Christaphuh was killed by the chunky hands of Tony Soprano, and in the NBA yesterday….
Chicago 102, Detroit 87: Like ‘Sheed Wallace said after the Pistons’ comeback win in Game 3, “those [Chicago] buttholes were getting tighter and tighter” once again, but this time, with their season on the line, the Bulls didn’t pucker up too much and live to see another game. Contrary to their previous seven postseason efforts, the Pistons looked lackadaisical, unfocused, and disinterested for most of the game, almost like they knew the Bulls were gonna bring it and they didn’t feel like exerting themselves too much.
Led by Luol Deng (10-15 FG, 25 points, 13 boards) and Kirk Hinrich (7-15 FG, 19 points, 10 assists), the Bulls took a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter. Two Chauncey Billups free throws trimmed the lead down to seven with just under 4 minutes to go, but that would be as close as Detroit got. Billups finished with 23 points and 8 assists, while Tayshaun Prince had another strong game with 18 points, 7 boards, 4 assists, and 3 steals. We also had the first Ben Wallace sighting of the series. The series shifts to Detroit for Game 5 Tuesday night, when the home team will look to close it out and rest up for a week before the Eastern Conference Finals. It’s crucial to take care of business and not let this series go any longer than it should.
Utah 115, Golden State 101: Don Nelson and his Warriors went to bed late last night with visions of Carlos Boozer haunting their dreams. They just have no answer for the Booze, who went off yet again with 34 points (on an efficient 13-19 FG) and 12 boards in leading his team to a big road victory and 3-1 stranglehold on their very entertaining series with the Warriors. We don’t want this one to end just yet, but Baron Davis & Co. have a tough task ahead of them in Salt Lake City Tuesday night to avoid elimination.
Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington led the way for Golden State (24 points apiece), but poor shooting nights from Davis (6-16 FG) and Jason Richardson (3-12 FG) ultimately did this team in. These close, frustrating losses have to be taking a good chunk of moxy out of the Warriors, who probably should have won Games 1 and 2 in Utah, and could have won last night. Whether or not they can get over their disappointment and bring their A-game Tuesday remains to be seen, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they pull it off and send it back to Oakland. Henry Abbott has more on this game over at True Hoop.
Cleveland at New Jersey, 7pm, TNT: Jason Kidd, the triple-double machine, looks to help his Nets even up the series at 2-2. Damon Jones, Cleveland’s “DNP – Coach’s Decision” machine, wonders where it all went wrong.
Phoenix at San Antonio, 9:30pm, TNT: Much has been made of Amare Stoudamire’s accusation that the Spurs are a “dirty team.” Anyone who has watched San Antone in the postseason should find it hard to disagree–you’d think that with all the attention on him for that cowardly Achilles’ kick in Game 2, Bruce Bowen would lay low… instead, he blatantly jabs his knee into Steve Nash’s crotch in Game 3, knocking him down in the process. No, this team isn’t just dirty: they’re hard to watch and even harder to root for.