NBA Daily Blog: Hawks defeat the Celtics at home 97-92. Spurs defeat the Lakers at home 121-97.

Joe Johnson drives over Avery Bradley
Photo ©NBA/Hawks.com

This is the 25th blog I’ve written since I returned to blogging a couple of days ago. So LET’S ROCK! and here is the NBA Daily blog for April 21 (Philippine time).

The Atlanta Hawks inch closer to securing homecourt advantage in the first round as they defeat their possible first round opponent, the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena 97-92. With the win, the Hawks improve to 38-25. While the Celtics drop to 37-27, they hold the 4th seed since they won the Atlantic Division. However, they may have to deal with a homecourt disadvantage since the Hawks who are currently 5th have a better record than the Celtics by 1.5 games.

The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson with 30 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Josh Smith finished with a double-double 19 points and 12 rebounds with 3 steals and 3 blocks. Kirk Hinrich, Willie Green and Jason Collins each scored 8.

The Celtics who were playing without their Big 4 of Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were led by Avery Bradley with 28 points and 4 steals. Keyon Dooling scored 17. Marquis Daniels added 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals off the bench. Brandon Bass added 10 points and 5 rebounds.
Tony Parker defended by Ramon Sessions
Photo ©NBA/Spurs.com

The San Antonio Spurs spoil the return of Kobe Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup with a victory at the AT&T Center 121-97. With the victory the Spurs maintain their hold on 1st place in the Western Conference at 46-16 holding to a 0.5 game advantage over the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Lakers drop to 40-24 holding to the 3rd seed with a 0.5 game lead over their cross-town rivals the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan with21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Tony Parker finishedwith a double-double 20 points and 10 assists with 2 steals. Manu Ginobili off the bench also scored 20 with 6 rebounds and 7assists. Gary Neal scored 12.
The Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant with 18 points. Andrew Bynum scored 17. Matt Barnes added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Pau Gasol added11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Metta World Peace added 10points and 3 steals.

In Charlotte, the Memphis Grizzlies extend the losing streak of the Charlotte Bobcats to 19 games with the victory at Time Warner Cable Arena 85-80. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 20 points, 7 assists and 3 steals. Zach Randolph added 14 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo and Dante Cunningham each scored 9 points. Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 32 points and 2 steals. Rookie Kemba Walker, Derrick Brown and Byron Mullens each scored 11. 

In Cleveland, the Cleveland Cavaliers stun the New York Knicks at the Quicken Loans Arena 98-90. Rookie Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 21 points. Manny Harris finished with a double-double 19 points and 12 rebounds. Samardo Samuels added 15 points and 2 blocks off the bench. Another rookie Tristan Thompson added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Amar’e Stoudemire who returned to the lineup after an injury led the Knicks with 15 points and 4 blocks. Steve Novak also scored 15 off the bench. Carmelo Anthony and Mike Bibby each scored 12. J.R. Smith added 11 points and 6 rebounds.

In Dallas, the defending champion DallasMavericks pick up a 10 point win over the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Center 104-94. Vince Carter off the bench led the Mavericks with 19 points and 9rebounds. Brandan Wright added 17 points and 7 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki and Delonte West each scored 16. Shawn Marion added 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Rookie KlayThompson led the Warriors with 26 points. Brandon Rush offthe bench added 20 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Dorell Wright added 19 points and 2 steals. Another rookie Jeremy Tyler added 15points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Charles Jenkins added adouble-double 10 points and 10 assists with 3 steals.
In Sacramento, the Oklahoma City Thunder are still on the hunt for the #1 seed out West with a win overthe Sacramento Kings at the Power Balance Pavilion 103-92. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with a double-double 29 pointsand 14 rebounds with 7 assists. James Harden off the bench added 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Russell Westbrook added 18 points and 2 steals. Serge Ibaka added 12 points, 6 rebounds and 8 blocks. Kendrick Perkins added 10 points and 7 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Tyreke Evans scored 16. Jason Thompson added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Rookie Isaiah Thomas scored 12. Another rookie Jimmer Fredette scored 11.

STANDINGS AS OF 4/21/12 (13:06 PHT)
WEST:
1. Spurs (sw) 46-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 46-17, 3. Lakers (x) 40-24, 4. Clippers (x) 39-24, 5. Grizzlies (x) 38-25, 6. Mavericks (x) 36-28, 7. Nuggets 34-28, 8. Suns 33-30, 9. Jazz 33-30, 10. Rockets 32-31, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-35, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-38, 13. Warriors (o) 22-40, 14. Kings (o) 20-43, 15. Hornets (o) 20-43
EAST:
1. Bulls (c) 47-16, 2. Heat (se) 45-17, 3. Pacers (x) 41-22, 4. Celtics (a) 37-27, 5. Hawks (x) 38-25, 6. Magic (x) 36-26, 7. Knicks (x) 33-30, 8. 76ers 32-30, 9. Bucks 29-33, 10. Pistons (o) 23-40, 11. Nets (o) 22-41, 12. Raptors (o) 22-41, 13. Cavaliers (o) 21-41, 14. Wizards (o) 16-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-55

K-Smoove
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