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NBA Awards 3/25/13

Friday Night Highlights/Postscripts
1) Wizards Rally from 18 Down Behind Wall, Ariza to Defeat Lakers 103-100 — John Wall was stellar (24/6/16, 3 stl, just 1 T/O) and Trevor Ariza hit 4 of his career-best 7 treys in the 4th Q as the Wizards improved to 7-26 on the road after defeating the Lakers at Staples Fri night. The Lakers had welcomed back Pau (2-10, 4 pts, 8 rebs in 20 min) and Kobe (21/11 asst, 6 T/Os) in the game and taken an 18 pt lead late in the 2nd Q, but it wasn’t enough as Wall did what he wanted against Steve Nash, and Ariza reminded the Lakers that they should have kept him in the summer of 2009 instead of signing Artest (9 pts, 4 rebs, 0 stl, 0 free throw att). Postscript Saturday: The Wiz traveled north to Golden St. but their Fri night heroes were sick (Ariza had flu, didn’t play) and hotheaded (Wall got tossed for having words w/ Klay Thompson), and they couldn’t stop Stephen Curry anyway (35/8, 2 stl, 13-18) in a 101-92 loss.
2) Miami Comes From Behind Again for 25th in a Row — Not nearly as dramatic as the Boston & Cleveland comebacks, but the Heat did have to erase a 7 pt 2nd half deficit against Detroit before going on to win 103-89. LeBron only missed 3 of his 15 shots in ending up at 29/8/8, while Greg Monroe paced the Pistons with 23/15/6. Postscript Sunday: No drama, no comebacks, and even no Wade…just domination in their 26th in a row – 109-77 over the Bobcats. LeBron went nuts (more below) while Wade rested a sore knee. Side note in the game, Former Fab Fiver Juwon Howard became the 20th player at 40 or older to appear in an NBA game when he played late.
3) Moe Harkless Magical in Magic’s 6th Straight Loss — The Magic lost 97-89 to OKC but it was a lot closer than that, as OKC’s lead was only 90-88 with under 40 seconds left. Rookie SF Moe Harkless led the Magic attempt at a major upset with 25 pts, 9 rebs, 4 stl, & 4 blk while playing 45 minutes in the contest. Durant (25/8 rebs, 3 stl/2 blk) & Westy (19/6/9, 2 stl/2 blk) did their thing and Ibaka emerged from his slump as well (14/13, 5 blk) in the game. Postscript Sunday: No troubles at all vs. Portland for the Thunder, 103-83 as OKC outscored the Blazers by 22 in the 2nd half. Again – Westy (21/4/9) & KD (24/10, 2 stl) led the Thunder while Ibaka scored 16 and notched another 5 rejections.
4) Alan Anderson Careers for Raptors, But Trumped By Melo’s 37 — The journeyman Anderson, covered more than once in the Awards this year, went nuts against the Knicks, hitting 11-18 and 7-8 from the stripe in scoring 35 pts, but Melo outscored him by 2 to lead NY to a 99-94 win in Toronto. Kenyon Martin, who’s been out of the league most of this season, started for the Knicks (no Amare or Tyson) and responded with a strong 19 & 11. Postscript Saturday: It was a weekend home-n-home miniseries, this time in NY, and the Knicks again prevailed, this time easily as Melo (28/8 rebs) and K-Mart (18/7/2 blks) kept up their strong play while Toronto was missing Rudy Gay (bad back) and Anderson reverted to his journeyman form – 14 pts, 5-14 shooting.
5) Jennings (1-15) & Reddick (1-11) Historically Awful as Pacers Crush Bucks — Indiana turned a 2 pt halftime lead into a 24 point rout at home vs. the Bucks as the two Milwaukee guards shot atrociously. I say historic, but I’m not sure exactly of the history behind two teammates each attempting at least 10 shots and both shooting under 10%. I’m guessing it’s quite rare. Paul George (20/8/6) and Tyler Hansbrough (22/12 – West still out) did the heavy damage for the Pacers. Saturday Postscript – Indy: Lost a tight one at Chicago as Luol Deng came alive (20/7 rebs) and Carlos Boozer (18/10) led the Bulls to the upset win. George again led Indy with 23/11/3 stl while Roy Hibbert played big as well (18/12), but PG George Hill (11/1/2, 3-8 FGs in 33 min) was quite poor. Postscript Sunday – Bucks: Another big matchup with Atlanta as the Bucks try to climb out of the 8 spot in the East, but the Hawks beat them again, this time 104-99 behind big nights from Al Horford (24/7/6) and the Joshua Tree (23/9/4, 2 stl/2 blk). Ironically, Jennings and Reddick each shot the same amount of shots they shot Fri night (15 and 11 respectively), and also like Friday, they each made the same amount – just 4 this time.
Saturday Night Highlights/Postscripts
1) Clippers Notch Big Home Win Over Nets — The Clippers aren’t having too much trouble beating Eastern playoff teams, as their Sat night 101-95 win over the Nets was their 5th in a row, dating back to Feb 10th. Their last loss to an Eastern playoff squad was to the Heat on the 8th of Feb. CP III had a big night (29/11 asst, 2 stl/2 blk), with 17 of his pts coming in the 4th Q. DeAndre Jordan was also big (13/12/3 blk) as Blake was rather quiet on the night (11/7/4). Reggie Evans grabbed 16 boards for Brooklyn. Postscript Sunday: The Nets next visited Phoenix and got quite a battle from the Suns before emerging victorious, 102-100, surviving a near triple-double from Goran Dragic (31/9/12). D-Will had 20 & 11 dimes while Kris Humphries, practically invisible all season, contributed 17 & 8 off the bench.
2) Denver Wins 15th in a Row, 101-95 over Kings – And in typical Denver style, all their starters hit double figures but no one on the team scored 20. Gallo (19/8/4, 3 stl) was their star, while DeMarcus Cousins did all he could (24/15/5 blk) to derail the Nuggets winning streak. Postscript Sunday: The Kings lost again, this time a blowout at home to Philly, 117-103. Cousins dipped sharply (8/9/1 blk, 3-9 shooting) while Isaiah Thomas (25/3/0, 0 stl, 0 blk) and Marcus Thornton (22/0/1, 0 stl, 0 blk) battled hard for the Hollow Man Award, Thornton edging out his teammate. Jrue (21/10/7, 5 stl) was stellar for the 76ers as two of his far lesser-known teammates also posted surprise 20+ efforts – Lavoy Allen (20/7 rebs in 22 min) and Dorell Wright (22/6 asst in 30 min).
Sunday Action: Houston Upsets San Antonio on Harden Jumper – James Harden (29/9/6, 2 stl/2 blk) made a living at the line in this game (15-17), so it was only fitting that his game-winning jumper with just under 5 seconds left would also come near the charity stripe, giving Houston the 96-95 win at home. Tim Duncan (17/7, 2 blk) missed a jumper from the wing in his attempt to give S.A. their 5th straight win. Tony Parker had 23/4/7 and 2 blks in his second game back from a sprained ankle, while Chandler Parsons helped out Harden with 20 & 8 rebs…..Chicago beat Minnesota 104-97 as Boozer (19/12/4), Jimmy Butler (20/9/3 stl) and Nate Rob (22/10 asst) did the heavy damage for the Bulls. Derrick Williams (28/5, 2 stl/2 blk) and Ricky Rubio (15/5/8) led the T-Wolves…..Dallas beat Utah 113-108, as the Jazz seem to be completely uninterested in making the playoffs, now just 3-12 in their last 15 games. No one on either team had 20 pts, 10 rebs, or 10 dimes…..
 
The Akeem Olajuwon Award —  Lebron James  —  32 pts, 8 rebs, 10 asst, 10 FTM, 3 stl, 3 blk, 0 treys, and 11-14 shooting…So James has now hit 23 of his last 29 shots over his last two games as the Heat make the 1971-72 Lakers sweat out their record 33-game winning streak. Miami starts a 4 game road trip today at Orlando, visiting Chicago and New Orleans next before the big Easter Sunday Showdown with San Antonio in Texas.
The Rafael Araujo Award —  Ben Gordon —  0 pts, 2 rebs, 0 asst, 0 FTM, 1 stl, 0 blk, 0 treys, and 0-7 shooting in 16 minutes. Gordon had a very streaky, hot-n-cold playoff series against the Celtics in Derrick Rose’s rookie year which convinced Joe Dumars that he was a $10m/yr guy, despite the fact that he’d shot exactly 41% from the floor the prior two seasons, was an undersized SG, and wasn’t known much for his passing, rebounding, or defense. His 3 years in Detroit were abysmal, highlighted by year #1 when he shot 32.1% from the floor!! Detroit was able to unload him upon Charlotte last summer, but only because they threw in a future 1st round draft pick as well, receiving the decaying corpse of Corey Maggette in the deal.
P.S. Congrats to all Bruin fans and alums who lost a major sourpuss, grump, and personality-challenged coach this weekend. Too bad for you all that it took this long. Let’s hope he finds a nice job as a Division II assistant.
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