Ray Allen drops bombs on LeBron; San Antonio is still a contender

04.05.10 8 years ago 56 Comments

Ray Allen, Dime #11

How many of you turned away from Cavs/Celtics in the third quarter to go about your Easter Sunday laziness or (if you’re on the West Coast) go back to sleep? After a first half where every facet of their game was on-point, the Celts extended the lead to 22 in the third quarter, with Ray Allen shooting the rock like Shep in Above the Rim, and Rajon Rondo flying all over the place like he’d been hooked up to an IV of Red Bull. Mike Brown had even given up, making an obvious show of getting himself ejected when things started looking really bad … But then LeBron went nuts — scoring 21 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter — and next thing you know, the Cavs were knocking on the door. With three minutes left, Boston was only up two when Rondo missed a layup and got a silly tech for yelling at a ref. After the free throw, Anthony Parker threw in a crazy banker to give Cleveland its first lead. The teams went back-and-forth for a bit until Ray (33 pts, 6 threes) stuck another three to put the Celtics up four with 46 seconds left … It was a two-point game with about 10 seconds left when Kendrick Perkins went to the line and bricked both, so LeBron — who went 0-for-9 beyond the arc and missed some huge free throws down the stretch — came down and jacked a three on the run. No good, and Kevin Garnett iced it at the line as Boston escaped a bad loss … Nice halftime feature on Rondo (16 pts, 14 asts) about how he gets steals. But when they were highlighting his ability to aggravate opponents, did you notice they showed the Kirk Hinrich confrontation without showing the part where Rondo threw him onto the scorer’s table? They also didn’t show him chop Brad Miller in the face … Sunday was another reminder that you can’t write off the Spurs until they’re officially eliminated. Facing the Lakers at Staples — where L.A. had only lost five times all year — San Antonio controlled the pace and was in command most of the second half to beat the defending champs and clinch a playoff spot for the men in black. And that was without a true PG on the floor for most of the game; George Hill turned his ankle in the first half and didn’t return … L.A. got to within two in the fourth quarter, but Manu Ginobili scored 15 of his 32 points in the period to help keep the Spurs in front. Right before halftime, Manu and Ron Artest got into a mini-shoving match masked as jockeying for position and both were hit with techs. Then Kobe (22 pts, 8 rebs, 6 asts) started arguing on behalf of Ron-Ron, and he got T’d up, too. Asked about it at halftime, Manu shrugged, “He started to get into me, so I started to get into him.” …

Kevin Durant (photo. Jared McMillen)

The Pacers generally lit up the Rockets like a nickel slot machine — hitting them for 133 points on 57% shooting and 14 threes — but Josh McRoberts (18 pts, 12 rebs) and Mike Dunleavy (15 pts) in particular were playing like All-Stars, clearly inspired by Duke’s run to the national title game in their city. One time McRoberts drove and flipped a no-look pass over his shoulder to Dunleavy for an open layup. Six other Pacers scored in double figures as Houston’s defense was just atrocious. Shane Battier was also in the building, though not suited up due to injury. But Battier did bring his 2001 Duke national championship ring, which he says he only breaks out for special occasions … Other stat lines from Sunday: Kevin Durant dropped 40 points (13-22 FG) on the Wolves in an OKC win; Vince Carter scored 26 to lead Orlando past Memphis; Andray Blatche put up 20 points and 13 rebounds as Washington beat New Jersey; and David Lee had 29 points and 10 boards in New York’s win over the Clippers … Crazy finish to Warriors/Raptors. Down eight with three minutes to go, Toronto came back in what was basically a free-throw shooting contest down the stretch and were only trailing by one after Chris Bosh hit a pair at the line with three seconds left. As the Raps slapped on the press, Sonny Weems — who has become probably the third-best player on Toronto late in the season — miraculously stole the inbounds and got it to Bosh right under the rim, but Bosh blew the gimme layup at the buzzer. Incredible. Bosh (42 pts, 20-23 FT, 12 rebs, 5 stls) just fell into a heap onto the floor, while Nellie celebrated tying Lenny Wilkens for the most NBA coaching wins all-time … You know what’s the messed up part? Bosh misses that layup and it is what it is — a missed layup. But this girl misses the same layup (albeit twice) and everybody is all, “See, that’s why I don’t watch women’s basketball!” Double standard, eh? … Speaking of the ladies, the NCAA title game is set for Tuesday: UConn vs. Stanford. The Husky juggernaut was actually tested against Baylor, as Brittney Griner (13 pts, 5 blks) and Co. were within three points in the second half, but then Maya Moore (34 pts, 12 rebs) and Tina Charles (21 pts, 12 rebs) imposed their will and UConn won by 20 … We’re out like Mike Brown …

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