Philadelphia 76ers 105, Atlanta Hawks 100
The Hawks have lost seven of their last 10 and haven’t beaten an Eastern Conference playoff team since March 2. Before that, January 28. Starting to think that maybe Mike Woodson wasn’t the problem.
Indiana Pacers 111, Charlotte Bobcats 88
I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like the Pacers have pretty much sewn up that last playoff spot in the East. They’ve got a three game lead on the Bucks with only 10 games remaining, with three of those games coming against the Pistons (twice) and Wizards. The Milwaukee/Indiana game on April 1 should be the official decider, but things are looking good for Indiana.
New Jersey Nets 98, Cleveland Cavaliers 94 OT
The first thing I think when I hear that the Nets and Cavaliers are playing each other is, “I hope they go in to overtime because I can’t get enough of watching these two teams.”
Memphis Grizzlies 90, Boston Celtics 87
Great win for Memphis, who needed a win with the Rockets getting their own victory. That it came on the road against the Celtics is extra impressive. If their schedule wasn’t so tough — Bulls, Spurs, Hornets (twice) and Blazers in their last 10 — I’d consider the possibility that they could move in to the seventh slot, but that’s not terribly likely.
Miami Heat 100, Detroit Pistons 94
Chris Wilcox got his first start in two weeks but even that wasn’t even enough for the Pistons to steal one from the Heat. Unbelievable.
Oklahoma City Thunder 106, Utah Jazz 94
With the way they’ve been playing since Jerry Sloan resigned, the Jazz only have two winnable games remaining on their schedule. That means they’re going to miss the playoffs for the first time in five years and finish below .500 for the first time Raul Lopez was still around. Good choice, Jerry.
Sacramento Kings 97, Milwaukee Bucks 90
If, for some reason, you were still holding out hope that the Bucks could make a run, don’t. A home loss to the Tyreke Evans-less Kings is about the most definitive sign that a team is done for the season as their can be.
Orlando Magic 111, New York Knicks 99
And now the Knicks are below .500 for the first time since November 27 and are just 7-10 since the Carmelo Anthony trade. I hope this doesn’t come off reactionary, but it’s pretty obvious now that this is the worst trade in the history of basketball and probably all of professional sports.
Houston Rockets 131, Golden State Warriors 112
That’s what I’m talking about, Rockets. Keep winning games and this race to the eight spot will be very fun. Heck, play your cards right and it might be you and the Grizzlies in the playoffs. Sorry, Hornets fans, but that’s a very real possibility.
Phoenix Suns 114, Toronto Raptors 106
Only 8 minutes combined for Grant Hill and Mickael Pietrus — the only perimeter defenders employed by the Suns, both of whom sat out with various maladies — and Phoenix still pulled this out. Good win, considering the circumstances, but it might be too little, too late.
Denver Nuggets 115, San Antonio Spurs 112
Impressive win for the Nugglets, even if Tim Duncan’s out. They overcame a 9-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Spurs the first time this season, ending things by forcing Manu Ginobili to airball a three-pointer. Things have changed in Denver and it’s pretty cool to watch.
Los Angeles Clippers 127, Washington Wizards 119 2OT
First career triple-double for Blake Griffin — 33 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists — and he tied the Clippers’ single-season record for double-double with 55. Elton Brand is like, “Dang it.”