There is only 2 weeks left in the regular season and as some of you might know, NBA basketball at this time is not the prettiest and last night was a good example of that. But I am still here and will recap them anyway.
Clipped Wings: After going off for 50 points on Tuesday night, Carmelo Anthony came up with a sub-par 40 points (17 of 27) and 5 rebounds performance against the Atlanta Hawks. J.R. Smith came off the bench for 19 points on 8 of 15 shooting to help push the Knicks to their 10th straight win, making it the longest streak in franchise history in 19 years. For the Hawks, it was Kyle Korver that took on all of the offensive responsibilities, going for 25 points (9 of 14), 6 of 10 from beyond the arc and 6 boards, while the rest of his teammates made little to zero impact in the 13 point loss.
Green All Over: In honor of Paul Pierce’s first newborn, Prince Paul Pierce (no, seriously that is his name) who came out of his mother’s womb with a chariot and everything on Tuesday night, the Boston Celtics celebrated Pierce’s first day of fatherhood with a win over the visiting Detroit Pistons. Jeff Green led all scorers with 34 points on 13 of 19 shooting and 6 rebounds. Paul Pierce showed no signs of fatigue, adding 17 points and 5 rebounds in 33 minutes of play. Despite getting outscored by 30 points in the paint, the Celtics held their own from the perimeter, hitting 51 percent of their shots from the field, where as the Jose Calderon-less Pistons went for 37 percent. Greg Monroe had a team-high 24 points (11 of 22) and 17 rebounds in the losing effort. With this win, the Celtics have clinched playoff berth, but whether they be the 7th or 8th seed depends on the next couple of games.
In the Wild: The Minnesota Timberwolves’ 3 point shooting is an actual thing now, they are still the worst in the league from long distance but they were hitting everything against the unfortunate Milwaukee Bucks, who just happened to be on the end of the rare shooting outbreaks from the Wolves. Ricky Rubio was as magnificent as his beautiful Spanish hair, doing a little bit of everything with 19 points (7 of 12), 5 of 6 from three, 12 assists and 8 steals in the victory. Nikola Pekovic ate the Milwaukee front court alive, eating his way to 27 points (11 of 14), and 8 boards. The other Euro player from the Bucks was pretty good too, Ersan Ilyasova scored a game-high 29 points on 12 of 21 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Jet Fueled: In the meeting of old friends, the Houston Rockets took gentle care of the Sacramento Kings, defeating them in every single quarter on the night of the Sacramento-Seattle meeting with Mr. David Stern. In their return to the line up after missing games due to injury and illness, James Harden and Chandler Parsons combined for 50 points (21 for Harden, 29 for Parsons) for the Rockets. The Kings’ did not have the greatest time shooting the ball, going 34 for 87, 39 percent from the field in their 3rd straight loss at home.
A Few Notes: Still without Ty Lawson, the Denver Nuggets managed to clean off the Utah Jazz in the 17 point win on the road to make way for the Lakers for the 8th spot in the West. The Nuggets got help from just about everybody, with 7 players in double figures.
On an off night for the Philadelphia 76ers or specifically Jrue Holiday, the Charlotte Bobcats with some late game heroics from Gerald Henderson took advantage in their 18th win of the season. Jrue Holdiay was absolutely horrid, going for only 5 points on 2 of 24 shooting. 2 of 24 shooting, sorry I had to repeat it to make sure you knew what I was talking about. Gerald Henderson was the lone bright light in this game, he scored 4 critical points of his total 24 (10 of 18) late in this game to seal it for Charlotte.
Fantasy Shoutouts: The rookie all the way from Lithuania, Jonas Valaciunas went off for a career high 24 points on 4 of 7 shooting, and 16 of 18 from the charity stripe. He also nabbed 10 rebounds in the win over the Washington Wizards, which puts an end to their playoff contention.
Marson Brooks, in his second year also went off for his career high, going off for 27 points (12 of 16) and 7 dimes in the 18 point victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was a perfect 10 for 10 to start, so for Christ’s sake, PJ, give the young man more minutes.