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2013 NBA All-Star Game Starters announced. LeBron reaches 20,000 points. Alvin Gentry part ways with Suns.

The starters for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game has been announced. One player makes history, while another coach gets the boot. Here are the highlights from Week 12 of the 2012-13 NBA season.

2013 NBA All-Star Game starters announced.
Photo ©NBA.com
The starters for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game to be held at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas has been announced over the week. Here are the starters from both conferences.In the Western Conference, four of the five starters came from teams playing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers will be joined in the backcourt by Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers  In the frontcourt, it will be Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
 
Bryant, who was also the lead vote-getter for the All-Star Game at 1,591,437 will make his 15th straight All-Star appearance. Paul meanwhile will make his 6th All-Star appearance. Howard will make his 7th All-Star appearance and his 1st for the Western Conference. Griffin will make his 3rd All-Star appearance while Durant who finish 3rd overall in voting at 1,504,047 will make his 4th All-Star appearance.
 
In the Eastern Conference, four of the five starters also came from two teams, LeBron James of the Miami Heat will be joined in the frontcourt by Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks and Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics. In the backourt it will be Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat together with Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics.
 
James, who finished 2nd in overall voting at 1,583,646 will make his 9th All-Star appearance. Anthony who finished 4th in overall voting at 1,460,950 will make his 6th All-Star appearance. Garnett will make his 15th All-Star appearance (ties the record with Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal for 2nd most All-Star appearances). Wade who finished 5th overall in voting at 1,052,310 will make his 9th All-star appearance while Rondo will make his 4th All-star appearance and his 1st as a starter.
 
The reserves for the All-Star game will be announced next week and it will be determined by the 30 head coaches of the NBA. As for the head coach of both conferences, it will also be determined in the standings after January 30, 2013. Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau and Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks are not eligible to coach the East and West respectively as they were the head coach from last year’s All-Star game in Orlando.
 
LeBron James reaches 20,000 career points.
Photo ©NBA/MiamiHeat.com
 
In their 92-75 victory against the Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland last January 16 (January 17 Manila time). LeBron James of the Miami Heat made history as he became the youngest player in NBA history to reach the 20,000 point mark for his career. James achieved the feat at 28 years and 17 days old when he made a 12 foot jumper with 2:45 left in the 1st half, he surpassed the feat set by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant who achieved the feat at 29 years and 122 days old. LeBron also surpassed the 5,000 assist mark for his career in the victory. Love him or hate him, LeBron James has proven himself worthy of a future Hall of Famer at the same time, he is in contention as one of the greatest basketball players of all-time.
 
Alvin Gentry part ways with the Suns.
Photo ©NBA/Suns.com
 
Another coach has been relieved of duty during the season as Alvin Gentry part ways with the Phoenix Suns after the Suns have dropped to a West-worst 13-28 record. Gentry becomes the fourth coach during this season to step down after Mike Brown of the Lakers, Avery Johnson of the Nets and Scott Skiles of the Bucks. Gentry who took over as head coach of the Suns in the middle of the 2008-09 season from Terry Porter finishes his near 4 season tenure with the Suns with an overall record of 158-144 (.543), He also led the Suns to one playoff appearance in 2010 where he led them all the way to the Western Conference Finals before falling in 6 games against the eventual champions and their Pacific rivals the Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns will determine the interim head coach soon, but they have to play better as their season could be over early and miss the playoffs once again.
 
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder wins his third Western Conference Player of the Week Award for Week 11, while Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks wins his second Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award for Week 11 after winning on the 1st week of the season.
 
Here are the standings from across the association:
 
Western Conference:
1. Thunder (32-8), 2. Clippers (32-9), 3. Spurs (32-11), 4. Grizzlies (26-13), 5. Warriors (24-15), 6. Nuggets (24-18), 7. Jazz (22-19), 8. Trail Blazers (20-20), 9. Rockets (21-21), 10. Timberwolves (17-20), 11. Lakers (17-22), 12. Mavericks (17-24), 13. Kings (16-25), 14. Hornets (13-27), 15. Suns (13-28)

Eastern Conference:
1. Heat (26-12), 2. Knicks (25-13), 3. Pacers (25-16), 4. Nets (24-16), 5. Bulls (23-16), 6. Hawks (22-18), 7. Bucks (21-18), 8. Celtics (20-19), 9. 76ers (17-23), 10. Magic (14-25), 11. Pistons (14-25), 13. Bobcats (10-30), 14. Cavaliers (10-32), 15. Wizards (8-30)

Stay tuned as a brand new edition of the NBA Weekly Blog comes your way next week.

K-Smoove
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NBA Daily Blog: Knicks beat the Clippers at the MSG 99-93. Bulls beat the Pacers in Indianapolis 92-87. Spurs beat the Suns in Phoenix 110-106.

Carmelo Anthony with the dunk.
Photo ©NBA/Knicks.com
The New York Knicks pick up a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden 99-93. With the win, the Knicks improve to 35-30 with one game left in their schedule against the Charlotte Bobcats in Charlotte. While the Clippers drop to 5th place in the West at 40-26 0.5 game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the 4th seed in the West as they played their final game of the regular season. Their seeding depends on the result of the Grizzlies’ final game of the regular season against the Orlando Magic in Memphis.


The Knicks were led by J.R. Smith off the bench with 21 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Carmelo Anthony added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Steve Novak scored 14. Baron Davis scored 12. Tyson Chandler added 11 points and 5 rebounds. Amar’e Stoudemire added 10 points to 7 rebounds.


The Clippers who played without Chris Paul were led by Blake Griffin with a double-double 29 points and 10 rebounds with 6 assists and 2 steals. Randy Foye added 28 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. DeAndre Jordan pulled down 10 rebounds. Caron Butler and Mo Williams each scored 9.

 Derrick Rose handles the ball vs the Pacers
Photo ©NBA/Bulls.com
The Chicago Bulls take the win in a Central Division showdown against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Lief Fieldhouse 92-87. The Bulls improve to 49-16 with one game left in the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Chicago. While the Pacers finish their regular season at 42-24, seeded 3rd in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls were led by Kyle Korver off the bench with 20 points. Carlos Boozer added 16 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Joakim Noah finished with a double-double 14 points and 14 rebounds. Derrick Rose added 10 points and 7 assists. Taj Gibson also scored 10 points.
The Pacers who played without star Danny Granger were led by Lance Stephenson with 22 points. David West added 13 points and 5 rebounds. A.J. Price off the bench scored 10.

 Tiago Splitter backs down on Robin Lopez
Photo ©NBA/Spurs.com

The San Antonio Spurs win their 9th consecutive game by beating the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center 110-106. The Spurs improve to 49-16 with one game left in their schedule against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. While the Suns end their season at 33-33 dropping to 10th place in the West, 0.5 game behind the Houston Rockets.
The Spurs who rested their Big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were led by Australian point guard Patrick Mills with 27 points and 5 assists. Argentinian forward Tiago Splitter added 26 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. DeJuan Blair added 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Rookie Kawhi Leonard also scored 10.
The Suns were led by Shannon Brown with 21 points. Sebastian Telfair scored 20 off the bench. Michael Redd scored 14. Robin Lopez added 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Marcin Gortat pulled down 10 rebounds with 9 points and 3 blocks.

In Orlando, the Orlando Magic clinch the 6th seed in the East with a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats who have now lost their 22nd straight game and now are one loss away from having the distinction as the worst team in NBA history at the Amway Center 102-95. J.J. Redick led the Magic with 31 points. Ryan Anderson finished with a double-double 24 points and 13 rebounds. Jason Richardson added 17 points and 9 rebounds. Jameer Nelson added 11 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. D.J. Augustin led the Bobcats with 23 points and 6 assists. Gerald Henderson added 17 points and 5 rebounds. Derrick Brown added 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Tyrus Thomas added 13 points and 5 rebounds. Byron Mullens scored 11. Rookie Bismack Biyombo blocked 3 shots.

In Cleveland, the Washington Wizards pick up the win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena 96-85. John Wall led the Wizards with a double-double 21 points and 13 assists with 7 rebounds and 7 steals. Nene off the bench and Kevin Seraphin each scored 12. Nene also added 7 rebounds. Seraphin added 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Chris Singleton scored 10. Czech rookie Jan Vesely pulled down 12 rebounds with 7 points. D.J. Kennedy off the bench led the Cavaliers with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. Antawn Jamison scored 10. Samardo Samuels added 9 points and 9 rebounds.

In Milwaukee, the Philadelphia 76ers defeat the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center 90-85. The 76ers who rested most of their stars for the coming playoffs were led by Evan Turner with a double-double 29 points and 13 rebounds with 6 assists and 2 blocks. Jodie Meeks added 27 points and 2 steals. Rookie Lavoy Allen pulled down 12 rebounds. Jrue Holiday added 5 steals with 6 points and 5 assists. Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks. Rookie Tobias Harris finished with a double-dobule 15 points and 13 rebounds. Larry Sanders off the bench added 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 5 blocks. Mike Dunleavy Jr. also scored 12.

In Oklahoma City, the Denver Nuggets win their Northwest Division showdown against the Oklahoma City Thunder who played their final regular season game before the playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 106-101. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Arron Afflalo added 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Danilo Gallinari added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Rookie Kenneth Faried finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds. Corey Brewer, Al Harrington and JaVale McGee each scored 10. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Russell Westbrook added 30 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals and 4 blocks. Serge Ibaka added 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks.
STANDINGS AS OF 4/26/12 (15:45 PHT)
WEST:
1. Spurs (w) 49-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 47-19, 3. Lakers (p) 41-24, 4. Grizzlies (x) 40-25,
5. Clippers (x) 40-26, 6. Nuggets (x) 37-28, 7. Mavericks (x) 36-29, 8. Jazz (x) 35-30, 9. Rockets (o) 33-32, 10. Suns (o) 33-33, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-37, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-39, 13. Warriors (o) 23-42, 14. Kings (o) 21-44, 15. Hornets (o) 21-44
EAST:
1. Bulls (e) 49-16, 2. Heat (se) 46-19, 3. Pacers (x) 42-24, 4. Celtics (a) 38-27, 5. Hawks (x) 39-26, 6. Magic (x) 37-28, 7. Knicks (x) 35-30, 8. 76ers (x) 35-30, 9. Bucks (o) 31-34, 10. Pistons (o) 24-41, 11. Nets (o) 22-43, 12. Raptors (o) 22-43, 13. Cavaliers (o) 21-44, 14. Wizards (o) 19-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-58
K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog: Hawks beat the Clippers at home 109-102. Celtics beat the Heat at home 78-66. Jazz eliminate the Suns at home 100-88.

Joe Johnson passes thru the Clippers defense.
Photo ©NBA/Hawks.com
The Atlanta Hawks are inching closer to securing homecourt advantage with a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at Philips Arena 109-102. The Hawks improve to 39-26 with a 1 game advantage over the Boston Celtics for homecourt advantage in their 1st round match-up. While the Clippers with the loss drop to 40-25 in a tie with the Memphis Grizzlies for the 4th seed out West. Also with the Clippers loss, the Los Angeles Lakers clinched the Pacific Division title for the 5th consecutive year.
The Hawks were led by Joe Johnson with 28 points and 7 rebounds. Jeff Teague added 21 points and 2 blocks. Josh Smith finished with a double-double 19 points and 10 rebounds with 5 assists. Marvin Williams scored 11 off the bench.
The Clippers were led by Blake Griffin with 36 points and 8 rebounds. Chris Paul added 34 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. Caron Butler added 9 points and 7 rebounds.
 Marquis Daniels with the dunk.
Photo ©NBA/Celtics.com
The Boston Celtics without Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen who are resting for the coming playoffs came up with a victory in a low-scoring slugfest over the Miami Heat who played without their Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh at the TD Garden 78-66. The Celtics improve to 38-27, a game behind the Atlanta Hawks for homecourt advantage in their first round match up. While the Heat drop to 46-19 and with the loss, the Chicago Bulls clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference while the Heat will be placed second in the East.
The Celtics were led by Sasha Pavlovic with 16 points. Marquis Daniels off the bench added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley each scored 8.
The Heat were led by Dexter Pittman with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. James Jones scored 11 off the bench. Udonis Haslem pulled down 13 rebounds. Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller each scored 8.
Paul Millsap lays it in.
 Photo ©NBA/UtahJazz.com
The Utah Jazz secure the final playoff berth in the Western Conference as they knock off the Phoenix Suns out of playoff contention with a win at the EnergySolutions Arena 100-88. The Jazz improve to 34-30, 1.5 game behind the 7th seeded Dallas Mavericks. While the Suns drop to 33-32 currently tied with the Houston Rockets for the 9th seed.
The Jazz were led by Paul Millsap with a double-double 26 points and 15 rebounds with 3 steals. Al Jefferson also finished with a double-double 18 points and 16 rebounds with 2 blocks. Devin Harris added 14 points and 2 steals. Derrick Favors off the bench also finished with a double-double 13 points and 11 rebounds with 5 blocks. Gordon Hayward added 11 points, 8 assists and 2 steals.
The Suns were led by Jared Dudley and Michael Redd who came off the bench with each scoring 15 points. Dudley also added 6 rebounds. Steve Nash finished with a double-double 14 points and 11 assists. Shannon Brown and Hakim Warrick each scored 12.
In Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Sacramento Kings at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 118-110. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Daequan Cook off the bench added 19 points and 5 rebounds. Russell Westbrook added 13 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha each scored 11. Kendrick Perkins added 10 points and 5 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 32 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals. Jason Thompson added 22 points and 6 rebounds. Travis Outlaw added 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Tyreke Evans scored 18. Rookie Isaiah Thomas added 11 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals.
In Oakland, the New Orleans Hornets on Marco Belinelli’s clutch layup with 1.5 seconds in the 4th quarter pick up a road victory over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena 83-81. Belinelli led the Hornets with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Carl Landry off the bench added 14 points and 6 rebounds. Rookie Gustavo Ayon added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Greivis Vasquez added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Al-Farouq Aminu pulled down 11 rebounds with 8 points. Rookie Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 16 points. Brandon Rush off the bench scored 15. Another rookie Jeremy Tyler added 13 points and 8 rebounds. A third rookie in Charles Jenkins finished with a double-double 10 points and 10 assists with 5 rebounds.
STANDINGS AS OF 4/25/12 (13:43 PHT)
WEST:
1. Spurs (w) 48-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 47-18, 3. Lakers (x) 41-24, 4. Clippers (x) 40-25, 5. Grizzlies (x) 40-25, 6. Nuggets (x) 36-28, 7. Mavericks (x) 36-29, 8. Jazz (x) 35-30, 9. Suns (o) 33-32, 10. Rockets (o) 33-32, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-37, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-39, 13. Warriors (o) 23-42, 14. Kings (o) 21-44, 15. Hornets (o) 21-44
EAST:
1. Bulls (e) 48-16, 2. Heat (se) 46-19, 3. Pacers (x) 42-23, 4. Celtics (a) 38-27, 5. Hawks (x) 39-26, 6. Magic (x) 36-28, 7. Knicks (x) 34-30, 8. 76ers (x) 34-30, 9. Bucks (o) 31-33, 10. Pistons (o) 24-41, 11. Nets (o) 22-43, 12. Raptors (o) 22-43, 13. Cavaliers (o) 21-43, 14. Wizards (o) 18-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-57

K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog: Grizzlies beat the Jazz at home 103-98. Spurs beat the Suns at home 105-91.

Mike Conley attempts a lay-up against Al Jefferson
Photo ©NBA/Grizzlies.com

The Memphis Grizzlies inch closer to securing a playoff berth as they deal the Utah Jazz a blow to their playoff hopes with a win at the FedExForum 103-98. The Grizzlies improve to 35-24 with a firm grip on the 5th seed, while the Jazz drop to 31-30 as they stay in 10th place.
The Grizzlies were led by Rudy Gay who finished with a double-double 26 points and 12 rebounds with 2 blocks. O.J. Mayo scored 20. Marc Gasol added 17 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. Mike Conley also scored 17 points with 6 assists.


The Jazz were led by Al Jefferson and Devin Harris who each scored 20 points. Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward each scored 17. Derrick Favors finished with a double-double 10 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.

 Steve Nash drives against Danny Green
Photo ©NBA.com

The San Antonio Spurs win the Southwest Division crown with a blowout victory over the Phoenix Suns which was another blow to their playoff chances at the AT&T Center 105-91. The Spurs improve to 42-16 still in 2nd place in the West, while the Suns drop to 31-29 still in the 9th place.

The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan who finished with a double-double 19 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Parker and rookie Kawhi Leonard each scored 14. DeJuan Blair scored 10 points. Stephen Jackson added 9 points.

The Suns were led by Sebastian Telfair off the bench who scored 21 points. Michael Redd scored 13. Rookie Markieff Morris added 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks.
In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Clippers win a high-scoring shootout against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center 112-104. Chris Paul led the Clippers with a double-double 28 points and 13 assists with 3 steals. Blake Griffin added 20 points and 9 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan scored 18. Mo Williams off the bench scored 14. Randy Foye scored 12. Kenyon Martin blocked 3 shots. Nate Robinson coming off the bench led the Warriors with 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists. Rookie Klay Thompson added 24 points and 4 steals. Dorell Wright added 23 points and 7 rebounds. Brandon Rush scored 22.


In Washington, DC, the Cleveland Cavaliers pick up the win against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center 98-89. Luke Harangody led the Cavaliers with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Parker added 15 points and 5 assists. Rookie Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 2 blocks. Another rookie Donald Sloan scored 13. Alonzo Gee scored 11. Lester Hudson off the bench scored 10. John Wall led the Wizards with 19 points and 9 assists. Jordan Crawford scored 18. Kevin Seraphin scored 15. James Singleton scored 13 off the bench. Rookie Jan Vesely finished with a double-double 11 points and 11 rebounds.

In Newark, the Boston Celtics clinch a playoff berth after defeating the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center 94-82. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with a double-double 21 points and 12 rebounds. Brandon Bass also finished with a double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds with 2 blocks. Avery Bradley also scored 18. Paul Pierce added 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Rajon Rondo dished out 15 assists. Gerald Green off the bench led the Nets with 15 points. Rookie MarShon Brooks scored 13. Deron Williams finished with a double-double 12 points and 14 assists. Another rookie Jordan Williams also finished with a double-double 12 points and 14 rebounds.

In Minneapolis, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves who are playing again without star Kevin Love who is out after a mild concussion at the Target Center 110-105. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 43 points and 7 rebounds. Russell Westbrook added 35 points and 8 assists. Nick Collison scored 10 off the bench. Serge Ibaka pulled down 12 rebounds with 8 points and 5 blocks. Kendrick Perkins pulled down 10 rebounds. Michael Beasley off the bench led the Timberwolves with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. J.J. Barea finished with a double-double 24 points and 10 assists with 3 steals. Anthony Randolph also had a double-double 22 points and 11 rebounds. Nikola Pekovic also came up with a double-double 14 points and 13 rebounds.

In Milwaukee, the Indiana Pacers win a close game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center 105-99. 7 Pacers players finished in double figures with Roy Hibbert leading the way with a double-double 23 points and 14 rebounds. Danny Granger added 21 points and 7 rebounds. George Hill scored 13. David West, Paul George, Leandro Barbosa and Tyler Hansbrough each scored 10. Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 20 points. Brandon Jennings finished with a double-double 16 points and 10 assists. Carlos Delfino scored 14. Mike Dunleavy Jr. finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Ersan Ilyasova scored 11.

STANDINGS AS OF 4/15/12 (12:06 PHT)
WEST:
1. Thunder (nw) 44-16, 2. Spurs (sw) 42-16, 3. Lakers (x) 38-22, 4. Clippers 37-23, 5. Grizzlies 35-24, 6. Mavericks 34-26,7. Rockets 32-27,8. Nuggets 32-27, 9. Suns 31-29, 10. Jazz 31-30, 11. Trail Blazers 28-32, 12. Timberwolves (o) 25-36, 13. Warriors (o) 22-37, 14. Kings (o) 19-41, 15. Hornets (o) 17-42
EAST:
1. Bulls (c) 45-14, 2. Heat (x) 41-17, 3. Pacers (x) 38-22, 4. Celtics (x) 35-25, 5. Hawks 35-24, 6. Magic 34-25, 7. Knicks 31-28, 8. 76ers 31-28,  9. Bucks 29-31, 10. Pistons (o) 22-37, 11. Nets (o) 22-39, 12. Raptors (o) 21-39, 13. Cavaliers (o) 20-38, 14. Wizards (o) 14-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-51
K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog: Rockets grounded by the Suns at home 105-112

Michael Redd drives against Chase Budinger
Photo ©NBA/Rockets.com
The Houston Rockets suffer from another home defeat, this time at the hands of the Phoenix Suns at Toyota Center 105-112. The Rockets led in the first half 55-51, but were outscored in the second half by the Suns 61-50. With the loss, the Rockets drop to 32-27 holding on to the 8th spot, while the Suns improve to 31-28 currently sitting at the 9th spot.
Goran Dragic led the Rockets with 22 points and 7 assists. Luis Scola added 21 points and 6 rebounds. Marcus Camby finished with a double-double 14 points and 18 rebounds with 3 blocks. Chase Budinger scored 13 off the bench. Kyle Lowry added 11 points and 7 assists.
Marcin Gortat led the Suns with a double-double 20 points and 15 rebounds. Jared Dudley scored 19. Steve Nash also finished with a double-double 18 points and 10 assists. Michael Redd scored 13 off the bench. Sebastian Telfair added 12 points.

In Toronto, the Toronto Raptors pick up a big victory against the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Celtics at the Air Canada Centre 84-79. DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 22 points. Linas Kleiza added 17 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Rookie Alan Anderson scores 12. Amir Johnson added 10 points and 9 rebounds. Ed Davis pulled down 12 rebounds. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Avery Bradley added 15 points and 6 rebounds. Kevin Garnett finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds. Brandon Bass scored 10. Rajon Rondo dished out 12 assists and 4 steals.


In Philadelphia, the New Jersey Nets pick up the win against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center 95-89. Gerald Green off the bench led the Nets with 23 points. Rookie MarShon Brooks added 22 points and 6 rebounds. Kris Humphries finished with a double-double 18 points and 13 rebounds. Another rookie Jordan Williams scored 13. Deron Williams also finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 assists with 4 steals. Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 19 points and 6 assists. Evan Turner added 18 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. Thaddeus Young added 13 points and 7 rebounds. Andre Iguodala scored 11. Spencer Hawes pulled down 10 rebounds.


In Orlando, the Atlanta Hawks win in a blowout against their Southeast division rivals the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center 109-81. 6 Hawks players finished in double-figures with Jannero Pargo off the bench leading the way with 17 points. Josh Smith, Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams each scored 16. Veterans Tracy McGrady and Jerry Stackhouse each scored 11. Glen Davis led the Magic with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Von Wafer also scored 16 points with 8 rebounds.


In Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers secure a playoff berth with the win against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 102-83. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 18 points. Tyler Hansbrough scored 16 off the bench. George Hill added 15 points and 7 assists. Leandro Barbosa scored 13. Roy Hibbert finished with a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds. David West scored 10. Omri Casspi off the bench led the Cavaliers with 14 points. Antawn Jamison and rookie Donald Sloan each scored 12. Samardo Samuels had a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds.


In Miami, the Miami Heat bounce back after defeating the Charlotte Bobcats who have now lost 15 games in a row at the American Airlines Arena 105-82. The Heat played without Dwayne Wade who was resting a sore ankle and were led by LeBron James with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Chris Bosh added 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Dexter Pittman scored 16 off the bench. Joel Anthony added 10 points and 4 blocks. Derrick Brown led the Bobcats with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Gerald Henderson scored 14. Rookies Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo scored 11 and 10 respectively.


In New York City, the New York Knicks blow out the Washington Wizards by 38 points at Madison Square Garden 103-65. J.R. Smith off the bench led the Knicks with 23 points and 6 assists. Carmelo Anthony, Baron Davis and Steve Novak each scored 18 points. Tyson Chandler pulled down 15 rebounds with 8 points. Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 17 points. Kevin Seraphin added 12 points and 5 blocks. Roger Mason Jr. added 11 points and 6 assists.

In Detroit, the Milwaukee Bucks defeat the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills 113-97. Drew Gooden led the Bucks with 26 points and 8 rebounds. Brandon Jennings finished with a double-double 20 points and 10 assists. Monta Ellis added 18 points and 7 assists. Carlos Delfino scored 16. Ersan Ilyasova added 14 points and 7 rebounds. Rookie Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 25 points and 8 assists. Ben Gordon scored 24 off the bench. Greg Monroe finished with a double-double 16 points and 10 rebounds.

In New Orleans, the New Orleans Hornets defeat the Utah Jazz at the New Orleans Arena 96-85. Eric Gordon led the Hornets with 25 points and 6 assists. Chris Kaman scored 19. Greivis Vasquez and Al-Farouq Aminu each scored 11. Paul Millsap led the Jazz with 27 points and 8 rebounds. Al Jefferson scored 19. Derrick Favors finished with a double-double 12 points and 13 rebounds.


In Oklahoma City, the Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Sacramento Kings in a blowout at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 115-89. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 29 points and 7 rebounds. Russell Westbrook added 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Derek Fisher scored 14 off the bench. Daequan Cook scored 13. Kendrick Perkins finished with a double-double 11 points and 11 rebounds. Serge Ibaka blocked 7 shots. Rookie Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 21 points. Jimmer Fredette and Terrence Williams each scored 10 off the bench. DeMarcus Cousins pulled down 12 rebounds with 9 points.

In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Lakers clinch a playoff berth after defeating the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center 103-97. The Lakers who are once again playing without star Kobe Bryant were led Andrew Bynum with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Matt Barnes off the bench had a double-double 24 points and 10 rebounds. Pau Gasol also finished with a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Miller off the bench led the Nuggets with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington each scored 18. JaVale McGee finished with a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds.

In Portland, the Dallas Mavericks win a thriller against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden 97-94. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Delonte West added 21 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Shawn Marion finished with a double-double 17 points and 14 rebounds. Brandan Wright added 13 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Jason Terry scored 10. The Trail Blazers who lost LaMarcus Aldridge for the rest of the season due to injury were led by Nicolas Batum with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Jamal Crawford off the bench scored 18. Wesley Matthews added 15 points and 7 rebounds. J.J. Hickson finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton scored 10.

STANDINGS AS OF 4/14/12 (13:19 PHT)

WEST:
1. Thunder (nw) 43-16, 2. Spurs (x) 41-16, 3. Lakers (x) 38-22, 4. Clippers 36-23, 5. Grizzlies 34-24, 6. Mavericks 34-26,7. Rockets 32-27,8. Nuggets 32-27, 9. Suns 31-28, 10. Jazz 31-29, 11. Trail Blazers 28-32, 12. Timberwolves (o) 25-35, 13. Warriors (o) 22-36, 14. Kings (o) 19-41, 15. Hornets (o) 17-42
EAST:
1. Bulls (c) 45-14, 2. Heat (x) 41-17, 3. Pacers (x) 37-22, 4. Celtics 34-25, 5. Hawks 35-24, 6. Magic 34-25, 7. Knicks 31-28, 8. 76ers 31-28, 9. Bucks 29-30, 10. Pistons (o) 22-37, 11. Nets (o) 22-38, 12. Raptors (o) 20-39, 13. Cavaliers (o) 19-38, 14. Wizards (o) 14-45, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-51

K-Smoove