Atlanta Hawks 81, Miami Heat 71.
Azaza Pachulia dominated the glass for the Hawks with 18 rebounds, helping Atlanta regain their home court advantage with a 81-71 win over the Miami Heat. The Hawks scoring was basically split between Bibby, Johnson, and Smith scoring 15, 14, and 13. Atlanta coach Mike Woodson stated that Pachulia was the crucial factor to the win. “Zaza was huge throughout the whole game,” said Woodson. “I mean, 18 rebounds, 12 points for us, and we needed all that tonight to survive.” Dwayne Wade scored 22 for the Heat and Jermaine O’Neal contributed 20, but Miami was never ahead and only shot 38 percent.
Denver Nuggets 121, New Orleans Hornets 63.
Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 26 points and was taken out in the fourth quarter due to the 58 point blow out over the New Orleans Hornets. The victory matched the biggest lopsided contest in NBA playoff history, which came in 1956 when the Minneapolis Lakers beat the St. Louis Hawks 133-75. The Hornets will need their All-Star point guard Chris Paul to step up in order for them to stay in the series. The Nuggets held Paul to just 4 points and 6 assists. Denver leads the series 3-1.
Los Angeles Lakers 107, Utah Jazz 96.
Kobe Bryant led the Lakers to finish the series in 5 games with 31 points against the Utah Jazz last night at the Staples Center. The Lakers were in control the whole game, winning every quarter in scoring aside from the fourth. Utah made a run at the end cutting the 20-point deficit to just six with 3:15 remaining. From there Lamar Odom came up with two clutch finishes after LA kicked in its defense to officially decide the series. “We out did them,” said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. “I thought it was a disappointment to them but they played hard; they played together and you have to give them credit. I thank them for giving us a run and a good, hard series.”
2009 NBA Playoff Tickets are available now!