New York Knicks 96 - Boston Celtics 113
I guess the magic that usually happens at the Garden wasn’t meant to go down tonight as the New York Knicks fell once again to the Boston Celtics. Rajon Rondo continued to play really well, garnering a playoff-record 20 assists. Teammates Paul Pierce and Ray Allen also had great nights. Scoring 38 and 32 respectively. Amar’e Stoudemire played, but he definitely didn’t do so well. He was limited by his back spasms and ended the night with only 7 points. Carmelo Anthony fell way short of his previous performance of 42 points, ending with only 15. You know your team is in trouble when your top scorer comes off the bench to get only 17.
The Knicks weren’t playing strong, they weren’t trying hard enough, in my opinion. Let’s see if things can change on Sunday.
New Orleans Hornets 86 - Los Angeles Lakers 100
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers overpowered Chris Paul and the Hornets tonight. For some reason, a rookie, Quincy Pondexter [yeah, we don’t know either] was on Kobe and umm… well, you see the score.
The Hornets kept closing in on the lead, but never took over and the Lakers started playing harder to make sure they won. Kobe ended with 30, Pau Gasol played better tonight, scoring 17. The Lakers had a scary moment tonight, when Andrew Bynum – who scored 14 – seemed to be experiencing issues with his knee. Mr. Sixth Man, Lamar Odom had 13 points. Derek Fisher scored 10.
Chris Paul scored 22, Carl Landry tried his very best tonight, scoring 23 for N.O., Trevor Ariza had 12 points, and Emeka Okafor had 15.
This game definitely had the best crowd, all in yellow and cheering on their team as they went hard, even though they fell.
Shorty, wassup, I’m the shit. You can do it, but not like this. A-T-L-A-N-T-A, I can do this all day.
It what was undeniably the most action packed game of the night, the Atlanta Hawks took the lead in their series against the Magic, winning by a very close 4 points.The final score was 84 - 88.
It was a stupendous night for Jamal Crawford, who actually shot the game winning 3-pointer with only 5.7 seconds left in the game.
The Hawks led the entire time, until the fourth when a spark ignited in the Magic, and that’s when shit got real. Dwight Howard drove the lane and ran into Zaza Pachulia. Howard swung a forearm and Pachulia swung an elbow – except Pachulia was the only one with marks, two big scratches on his upper arm. In comes Jason Richardson, trying to defend his teammate. He went up to Pachulia and was headbutted. Richardson wasn’t going to back down, and slapped Pachulia in the jaw. Both players got ejected and Howard got a technical.
After the mini fight, the teams traded the lead about four times. First Jameer Nelson’s jumper put the magic up. Then Joe Johnson came back driving down the lane, drawing a foul on Howard. He hit both free throws and the Hawks were back on top. Magic’s Brandon Bass took the open jumper and put the Magic back on top. Then, Al Horford stepped in and put the Hawks on top and got in Hedo Turkoglu’s face enough to make him miss the three, opening up for Crawford to put on his show.
The next game is on Sunday. The Hawks now lead the series 2-1
Orlando’s Dwight Howard with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Atlanta’s Jamal Crawford with 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
APRIL 19, 2011
Portland Trail Blazers 89 - Dallas Mavericks 101
Series: 2-0 Mavs lead
Top Performer Portland: LaMarcus Aldridge with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists
Top Performer Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki with 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists
Atlanta Hawks 82 - Orlando Magic 88
Series: 1 - 1
Top Performer Atlanta: Jamal Crawford with 25 points, 1 rebound, and 2 assists
Top Performer Orlando: Dwight Howard with 33 points and 19 rebounds
New York Knicks 93 – Boston Celtics 96
Regardless of who you wanted to win, there’s no denying that Rajon Rondo and Carmelo Anthony both played like major bosses tonight. In the end though, Rondo & Co got the upper hand.
It was a very exciting game at TD Garden tonight, as the Boston Celtics hosted the New York Knicks for the second game in their playoff series. Both teams played with intensity, especially the aforementioned stars, but the Knicks were definitely shorthanded. They went into the game without Chauncey Billups, who sat out with a bad knee and in the middle of the game lost Amar’e Stoudemire who had back spasms.
The Knicks relied on a bench that doesn’t have a lot of postseason experience and for this reason, Melo knew he had to come through and kill it – and he did, he scored 42 points, more than the rest of the starters put together. He played for 44 minutes, so that’s almost a point per minute. The rest of the team was ignited when Melo took charge. Their defense got better and in a post-game interview, Rondo admitted that the shots were a little more difficult than in game 1 because his lanes were blocked. Although they played hard, the other players were shortchanged in the scoring arena. Stoudemire scored only 4 before leaving, rookie Landry Fields who obviously doesn’t know what to do with himself in the playoffs scored only 4 as well. Toney Douglas got 14 and Ronny Turiaf brought in 6.
The Celtic’s top scorer was none other than Mr. Rondo. He brought in 30, followed by Paul Pierce who contributed 20 to the team’s win. Jermaine O’Neal got 2. KG brought in 12 and Ray Allen 18.
The last quarter of the game was definitely the most exciting as the teams went back and forth, not giving each other any slack.
New York had the lead with less than five minutes to go after a nice jumper from Carmelo. Then came Rondo and gave his team the lead back. Melo shot back another three and then the Knicks were back.
The game winning shot came from veteran Kevin Garnett who made it with 14 seconds left and then stole the ball from Jared Jeffries, who definitely tried his best to not be a fail, with only four seconds left.
Despite the loss, the Knicks should be very proud of themselves. Both teams should. They both came hard and made the game enjoyable. I’m trying my best not to let my Knicks stan-ism take over, but I hope to God that when I write Friday’s recap, I’ll be talking about a Knicks win.
Series: 2-0 Celtics lead
Top Performer NY: Carmelo ‘I killed that shit’ Anthony with 42 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 assists
Top Performer BOS: Rajon ‘I come alive during playoff time’ Rondo with 30 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists
Game 3 is on Friday in New York.
Baltimore Orioles 2 - Cleveland Indians 4
Toronto Blue Jays 1 - Boston Red Sox 8
Tampa Bay Rays 2 - Minnesota Twins 4
Chicago White Sox 2 - Los Angeles Angels 4
Kansas City Royals 2 - Seattle Mariners 3
Detroit Tigers 1 - Oakland Athletics 5
Texas Rangers 5 - New York Yankees - 6
Cincinnati Reds 6 - Pittsburgh Pirates 7
Atlanta Braves 2 - New York Mets 3
Florida Marlins 2 - Philadelphia Phillies 3
Milwaukee Brewers 4 - Washington Nationals 8 (Game 1 of double-header)
Milwaukee Brewers 1 - Washington Nationals 5 (Game 2)
Houston Astros 6 - San Diego Padres 8
Chicago Cubs 5 - Colorado Rockies 9
St. Louis Cardinals 1 - Los Angeles Dodgers 2
San Francisco Giants 5 -Arizona Diamondbacks – 6
Denver Nuggets 103 – Oklahoma City Thunder 107
In what was the night’s most exciting game, the Thunder took down the Nuggets in a last minute upset.
Superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook played hard and it played off. Durant scored 41 while Westbrook got 31. This was the most that either player has scored in a playoff game.
Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, and Thabo Sefolosha all scored below 5 points and their bench was 7 points behind Denver’s. Needless to say, Oklahoma City should be thanking their lucky stars for the two all-star players.
It was a steal and dunk from Westbrook that seemed to set his teammate, and city, on fire. After that exciting play, Durant took charge.
Denver’s players’ points were distributed a little better. Their top scorer, although he missed almost 8 minutes of the game due to a knee problem, was Nene with 22 points. Danilo Gallinari scored 18. Kenyon Martin and Ty Lawson each put up 10 while Wilson Chandler and his hair put up 9.
Like the Knicks game, one missed game tying shot meant a loss. Ironically, this shot was missed by a former Knick. Raymond Felton missed the three with 12 seconds left in the game.
The Nuggets, who seem to be stronger since trading Melo, weren’t able to overpower the Thunder although they held them to a very close game.
The Thunder came through in the clutch, Durant hit three jumpers and a free throw off a technical foul given to Raymond Felton. He was followed by Westbrook who hit a jumper that put OKC on top 98-90.
Although he missed that last shot, Felton was part of an incredible play that put Denver back on top 99-98. Felton stole the ball from Westbrook, set up a three point play for J.R. Smith and then Nene followed with another three pointer.
Westbrook took the following shot and missed, but Perkins tipped it in. Denver expected a shot interference call, but none was made, and it counted, putting the Thunder up 102-101. One minute and 5 more points later, they won the game.
Both teams came to win, and played this way, giving the fans a show. The high energy game was fun to watch, but unfortunately somebody has to lose and today, it was Denver’s turn.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant with 41 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists
Denver Nuggets: Nene Hilaro with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assists
New York Knicks 85 - Boston Celtics 87
The Knicks and Celtics showed that they like to keep things consistent (and that includes keeping my heart broken). For the 100th time this season, the Knicks allowed the Celtics to break a lead at the last minute and win. The Knicks have gone 10 years without a win in a playoff game. Hopefully this series isn’t a continuation and they will pull through in the following games.
This game came down to two epic shots – only one of which was actually made. Ray Allen’s game winning three-pointer against Carmelo Anthony’s fail of a last minute shot. This shot came from a play that Allen says the team has run many times. Allen inbounds just in front of the half-court line, throws the ball to Pierce then circles to the other side of the court, catches a pass from Pierce and then fires.
The game also came with a disputed call made on Carmelo Anthony. With New York leading by one, Anthony was called for an offensive foul for pushing Pierce. Anthony disagrees. Pierce does. At the end, Boston got that one.
Although they won, the Celtics couldn’t deny this wasn’t the best display of their skills. Paul Pierce told ESPN that by no way does this win mean that the team can coast through the rest of the series.
For New York, this game was obviously a tough pill to swallow. At the end of the game, they might have lost a little more than the game itself. Chauncey Billups left before the end of the fourth quarter and doctors are saying that he would need more tests, but that he either strained his left knee or thigh muscle.
Star player, Anthony, had a rough game from the very beginning – scoring only 15 points and contributing nothing in the first quarter. Although the lead was broken, it was the top performer, Amar’e Stoudemire who would take the Knicks to the almost win. Boston led 66-64 early in the fourth until Stoudemire scored 12 of the Knicks’ next 18 points, putting his team on top. He contributed 28 points overall. Chauncey Billups put up 10, Ronny Turiaf did 9, and Landry Fields failed with 0.
For Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 15, Paul Pierce brought in 18, Jermaine O’Neal 12, Ray Allen 24, and Rajon Rondo did 10.
I guess Big Baby Davis – who scored 2 points – was right about the Celtics not needing Shaq to beat ‘these guys’. I’m going to need a Knicks/Nuggets 2006 type brawl to break out.
New York Knicks: Amar’e Stoudemire with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists
Boston Celtics: Ray Allen with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Los Angeles Lakers 100 – New Orleans Hornets 109
In a continuation of what Jasmine deemed “Upset Sunday” the Hornets took down the team that was sure to breeze through this series. Even Laker haters like myself were sure that they could easily sweep the Hornets, tonight CP3 and crew proved us all wrong.
ESPN reports that last night, some of the Hornets players, including star Chris Paul, snuck into the Staples Center and practiced their shooting. They should probably do this every night. That little extra practice let them make history – giving Phil Jackson his first ever home game 1 postseason loss.
As with all ‘great vs. not so great teams that are hungry for more’ games, the energy was on a trillion. Chris Paul, especially, played pheonomenally. The point guard added 33 points to the team’s win, including a three pointer after stealing the ball from Kobe Bryant.
Going into the fourth quarter, the gap between the two teams was only four points until CP3 came in again and hit another three. He actually scored 17 of his points in the final quarter.
Despite the hate, there is no denying that the Lakers are an impressive team – especially when compared to the Hornets. They’ve got size in players like Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum that could be intimidating for a not so tall team like the Hornets. Size wasn’t an issue though, and even Phil Jackson admitted that his big men were late on defense. He actually said, “I think we were late on everything.” Much like everyone who isn’t a die-hard Hornets fans, the Lakers probably underestimated the Hornets, but New Orleans was aggressive the whole way through and came through in the end.
New Orleans’ Trevor Azria and Emeka Okafor were the lowest scoring players with 6 and 4, but they had strong support from Carl Landry who added 17 and Marco Belinelli who put up 10. The Hornets also had a very strong bench tonight. The players added 39 points.
The Lakers could have used a stronger bench. Their back up players only added 21 points to the final score. Their top scorer was Kobe with 34, Ron Artest added 16, Andrew Bynum put up 13, while Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol each got 8.
New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul with 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 14 assists
Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant with 34 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists
Game 2 is on Wednesday.
SAN ANTONIO SPURS 98 – MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 101
In a stunning win, the Grizzlies took down the Spurs in their first playoff win since entering the NBA. Although they’re a very strong team during the regular season, the postseason has usually led to demise for the team out of Memphis, but they held true to their “Let’s Make History” mantra and took the W.
It was a very exciting game, with the Spurs trailing until the half when Tim Duncan put them up by one. Unfortunately for them, this wouldn’t last long. In the fourth, Zach Randolph put the Grizzlies up by two. That lead was cut by Matt Bonner who hit back to back three pointers to put his team back on top. Shane Battier came off the bench and put the Grizzlies up by two.
For San Antonio, who went into the game with 61 wins, it was a game of lost opportunities. They were already at a disadvantage due to the fact that they were playing without strong guard Manu Ginobili, but it was a missed 3-pointer from Richard Jefferson that led to them missing a chance to go into overtime. Jefferson was clearly frustrated after the miss, he looked at the clock then bit down on his jersey collar.
Jefferson ended up adding 13 to the team’s final score. Tim Duncan brought in 16, Tony Parker contributed 20, George Hill 15, and Antonio McDyess only 3.
Memphis went into this game, not knowing what to expect. Coach Hollins had never coached a postseason game until this one and eight of the players on the roster had never played in a postseason game. They were the underdogs in every sense of the word. They didn’t go in to the game with that mindset though, and it paid off. Zach Randolph scored 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists. Sam Young and Toney Allen were the lowest scoring starters with 2 and 7 respectively. Marc Gasol scored 24 while Mike Conley contributed 15.
The Grizzlies were strong the entire game, proving that they could be a match for the Western Conference’s first place team. Who knows what could happen if they continue to play this hard. Eighth seeds have eliminated the top seed only three times in NBA history, but seeing as they’ve already made history once, what is really holding them back from doing it again?
Memphis Grizzlies: Zach Randolph with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 assists
San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 assists.
ORLANDO MAGIC 93 - ATLANTA HAWKS 103
The Orland Magic have been bowing down to the Atlanta Hawks all season, and that has continued into game 1 of the post season.
Coach Stan Van Gundy looked as if he was on the brink of heart attack (more than usual) as the Hawks set out to get payback for last year when the Magic eliminated them.
Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson were the only two Orlando players to reach double figures; Howard with 46 and Nelson wit 27. Atlanta, on the other hand, had five players with at least 13 points. Joe Johnson scored 25, Jamal Crawford had 23, Al Horford scored 16, Josh Smith added 15 and Kirk Hinrich brought in 13.
Horford commented on his team’s increased confidence and tonight it showed as they took Orlando for all they had, controlling the game through all four quarters. They hit 30 of their last 52 attempts from the field, and shot 6 of 14 from the 3-point line.
Aggressive plays from a frustrated Howard didn’t help the team at all. After he receieved his fourth personal foul and a technical foul, three free throws from the Hawks upped their lead to 17.
Howard was the Orlando Magic tonight, gaining the team’s first 12 points and ending the first half with 31. The rest of his team never quite caught his drift though.
Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard with 46 points, 19 rebounds, and 1 assist
Atlanta Hawks: Joe Johnson with 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists
Game 2 will be played on Tuesday in Orlando.