Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 5/2/12

Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  The Nuggets get closer... but....

They're just not good enough to beat the Lakers.  The playoffs are all about matchups, and these are some tough matchups for the Nuggets.  All the double teaming of Bynum worked well enough in stretches, but he's still too big for them (27 pts, 9 reb).  Kobe Bryant is still Kobe Bryant (38 pts, 15-29 fg) and Denver is still down 2-0 after last night.  

The Nuggets still showed that they can win a couple of games in this series and push the Lakers.  This won't be a walkover.  But the energy and uptempo play can only take them so far, especially when the Lakers can absorb the punches like they did last night, and respond with a groin-kicking run that really saps the energy out of you.  When the Nuggets had a shot to cut the lead to two (or one) last night, the Lakers stepped up and made stops. 

When you go all out, hit the other team with everything you have and they don't go down... it's disheartening. 

2:  Philly wins, but don't blame a lack of Rose

The Sixers used a 36-14 third quarter to turn a 55-47 halftime deficit into an 83-69 lead to start the fourth and a 109-92 Game 2 win.  But don't blame the lack of Derrick Rose, which is the natural reaction. 

Of course, Rose being in the game would have helped the Bulls score and stem the tide there in the third quarter, but it's the Bulls trademark defense that was missing in the second half of that game.  The Sixers scored on a barrage of fast breaks which led to Philly shooting 59% against the vaunted Bulls D. 

So while you can say "well.. see... no Rose, no chance," keep in mind that this Bulls team doesn't rely on Rose for its D.  It's D is a Thibodeau-instilled system that has operated well without Rose in there in the past.  Yes, it's harder to play defense when you're missing shots and they're running out on you, the Bulls have the personnel and strategists to account for that in Game 3.  This was a great win by the Sixers, but it would be a mistake to view this game as a sign of bad things to come in the series for Chicago.


Andre Iguodala with the huge dunk over Luol Deng


Paul Pierce with the emphatic slam after the steal

Jeff Teague runs the width of the court to block Keyon Dooling

J-Smoove... not so, um, Smoove

4:  Line of the Night:  Paul Pierce: 36 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists

The Celtics captain came out of the locker room hot, knocking down the first nine Celtics points of the night.  He closed by scoring literally half the Celtics fourth quarter points (13 of Boston's 26) including seven straight to hold off the Hawks and earn an 87-80 Game 2 win.  Said Doc Rivers on this performance, "we don’t win the game if Paul doesn’t play like that. He knew that, and so did they.  And he still did it.  That's what makes him so special."

One big story line going into the series was Boston conceding home court and resting players.  With the win, they steal it back from the dazed Hawks, who had an 11 point third quarter lead.  Now the Hawks have to see how Josh Smith's knee (strained patellar ligament, MRI today) will affect him in Game 3.  The Celtics, meanwhile, get Rajon Rondo back from suspension for their first home playoff game of the season.  This could be a tough one for the Hawks, who squandered a huge opportunity. 

5:  You can quote me on that

We gutted it out, man. You know what we are man? We all grit, all grit man. All grit and balls man, that's what it is.
     -Kevin Garnett, after the Celtics win in Atlanta 

"I think losing last season, and the way we lost, we're approaching this postseason much more focused"
     -Pau Gasol, after beating the Nuggets last night 


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Tressel once sent touching note to family of Michigan OL

Sony cut 'Concussion' scenes to avoid angering NFL

Ryan Clark: Trent Richardson is 'worst RB of all time'

Report: David Feherty won't be back at CBS Sports

Warren Moon: RG3 needs to start taking the blame

Lovullo: I don’t see Hanley Ramirez playing left field again in 2015


Judge Berman’s one-sentence order repeats Deflategate decision timeline

Ishmael Adams suspended indefinitely following arrest

McNair: Pats caused problem by not cooperating with Deflategate

Browns terminate contract of Phil Taylor

WWE’s 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka charged in 30-year-old murder

Randall Cobb: ‘I don’t plan on missing a game’

Jack Eichel plans to move in with teammate Matt Moulson

Report: Bills GM 'went rogue’ in cutting Fred Jackson

Terrance Knighton irked by Redskins-Kardsashians comparison

Connor Cook on not being named Michigan State captain: 'It stinks'

Danny Amendola’s advice to those on roster bubble? ‘Control what you can’

Dallas Cowboys: Rookies to watch

Apple reportedly sought exclusive rights to new Bill Simmons podcast

One of Clemson’s 1981 national championship trophies broke

Milan Lucic says playing with Canucks is ‘dream of mine’

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

WATCH: Victoria Azarenka rips chair umpire at US Open

Bill O’Brien starts charity swear jar for cursing on ‘Hard Knocks’

Dikembe Mutombo teared up when Hawks announced franchise will retire his jersey

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker