Originally posted on NBA 24/7 365  |  Last updated 4/22/12

Phoenix’s devastating 107-118 loss to Denver can be summed up by one fourth-quarter play. With 7:47 to go the Suns trailed by 11, which was the closest they’d been in over 12 minutes. Shannon Brown had just knocked down a few threes as he orchestrated an individual 8-2 run. The Nuggets still had a sizeable cushion, but the Phoenix surge had brought about a palpable shift in the momentum. Andre Miller had just missed a three-pointer (not the shot Denver wanted) and Phoenix had the ball with a chance to make it a single-digit game. The comeback was put to an abrupt end, though, when Sebastian Telfair threw a careless pass. Corey Brewer picked it off, took it the other way, and energetically slam dunked with one hand. Game, set, match. It was precisely the type of hustle play Phoenix needed to close the gap, yet Denver made it. That’s the way this game went almost all night long… Denver, particularly Kenneth Faried (18 PTS, 14 REB, 3 BLK) and Ty Lawson (27 PTS, 10 AST), simply wanted it more than Phoenix did. The Suns weren’t nearly sharp enough (17 TOs), and they weren’t tough enough (68 paint points allowed) either. Denver’s been playing very good basketball over their past seven games, so I’m not at all surprised that they won this game. However, I didn’t expect Phoenix to be outworked. They’d done such an excellent job against the Clippers.

The Suns not only lost the game, but also lost Channing Frye, likely for the season, to a shoulder injury.

Denver’s win lands them in sixth place thanks to a tiebreaker over the Mavericks. Chicago held Dallas to eight (!!!) first-quarter points and went on to beat ‘em 93-83. Derrick Rose only scored 11 points, but Rip Hamilton and Luol Deng put up 19 and 22 respectively. Denver wraps up their season vs Orlando, @ OKC, and @ Minnesota while Dallas will be in Atlanta for their finale. If Dallas can beat Atlanta then Denver will need to go 2-1 to finish sixth, which they may very well do. The Hawks are a pretty good home team, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas loses that one. That would allow Denver to go 1-2 and secure the sixth spot. Although it isn’t set in stone, it looks like the Nuggets will see the Lakers in the first round. I think this match up, compared to Dallas, is favorable for LA. The Nuggets don’t have the size to compete with the Lakers.

Phoenix almost caught a huge break courtesy of Orlando, but 15 three-pointers weren’t quite enough to lift the Magic over the Jazz. Utah trailed by 13 after Orlando’s 36-point first-quarter explosion, but Jamaal Tinsley and the rest of Utah’s bench had the score knotted at 55 by the half. Tinsley had a brilliant second quarter, racking up eight assists. Three of his dimes went to Derrick Favors, who dunked them all home. Utah’s bench continued to produce throughout the game. Favors finished with 16 points and 11 boards while Enes Kanter also provided 12 solid minutes, scoring 9 points on 4-5. The Jazz once again fell behind by double digits and even heard boos from their home crowd as Jameer Nelson (game-high 23 points) ripped sh!t up in the third quarter, but they were able to scrap their way back when Orlando went cold. Al Jefferson stuck a jump hook to send the game to OT, and it was pretty much all Utah from that point on (16-6, 117-107). Orlando had lived (and lived good) by the three for the first 45 minutes, but they fell apart late as they missed six of their last seven from long range. Utah’s 39 bench points were huge; Orlando only got 8 from their reserves.

The Jazz now control their own destiny in the playoff race. If they beat Phoenix on Tuesday and Portland on Thursday then they’re in.

The Wizards overcame some questionable officiating and beat Miami’s JV team 86-84. John Wall and Nene executed a pick and roll to perfection for the game-winning layup. A Udonis Haslem putback dunk had tied the game on the previous possession, but it never would’ve happened if the refs had whistled Mike Miller for pushing Jordan Crawford. The blatant non-call left Crawford on the floor and resulted in a turnover and a run out. Anyway, Washington won so there’s no need to go on about the officials. Dwyane Wade left the game early with a dislocated finger. Chris Bosh and LeBron James never saw the floor, so I suppose the Heat are comfortable in the second spot.

It required overtime, but the Sixers beat a playoff team for the first time this month. Philly’s 109-106 victory over Indiana doesn’t officially lock them into a playoff spot… but it basically does. All they have to do is beat one of New Jersey, Milwaukee, or Detroit. New Jersey’s been slipping, Milwaukee allows a million points per game, and Detroit has been blown out in consecutive games. The Bucks would also have to win out in order to overtake the Sixers, so it’s a done deal, pretty much. Anyway, Lou Williams nailed a pair of threes–one of which he was fouled on, resulting in a four-point play–during OT. David West made all sorts of crucial baskets as he scored a season-high 32 points, but poor shot selection (George Hill took a real WTF shot late in OT) and defensive errors proved to be too costly. I’d talk about how the Sixers and Knicks are still in a battle for 7th but they’re both getting smoked in the first round either way.

This type of thing actually makes Doug feel better.

Box Score Observations: Brandon Jennings scored 30 points (hit three threes in the fourth quarter) as the Bucks beat the Nets for the 10th straight time. Ersan Ilyasova had a clean double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Ekpe Udoh and Johan Petro both missed reverse dunks. JJ Hickson dropped 23/13, but Portland lost to Memphis 89-93. Hasheem Thabeet is now 2-7 in a couple of consecutive starts for the Blazers. Houston’s season remains alive, but on life support; Goran Dragic dropped 18 as they beat Mikki Moore and the Warriors by three.

Highlight Recap, John Wall Edition: There’s something I love about a John Wall jam…

Even the warm up was nice.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Beltre ejected for bizarre on-deck circle incident

Some coaches expect Tom Brady to 'dramatically age’

Joe Flacco could miss 3-6 weeks with back injury

When will it be OK to worry about Clayton Kershaw?

Boom or bust players for each NFL team in 2017

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lucky Whitehead reportedly claimed by Jets

Reasons for concern with Kyrie Irving's game

Texans have been ‘blown away’ by Deshaun Watson

Floyd Mayweather is recruiting Nate Diaz to be in his fight corner vs Conor McGregor

Ivy League-educated ex-NFLer questions recent CTE study

Timberwolves seriously exploring Kyrie Irving trade

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

Every MLB team's best and worst deadline trade from the last 25 years

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

Box Score 7/25: The pressure of the trade deadline is here

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

For the revitalized Pirates, trade deadline has newfound meaning

The 'Cooperstown: The New Class' quiz

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker