NBA Recap: April 16, 2012

Let’s take a look at all 11 NBA games from Monday night, including a loss from the best team in the league, a dominating 4th quarter performance, and a mix up in playoff positions in the Western Conference.

A night after reclaiming the 7th spot in the East, the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Magic in Orlando. Ryan Anderson led all scorers with 26-points, while pulling in a game-high 16 rebounds. This marks Orlando’s 2nd straight win. They’ve now played 5 games without Dwight Howard (back). The Sixers were led by Jrue Holiday’s 18 points, while 3 other Sixer’s finished with 15. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field, however the Magic out-rebounded the Sixer’s 46-30. This is Philadelphia’s 2nd loss in a row, as they fall to the 8th seed in the East.

ORL — 113-100

The Atlanta Hawks took care of the Toronto Raptors on the road, as they had five players score over 15 points. Of those players, Jeff Teague finished with 19 points and 10 assists, Josh Smith recorded 15 points and 9 rebounds, and Ivan Johnson came off the bench to score a team-high 21 points. Toronto was led by DeMar DeRozan’s 22 points, however the Raptors didn’t have nearly as many contributors. Atlanta currently has the same record as Orlando, 36-25. However, Atlanta holds the 5th playoff spot in the East, while Orlando holds the 6th.

ATL– 109-87

The Indiana Pacers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves at home, after Minnesota scored a season-low 30 points in the first half. The Timberwolves have been struggling to find offense with Kevin Love out with a concussion and they didn’t break any ground tonight. Their high-scorer was Jose Barea, who only had 14 points. Meanwhile, the Pacers played great as a team. Their starting five all scored in double-digits. David West led all scorers with 22 points and 10 rebounds, Danny Granger had 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, Roy Hibbert recorded a 12 point, 11 rebound double-double, Paul George had 18 points, and George Hill had 11. The Pacers have now won 5 straight games and they hold the 3rd seed in the East.

IND —  111-88

The New Orleans Hornets squeezed past the Charlotte Bobcats in an extremely low scoring game (but what would you expect from two of the worst teams in the league?). Gerald Henderson was seemingly the only decent player in the game, he finished with a game-high 27 points in 35 minutes. Yet his team still lost. Greivis Vasquez, point guard for the Hornets, recorded 20 points, 6 assists, and 4 points in the victory. To give you an idea of how bad this game was: both teams shot less than 34 percent from the field and the 3rd quarter scoring was 12-8 in New Orleans favor.

NO — 75-67

Just in time for the playoffs, LeBron James put everyone’s 4th quarter woes to rest. James scored 37 points for the Heat, including Miami’s last 17 points of the game. This led them to a close victory against the Nets, who led the whole game, until James and the Heat took over with 51 seconds left. With Deron Williams out (calf), New Jersey’s attack was led by Kris Humphries (29 points, 8 rebounds) and rookie MarShon Brooks (24 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists). However, James added 7 assists and 6 rebounds to his 37 points and Chris Bosh had a 22 point, 15 rebounds double-double. The game might have been closer if Dwyane Wade played (he was resting for the night), but nevertheless it was exciting watching James will the Heat to victory.

MIA — 101-98

Without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, the Bulls took a loss to the lowly Washington Wizards (15-46) at home. Richard Hamilton had a team-high 22 points for the Bulls, yet the Wizards scraped by due to a strong performance by Kevin Seraphin. He finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. This is the Bulls’ only loss to Washington this year, and just their first loss in the last four games. They still have the best record in the league at 46-15.

WAS — 87-84

Aaron Affalo scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Rockets in Houston. This win propelled Denver into the 6th spot in the east with a 34-27 record. Meanwhile, the loss for Houston knocked them out of the 8th spot. The Phoenix Suns now have that spot, although both teams are 32-29. Ty Lawson also recorded 25 points in the victory, while Houston lost a close game despite four of their starters scoring over 14 points. This is the fourth straight loss for the Rockets, who are trying to reach the playoffs in the West.

DEN — 105-102

The Phoenix Suns now control the 8th spot in the West, after handily beating the Portland Trailblazers at home. Steve Nash dished out 13 assists, as Marcin Gortat scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Channing Frye and Jared Dudley scored 19 and 18, respectively. The Suns shot an outstanding 60 percent from the field. Jamal Crawford and J. J. Hickson both scored 22 points for the Blazers, however the team is officially out of the playoff race. The Suns have the same record as the Houston Rockets, yet they control the 8th seed due to a tie-breaker.

PHO — 125-107

Al Jefferson scored 28 points and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds for the Jazz, beating the Dallas Mavericks in triple overtime. This win keeps Utah’s playoff hopes alive with a 32-30 record. Meanwhile, the loss pushes the Mavericks back to the 7th seed and they could potentially even miss the playoffs, due to teams like the Jazz and the Rockets who are on the cusp. All of the Jazz starters scored in double-digits. While Dirk Nowitzki poured in 40 points for Dallas, and Jason Terry contributed 27 points off the bench. The game was so evenly matched and each player played their heart out, due to what was on the line. However, ultimately the Jazz ran away with the game in the 3rd period of OT.

UTA — 123-121 (3OT)

The Spurs rolled over the Warriors, despite low minutes for their starters. Every player for the Spurs was active tonight and 6 players scored in double-digits. Gary Neal, back-up point guard, scored a team-high 17 points. Meanwhile, Tim Duncan scored 13 points in a season-low 11 minutes played. Nate Robinson scored a game-high 30 points and Klay Thompson continued to impress. He finished with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists. However, Golden State ultimately had no answer for San Antonio’s depth. The Spurs now control the number one spot in the Western Conference.

SA — 120-99

The Clippers, who had already clinched a playoff spot, prepared for the postseason by dominating the Thunder at home. The Clippers held OKC to only 77 points. Kevin Durant finished with a game-high 24 points, however Russell Westbrook only scored 9 points on 4-16 shooting. Blake Griffin scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Chris Paul recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Nick Young came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points in a statement win over the Thunder. Following the loss and San Antonio win, the OKC Thunder dropped to the number 2 spot in the playoffs. If the playoffs were to start today, OKC would take on the defending-champ Dallas Mavericks, while San Antonio would take on the Phoenix Suns. This 1/2 spot could be crucial in the West.

LAC — 92-77

For more game details and statistics, head over to ESPN.