22/3/2012-Game winnners abound as Ben Gordon tears Nuggets apart
Chicago showed their quality in the 4th against the Raptors, scoring 32 points to 13, turning a 7 point deficit into a 12 point win at home. Still without Derrick Rose, the Bulls were still able to account for the Raptors, with All-Star Luol Deng having a double-double, scoring 17 points and pulling down 10 rebounds to help. The Bulls also had a great deal of help from their bench, outscoring Toronto’s bench 36 to 20. Demar DeRozan scored 23 points for the visitors.
The offensive tandem of Lin and Stoudemire proved enough for the Knicks to overcome a balanced 76’er attack. The Knicks improve to 5-0 under new coach Mike Woodson, and claim a big scalp in the Pacific Division leading Sixers. Stoudemire scored 21 points for the Knicks, but worryingly Carmelo Anthony’s struggles continued, only scoring 10 points on 5-15 shooting. For Philly, Iguodala, Jodie Meeks and Lou Williams all scored 13 points, while five players scored in double figures. Lin came up big in the fourth quarter for the Knicks, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the final period
Orlando forward Ryan Anderson went 7 for 12 from behind the arc, while Dwight Howard added 28 points and 16 rebounds as the Magic took down the Phoenix Suns in Florida. Steve Nash suddenly showed his age for once, having 5 turnovers and only dishing out 2 assists as former Magic backup Marcin Gortat also struggled, only having 4 points against his former team.
New recruit Nene dominated the paint as the Washington Wizards win(!!) against the New Jersey Nets. The Nets mission to keep superstar Deron Williams took another blow as Jordan Crawford found open shots off Nene to score 23 points. Not too many positives here for the Nets, with Deron Williams leading them with 17 points and 4 assists, but getting ejected from the stadium, alongside head coach Avery Johnson, over a no call on a Williams drive.
Josh Smith’s monster game and Joe Johnson’s two buzzer beaters to force overtime and win it pulled the Atlanta Hawks over the Cavs. Smith had 32 points and pulled down 17 rebounds as well as 3 blocked shouts to lead the Hawks. Joe Johnson added 22 points to help the Hawks over the line. Kyrie continued his good year with 29 points and 9 assists but turned the ball over 7 times in the loss.
The Golden State Warrior’s rookie Klay Thompson scored 27 points and David Lee added a double-double with 25 and 11 to help the Warriors beat New Orleans. Jarret Jack had a big game, having a triple double with 17 points 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a losing effort. It wasn’t enough for the Hornets however, losing by 9 to Golden State.
The Oklahoma City Thunder cruised to an easy with over the Clippers, with star forward Kevin Durant scoring 32 points for the home team. New recruit Derek Fisher played for the Thunder, recording 5 points in his debut. For the Clippers, Blake Griffin had his worst scoring night of his career, only scoring 7 points in the loss. Del Negro also changed up the line up, putting Foye and Young in at the expense of Caron Butler.
Tim Duncan turned in a vintage performance against his supposed successor, scoring 21 points and ripping down 15 rebounds, and helped to get his team the win against Kevin Love and the Timberwolves. Despite Ginobli coming off the bench and Parker getting injured early in the contest, good play from the bench combinedwith Duncan’s dominating game got the Spurs over the line.
Playing his first game for his new team, JaVale McGee came in with a bang, scoring a game winning put back as the Nuggets took down the Detroit Pistons. Despite Ben Gordon’s big night, scoring a game high 45 points including 9-9 from downtown, the Pistons were unable to come away from Denver with the win.
In a rematch of the embarrassing sweep last playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers got their reveng over the Dallas Mavericks, beating the reigning champions 109 to 93. Ramon Sessions still did not get the start for the Lakers, but did get the majority of the minutes, scoring 17 points and dishing out 9 assists in a near double double effort. Kobe Bryant also had 30 on efficient 11-18 shooting while Pau Gasol won the battle of the big men scoring 27 points over Dirk Nowitzki.