The Thunder sent a message to the West last night by playing their starters all the way through. They wanted Denver in the first round. Badly. Instead, the Nuggets spoiled the party by beating OKC in their own gym, 106-101, by putting seven players into double-figure scoring (Ty Lawson led the way with 25). Denver now is in position to win their final game and get the six seed. That would mean the Lakers instead of OKC. But perhaps more importantly, this could mean we’ll get an epic OKC/Dallas rematch in the first round … Kevin Durant scored 32 and had one of the best dunks of his career. He threw one so hard on JaVale McGee‘s dome that it doesn’t even need to be accompanied by a McGee joke … Kobe now has to score 38 in the Lakers last game of the season to wrestle the scoring title away from Durant. We can see it now… Bryant in the third quarter of a meaningless game hoisting up shot after shot, calling for clear-outs and throwing up 46 pump fakes in one game. There hasn’t been a surer thing since the Bourne series … Even with Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young all resting, the Sixers took care of business in Milwaukee, 90-85. Evan Turner picked up the slack by throwing up 29 shots while going out and dominating (29 points, 13 rebounds, six assists) … In what might’ve been Steve Nash‘s (eight points, seven assists) last game as a Sun, it was the other point guards who blew up in San Antonio’s 110-106 win. Patty Mills lit it up with 27 points, and Sebastian Telfair had 20 himself … After initially saying he was coming back to school, Baylor’s Quincy Miller announced this week that he’s actually decided to go to the NBA. The skill is there but he has the body of Gumby. Is he Kevin Durant-lite or just light? … And last night on NBA TV, Shaq and C-Webb were pulling off a sort of SNL skit of World Peace‘s “accidental” elbow to James Harden, but the best part was Shaq getting a wide open layup and COMPLETELY missing it. It was one of those shots that would keep you from touching the ball ever again if you pulled it off in a pickup game. O’Neal also tried to make a big joke about Gregg Popovich, and compared him to “Ari Fischer… one of the greatest chess players ever” before being corrected that, indeed, one of the greatest chess players ever was actually Bobby Fischer … We’re out like Miller.
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