NBA Daily Blog: Rockets keep playoff hopes alive with a win over the Warriors at home 99-96.

Courtney Lee drives on Klay Thompson
Photo NBA/©Rockets.com

The Houston Rockets keep their playoff hopes alive with a thrilling victory over the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center 99-96. With the win, the Rockets snap their 6 game losing streak and improve to 33-31, currently tied with the Phoenix Suns and a full game behind the 8th seeded Utah Jazz. While the Warriors drop to 22-41, losing their 8th consecutive game.

The Rockets were led by Courtney Lee with 20 points. Goran Dragic added 18 points, 7 assists and 3 steals. Luis Scola added 13 points and 5 rebounds. Chase Budinger scored 11 off the bench. Patrick Patterson scored 10. Marcus Camby pulled down 9 rebounds.

The Warriors were led by rookie Klay Thompson with 24 points. Brandon Rush added 19 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. Another rookie Charles Jenkins added 16 points and 8 assists.

In Phoenix, the Denver Nuggets clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Phoenix Suns who in turn suffer a blow to their playoff chances at the US Airways Center 118-107. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with a double-double 29 points and 10 assists. Arron Afflalo added 19 points and 2 steals. Rookie Kenneth Faried also finished with a double-double 18 points and 14 rebounds with 3 blocks. Danilo Gallinari added 13 points and 2 steals. JaVale McGee scored 11 off the bench. Corey Brewer scored 10. Shannon Brown led the Suns with 28 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Marcin Gortat finished with a double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds with 3 blocks. Sebastian Telfair scored 15 off the bench. Steve Nash dished out 13 assists with 8 points.

In Indianapolis, the Philadelphia 76ers inch closer to securing a playoff berth with a thrilling victory over the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 109-106. Elton Brand led the 76ers with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Lou Williams off the bench added 19 points, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Jrue Holiday added 17 points, 7 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Andre Iguodala added 16 points and 2 blocks. Thaddeus Young added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. David West led the Pacers with a double-double 32 points and 12 rebounds. Tyler Hansbrough off the bench scored 17. Paul George added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Roy Hibbert added 11 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. George Hill scored 10. Danny Granger pulled down 11 rebounds and only scored 4 points.

In Miami, the Washington Wizards pull off a stunner with Nene’s layup with only 0.5 seconds remaining as they beat the Miami Heat who suffer a tough blow to their chances of finishing on top of the Eastern Conference at the American Airlines Arena 86-84. Cartier Martin off the bench led the Wizards with 22 points and 5 rebounds. Kevin Seraphin scored 17. John Wall finished with a double-double 13 points and 13 assists with 4 steals. Nene scored 11. The Heat who were playing without LeBron James and Chris Bosh to start the game for rest purposes and Dwayne Wade suffering from a dislocated index finger early into the 1st quarter were led by Mike Miller who finished with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds. Mario Chalmers also scored 16 points with 6 assists and 2 steals. Dexter Pittman scored 12. Rookie Norris Cole scored 11. Udonis Haslem pulled down 15 rebounds with 6 points.

In Chicago, the Chicago Bulls inch closer to securing homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory over the defending champions Dallas Mavericks at the United Center 93-83. Luol Deng led the Bulls with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Richard Hamilton scored 19. Carlos Boozer finished with a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds. Reining MVP Derrick Rose who came back to the floor after injuries sideline him the past few days added 11 points and 8 assists. Kyle Korver also scored 11 off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Rodrigue Beaubois who started in place of Jason Kidd who did not play today added 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Vince Carter scored 15. Delonte West scored 13.


In Memphis, the Memphis Grizzlies are still in contention for a higher seed out West with a 4 point victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the FedExForum 93-89. Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 21 points and 6 rebounds. O.J. Mayo scored 14 off the bench. Marreese Speights finished with a double-double 13 points and 11 rebounds. Marc Gasol and Dante Cunningham each scored 12. J.J. Hickson led the Trail Blazers with a double-double 23 points and 13 rebounds. Jamal Crawford scored 21 off the bench. Wesley Matthews added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Luke Babbitt added 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.


In Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Bucks keep their playoff hopes alive with a victory over the New Jersey Nets at the Bradley Center 106-95. Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 30 points, 6 assists and 4 steals. Ersan Ilyasova finished with a double-double 17 points and 17 rebounds with 3 steals and 2 blocks. Drew Gooden added 16 points and 8 rebounds. Monta Ellis and Shaun Livingston each scored 12. Gerald Wallace led the Nets with a double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds. Rookie MarShon Brooks scored 17. Gerald Green scored 16 off the bench. Kris Humphries added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.


In Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz maintain their hold on the final playoff seed out West with a overtime victory against the Orlando Magic at EnergySolutions Arena 117-107. Al Jefferson led the Jazz with a double-double 21 points and 10 rebounds with 3 blocks. Devin Harris also scored 21 points with 7 assists. Paul Millsap added 18 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. Derrick Favors off the bench also finished with a double-double 16 points and 11 rebounds with 2 steals. Gordon Hayward scored 12. Jameer Nelson led the Magic with a double-double 23 points and 11 assists. Jason Richardson added 21 points and 7 rebounds. Ryan Anderson  also scored 21 points with 5 rebounds. Glen Davis also finished with a double-double 17 points and 13 rebounds with 4 steals. J.J. Redick scored 15.

STANDINGS AS OF 4/22/12 (15:04 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) 39-25, 6. Nuggets (x) 35-28, 7
. Mavericks (x) 36-29, 8. Jazz 34-30, 9. Suns 33-31, 10. Rockets 33-31, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-36, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-38, 13. Warriors (o) 22-41, 14. Kings (o) 20-43, 15. Hornets (o) 20-43
EAST:
1. Bulls (c) 48-16, 2. Heat (se) 45-18, 3. Pacers (x) 41-23, 4. Celtics (a) 37-27, 5. Hawks (x) 38-25, 6. Magic (x) 36-27, 7. Knicks (x) 33-30, 8. 76ers 33-30, 9. Bucks 30-33, 10. Pistons (o) 23-40, 11. Raptors (o) 22-41, 
12. Nets (o) 22-42,  13. Cavaliers (o) 21-41, 14. Wizards (o) 17-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-55
K-Smoove
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