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NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: DEFENDING CHAMPION MAVERICKS DETHRONED BY THE THUNDER IN A FIRST ROUND SWEEP WITH LOSS IN GAME 4 103-97.

 Serge Ibaka blocks Dirk Nowitzki
Photo ©NBA/Thunder.com

The Dallas Mavericks title defense came to an abrupt end as the Mavericks lose their first round series in a sweep against the team they beat in last year’s Western Conference Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of their series at the American Airlines Center 103-97. This is the 2nd straight season that the defending champions got swept in a playoff series. Ironically, it was the Mavericks who done it last year to the then back-to-back defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers during their 2nd round match-up. This is also the 2nd time a defending champion got swept in the first round in 5 years since the Miami Heat who won the title in 2006 suffer a first round sweep at the hands of the Chicago Bulls in 2007. The Mavericks are the first team to be knocked out of the 2012 NBA Playoffs in which nobody expected they will be so. For the Thunder, they advance to the 2nd round and will face the winner between the #3 Los Angeles Lakers and the #6 Denver Nuggets in which the Lakers lead the series 2-1.

James Harden off the bench led the Thunder with 29 points (15 of them in the 4th quarter including a clutch lay-up in the final moments of the game), 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Kevin Durant finished with a double-double 24 points and 11 rebounds with 4 assists and 2 blocks. Russell Westbrook added 12 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. Derek Fisher scored 12. Serge Ibaka added 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.

2011 NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 34 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Jason Kidd added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Jason Terry who regularly comes off the bench, started the game and finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ian Mahinmi off the bench added 10 points and 5 rebounds. Shawn Marion added 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Vince Carter added 8 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals.

In Orlando, the Indiana Pacers are now one win away from advancing to the 2nd round for the first time since 2005 as they defeat the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of their series at the Amway Center 101-99. Game 5 will be back in Indianapolis on May 9. David West led the Pacers with a double-double 26 points and 12 rebounds. Danny Granger added 21 points and 7 rebounds. Roy Hibbert also finished with a double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds with 3 blocks. Geroge Hill added 12 points, 5 assists and 2 steals. Darren Collison off the bench added 11 points, 9 assists and 2 steals. Jason Richardson led the Magic with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Glen Davis finished with a double-double 24 points and 11 rebounds. Jameer Nelson also finished with a double-double 12 points and 11 assists with 6 rebounds. 2012 Most Improved Player Ryan Anderson and Hedo Turkoglu each scored 11. J.J. Redick off the bench added 10 points and 7 assists.

In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Clippers pull off another comeback victory as they beat the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of their first round series at the Staples Center 87-86. Game 4 will be in Los Angeles on May 8. Chris Paul led the Clippers with a double-double 24 points and 11 assists with 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Blake Griffin added 17 points and 4 rebounds. Randy Foye added 16 points and 4 rebounds. Mo Williams scored 8 off the bench. Reggie Evans pulled down 11 rebounds. Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Zach Randolph added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Marc Gasol finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds. Quincy Pondexter off the bench also scored 11.

In Salt Lake City, the San Antonio Spurs take a 3-0 lead in their first round series against the Utah Jazz at the EnergySolutions Arena 102-90. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 27 points and 6 assists. Tim Duncan added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. Danny Green added 14 points and 6 rebounds. Stephen Jackson added 13 points and 2 blocks off the bench. Tiago Splitter added 10 points and 8 rebounds. Manu Ginobili dished out 10 assists with 6 points and 5 rebounds. Al Jefferson led the Jazz with a double-double 21 points and 11 rebounds. Devin Harris added 21 points and 5 assists. Derrick Favors also finished with a double-double 15 points and 11 rebounds with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Rookie Alec Burks scored 11 off the bench. Paul Millsap pulled down 11 rebounds with 9 points and 5 blocks

2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 14:27 PHT)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz (Spurs lead series 3-0)
Game 4: May 8, 8:00 am PHT on Basketball TV

#4 Grizzlies vs #5 Clippers (Clippers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: May 8, 10:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Lakers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: May 7, 9:30 am PHT on Studio 23 and Basketball TV

#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER WINS SERIES 4-0

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Bulls vs #8 76ers (76ers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: May 7, 1:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Celtics lead series 2-1)
Game 4: May 7, 7:00 am PHT on Basketball TV

#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Pacers lead series 3-1)
Game 5: May 9, 7:00 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV

#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 3-0)
Game 4: May 8, 3:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV 
Surprised that the Mavericks are the first team to be knocked out of this year’s playoffs and in a sweep.

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NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: Thunder, one win away from knocking off the defending champion Mavericks with Game 3 win in Dallas. Heat go up 3-0 over the Knicks.

Russell Westbrook passes thru the Mavericks defense
Photo ©NBA/Thunder.com
The Oklahoma City Thunder are now one win away from advancing to the second round as they defeat the defending champions the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of their first round series at the American Airlines Center 95-79. Game 4 will be in Dallas on May 6. If the Mavericks lose in Game 4, it will be the 2nd straight season that the defending champions be swept in a playoff series. Ironically, it was the Mavericks who dealt that blow last year, doing it in the second round over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 31 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Russell Westbrook added 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Serge Ibaka finished with a double-double 10 points and 11 rebounds with 4 blocks. James Harden and Derek Fisher both off the bench each scored 10. Harden also added 3 steals. Daequan Cook scored 9.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Jason Kidd added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Jason Terry added 11 points and 6 assists off the bench. Shawn Marion pulled down 10 rebounds with 6 points and 2 blocks. Delonte West scored 9. Vince Carter scored 7.

In New York City, the Miami Heat are also one win away from knocking off the New York Knicks in their first round series with the Game 3 victory at Madison Square Garden 87-70. LeBron James led the Heat 32 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Dwayne Wade added 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. Mario Chalmers added 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Chris Bosh added 9 points and 10 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 22 points and 8 rebounds. J.R. Smith off the bench added 12 points and 2 steals. Recently crowned Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler finished with a double-double 10 points and 15 rebounds with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Landry Fields scored 9.2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 14:38 PHT)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz (Spurs lead series 2-0)
Game 3: May 6, 10:00 am PHT on Studio 23 and NBA Premium TV

#4 Grizzlies vs #5 Clippers (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: May 6, 4:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Lakers lead series 2-0)
Game 3: May 5, 10:30 am PHT on ESPN

#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks (Thunder lead series 3-0)
Game 4: May 6, 7:30 am PHT on Studio 23

EASTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Bulls vs #8 76ers (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: May 5, 8:00 am PHT on Studio 23 and NBA Premium TV

#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: May 5, 7:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Pacers lead series 2-1)
Game 4: May 6, 2:00 am PHT on Basketball TV

#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 3-0)
Game 4: May 7, 3:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

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NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: Heat take 2-0 lead over the Knicks 104-94. Pacers equalize vs the Magic 93-78. Thunder win another thriller vs the Mavericks 102-99.

Dwayne Wade drives through the Knicks defense
Photo ©NBA/Heat.com
The Miami Heat take a 2-0 lead as they win Game 2 of their first round series against the New York Knicks at the American Airlines Arena 104-94. The series shifts to New York for Game 3 on May 4.Miami’s Big 3 combine for 65 points led by Dwayne Wade led the Heat with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Chris Bosh added 21 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. LeBron James added 19 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. Mario Chalmers added 13 points and 6 rebounds. Shane Battier and Mike Miller off the bench each scored 11. 

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and 9 rebounds. Amar’e Stoudemire added 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith off the bench scored 13. Chandler added 7 rebounds and Smith added 5 assists. Baron Davis added 12 points and 6 assists.

In Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers bounce back and tie their first round series with the win Game 2 of their first round series against the Orlando Magic at Bankers Life Fieldhous 93-78. The series shifts to Orlando for Game 3 on May 3. David West led the Pacers with a double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds with 2 steals and 2 blocks. Danny Granger also scored 18 points with 7 rebounds. George Hill also finished with 18 points and 4 rebounds. Paul George added 17 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Leandro Barbosa scored 10 off the bench. Glen Davis led the Magic with a double-double 18 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Redick scored 13 off the bench. Jameer Nelson scored 12. Ryan Anderson added 11 points and 8 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu scored 10.

In Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Thunder win another thriller in Game 2 of their first round series against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 102-99. The series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on May 4. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 29 points. Kevin Durant finished with a double-double 26 points and 10 rebounds with 2 steals. James Harden off the bench added 15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Kendrick Perkins added 13 points and 6 rebounds. Derek Fisher scored 11. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 31 points and 6 rebounds. Shawn Marion added 15 points and 8 rebounds. Jason Terry off the bench and Delonte West each scored 13. Jason Kidd added 10 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.

2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 13:39 PHT)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz (Spurs lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 3, 7:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#4 Grizzlies vs # 5 Clippers (Clippers lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 3, 9:30 am PHT on ESPN
#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Lakers lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 2, 10:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks (Thunder lead series 2-0)
Game 3: May 4, 9:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

EASTERN CONFERENCE
#1 Bulls vs # 8 76ers (Bulls lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 2, 8:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Hawks lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 2, 7:30 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Series tied 1-1)

Game 3: May 3, 7:30 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV

#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 2-0)
Game 3: May 4, 7:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
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NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: Bulls win Game 1 vs the 76ers but lose Rose for the rest of the playoffs 103-91. Durant gives Thunder first blood vs the Mavericks 99-98.

Derrick Rose helped down the court. Rose suffered from a torn ACL on his left knee and will be gone for the remainder of the playoffs.
Photo ©NBA.com
The 2012 NBA Playoffs have begun. Let’s get it on.
The best team in the NBA for the 2nd consecutive season, the Chicago Bulls made their opening statement with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up at the United Center 103-91. However, the Bulls suffer a devastating blow to their playoff run as their hometown star Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL on his left knee with 1:15 remaining in the 4th quarter and will be out for the remainder of the playoffs. The Bulls will miss his services, however the Bulls have proven this season they can win without Rose as they went 18-9 in the 27 games he missed in the regular season, and will this development help the 76ers in their first round matchup? That we will find out as the series progresses.
Rose led the Bulls in Game 1 with a near triple-double 23 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Rip Hamilton scored 19 points on 6-7 from the field. Luol Deng added 17 points and 6 rebounds. Joakim Noah finished with a double-double 12 points and 13 rebounds with 2 blocks. Kyle Korver scored 11 off the bench. Carlos Boozer added 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Elton Brand led the 76ers with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jrue Holiday added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Thaddeus Young added 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals off the bench. Chicago-native Evan Turner who was jeered every time he touched the ball added 12 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Andre Iguodala added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
In Miami, the Miami Heat take Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up over the New York Knicks in a 33 point blowout at the American Airlines Arena 100-67. LeBron James led the Heat in Game 1 with 32 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Dwayne Wade scored 19. Mario Chalmers added 11 points, 9 assists and 3 steals. Chris Bosh and Mike Miller each scored 9 points. J.R. Smith off the bench led the Knicks with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Carmelo Anthony finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds. Tyson Chandler scored 10. The Knicks lose rookie guard Iman Shumpert.
In Indianapolis, the Orlando Magic pull off a stunner over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 81-77. Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson led the Magic in Game 1 with both scoring 17 points. Nelson also added 9 assists. Richardson added 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Glen Davis finished with a double-double 16 points  and 13 rebounds with 3 blocks. Hedo Turkoglu scored 9. David West led the Pacers with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Danny Granger added 17 points and 8 rebounds. George Hill scored 11. Roy Hibbert pulled down 13 rebounds with 8 points and 9 blocks. Paul George also scored 8.

In Oklahoma City, in a early rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, a case of déjà vu happened as Kevin Durant nails the game winner with 1.5 seconds left in the game as the Oklahoma City Thunder take Game 1 of their best of 7 series against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 99-98. Durant finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in Game 1 with 28 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Serge Ibaka added 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks. James Harden coming off the concussion he suffered from Metta World Peace scored 19 off the bench. Dirk Nowiztki led the Mavericks 25 points and 5 rebounds. Jason Terry off the bench added 20 points and 5 assists. Shawn Marion added 17 points and 8 rebounds. Vince Carter added 13 points and 7 rebounds.

2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 12:36 PHT)
WESTERN CONFERENCE
#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 1:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#4 Grizzlies vs # 5 Clippers (Series tied 0-0) 
Game 1: April 30, 9:30 am PHT on Basketball TV

#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 3:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks (Thunder lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 9:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

EASTERN CONFERENCE
#1 Bulls vs # 8 76ers (Bulls lead series 1-0)

Game 2: May 2, 8:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 7:00 am PHT on Studio 23

#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Magic lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 7:30 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV

#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 7:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog: Rockets drop their 5th straight game in a loss vs the Mavericks in Dallas 110-117.

 Vince Carter drives over Marcus Camby
Photo ©NBA/Rockets.com
 

The Houston Rockets suffer another setback to their playoff aspirations as they lost to their I-45 rivals the defending champion Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center 110-117. The Mavericks outscored the Rockets 39-26 in the 4th quarter. The Rockets with the loss drop to 32-30 trying to hold on to their chances of making it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. While the Mavericks improve to 34-28.


The Rockets were led by Goran Dragic with a double-double 20 points and 10 assists with 2 steals. Luis Scola added 18 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Courtney Lee added 16 points and 2 steals. Chase Budinger scored 14 off the bench. Rookie Chandler Parsons scored 12. Marcus Camby also finished with a double-double 11 points and 17 rebounds. Kyle Lowry added 11 points and 5 assists.


The Mavericks were led by Dirk Nowitzki with 35 points and 5 rebounds. Vince Carter off the bench scored 23. Jason Terry scored 19. Jason Kidd added 12 points and 8 assists. Delonte West scored 11.


In Washington, DC, the Washington Wizards disrupt the Milwaukee Bucks playoff aspirations with a big victory at the Verizon Center 121-112. Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 32 points. John Wall finished with a double-double 14 points and 10 assists. Nene and Kevin Seraphin each scored 14. James Singleton added 11 points and 5 rebounds. Rookie Chris Singleton scored 10. Another rookie Jan Vesely pulled-down 10 rebounds with 8 points. Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 31 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. Brandon Jennings added 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Drew Gooden finished with a double-double 21 points and 12 rebounds with 6 assists and 2 steals. Ersan Ilyasova also finished with a double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds.


In Charlotte, the Chicago Bulls without all-stars Derrick Rose and Luol Deng rout the Charlotte Bobcats who have now lost their 18th consecutive game at the Time Warner Cable Arena 100-68. Richard Hamilton led the Bulls with 22 points and 6 assists. Joakim Noah and John Lucas III each scored 12 points. Carlos Boozer added 10 points and 7 rebounds. Omer Asik pulled down 15 rebounds with 9 points off the bench. Taj Gibson pulled down 12 rebounds with 9 points. Rookie Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Derrick Brown scored 14. Gerald Henderson scored 13. Another rookie Bismack Biyombo pulled down 13 rebounds with 7 points.


In Cleveland, the Philadelphia 76ers win by 16 points over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena 103-87. Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 24 points and 5 assists. Andre Iguodala finished with a double-double 19 points and 13 rebounds with 7 assists and 2 steals. Elton Brand scored 12. Thaddeus Young off the bench also scored 12. Evan Turner scored 10. Lester Hudson and Samardo Samuels led the Cavaliers with each scoring 15 points. Rookie Tristan Thompson added 12 points and 5 rebounds. Antawn Jamison scored 11.

In Newark, the New York Knicks pick up the win over the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center 104-95. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 33 points and 7 rebounds. Tyson Chandler finished with a double-double 18 points and 10 rebounds with 2 blocks. J.R. Smith added 15 points and 8 rebounds. Gerald Wallace led the Nets with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Sundiata Gaines added 18 points and 6 assists. Gerald Green added 12 points and 7 rebounds. Anthony Morrow scored 10. Kris Humphries pulled down 15 rebounds with 8 points.

In Atlanta, the Atlanta Hawks win in a blowout against the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena 116-84. Veteran Tracy McGrady off the bench led the Hawks with 17 points. Rookie Ivan Johnson finished with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds. Joe Johnson scored 13. Josh Smith added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Marvin Williams added 10 points and 7 rebounds. Willie Green also scored 10. Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 17 points and 5 rebounds. D-League call-up Walker Russell scored 15 off the bench. Charlie Villanueva added 14 points and 6 rebounds.

In Miami, the Miami Heat without Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh defeat the Toronto Raptors at the American Airlines Arena 92-76. LeBron James led the Heat with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Mike Miller off the bench added 13 points and 6 assists. Udonis Haslem added 10 points and 7 rebounds. James Johnson off the bench led the Raptors with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Alan Anderson scored 15. DeMar DeRozan scored 12.

In Boston, the Boston Celtics clinch their 5th straight Atlantic Division title without Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen with a thrilling victory over the Orlando Magic at the TD Garden 102-98. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with a double-double 29 points and 14 assists with 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Avery Bradley scored 23. Former Magic player Brandon Bass scored 21. Kevin Garnett added 15 points and 9 rebounds. Former Celtics player Glen Davis led the Magic with 27 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Jameer Nelson added 21 points and 9 assists. J.J. Redick added 13 points and 5 assists. Ryan Anderson added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Jason Richardson added 11 points and 6 rebounds.


In Memphis, the Memphis Grizzlies clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the New Orleans Hornets at the FedExForum 103-91. Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 26 points and 5 rebounds. Mike Conley added 20 points and 5 assists. O.J. Mayo scored 15 off the bench. Zach Randolph added 10 points and 6 rebounds. D-League call-up Jerome Dyson off the bench led the Hornets with 24 points and 3 steals. Marco Belinelli and Carl Landry each scored 16. Jason Smith scored 12. Former Grizzlies player Greivis Vasquez dished out 9 assists with 9 points.


In Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers are still on the hunt for the Pacific Division crown with a win over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center 104-98. Chris Paul led the Clippers with 21 points, 8 assists and 3 steals. Mo Williams scored 19 off the bench. Caron Butler scored 14. Nick Young scored 13. Blake Griffin added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Randy Foye also scored 12. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 24 points and 6 assists. Al Harrington added 14 points and 8 rebounds. Arron Afflalo, Andre Miller, rookie Kenneth Faried and Kosta Koufos each scored 12.


In Phoenix, the Oklahoma City Thunder are still on the hunt for reclaiming the top seed out West with a win over the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center 109-97. James Harden off the bench led the Thunder with 40 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Kevin Durant finished with a double-double 29 points and 11 rebounds with 5 assists. Russell Westbrook added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Jared Dudley led the Suns with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Channing Frye added 13 points and 8 rebounds. Steve Nash scored 12. Robin Lopez scored 11 off the bench. Marcin Gortat pulled down 12 rebounds with 9 points.


In Sacramento, the San Antonio Spurs maintain their hold of 1st place out West with a win over the Sacramento Kings at the Power Balance Pavilion 127-102. Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter both coming off the bench led the Spurs with each scoring 17 points. Tony Parker added 15 points and 8 assists. Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson and rookie Kawhi Leonard each scored 13. Danny Green scored 11. Rookie Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 21 points and 8 assists. Marcus Thornton scored 20. DeMarcus Cousins added 18 points and 9 rebounds. Jason Thompson added 10 points and 6 rebounds.


In Portland, the Utah Jazz take the 8th seed out West with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden 112-91. Devin Harris led the Jazz with 27 points. Gordon Hayward scored 23. Rookie Alec Burks scored 17 off the bench. Al Jefferson finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds. Another rookie Enes Kanter scored 10. Wesley Matthews led the Trail Blazers with 21 points. J.J. Hickson added 16 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Rookie Nolan Smith and Luke Babbitt also scored 16. Jonny Flynn added 11 points and 7 assists.

In Oakland, the Los Angeles Lakers maintain their hold on the 3rd seed out West with a win over the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena 99-87. Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 31 points and 9 rebounds. Pau Gasol finished with a triple-double 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists with 3 blocks. Metta World Peace added 18 points and 9 assists. Rookie Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 17 points and 5 assists. Another rookie Jeremy Tyler added 15 points and 6 assists. Dorell Wright added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Brandon Rush scored 10. Rookie Charles Jenkins dished out 11 assists.


STANDINGS AS OF 4/19/12 (13:19 PHT)

WEST:
1. Spurs (sw) 45-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 45-17, 3. Lakers (x) 40-23, 4. Clippers (x) 39-23, 5. Grizzlies (x) 37-25,6. Mavericks 35-28, 7. Nuggets 34-28,8. Jazz 33-30,9. Suns 32-30,10. Rockets 32-30, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-35, 12. Timberwolves (o) 25-38, 13. Warriors (o) 22-39, 14. Kings (o) 20-42, 15. Hornets (o) 19-43
EAST:
1. Bulls (c) 47-15, 2. Heat (se) 44-17, 3. Pacers (x) 40-22, 4. Celtics (a) 37-26, 5. Hawks (x) 37-25, 6. Magic (x) 36-26, 7. Knicks 33-29, 8. 76ers 32-30, 9. Bucks 29-32, 10. Pistons (o) 23-39, 11. Nets (o) 22-41, 12. Raptors (o) 22-41, 13. Cavaliers (o) 20-41, 14. Wizards (o) 16-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-54K-Smoove