Washington 98, Portland 95: Jordan Crawford, the former Xavier star, hit this long triple at the buzzer that gave the Wizards’ their 9th victory of the season. Not quite as noteworthy, but still impressive: Nic Batum had a triple double (12 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) and rookie Damian Lillard threw down this dunk, which you should watch twice, and the second time, take a look at the Washington bench.
Golden State 106, LA Clippers 99: The season series is over, and the Warriors took three of four. Western Conference Finals preview? Golden State, ripped in the 4th quarter last week in a loss in Denver, closed strong Monday, outscoring the Clippers 33-19 in the 4th. My main man Stephen Curry (28 points, 6-of-8 three pointers) was brilliant, and the Warriors made 12-of-22 three pointers.
Houston 100, Charlotte 94: Bismack! That’s one of his seven blocks. Kemba Walker had one of the best games of his career (35 points), but the Bobcats collapsed in the 4th quarter (outscored 26-13) to suffer their 15th straight home loss. James Harden (29 points, 19 of them from the foul line) and the Rockets bench was too much (Morris 21 points, Delfino 16 points, Beverley 10 points) in the clutch.
Chicago 95, LA Lakers 83: That’s three straight losses by LA, but we’ll be writing more on them later, so simply shake your head at their struggles for the moment. Gasol, Dwight Howard, Kobe … there’s just so much going on here. Kirk Hinrich had a line he might have pulled off at Kansas – 22 points, eight assists, seven rebounds.
San Antonio 90, Philadelphia 85: The Spurs won their 5th straight as the 76ers went cold in the 4th quarter and wasted a 7-point lead. Perception is everything, right? The Lakers are 17-24, and so are the 76ers. Both were at the center of the Dwight Howard trade. Thing is, the situation is dire for the Lakers; not nearly as dire for the 76ers, who expect Bynum back in 3-4 weeks.
New Orleans 113, Sacramento 105: Throw it down, Eric Gordon! The Hornets got 27 points off the bench from Ryan Anderson (7-of-14 three-pointers). Austin Rivers watch: 12 minutes, four assists. Jimmer watch: DNP-CD.