The NBA Closer is written by our own Canadian weekend maestro J.E. Skeets. When he's not busy scouring the box scores, he can be heard on The Basketball Jones daily podcast. Enjoy!
• Do It Again! Do It Again! Dwyane Wade had 35 points and 10 assists to lead the Heat past the Clippers 100-94 Sunday afternoon. The win snapped Miami's five-game slide and gave coach Pat Riley his 1,200th career victory. Riles is the third NBA coach to reach 1,200 wins, and got to the mark in just his 1,842nd game, faster than any other coach. Similar to his Gatorade commercial, D-Wade ended the first-half scoring with a vicious dunk over a very large white man. Unfortunately for Paul Davis' wallet, it was Chris Kaman's turn.
• Where Pwnage Happens. Kobe Bryant dropped 28 points, youngster Andrew Bynum matched a career high with 20, and the Lakers pulled away in the fourth to beat the Warriors 123-113. Nothing new here. Since returning to LA's bench in '05, Phil Jackson has won nine consecutive games against the Dubs, including the past five over the Don Nelson-coached club. He owns Nellies' small-balls.
• Welcome Back. After five games in a suit, Chris Bosh shook off a strained groin to play 40-plus minutes, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 boards as the Raptors beat the Rockets 93-80. The Dinos trailed by 14 in the first quarter and were down nine at intermission, but they turned the game around in the second half when the Rockets forgot how to score. Former Rap Tracy McGrady had 23 for Houston, while Yao Ming scored 15 and Steve Francis had the time of his life.
• Hangin' Tuff. Caron Butler scored 20 of his 28 points in the second half — the more important half, you see — leading the Wizards to a 104-89 victory over the Nets. Jason Kidd, sans migraine, tallied his 93rd career triple-double with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in defeat. I told him that warm bath would help!