The NBA Closer is written by our Canadian weekend maestro J.E. Skeets. When he's not busy scouring the box scores or wearing skinny ties, he can be heard on The Basketball Jones daily podcast. Enjoy.
• Flippin' The Script. I'd like to be more excited about Nowitzki's 29 points, eight boards, six dimes and three blocks in the Mavs 121-99 win over the Warriors last night. I really would. But I'm afraid he'll just let me down again come May. He can be such a tease. And besides, GS played like ass in this game. Baron Davis scored just 10 points on 2-for-14 shooting. He couldn't do that again if his name was Antoine Walker.
• Fear His Name. Kevin Garnett scored 11 of his 26 points late and held The Yao in check after Pollard and Perkins had fouled out as the Celtics beat the Rockets 97-93. "It was superstar on superstar," James Posey said. "[KG] accepts those challenges, and we jumped on his back and he carried us to a win. Literally."
• Decagon The Halls With Boughs Of Holly. Move over ... um ... Mark Aguirre? No, that can't be it. John Salley? Let's try Fennis Dembo. Whatever. Richard Hamilton's 20 points made him the 10th-leading scorer in Pistons history, and he added nine assists and seven rebounds to help Detroit earn its 10th consecutive victory by killing Washington 106-93.
• Back On Track. What in the world has gotten into these Portland area kids? One minute they're out shoving referees and making bongs out of Sprite cans, the next minute they're winning 14 of 15 games. Brandon Roy fought through a poor shooting night to score 24 points to help his Blazers to a 90-79 victory over the woeful Timberwolves. Al Jefferson posted 29 points, 16 rebounds and no Bills in the loss.