Tip-Off for 4/18/13 (featuring Billy Ocean): Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Houston Rockets 99-95 in overtime to earn 7th seed in the Western Conference playoffs


The Lakers have banded together in Kobe Bryant’s absence to grab the West’s 7th seed.

The Los Angeles Lakers are more deserving of a spot in the NBA playoffs than any team I can think of. Injuries, the firing of Mike Brown, the early struggles under Mike D’Antoni, sniping between Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, the criticism of Pau Gasol and the passing of beloved owner Jerry Buss were enough excuses for the Lakers to pack it in. The season-ending injury to Kobe Bryant pointed all but confirmed the latter.

Not only have the Lakers made it to the postseason, they’ve earned the seventh seed with a critical 99-95 victory over the Houston Rockets. The Lakers will open the first round against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

Raptors 114 – Celtics 90 – Jordan Crawford led Boston with 19 points and Terrence Williams added 12 points as the starters were rested in the second half. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 24 points and Landry Fields had 11 rebounds. Toronto ended the season on a five-game  winning streak.

Nets 103 – Pistons 99 – Brooklyn swept the season series from Detroit 4-0. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 20 points, Reggie Evans added 11 rebounds. Will Bynum led the Pistons with 23 points.

Knicks 98 – Hawks 92 – Chris Copeland scored 30 points and Earl Barron scored 11 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Mike Scott led Atlanta with 23 points and 14 rebounds. The Knicks meet the Boston Celtics in the first round.

Bobcats 105 – Cavaliers 98 – The duel between Kemba Walker and Kyrie Irving ended in a standoff as each scored 24 points. Irving handed out 10 assists to Walker’s 7.

Heat 105 – Magic 93 – Miami heads into their first round meeting against the Milwaukee Bucks on an 8-game winning streak. Mike Miller led the Heat with 21 points and Dwyane Wade added 10 assists. Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 20 points and 13 boards.

76’ers 105 – Pacers 95 – Doug Collins coached his final game as coach of the 76ers. Dorrell Wright led Philadelphia with 23 points and Arnett Moultrie grabbed 11 rebounds. Gerald Green scored a season-high 34 points for Indiana.

Bulls 95 – Wizards 92 – Chicago dropped off after a 31-point first quarter. Carlos Boozer finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds. A.J. Price led Washington with 24 points.

Grizzlies 86 – Jazz 70 – Utah didn’t look like a team playing for a spot in the playoffs — scoring no more than 21 points in a quarter. Zach Randolph led Memphis with 25 points and 19 rebounds. Al Jefferson countered with 22 points and 16 boards for the Jazz.

Mavericks 99 – Hornets 87 – A frustrating season ended for the Mavericks — who missed the playoffs by four games. Darren Collison finished with a game-high 25 points. Al-Farouq Aminu led New Orleans with 16 points and 20 rebounds.

T-Wolves 108 – Spurs 95 – Minnesota found out about themselves in the absence of Kevin Love. Derrick Williams finished with 21 points. Tin Duncan led San Antonio with 17 points and 14 boards.

Bucks 95 – Thunder 89 – Kevin Durant sat out OKC’s final regular season game — conceding the scoring title to Carmelo Anthony. John Henson led Milwaukee with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Reggie Jackson led the Thunder with 23 points.

Nuggets 118 – Suns 98 – The Nuggets have won eight of their last ten games. Wilson Chandler led Denver with 21 points, Anthony Randolph had 14 rebounds. Luis Scola led the Suns with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Lakers 99 – Rockets 95 (ot) – Steve Blake led the Lakers with 24 points and Pau Gasol posted his second triple-double in his last three games. Gasol finished with 17 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists. James Harden led the Rockets with 30 points.

Clippers 112 – Kings 108 – Chris Paul led the Clippers with 25 points and 11 assists. DeMarcus Cousins finished strong for Sacramento with 36 points and 22 boards.

Warriors 99 – Trail Blazers 88 – The Trail Blazers crashed and burned in the end — losing 13 straight games. Steph Curry — who set the single-season record for three-point field goals, finished with 15 points. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 24 points. LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 31 points and 20 rebounds.

The Lineup:

Sorry, the Boston Marathon Bomber was not a man of color (The Grio).

Italian Camouflage Air Max 97, a big hit (Nike Blog).

Mitch Kupchak: Mike D’Antoni will be back (Pro Basketball Talk).

Rutgers will name Eddie Jordan its new basketball coach (NJ. com).

The Shadow League names its NBA regular season award winners (The Shadow League).

Carl Crawford fined for honoring Jackie Robinson (The Shadow League).

Massive explosion at Texas fertilizer plant (CNN).

Rasheed Wallace calls it a career (The Shadow League).

Mitt Romney to attend service in Boston (Washington Post).

Unbelievable moment of impact during the blast in Texas (Wall Street Journal).


Billy Ocean had some serious hits in the 80’s. One of my favorites.


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