Atlanta 83, Chicago 80: The Bulls blew a 17-point halftime lead and lost a game on Boston in the quest for the top spot in the East. A stirring comeback for the Hawks was spearheaded by great defense from Joe Johnson and Kirk Hinrich on Derrick Rose (5-of-21, turnover on the last play with the Bulls down one). Al Horford (31-16) outdid his former college teammate Joakim Noah (13-12) and after the jump, watch him dunk on Luol Deng.
New York 107, New Orleans 88: Toney Douglas started for Chauncey Billups (thigh) and scored 24 points (10-of-13). One could argue Douglas will be the most important Knick down the stretch, because he’ll need to contribute a quality 25ish minutes a night to give Billups rest for the postseason. I feel bad for Chris Paul, who had another bad game (2-7, 4 points) and must feel like his awesome 2008 playoff debut – they lost game seven to the Spurs at home; remember Peja choking? – was forever ago.
Boston 115, Phoenix 103: Marcin Gortat is funny. Kevin Garnett is funnier. Regarding some jawing with the Phoenix bench, he said, “Oh, Alvin Gentry was asking me for tickets for the first round of the playoffs and I told him I’d hook him up.” KG also said, “I’m far from dirty.” Paul Pierce can still rise.
LA Clippers 106, Houston 103: If Eric Gordon hadn’t gotten injured, would the Paper Clips be in the playoff mix? Eric Gordon returned from injury and scored 24 points, Chris Kaman chipped in 21 points off the bench, DeAndre Jordan collected 16 rebounds, Mo Williams had 11 assists, and Blake Griffin went for 20-14 and was a perfect 6-for-6 on free throws. Can’t wait (until next year). Nice look, Bledsoe.
Minnesota 116, Detroit 105: Losing at home to the Wolves? Wow, Detroit must be in full tank mode in hopes of getting … shit, anyone? Kevin Love getting 20 points and 20 rebounds is understandable … but letting Jonny Flynn dish out 14 assists? Letting Anthony Randolph – who couldn’t get off the bench in New York – go for 19 points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes?
Portland 107, Sacramento 102: Things I never expected to type – DeMarcus Cousins crossed the shit out of Marcus Camby. If Cousins ever gets his act together off the court …