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Denver’s Winning Streak Is Over; John Wall Lights Up Memphis For 47 Points

Fifteen-game winning streaks generally don’t end at the hands of names like Brian Roberts, Darius Miller, Ryan Anderson and Roger Mason. Then again, 15-game winning streaks generally don’t end in 24-point blowouts at the hands of a 25-win team, either … The Hornets matched every Nuggets spurt in their 110-86 thumping of Denver, getting 14 three-pointers and seven players in double-figures. Anderson led the way with 23 points, nine boards and five triples. He also ended any hope after the Nuggets had cut it to 13 at the start of the fourth by drilling a triple and then a step-back on consecutive possessions with 8:17 left. Roberts added 18 assists and someone disguised as Darius Miller scored 16 … Danilo Gallinari might’ve been the only Nugget who didn’t lose his game somewhere on Bourbon Street. He had 24 points, and after canning two straight perimeter shots in the second quarter, New Orleans’ broadcast team said, “That’s target practice. Gallinari, you gotta guard him. He’s a great shooter.” In theory, yeah. In reality, er, not so much. Gallo’s shooting prowess might be one of the most overrated skills in the NBA. Did you know he’s never shot even 43 percent from the floor since becoming a regular rotation player? Or that he’s never shot even 40 percent from deep during that same span? And before last night, he was shooting 37 percent in March … At this point with the Heat, the only drama comes from trying to guess what shenanigans they’ll pull in the postgame interviews. They beat Orlando for their 27th straight win last night, 108-94, and really didn’t even try until the second half. The Heat ended the third on a 10-0 spurt, and then turned it into a 20-2 run pretty quickly in the fourth after LeBron James (24 points, nine boards, 11 assists) caught a lob from Norris Cole where Beno Udrih literally ducked to get out of the way, and then dished a lob to Birdman on the next possession … This one was so anti-climatic that Jeff Van Gundy started contemplating how Dwight Howard should go back to Orlando this summer and re-sign with them as a free agent … We hope you missed Stu Scott last night. He emblazoned LeBron’s night as “freaknasty” and then said this about Chris Andersen: “I dont think there is a part of Chris Andersen’s body that is not tattooed… I’m not going into that any further.” … In some injury news, Boston’s Kevin Garnett will be missing two weeks because of an ankle injury, with the Celtics holding him out in an effort to get him completely healthy for the playoffs. It couldn’t come at a worse time, not with them in the midst of a four-game losing streak. But as long as they don’t fall behind Milwaukee and become Miami’s first-round appetizer, they should have a chance in the playoffs … Keep reading to hear about John Wall’s career night …

“He was a max player tonight.” Last week when word dribbled out of Washington that the Wizards planned to offer John Wall a max contract, an army of doubters answered the call to arms. But Washington’s broadcast team trolled everyone, using that declaration to describe a career night from Wall in the Wizards 107-94 win over Memphis. It felt like Wall set 15 personal bests, and he sort of did, finishing with 47 points, seven rebounds, eight dimes and 19 free throws made. He had 26 by halftime, and a numbers of those points came off jump shots — pull-ups and even a three-pointer. Then in crunch time, Wall made a ridiculous step-back jumper at the shot clock buzzer to go up 11 with four minutes left. That’s becoming a go-to move for him: the right-to-left crossover into a step-back J. A few minutes later, he splashed a pull-up triple, shooting it like he meant it to go in. He did much of the damage against Tony Allen too, which should count double … Wall might be the king of putting up big-time numbers once seasons are already lost, but we’ve never seen him play this confidently. Over the last 10 games, he’s third in the NBA in PER… behind LeBron and KD (again, let’s point out he’s done this “blowup once the season is already lost!” routine before) … Even though he was only 5-for-17 from the floor, Jerryd Bayless (14 points) had a nice run in the closing minutes. He engineered an 11-2 Grizzlies spurt with some of his patented “jump while facing the sideline and turn in the air” outside shots … After getting blown out by Golden State last night before rallying to make it respectable, 109-103, the Lakers are now just 6-13 this year when the Big Four play. That’ll have to turn around, and it’ll need to be quick: their April schedule is SO brutal that they basically have to win their next three games (at Minnesota, at Milwaukee and at Sacramento). Dallas is only one loss back, so it’s not a forgone conclusion that L.A. will be the West’s No. 8 seed … Just hours after Florida rudely dismissed Minnesota to the offseason with a second-round knockout in March Madness, the Golden Gophers have fired coach Tubby Smith. There are two ways to look at this. One, they made the Round of 32, smashed UCLA and were even included on some Final Four ballets this year (we’re not naming names, but someone in the Dime office must secretly be from the Land of 10,000 Lakes). Yet under Tubby, they went 46-62 in Big Ten play and never finished higher than sixth in the conference … In other scores from Monday night: Utah finally won a game, 107-91 over Philly, getting 17 points from Randy Foye; and Indiana barely held off Atlanta, 100-94. Roy Hibbert finished with 17 points, 13 boards and three blocks … We’re out like Tubby.

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