NBA Scores And More: Bulls March On, Pacers Shred Knicks (Again)

The Bulls relied on their reserve big men to control the paint, and were obliged. Meanwhile, the Knicks lost to the Pacers again and LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy led the Blazers past the Mavericks.

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Wizards Vs. Bulls: Derrick Rose, Reserve Big Men Lead Chicago Over Washington, Into First Place

The Chicago Bulls are now No. 1 in the entire Eastern Conference, thanks to a 98-79 drubbing of the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. The Bulls were led in the scoring ledger by Derrick Rose (23 points on 21 field goal attempts) and Luol Deng (20 points on 19 FGAs), but Taj Gibson and Kurt Thomas may have been the real heroes. Carlos Boozer remains out and Joakim Noah missed the game with flu-like symptoms. That opened the door for the two reserves to start and, frankly, dominated the glass. The Bulls had 20 offensive rebounds in 52 opportunities; Gibson had five and wily Thomas had seven.

The wonderful work on the offensive glass helped the Bulls make up for a 40-percent night from the floor. Chicago also helped itself by limiting turnovers (just 12) and nailing its three-pointers at a decent clip (12-32, 37 percent).

The Wizards only shot 43 percent from the floor themselves, and had 10 offensive rebounds and 16 turnovers. Jordan Crawford blurted out 27 points in starting for injured Nick Young. JaVale McGee joined him in the "pleasant performance in a loss" category, breaking out the rare dirty triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks. That's the highest block total for one game in just a shade under 10 years; Keon Clark racked up 12 in 28 minutes in a game in March 2001.


Knicks Vs. Pacers: Danny Granger, Tyler Hansbrough Wreak Havoc, Shred New York

Tyler Hansbrough stole the (heavy) spotlight from the star-studded New York Knicks as he scored 30 points for the Indiana Pacers en route to a 119-117 victory. Hansbrough has been playing like an All-Star of late, and shot 12-17 against Shawne Williams and others. But it was teammate Danny Granger who had the final word.

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni opted to play Amar'e Stoudemire at center against Indiana after the Pacers knocked off the Knicks last week, benching the awful Jared Jeffries. It didn't work. Roy Hibbert (Stoudemire's man) broke off 15 points, 12 rebounds (six on offense) and a couple blocks. Hansbrough shredded Williams, and Granger (26 points, 10-20 shooting) went nuts on Carmelo Anthony. But it was Williams who tried to defend Granger on the final play of the game.

Anthony and Stoudemire did well on offense too, scoring 29 and 21 respectively. But New York shouldn't be in close games with teams like the Pacers; Indiana is No. 24 in the NBA in offense at 1.045 points per possession, but has scored 1.16 and 1.17 in the two games against the Knicks this week. The Knicks were bad on defense before trading for Anthony, and appear to have gotten worse. Meanwhile, the offense hasn't played well enough to overcome that. These are not the D'Antoni Suns.

The Pacers maintain their hold on the No. 8 seed in the East. The Knicks are only a half-game ahead of the 76ers for No. 6.


Mavericks Vs. Blazers: LaMarcus Aldridge, Vintage Brandon Roy Lead Portland Past Dallas

LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy led the Portland Trail Blazers to a 104-101 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, which isn't at all weird, given that LMA and Roy have been Rip City's best players for years. But the way it's happening now is a bit strange. Aldridge started the game at center as Blazers coach Nate McMillan replaced Marcus Camby in the starting five with Gerald Wallace, who became the power forward and bumped Aldridge up a weight class. LMA responded with 30 points and eight rebounds.

Roy continued to come off the bench, and he thrived Tuesday, racking up 21 points on 9-17 shooting. Frankly, he looked like his old self, as much as someone who had double knee surgery a little more than a month ago can. Roy dropped 10 in the fourth quarter as the Blazers withstood a push by Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry.

Nowitzki scored eight in the final period, but missed a three-pointer in the closing seconds that could have forced overtime. Dirk had 28 on 9-14 shooting on the game, making easy work of Wallace. Dallas shot a blistering 59 percent from the floor as a team, but committed 15 turnovers to only seven for Portland, and allowed the Blazers to pick up 15 offensive rebound in 42 opportunities.


Bucks Vs. Hawks: Joe Johnson, Atlanta Dismiss Milwaukee

Joe Johnson scored 36 points -- 28 of them in the first half -- as the Atlanta Hawks beat up on the Milwaukee Bucks 110-85. The Bucks hardly looked like the squad that pushed Atlanta to seven game in the teams' first-round playoff series last season, instead struggling to score during vast swaths of the game and being completely unable to slow Johnson.

Of particular note was a 20-0 run Atlanta broke off between the first and second quarters. The teams were tied at 17 when Milwaukee proceeding to miss its next 10 shot attempts, mixing in four turnovers to go scoreless on 14 consecutive possessions. The Hawks took advantage, pulling out to a 37-17 lead and never looking back.

Andrew Bogut was strong with 21 points and 13 rebounds. The Hawks' line-up is an interesting mix -- Larry Drew went with three guards (Johnson, Kirk Hinrich and Jeff Teague) and two forwards (Al Horford, Josh Smith), leaving Marvin Williams deep on the bench. Williams ended up providing 16 points (eight of them in the uncontested fourth), but given that Marvin was typically pushed out of the line-up in attempts to go bigger with Jason Collins or Zaza Pachulia at center instead of Horford, the switch is notable.

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