Mario Chalmers (Miami Heat) had a quiet Sunday statistically, but he helped the Heat contain the Chicago Bulls in a 97-93 victory. Chalmers played 31 minutes and had five points, one rebound, a steal, two assists and zero turnovers. He missed both of his attempted three-pointers and made just one basket, a tough driving bank shot. He added the rest of his points on free throws, sinking 3 of 4 (full stats here).
One of Chalmers’ biggest plays of the game came at the very end. With 16 seconds left, he secured a jump ball, was fouled and hit one of his free throws to push the Heat lead to two points.
Chalmers second-biggest contribution to the game (and my personal favorite) came just a few seconds before that, when Chicago’s Derrick Rose had a chance to take the Bulls’ first lead at the free-throw line. With Chalmers on the court, Rose missed both foul shots, thanks — I can only assume — to a Chalmers-induced flashback to the 2008 national championship game.
Or not, but any excuse to watch this clip again...
Pierce had a fairly efficient offensive night as he sank a praiseworthy 8 of 12 shots, but he also contributed a cringeworthy seven turnovers — six of which came in the first half (full stats here).
After the game, Pierce vented his frustration to reporters. From ESPNBoston.com:
"I'm more upset with losing, more so than not getting back in," he said. "Certainly I would have liked to have been in there to finish off the game, but the coaches make their decisions. At the time, you can understand when we have an [11-point] lead [with 4:25 to play] to rest the guys. So it's a double-edged sword."
ESPNBoston’s Chris Forsberg also noted that Pierce’s playing time was a bit of a moot point anyway:
… maybe there would have been the same ending. The lead was at seven when Pierce came back. He missed two shots and didn't get a potential winning shot off before the buzzer. He also turned it over once.
Xavier Henry (New Orleans Hornets) played just seven minutes on Sunday, scoring four points as the Hornets lost at home to the Atlanta Hawks, 94-72. Henry’s one made basket — a three-pointer — was the first Hornets make after 11 straight misses in a 10-minute stretch from the third quarter into the fourth. He added 1 of 2 free throws and a rebound (full stats here).
Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta Hawks) got to take it slow on Sunday as starting point guard Jeff Teague played through his injury for 30 minutes. Hinrich scored two points with a rebound, a steal and three assists in 13 minutes for the victorious Hawks (full stats here).
6:30 p.m., Mario Chalmers and the Miami Heat vs. Xavier Henry and the New Orleans Hornets
7 p.m., Drew Gooden and the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Detroit Pistons
7 p.m., Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the San Antonio Spurs
8 p.m., Markieff Morris and the Phoenix Suns vs. the Dallas Mavericks
9:30 p.m., NBATV, Nick Collison, Cole Aldrich and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. the Los Angeles Clippers
6 p.m., Kirk Hinrich and the Atlanta Hawks vs. the Toronto Raptors
6 p.m., Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers
7 p.m., NBATV, Josh Selby and the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the Denver Nuggets
9:30 p.m., Brandon Rush and the Golden State Warriors vs. the Sacramento Kings