What you missed while watching a national championship game that lived up to the hype…
Rockets 108, Celtics 102: There are some fighters — whether boxing or MMA — that you just never look good fighting. It’s clenching and grappling and just no flow, and it takes you out of your game. That is what the Houston Rockets do to you. They are a scrappy team that just makes you work for everything. It’s never pretty. It’s never easy beating them.
Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics are not the same defensive team, as evidenced by giving up 124.1 points per 100 possessions to the Rockets. It was not what you expect of Boston. But credit Houston for spreading the rock around — Aaron Books had 24 but it was about balance as seven Rockets scored in double digits.
Bobcats 96, Grizzlies 82: A snowstorm had pretty much shut down Charlotte (the city), which meant only about 1,000 people showed up to see this one. That smattering of people saw a Bobcats team without Gerald Wallace get 27 out of Stephen Jackson and 18 out of D.J Augustin, who has started to blossom under Paul Silas. Charlotte is 5-2 under Silas (or since Larry Brown got fired) but the schedule is about to get tougher.
Bulls 95, Pistons 82: It’s good to have stars — Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose were the two best players on the court and they decided this game. Boozer had 27 on 12-17 shooting, Rose had 29 on 10-20 shooting. The Bulls defense held the Pistons to 38 percent shooting.
On a bright note for Detroit, Greg Monroe is showing some of that promise he was drafted for, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Briante Weber goes from Warriors to Hornets, signs 10-day contract with Charlotte
Backup point guard Briante Weber has signed a 10-day contract with the Charlotte Hornets. This comes after Weber signed two 10-day contracts with the Golden State Warriors earlier in the season. News of the signing was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
Weber, 24, played his college games at VCU and in his work this season for Golden State was somewhat disappointing. In seven games, Weber put up 9.4 points, 3.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 2.3 steals per-game. His advanced numbers tell a bit of a different story, where his box plus/minus was -6.1.
Warriors free agent Briante Weber has agreed to a 10-day contract with the Charlotte Hornets, league sources tell @TheVertical.
Charlotte will look to use Weber in a backup role to Kemba Walker. Ramon Sessions had been playing rotation player minutes for the Hornets until early February when he suffered a left knee injury that could keep him out up to six weeks.
Stephen Curry wasn’t just setting up teammates Saturday night, he was helping out a fan.
One of the Warriors in-game entertainment bits is to have basically adult skeeball for cash. One female fan was doing about as well as I do at arcade skeeball when Stephen Curry ran out to give her a little help and win her $5,000.
The Warriors went on to beat the Nets and clinch a playoff slot with the win.
Paul George ejected for arguing calls, Pacers go on to lose to Heat
Paul George already had one technical in the game (from a double technical situation), when he thought he was fouled and should have gotten a call fairly early in the third quarter of a tight Pacers game against the Heat.
George apparently wouldn’t let up barking at the referees, maybe said some magical words, but whatever happened the officials hit him with a second technical. He was tossed. You can see the reaction above.
The Pacers hung close in the game until the Heat went on a 21-4 run to open the fourth and that was the ballgame. If you’re the undisputed leader of your team — as George is — you just can’t get tossed for things like this.
Warriors first team to clinch playoff slot with win over Nets
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) —Stephen Curry scored 27 points on a night Kevin Durant missed his first game of the season with a hand injury, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-95 on Saturday to clinch a playoff berth.
Klay Thompson added 24 points. Curry converted a four-point play just before halftime to put his team up 62-51 at the break. The two-time reigning MVP had five 3-pointers and five assists.
This is just a first step for these star-studded, NBA-best Warriors (49-9): They want the No. 1 seed in the West. Oh, and a championship.
Durant sat out with a bruised left hand. He injured his pinkie in the first quarter of a 123-113 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, and X-rays were negative. He practiced Friday with his left hand heavily taped and still had some discomfort Saturday.