NBA Daily Blog: Rockets win in season finale over the Hornets at home 84-77. 2012 NBA Playoff Matchups

Chase Budinger takes the shot vs the Hornets
Photo ©NBA/
The Houston Rockets wrap up their up and down season with a victory over the New Orleans Hornets at the Toyota Center 84-77. The Rockets for the 3rd straight year finish above .500 but misses the playoffs at 34-32 in 9th place in the West. While the Hornets wrap their season at 21-45 in last place in the Western Conference.
The Rockets who rested Kyle Lowry and rookie Chandler Parsons were led by Chase Budinger with 27 points and 4 rebounds. Samuel Dalembert finished with a double-double 11 points and 11 rebounds. Courtney Lee added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Goran Dragic dished out 13 assists with 8 points and 2 steals. Patrick Patterson pulled down 11 rebounds with 9 points.

The Hornets were led by rookie Damien Watkins off the bench with a near triple-double 13 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds with 3 steals. Jerome Dyson and Lance Thomas also scored 13. Al-Farouq Aminu finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds.

In Toronto, the Toronto Raptors wrap up their season with a blowout victory over the New Jersey Nets who played their final game as the New Jersey Nets at the Air Canada Centre 97-68. Ed Davis led the Raptors with a double-double 24 points and 12 rebounds. Gary Forbes off the bench added 23 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Rookie Alan Anderson scored 20. Ben Uzoh also finished with a double-double 12 points and 12 rebounds with 4 steals. Solomon Alabi cap the night with a double-double 11 points and 19 rebounds with 3 blocks. Anthony Morrow and rookie Armon Johnson led the Nets with each scoring 11. Jordan Williams finished with a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds. Gerald Green added 10 points and 5 rebounds. Johan Petro pulled down 12 rebounds with 9 points.

In Auburn Hills, the Detroit Pistons wrap up their season with a 22 point win over the playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers at The Palace of Auburn Hills 108-86. Ben Gordon off the bench led the Pistons with 26 points and 5 assists. Rodney Stuckey added 13 points and 4 assists. Charlie Villanueva added 11 points and 7 rebounds. Ben Wallace pulled down 12 rebounds with 7 points. The 76ers who rested their key players including Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday, Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young were led by Spencer Hawes with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Jodie Meeks scored 15. Sam Young scored 12 off the bench. Evan Turner and Craig Brackins each scored 10.

In Boston, the playoff-bound Boston Celtics wrap up their regular season with a victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the TD Garden 87-74. Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 14 points. Paul Pierce scored 12. Rajon Rondo dished out 15 assists with 4 steals. Mickael Pietrus and Ryan Hollins each scored 9. Rookie Tobias Harris led the Bucks with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Another rookie Jon Leuer added 15 points and 8 rebounds. Brandon Jennings scored 12. Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 10 off the bench.

In Washington, DC, the Washington Wizards cap their season with a 34 point victory over the playoff-bound Miami Heat at the Verizon Center 104-70. Maurice Evans off the bench led the Wizards with 18 points. Nene and Kevin Seraphin each scored 15. Cartier Martin scored 12. Rookie Jan Vesely added 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. John Wall dished out 12 assists with 7 points and 2 steals. The Heat who rested their Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were led by rookie Norris Cole off the bench with 14 points. Eddy Curry scored 10. Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller and James Jones each scored 8.

In Charlotte, the playoff-bound New York Knicks cap their regular season with the win over the Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Cable Arena 104-84. With the loss, the Charlotte Bobcats who lost their 23rd straight game to end the year now have the dubious distinction as the worst team in NBA history as they finish at 7-59 (0.106) breaking the 29 year record of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers team who finished the year at 9-73 (0.110). The Knicks who rested Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler were led by J.R. Smith off the bench with 22 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. Amar’e Stoudemire added 21 points and 3 blocks. Rookie Josh Harrellson added 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Anothe rookie Jerome Jordan scored 13. Iman Shumpert scored 12. Mike Bibby dished out 12 assists. Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Rookie Kemba Walker added 13 points and 2 steals. D.J. Augustin added 12 points and 7 assists. D.J. White added 11 points and 7 rebounds.

In Atlanta, the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks gain homecourt advantage in their first round match with a win over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks at Philips Arena 106-89. Josh Smith led the Hawks with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Jeff Teague added 17 points and 5 assists. Joe Johnson scored 15. Kirk Hinrich added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Willie Green scored 11 off the bench. Rookie Ivan Johnson added 10 points and 6 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 22 points. Rodrigue Beaubois added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Jason Terry added 11 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.In Chicago, the playoff-bound Chicago Bulls gain homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center 107-75. The Bulls who rested the reining MVP Derrick Rose, All-star Luol Deng and sharpshooter Kyle Korver were led by John Lucas III off the bench with 25 points. Joakim Noah finished with a double-double 13 points and 12 rebounds. Rookie Jimmy Butler scored 12. Taj Gibson also finished with a double-double 10 points and 12 rebounds. Rip Hamilton and Mike James each scored 10. Ronnie Brewer pulled down 10 rebounds with 8 points. Rookie Tristan Thompson led the Cavaliers with a double-double 13 points and 12 rebounds. Antawn Jamison, rookie Donald Sloan and Luke Harangody each scored 12. Alonzo Gee added 10 points and 5 rebounds.
In Memphis, the playoff-bound Memphis Grizzlies lock up the 4th seed in the West with the win over the playoff-bound Orlando Magic at the FedExForum 88-76. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. Rudy Gay added 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. O.J. Mayo off the bench added 15 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Zach Randolph finished with a double-double 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Magic who rested their key players were led by Hedo Turkoglu with 18 points. Rookie Justin Harper off the bench added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Von Wafer scored 11.

In Minneapolis, the playoff-bound Denver Nuggets cap their season with a runaway victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center 131-102. JaVale McGee off the bench led the Nuggets with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Arron Afflalo scored 18. Danilo Gallinari scored 17. Ty Lawson, rookie Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov each scored 15. Corey Brewer scored 12. Kosta Koufos pulled down 11 rebounds with 7 points. Andre Miller dished out 10 assists. J.J. Barea led the Timberwolves with 20 points and 5 assists. Nikola Pekovic finished with a double double 18 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Beasley scored 13 off the bench. Wayne Ellington scored 12. Martell Webster scored 11.

In Salt Lake City, the playoff-bound Utah Jazz win a thriller over the Portland Trail Blazers at the EnergySolutions Arena 96-94. Rookie Alec Burks off the bench led the Jazz with 18 points and 2 steals. Derrick Favors added 15 points and 5 rebounds. Jeremy Evans finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds with 3 blocks. Another rookie Enes Kanter finished with a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds with 2 blocks. Josh Howard also scored 12 points with 6 rebounds. J.J. Hickson led the Trail Blazers with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Jonny Flynn off the bench finished with a double-double 18 points and 11 assists. Rookie Nolan Smith added 16 points, 7 assists and 2 steals. Wesley Matthews scored 14. Kurt Thomas added 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

In Sacramento, the Sacramento Kings wrap up their regular season with a win over the playoff-bound Los Angeles Lakers at the Power Balance Pavilion 113-86. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with a double-double 23 points and 19 rebounds. Tyreke Evans scored 21. Jason Thompson also finished with a double-double 17 points and 10 rebounds with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Rookie Isaiah Thomas added 11 points and 7 assists. Travis Outlaw also scored 11. Another rookie Jimmer Fredette scored 10. The Lakers who rested their stars in Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum were led by Josh McRoberts with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Ramon Sessions and Devin Ebanks each scored 14. Troy Murphy added 12 points and 6 rebounds. Rookie Andrew Goudelock added 11 points and 5 reobunds.

In Oakland, the top seeded team in the West, the San Antonio Spurs wrap their regular season with a win over the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena 107-101. The Spurs who rested their Big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were led by Patrick Mills with a double-double 34 points and 12 assists. DeJuan Blair also finished with a double-double 22 points and 13 rebounds. James Anderson added 19 points and 7 rebounds. Rookies led the Warriors with Chris Wright leading the way with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Klay Thompson added 17 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Jeremy Tyler added 16 points and 9 reobunds. Charles Jenkins also scored 16 points with 7 assists and 3 steals. Mickell Gladness added 14 points and 9 rebounds. Dominic McGuire added 11 points, 8 assists and 2 steals. PLAYOFF MATCHUPS for the 2012 NBA Playoffs:
#1 Spurs vs # 8 Jazz (Season series: Spurs won 3-1)
Key Players:
Spurs: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, DeJuan Blair, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson
Jazz: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Devin Harris, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, Jamaal Tinsley, Josh Howard
Prediction: Spurs win 4-1 #4 Grizzlies vs #5 Clippers (Season series: Clippers won 2-1)
Key Players:
Grizzlies: Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Marreese Speights, Dante Cunningham, Gilbert Arenas
Clippers: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, DeAndre Jordan, Randy Foye, Mo Williams, Kenyon Martin, Nick Young
Prediction: Grizzlies win 4-3

#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Season series: Lakers won 3-1)
Key Players:
Lakers: Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Ramon Sessions, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy
Nuggets: Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Arron Afflalo, Kenneth Faried, Al Harrington, Corey Brewer, Andre Miller, Kosta Koufos
Prediction: Lakers win 4-2

#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks (Season series: Thunder won 3-1)
Key Players:
Thunder: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Derek Fisher, Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison
Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd, Delonte West, Vince Carter, Brendan Haywood, Brandan Wright, Rodrigue Beaubois
Prediction: Thunder win 4-2

#1 Bulls vs #8 76ers (Season series: Bulls won 2-1)
Key Players:
Bulls: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Rip Hamilton, Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Omer Asik
76ers: Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Elton Brand, Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, Jodie Meeks
Prediction: Bulls win 4-1

#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Season series: Celtics won 2-1)
*Hawks have homecourt advantage since they lead the Celtics by 1 game in the standings.

Key Players:
Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley, Sasha Pavlovic, Mickael Pietrus, Ryan Hollins
Hawks: Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Jeff Teague, Kirk Hinrich, Zaza Pachulia, Marvin Williams, Jannero Pargo, Tracy McGrady, Willie Green
Prediction: Hawks win 4-2

#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Season series: Magic won 3-1)
Key Players:
Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert, David West, Darren Collison, Paul George, George Hill, Tyler Hansbrough, Leandro Barbosa

Magic: Jameer Nelson, Glen Davis, Ryan Anderson, J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Von Wafer, Quentin Richardson, Chris Duhon
Prediction: Pacers win 4-1

#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Season series: Heat won 3-0)
Key Players:
Heat: LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, Mike Miller, Norris Cole, Shane Battier, Joel Anthony, James Jones
Knicks: Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Steve Novak, Baron Davis, Jared Jeffries, Landry Fields
Prediction: Heat win 4-2 
1. Spurs (w) 50-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 47-19, 3. Lakers (p) 41-25, 4. Grizzlies (x) 41-25, 5. Clippers (x) 40-26, 6. Nuggets (x) 38-28, 7. Mavericks (x) 36-30, 8. Jazz (x) 36-30, 9. Rockets (o) 34-32, 10. Suns (o) 33-33, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-38, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-40, 13. Warriors (o) 23-43, 14. Kings (o) 21-45, 15. Hornets (o) 21-45

1. Bulls (e) 50-16, 2. Heat (se) 46-20, 3. Pacers (x) 42-24, 4. Celtics (a) 39-27, 5. Hawks (x) 40-26, 6. Magic (x) 37-29, 7. Knicks (x) 36-30, 8. 76ers (x) 35-31, 9. Bucks (o) 31-35, 10. Pistons (o) 25-41, 11. Raptors (o) 23-43, 12. Nets (o) 22-44, 13. Cavaliers (o) 21-45, 14. Wizards (o) 20-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-59



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