Tonight at 9 PM in Utah, the Celtics face the Jazz in their last Western Conference road trip series this season. The Celtics are looking to close this series on a positive note with a win and end their four game losing streak before heading back to Boston. (more)
Pau Gasol collected 21 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists to lead his shorthanded LA Lakers past the San Antonio Spurs 101-89 Monday night at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant sat his second consecutive game with a sore left angle as Andrew Bynum joined him on the bench with a bruised right hip. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom stepped up in their absence, contributing for 34 points combined.
“It’s got to be reassuring for the rest of the team and for the guys that don’t play that much that are now stepping up,” said Gasol. “It was fun. It was a good challenge for us. We played hard and got a nice win.”
The Spurs have now lost four in a row heading into their next game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. The Lakers will look to win three straight at Utah without their star player who’s currently listed as day to day. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like on Sunday. I’m not clairvoyant,” said Bryant jokingly. “If it’s an injury where I feel like I can play through it and have it heal while I’m playing, then I’ll play.”
Carlos Boozer led the Utah Jazz with 28 points as they cruised by the Chicago Bulls 105-86 yesterday at Energy Solutions Arena. Previously defeated by the LA Lakers, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago has now lost four in a row and find themselves in desperate need of a turn around. They currently hold a 6-8 record, trailing the Central Division leading Cleveland Cavaliers by 4.5 games.
“We were right there in the beginning and fell away,” said point guard Derrick Rose. “We’re not communicating and we are letting people do whatever.” Hopefully Rose can direct his Bulls in the right direction for their game at Milwaukee against the Bucks on Monday night. Utah was glad to walk away with the win last night after falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder by 10 on Tuesday. Boozer and company are set to host the Trail Blazers this Saturday at 9:00 PM. Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz regular season tickets are available right here at Ace!
The Boston Celtics won every quarter but the fourth which eventually led to their 105-86 blowout over the Utah Jazz yesterday at the TD Garden. Each block of time was competitive aside from the start of the second half, where the C’s took over to stretch the point advantage by 20. Rajon Rondo notched a double-double for Boston. His best play of the night was when he sprinted the entire length of the court for a layup at the buzzer to end the third.
“It was just our ‘Get out of the way’ play,” said Rondo. “Rasheed (Wallace) came up and set a great pick and left me one-on-one with a big.” Sheed himself along with Marquis Daniels produced a solid 22 points combined off the bench. Kevin Garnett scored 18 with four rebounds and two steals.
Rival PG Deron Williams netted 13 points with seven rebounds and four assists. He seemed very displeased with his team and their lack of effort following the loss. “Right now, we’re soft,” he said. “There’s no way around it. We have to toughen up.”
The Celtics are scheduled to take on the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, November 13th in Boston. Celtics tickets are now available!
After three quarters of basketball yesterday at the American Airlines Center, Dirk Nowitzki was just 5-for-14 from the field with his team down by 15. The Dallas Mavericks then rallied for 44 fourth quarter points to defeat the Utah Jazz 96-85. Nowitzki set a franchise record with 29 points himself in the final frame.
“It was an ugly game,” said Nowitzki. “We couldn’t get anything going for three quarters. We were slow. We were looking for a spark offensively and I was able to do that tonight.” Dirk finished with a total stat line of 40 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and five blocks.
Utah’s defensive specialist Carlos Boozer was tied up on the bench with five fouls when Nowitzki went to work on the rest of the squad. Jason Kidd supplied 19 points for the Mavs, including the dagger from downtown to seal the game in the final minutes. Dallas will next host the Toronto Raptors and Houston Rockets on November 7th and 10th. The Jazz have a pair of home games themselves on the 5th and 7th against the San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings.
Atlanta Hawks 81, Miami Heat 71.
Azaza Pachulia dominated the glass for the Hawks with 18 rebounds, helping Atlanta regain their home court advantage with a 81-71 win over the Miami Heat. The Hawks scoring was basically split between Bibby, Johnson, and Smith scoring 15, 14, and 13. Atlanta coach Mike Woodson stated that Pachulia was the crucial factor to the win. “Zaza was huge throughout the whole game,” said Woodson. “I mean, 18 rebounds, 12 points for us, and we needed all that tonight to survive.” Dwayne Wade scored 22 for the Heat and Jermaine O’Neal contributed 20, but Miami was never ahead and only shot 38 percent.
Denver Nuggets 121, New Orleans Hornets 63.
Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 26 points and was taken out in the fourth quarter due to the 58 point blow out over the New Orleans Hornets. The victory matched the biggest lopsided contest in NBA playoff history, which came in 1956 when the Minneapolis Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks 133-75. The Hornets will need their All-Star point guard Chris Paul to step up in order for them to stay in the series. The Nuggets held Paul to just 4 points and 6 assists. Denver leads the series 3-1.
Los Angeles Lakers 107, Utah Jazz 96.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to finish the series in 5 games with 31 points against the Utah Jazz last night at the Staples Center. The Lakers were in control the whole game, winning every quarter in scoring aside from the fourth. Utah made a run at the end cutting the 20-point deficit to just six with 3:15 remaining. From there Lamar Odom came up with two clutch finishes after LA kicked in its defense to officially decide the series. “We out did them,” said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. “I thought it was a disappointment to them but they played hard; they played together and you have to give them credit. I thank them for giving us a run and a good, hard series.”
2009 NBA Playoff Tickets are available now!