Scoreboard Watching: Contenders Take Care of Business on the Road
The Hawks got a big win over the Milwaukee Bucks yesterday but couldn’t get any help.
The Chicago Bulls kept pace with Atlanta by handing the Timberwolves 104-97 in Minneapolis behind a double-double from Nate Robinson. The Bulls played without Joakim Noah for a second straight game, but they’ve won both. The win keeps Chicago within a half game of the Hawks for fifth place in the East.
The Brooklyn Nets also got a big win, edging out the Suns 102-100 in Phoenix. In a game that went back-and-forth, Deron Williams made some big plays down the stretch as Brooklyn improved to 3-1 on its eight-game road trip. I was hoping the trip would be an opportunity for the Hawks to gain some ground and possibly move into that fourth position, but so far the Nets aren’t budging. They sit two ahead of Atlanta for home-court advantage in the first round.
The Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks were all off Sunday. The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Sacramento Kings, meaning Atlanta’s magic number sits at two.
Biggest winner: Nets
Brooklyn improved to 3-1 on the road trip and won on the second night of a back-to-back without Joe Johnson. They’re playing well at the perfect time and are keeping distance as the fourth seed.
Biggest loser: Bucks
Milwaukee lost, while three teams ahead of them won. If the Bucks don’t start winning games in a hurry, they’ll be starting Miami in the face to open the playoffs.