NBA Recap: April 19, 2012

Let’s take a look at all five games from this Thursday night in the Association as the playoffs draw near.

The Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks at home last night, allowing them to clinch home-court advantage through the first round of the playoffs. Danny Granger scored 29 points and David West recorded 21 points and 14 rebounds, as all five Pacer starters scored in double-digits. The Bucks were led by Brandon Jenning’s 27 points, however they’re going to need more help if they want to catch Philadelphia in the 8th spot. Milwaukee has now lost 3 straight games and they’re 3 games behind the Sixers. Meanwhile, the Pacers are looking awfully good and at the right time.

IND — 118-109

The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Detroit Pistons on the road snapping an 11-game losing streak. Nikola Pekovic led all scorers with 23 points in a game where the Timberwolves never trailed. Jose Barea contributed 13 points and 12 assists and Anthony Randolph recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Detroit seemed to struggle in this game, as they only shot 36 percent from the field. Both teams are out of the playoff race. This is the Timberwolves’ first win in April since 2009, they had 27 straight losses prior to tonight.

MIN — 91-80

The Houston Rockets lost their sixth straight game in overtime to the New Orleans Hornets; the loss knocks them one game out of the last playoff seed in the West. The Rockets led by 8 at halftime, however New Orleans had a big 3rd quarter, which forced a close game down the stretch, ultimately ending in overtime. Eric Gordon came up big for the Hornets with 27 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds and Carl Landry recorded a 20 point, 10 rebound double-double. For the Rockets, Goran Dragic played great with 23 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds, yet they still fell short. With only 3 games left for Houston, they need to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

NO — 105-99 (OT)

The Miami Heat beat the Derrick Rose-less Chicago Bulls to pull 1.5 games away from them in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James scored 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and dished 6 assists in the home win. Joakim Noah led the Bulls with 15 points and 10 rebounds, yet the Heat won by double-digits. The injury-prone Dwyane Wade played 33 minutes for Miami, while reigning MVP Derrick Rose sat for Chicago. It is interesting to see how the two teams prepare for the playoffs; the earliest they could meet would be the Eastern Conference Finals. . . .

MIA — 83-72

The Phoenix Suns reclaimed control of the 8th spot in the West with a big win over the division-rival Clippers. Chris Paul scored a game-high 19 points and added 10 assists, while Blake Griffin recorded 16 points and 11 rebounds. Yet, the headline of the night goes to Phoenix, who won the tough-fought game. Marcin Gortat notched a 14 point, 14 rebound double-double and Jared Dudley scored a team-high 18 points, thus lifting the Suns into the 8th seed out West; the Suns (33-30) have the same record as the Utah Jazz, but they own the tie-breaker. Meanwhile, the loss puts the Clippers one game behind the Lakers for control of the Pacific Division.

PHO — 93-90

For more details from the games and information regarding NBA playoffs, head over to ESPN.