Ty Lawson Wins A Huge West Battle; Memphis Almost Proves Miami Is Mortal

By: 03.02.13
Ty Lawson

The top eight seeds in the Eastern Conference appear set and ready for the playoffs. And among them we aren’t expecting much suspense until the Eastern Conference Finals. The Western Conference is a different story, and if you needed some confirmation you can look at the 6 games separating the sixth- through 10th-best teams or just Friday’s Nuggets-Thunder classic in the Mile High. Ty Lawson (11 points, seven diems) hit the buzzer-beating jumper in pure hero-ball fashion with the isolated matchup on Thabo Sefolosha, then immediately hit his Bernie at halfcourt. Do you, Ty. It got a win Wilson Chandler came out of nowhere to dominate. OK, not out of nowhere, not after the way Denver ate alive the Lakers earlier this week. But Chandler tied his career high of 35 points (off the bench to boot, and oh yeah, 6-of-7 from three). It took until the game-winner to top Durant’s Barnum & Bailey Three-Ring Circus shot from the first half, though. He had 25 and 14 boards and Russell Westbrook had 38 points but was held to zero stolen halfcourt shots by Denver’s mascot. … Houston’s game at Orlando was a must-watch in the night’s first wave of games. The Magic actually were shooting 60 percent halfway through the third quarter — and still trailed by three to the Rockets because they were shooting 62 percent, with 12-of-22 from deep to that point. It looked like their 23-three-pointer night against the Warriors was in trouble. They’d finish 15-of-32 from deep in the 118-110 win. At the other end new Magic addition Tobias Harris was very impressive in Dwight Howard‘s old No. 12 jersey, getting a career-high 27 off the pine. Carlos Delfino‘s first field goal in the second half was a triple to go up 10 in the final 2:30, effectively ending this one. … The Pacers weren’t in the mood to mess around in Toronto a night after Chris Paul made their defense look junior varsity down the stretch. They got Roy Hibbert back, and while usually that would make us go “meh” because he tends to be meek on the court, the big man had 18 points. The move worked, holding the Raps to 17 points or fewer twice in a quarter and a putrid 40 percent shooting in the 93-81 win. That was crucial considering their own offense looked U-G-L-Y. … Jamal Crawford‘s night of work against Shawn Livingston couldn’t have been good for the latter’s old-man knees. Crawford had him shifting this way and that on his crossovers and iced the Clips’ 105-89 win in Cleveland with his bank three to beat the shot clock from about 28 feet halfway through the fourth. He had 24 points and Cleveland tried to stick tough (Dion Waiters fell short of 20 points for the first time in three games though he did have a nasty dunk) but soon realized it had one star going against five. … Hit the jump to read about Miami’s Friday the 13th …

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