NBA Recap: April 20, 2012
Here’s a look at the six NBA games from Friday night:
The Atlanta Hawks beat the Boston Celtics last night, as Boston sat most of their starters. Joe Johnson led Atlanta with a game-high 30 points, while Josh Smith added 19 points and 12 rebounds. With Pierce, Garnett, Rondo, and Allen resting, 21-year-old Avery Bradley scored a career-high 28 points. The Celtics currently control the 4th seed in the East and the Hawks control the 5th. If this seeding plays out, the two will meet in the first round of the playoffs.
ATL — 97-92
Charlotte lost their 19th straight game to the Memphis Grizzlies, despite Gerald Henderson tying a career-best 32 points. If the Bobcats lose their remaining four games, they will have the worst season winning percentage in league history. Memphis point guard Mike Conley scored 20 points and dished out 7 assists in the victory. The Grizzlies are now one game behind the Clippers for the number 4 seed. While Memphis is ending the year on a hot streak, Charlotte is the complete opposite; if the Bobcats lose their remaining four games, they will have the worst season winning percentage in league history.
MEM — 85-80
Amare Stoudemire returns for the Knicks, but New York falls short against Cleveland. Stoudemire returned from his 13 game absence to score a team-high 15 points, along with Steve Novak. However, possibly messing with the team’s chemistry, New York lost to the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 21 points in his second game back from injury and Manny Harris recorded 19 points and 12 rebounds. This loss means that New York is now only 0.5 games ahead of Philly for the 7th spot in the East.
CLE — 98-90
The Dallas Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors at home behind Vince Carter’s team-high 19 points. Carter also added 9 rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki recorded 16 points on 7-14 shooting. Brandon Rush scored a game-high 20 points, however, Dallas’s 4th quarter run stunted the Warriors. With the win, the Mavericks have clinched a playoff spot and they’re currently at the number 6 position out West.
DAL — 104-94
Kevin Durant had 29 points for the Thunder, as they beat Sacramento to stay within a game of the Spurs. Durant added 14 rebounds to his point total and James Harden contributed 20 points off the bench to beat the Kings by double-digits. DeMarcus Cousins recorded a team-high 18 points and 9 rebounds in the loss. With OKC’s win, the team stays 0.5 games behind the Spurs for the top seed out west.
OKC — 103-92
The biggest game of the night came out in San Antonio where the Spurs crushed the Lakers. L.A. had just gotten Kobe back from an injury that cost him the last 8 games, however, this didn’t seem to phase the Spurs. Tony Parker scored 20 points and dished 10 assists, Tim Duncan scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili came off the bench to net 20 points. Furthermore, the Spurs had 10 players play double-digit minutes, with no one playing more than 28. The Lakers didn’t play as well as a team. Kobe Bryant had a team-high 18 points and Andrew Bynum only finished with 2 rebounds. The team shot 43 percent from the field, compared to the Spurs 61 percent. The Lakers now hold a mere 0.5 led over the Clippers for the 3rd seed and Pacific division title, so it’s anyone’s game. Meanwhile, the Spurs only hold a 0.5 lead over the Thunder for the first seed in the Western Conference.
SA — 121-97
For more details on last night’s games, head over to ESPN.