova scored 25 points and added seven rebounds for the Bucks, who led by as many as 19 early in the second half. Milwaukee has dropped three straight and 13 of 18 games overall.

Final Score: New York 101, Cleveland 91
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony posted a double-double with 31 points and 14 rebounds as the New York Knicks bounced back from their first loss in nearly a month with a 101-91 decision over the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. J.R. Smith matched Anthony with 31 points on 13-of-16 shooting from the floor for the Knicks, who had a 13-game win streak snapped Thursday in a 118-111 overtime setback at Chicago. New York, which clinched the Atlantic Division title on Tuesday, now holds a three-game lead over Indiana for second place in the Eastern Conference after the Pacers fell to Brooklyn on Friday. Kyrie Irving also netted 31 points to go with six assists and five boards for the Cavs, who have lost three straight and have already been eliminated from playoff contention. Tristan Thompson tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Final Score: Detroit 113, Charlotte 93
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Jonas Jerebko had 21 points and eight rebounds off the bench as the Detroit Pistons defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 113-93, on Friday. Brandon Knight scored 19 points while Will Bynum recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists for the Pistons in their third straight victory. Andre Drummond also had 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Kemba Walker had a game-high 28 points for the Bobcats, who have lost four straight and seven of their last eight games. Josh McRoberts had 17 points and seven rebounds and Gerald Henderson added 15 in defeat.

Final Score: Miami 109, Boston 101
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were in the lineup together for the first time in two weeks and helped the Miami Heat earn a 109-101 victory over the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Arena. Miami's star triumvirate has been in and out of the lineup resting nagging injuries down the stretch of the regular season with the Heat having already clinched home-court advantage through the playoffs. James finished with 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds, Bosh added 17 points and seven boards and Wade netted 11 points as Miami added to the most wins in franchise history with its 63rd of the season. Rashard Lewis chipped in 19 points for the Heat, while Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford totaled 25 and 20 points, respectively, to pace the Celtics. Boston, currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, played without its two leading scorers as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett sat with lingering ankle issues.

Final Score: LA Clippers 96, New Orleans 93
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul finished with 17 points and 14 assists, knocking down all six of his free-throw attempts in the final 17.3 seconds as the Los Angeles Clippers held on for the 96-93 win over the New Orleans Hornets. Also scoring in double figures for the Clippers were Blake Griffin with a team-best 20 points, followed by reserves Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Barnes also cleared 10 rebounds as the Clips logged their fourth win in a row. The Hornets were paced by Eric Gordon with 25 points, while Robin Lopez registered a double-double with 19 points and a team-high 12 rebounds as the team bowed for the third straight game and fifth in the last six outings. Ryan Anderson gave the team a lift with 17 points and six boards, while Brian Roberts stepped into the starting lineup and contributed 15 points and 11 assists in the losing cause.

Final Score: San Antonio 108, Sacramento 101
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Tony Parker returned from a two-game absence and totaled game highs of 22 points and 10 assists to lead the San Antonio Spurs over the Sacramento Kings, 108-98, at AT&T Center. Tim Duncan chipped in 18 points, Kawhi Leonard netted 15 and Tiago Splitter filled the stat sheet with 12 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for the Southwest Division champs. The Spurs are still a half-game behind Oklahoma City for the top seed in the Western Conference after Thunder defeated Portland Friday night. DeMarcus Cousins had a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Jason Thompson scored 18 points for the Kings, who never led and have lost five of their last six.

Final Score: Memphis 82, Houston 78
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Marc Gasol filled the stat sheet with 15 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks, and the Memphis Grizzlies held on to take an 82-78 victory over the Houston Rockets. Zach Randolph also scored 15, while Mike Conley and Jerryd Bayless chipped in with 12 and 13 points, respectively, to push the Grizzlies a franchise-best 29 games above .500 and into a tie for the third seed in the West with Denver, which lost to Dallas on Friday. Both the Grizzlies and the Nuggets each have three games remaining on their schedules. James Harden had 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Houston, but committed eight turnovers and misfired on his last four shots, all of which occurred in the final 1:06 and could have given the Rockets a tie or the lead. He was just 7-for-24 from the field Houston, currently sitting in seventh place in the West, remains one- half game behind Golden State for the sixth spot after the Warriors lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

Final Score: Dallas 108, Denver 105 (OT)
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Vince Carter registered a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Denver Nuggets, 108-105, in overtime on Friday. Carter also had seven assists and Dirk Nowitzki also added 22 points and 10 boards for the Mavericks, who were eliminated from playoff contention with a 102-91 loss against Phoenix on Wednesday. O.J. Mayo scored 20 points while Shawn Marion had 15 points and eight rebounds in the victory. Wilson Chandler, Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer scored 18 points apiece, with Brewer also recording five steals for the Nuggets, who had a five-game winning streak snapped. With the loss, the Nuggets remain in third in the Western Conference standings, four games behind the Spurs and Thunder. However, they are only one game ahead of the Clippers with three games left on the schedule.

Final Score: Utah 107, Minnesota 100
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Al Jefferson matched a career-high with 40 points on 19-of-27 from the field to go along with 13 rebounds and a season-high six assists to lead the Utah Jazz to a crucial 107-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at EnergySolutions Arena. Jefferson's final two baskets of the evening were the difference for Utah, which trailed 98-97 with just under four minutes left in the game. The Jazz are just one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference after the Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Mo Williams and Randy Foye netted 16 points apiece for Utah, which won despite turning the ball over 18 times while forcing just 10 Minnesota miscues. J.J. Barea shot 9-of-10 from the foul line and paced Minnesota with 23 points off the bench. Ricky Rubio added 13 points.

Final Score: Oklahoma City 106, Portland 90
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 33 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder registered a 106-90 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden and in the process claimed the Northwest Division title. Kevin Durant took just 11 shots from the floor as he finished with 16 points, to go along with six assists and five rebounds. Reggie Jackson, who was averaging less than five points per game heading into the night, tallied 17 off the bench, followed by Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha with 11 points apiece as they won for the sixth time in the last seven outings. With the win, the Thunder are half a game ahead of the Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference standings with two games left on the schedule. The Blazers were paced by Will Barton with 18 points and seven rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge accounted for 12 points. Eric Maynor chipped in with 11 points off the bench, followed by Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard with 10 points apiece. Portland, which has games remaining against Denver, the Clippers and Golden State in the regular season, has now dropped 10 in a row.

Final Score: LA Lakers 118, Golden State 116
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Steve Blake made two free throws with 42.2 seconds remaining and the Lakers held off Golden State just enough to earn a hard-fought 118-116 victory at Staples Center to help their playoff chances. Friday's win may have come at an incredible cost for the Lakers, however. Following the game a visibly shaken Kobe Bryant tried to hold back tears after learning he most likely tore his Achilles. Pau Gasol recorded a triple-double with 26 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who won their 10th straight at home versus intrastate rival Golden State. Dwight Howard netted 28 points and Blake added 14 and five assists in the win, which puts the Lakers one game ahead of Utah for the Western Conference's last playoff spot. Stephen Curry led all players with 47 points on 9-of-15 shooting from behind the arc to go along with nine assists and three steals for the Warriors, who have dropped two straight after clinching their first playoff appearance since the 2006-07 campaign with a win versus Minnesota on Tuesday. David Lee had 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Klay Thompson scored 25 points to go along with seven helpers in defeat

Steph Curry poured in 47 points, but even his performance could not
tow the Warriors past the Lakers.
(image by Mark J. Terrill/AP)

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