Normally, we’d start a 13-game night off with some recaps, but since the average margin of victory across the NBA last night was like 87 points, it felt good just to look forward to the weekend. The regular season is over and the matchups are set. In the West, it’ll be San Antonio and Utah, OKC against Dallas, the Lakers taking on Denver and then Memphis hosting the Clippers. The East looks pretty good as well: Chicago takes on Philly, Miami and New York do battle, Indiana will host whatever’s left of the Magic, and even though they’re the No. 4 seed, Boston will open the playoffs in the ATL. We don’t see any upsets going down, but off a first glance, we could definitely see the Grizz and Clippers going the distance, and actually, every series out West has the potential to go at least six close games … Utah suddenly looks very dangerous in the first round after winning their fifth consecutive game, 96-94 over Portland. On the game’s final play, Wes Matthews put up a triple for the win and was clearly fouled. When the refs didn’t make the call, Nolan Smith went berserk and Kaleb Canales nearly lost his mind … Amazingly, Jonny Flynn recorded his first double-double of his career last night (18 points, 11 assists). Normally, this is where you could insert a joke. But Jonny is the man so he gets a pass … Denver steamrolled Minnesota 131-102. JaVale McGee dropped 19 off the bench. The only real drama in this one actually WAS real drama. Brad Miller is retiring this summer, and when they took him out towards the end and the crowd erupted and all his teammates started giving him hugs, the dude started bawling. Even afterwards with reporters, he was on the cusp of breaking down again. To commemorate his last NBA game, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio – both out and wearing suits – rocked blue headbands all night … Josh Smith (23 points, nine rebounds, seven dimes) capped off the best season off his career by getting the better of Dirk Nowitzki (22 points) in Atlanta’s easy 106-89 win over Dallas. Do the Mavs pose the Thunder any real threat this year? They needed this game to have a shot at the sixth seed, and instead were slammed so bad that at one point in the fourth quarter with Atlanta up 17, they gave us a view of Dallas’ bench and everyone looked like they were ready to punch someone … Ben Gordon and Detroit skinned Philly alive and then wore their coats, beating down the East’s No. 8 seed, 108-86. Congrats to the Sixers for tanking their way to the Chicago Bulls. Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams all sat out … The Pistons all wore blue headbands in tribute to Ben Wallace, who was playing on pure adrenaline (season-high 12 boards) in what will probably be the final game of his career … As for the Bulls, John Lucas‘ 25 pushed them to the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA Playoffs in a 107-75 destruction of the Cavs … The Wizards finished with a 34-point assault on Miami for their sixth straight win, and even though the Heat’s big guns sat out, that’s still pretty pathetic. This team is supposed to be a favorite to win the championship, and they just lost by 34 to a team whose leading scorer in this one was Mo Evans … By the way, how did we miss the reincarnation of Steve Francis as a Ja Rule knock off? The Franchise put out a new music video for his track called “Finer Things” and not only does he sound just like Jeffrey Atkins, but the video feels like someone lost the tape in their closet around 2000 and it’s just now resurfacing … Keep reading to hear about the NBA record the Warriors set last night …
The Grizzlies made sure a potential Game 7 in the first round – which seems pretty likely – will be in the Grit N’ Grind state. Zach Randolph returned to the starting lineup, and along with Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay, they combined to harvest Orlando’s thin frontcourt, going for a combined 55 points in their 88-76 W … Boston easily beat the Bucks, 87-74, and Rajon Rondo somehow did this: 0-for-1 from the field, zero points, 15 assists. You almost have to try to do that … The Warriors set an NBA record last night in their 107-101 loss to the Spurs. For the first time since 1970-71, when the NBA began recording starters on box scores, an NBA team started five rookies. Golden State went with Chris Wright, Jeremy Tyler, Mickell Gladness, Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins while the Spurs didn’t play any of their veterans. They should’ve just rescheduled this game for the middle of July at the Thomas & Mack Center … Patty Mills did all kinds of work on the Warriors, finishing with 34 points and 12 dimes … Meanwhile, the Bobcats also set a record: after losing by 20 to New York for their 23rd straight L, Charlotte finished the year 7-59, the worst winning percentage in NBA history. It was so pathetic that at one point, a fan in the first row stood up and started shouting at Paul Silas from across the court. In the end, the fans (all 46 of them) attempted to give the Bobcats a standing ovation and they couldn’t even do that right. Half of the crowd stayed seated while a few boos rained down amidst the cheers … The Kings rode DeMarcus Cousins (23 points, 19 rebounds) and put a beatdown on the Lakers by 17 … Contrary to popular belief, Tyreke Evans‘s game (21 points) is still alive, and he had one nasty spin move in the second quarter where he stapled Andrew Goudelock‘s feet to the floor. A few minutes later, Terrence Williams went down the lane and crushed the Statue of Liberty on Jordan Hill‘s face … Wasn’t Ed Davis supposed to play his way into the Most Improved Player conversation this season? That’s what we were hearing in December. The beanstalk waited until the last night of the year to give us a glimpse, going for 24 and 12 as Toronto beat New Jersey by 31 … Did you get a look at the Nets new logo? … Ben Uzoh threw up 12 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists and his triple-double was actually the first by a Raptor since Alvin Williams did it over 11 years ago. There’s really no significance in that. It was just an excuse to mention Alvin Williams’ name … Chase Budinger dropped 27 as the Rockets closed out the year two games above .500 with a seven-point win over the Hornets … And how do we know the playoffs are starting? The T-Mobile girl is back. At least she’s looking like she actually ate something besides Cottage Cheese over the past year. We’re happy to see that, because we’re not trying to see a malnourished chick 354 times again this postseason … We’re out like Brad Miller.
Follow Dime Magazine on Twitter
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook