Oranges: The Washington Wizards have not won against the New York Knicks in the Madison Square Garden since 2006 and things didn’t change last night, when Carmelo Anthony lit them up for 36 points (21 in the 3rd) on 13 of 21 shooting, 8 rebounds and 6 assists to extend their winning streak to 13. The Knicks could not miss a thing, shooting a ridiculous 56 percent from beyond the arc for a franchise record tying 20 three pointers to earn their first Atlantic Division title since 1994. John Wall of the Wizards had 33 points on 11 of 19 shooting in the 21 point loss.
Don’t Call it a Comeback: Down 20 at the start of the 4th quarter, the Indiana Pacers, fueled by a late ejection of their coach, Frank Vogel, outscored the Cleveland Cavaliers 35 to 10 in the miraculous come back win at home. George Hill led the way with a team high 27 points on 9 of 15 shooting, 4 assists and 4 steals. Jeff Pendergraph didn’t do much offensively, but he came off the bench with the biggest defensive play of the night, drawing a charge on a late Kyrie Irving drive in the final 16 seconds to help seal it for the Pacers. Kyrie finished with 29 points (10 of 20) and 7 assists in the beautifully executed tank job.
Cold Blooded: Kobe Bryant willed the Lakers to another seemingly impossible win for the Lakers, going off for 23 of his total 30 points (6 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals) in the 4th quarter against the New Orleans Hornets. Pau Gasol was huge in this one, abusing rookie, Anthony Davis for 22 points (9 of 15), and 11 boards down in the block.
A Few Notes: LeBron James and the Dwyane Wade-less, Chris Bosh-less Miami Heat rolled past their potential first round match up of the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks for a franchise record tying 61 wins. Fun fact, the Heat are 6-0 when LeBron plays without the other two superstars, so they are obviously useless. The reigning MVP finished with 28 points (11 of 16), 7 boards and 7 dimes, while Brandon Jennings led his team with 30 points on 10 of 16 shooting and 4 assists, as the only Buck in double figures.
The Golden State Warriors clinched playoff berth for the second time in 19 years in the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. Klay Thompson was absolutely unstoppable, exploding for 25 points in the first half on 9 of 11 shooting, before cooling down with a total of 30 points (10 of 19) and 5 steals. Stephen Curry wasn’t shy either, hitting 9 of 21 from the field for 24 points and 10 assists. Minnesota kept it close for the most part, but getting outscored by 15 in the second half, when you never had a lead in this game, makes it really hard to comeback.
Before the weirdest ending in the history of NBA basketball happened, Phoenix Suns’ Luis Scola had 28 points (12 of 20) and 8 rebounds against his former team. James Harden, on the other hand, had 30 points on 8 of 20 shooting, 6 boards and 6 assists until that weird thing happened, and he somehow ended up with 33 on 9 of 21.
Fantasy Shoutouts: Rebounding machine, Reggie Evans of the Brooklyn Nets, who displays strong resemblance to actual ogres, grabbed 24 rebounds, 3 short of tying the Nets’ franchise record of 27, to go with his 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting. His teammate, Brook Lopez added 29 points (13 of 22) and 11 boards in the victory over the 38 percent shooting Philadelphia 76ers.
Chicago Bulls’ sophomore, Jimmy Butler had a career night, going off for a career high 28 points on 10 of 12 shooting and 7 rebounds in one of those rare Toronto Raptors’ close wins.