Chris Bosh put in a solid night’s work with a 17 point, 7 rebound night in a victory over the Celtics. Miami continues its spectacular form over the second half of the season as they cruise to the playoffs as the top seed out of the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the loss for the Celtics all but cements them into the seventh seed for the playoffs.
Iman Shumpert contributed 36 solid minutes in an effort against the Cavs. The Knicks, who were carried by 31 point efforts from both Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, took care of business against the Cavs winning by a score of 101-91. While only scoring 8 points in his 36 minutes of play, Shumpert proved he could contribute in other ways. Shumpert pulled down 11 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, and recorded both a block and a steal. While the Knicks are in good shape to secure the 2 seed out of the East, they have a crucial game on Sunday which could decide the tiebreaker between the Knicks and the lurking Pacers, who will travel to Madison Square Garden.
Derrick Favors, much like Iman Shumpert, put in 31 gritty minutes in a 107-100 victory for the Jazz over the Kevin Love-less Timberwolves. Though not bedazzling the fans with an abundance of points (he scored only 6), Favors earned every minute off the bench by contributing 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. The Jazz fed off of his energy tonight, evidenced by Favors’s team high +16 point differential. The Jazz came through in a must win matchup as they continue to chase the Lakers for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. The Jazz will get the chance to continue their push when they play the second game of their home and home mini-series with the Timberwolves on Monday.
Thaddeus Young was the top performer for the Philadelphia 76ers in a 97-86 win over the Wizards. Young’s 18 point, 13 rebound double-double effort certainly played a large part in the victory. Young also pickpocketed 4 steals for the 76ers, who are playing for pride at this point. Despite sitting in the 9th seed in the east, they will be unable to catch the 8th seeded Bucks.
Also notching a double-double was Will Bynum of the Detroit Pistons. In an easy 20 point victory of the lowly Bobcats, Bynum was one of 6 Pistons in double figures. Bynum added 10 assists on the night, as well as 3 boards and a steal.
Jarrett Jack and the Golden State Warriors are trying to do a favor for Favors and the Jazz. The Warriors are currently up by 5 in a tight affair with the Lakers towards the end third quarter. In 13 minutes off the bench so far, Jack has added 5 rebounds, 4 points, and 4 assists. Golden State is fighting only for seeding, as a win would solidify them in the 6th seed out west. A loss for the Lakers would put them level with the Jazz, which means they would miss out on the playoffs.
Anthony Morrow went unused in an overtime victory for the Mavericks. Despite the win, the Mavericks are out of contention for the 8th seed in the Western Conference, as they do not hold the tiebreaker over either of their 8th seed competitors, the Jazz or Lakers.