Gallinari ruled out for the rest of the season

Gallinari will undergo surgery and miss the play-offs

Gallinari will undergo surgery and miss the play-offs

Denver Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari will miss the rest of the season including the play-offs after tearing the ACL in his left knee.

The injury occured in Denver‘s 96-95 win against Dallas on Thursday and the news comes as a big blow to their post-season preparations.

The Italian forward had started every one of his 71 matches this season, averaging a creditable 16.2 points per game – which marks his best average in his 7 year NBA career.

Gallinari totalled 1, 149 points in all, just two points behind Denver‘s leading scorer Ty Lawson, and the 24 year-old has had 20+ points in a game on twenty-two occasions this season including a career-high 39 point haul against the Mavericks in December.

Fellow starting forward, Kenneth Faried emphasised the depth of the Nuggets roster as they look to cope with the loss of a key member of their team.

“It was disappointing to see one of our team go down but the great thing about our team is that when guys go down, other guys step up,” Faried was speaking before the diagnostic of Gallinari’s injury.

Gallinari was an active contributor to the Nuggets‘ 15 game-win streak that was overshadowed by the Heat Streak through February and March.

Denver (54-20) have already booked their play-offs spot and have an outside chance of catching San Antonio and Oklahoma in the battle for the best record in the West.

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Game Night! ft. Miami @ Boston

LEBRON LEADS HEAT TO WIN 23; KNICKS SNAP LOSING RUN & LAKERS FALL IN PHOENIX

Miami Heat (52-14) made it 23 straight victories with a 105-103 win on the road against the Boston Celtics (36-20). LeBron James netted the game-winner to reach 37 points, consisting of a huge dunk on Jason Terry whilst being accompanied by 12 assists on the stat-sheet. Jeff Green’s monster 43 point haul proved in vain for the Celtics, who were missing Kevin Garnett, as they saw a 17 point lead wiped out

Meanwhile, their Eastern rivals both recorded wins on the road to close in on clinching their play-off spots. Indiana Pacers (41-26) remain second following a 111-90 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers (22-45) using a strong second quarter as a platform for their triumph. New York (39-26) were without Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire in Utah (34-33 but still prevailed in a 90-83 success. JR Smith took on the responsibility and top scored with 20 points while Gordon Hayward had 17 for the Jazz.

Memphis (45-21) continued their strong run of form with a 92-77 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves (23-42) while there was a 93-72 success for the Golden State Warriors (39-30) over New Orleans (22-46) after a 30 point haul from Stephen Curry. Denver Nuggets (46-22) took their win streak to TWELVE after a 119-118 overtime success against the Chicago Bulls (36-30). Wilson Chandler had a game high 35 points for the visitors while Nate Robinson had 34 for the home side.

The Lakers (36-33) missed out on the chance to leapfrog Houston in the Western conference after a 99-76 defeat in Phoenix against the Suns (23-45). Goran Dragic dished out 10 dimes during the game for the hosts including an assist through-the-legs of Steve Nash, who top scored for the Lakers with 19 points in the absene of Kobe Bryant. Dallas Mavericks (32-35) kept up their play-off hopes with a 127-114 win on the road against Atlanta (37-30) while Brooklyn (39-28) eased to a 119-82 win against Detroit (23-46) on the back of Deron Williams’ 31 points.

Gerald Henderson led the Charlotte Bobcats (15-52) to a 119-114 victory at home to the Washington Wizards (23-43) with a 27 point haul. Philadelphia (26-40) held off a fourth quarter comeback from Portland (31-35) to record their second win in a row after a 101-100 success. LaMarcus Aldridge top scored for the Trail Blazers with 32 points while Damian Lillard continued his great form with an additional 27 but it was Jrue Holiday’s contribution for the 76ers which inspired the victory.

LeBron James with the monster dunk on Jason Terry (NBA):

Game Night! ft. Oklahoma @ San Antonio

SPURS STAY TOP OF THE WEST; KNICKS MAULED ON MELO’S RETURN & THE SIXERS END LOSING RUN

San Antonio (49-15) remained in top spot in the Western conference after a strong second quarter spell lifted them to a 105-93 over Oklahoma City Thunder (47-17). Tiago Splitter had 21 points on 9-11 from the field whilst grabbing 10 boards with Kawhi Leonard (17p) and Danny Green (16p) adding valuable contributions. Kevin Durant had a game-high 26 points for the Thunder while Russell Westbrook had 25 despite putting up 14 extra shots.

A 16-2 run had put the visitors in control early on as they led 32-22 at the end of the first. The advantage peaked at 13 points and Gregg Popovich soon called a time-out with his side down 40-29 and the game changed. The Spurs compiled a 20-4 run to take the lead with Green nailing two triples and Leonard adding nine points including a spectacular play to give the home side a 53-46 advantage at the break.

Westbrook had 11 second half points which helped bring OKC within a single point on the back of a 9-1 run but the Spurs regained the control and didn’t let their opponents get close again for the rest of the game. Manu Ginobili finished the third with five points as the Western leaders took an 83-74 advantage into the final period. The game was effectively sealed at the start of the fourth as the Spurs went 9-0 in the first three minutes. Green netted another triple late on to finish 4-4 from 3-PT range.

Golden State (36-29) inflicted a painful 92-63 loss on the New York Knicks (38-23) after another strong showing from Steph Curry. The Warriors guard had 26 points in the victory while Klay Thompson added 23 as the duo went 10-17 from downtown with David Lee adding 21 points, ten rebounds and EIGHT assists. Carmelo Anthony added 14 points and 10 rebounds on his return but the Knicks were restricted to just 27% shooting from the field. Utah Jazz (33-31) eased to a 103-90 win over the Detroit Pistons (23-43) despite a third quarter scare as they moved back level with the Lakers in 8th spot in the West.

Denver (43-22) claimed their NINTH straight win after beating the Phoenix Suns (22-42) 108-93 on the road with Kosta Koufos leading the way with a 22-10 double-double.  The game was evenly poised before the Nuggets stormed clear in the final quarter. Philadelphia 76ers (24-39) ended their losing streak with a 106-97 home win against the Brooklyn Nets (37-27) as Spencer Hawes (24p/10r) and Jrue Holiday (15p/11a) starred with double-doubles.

The night was a momentous one for Deron Williams as he completed an NBA milestone:

Here’s the top play of the day featuring Kawhi Leonard (NBA):

Game Night! ft. Toronto @ Golden State

WARRIORS LATE SURGE HELPS THEM PAST THE RAPTORS & MIAMI SET FRANCHISE WIN STREAK RECORD

An incredible final quarter effort took the Golden State Warriors (34-27) to a 125-118 win against the Toronto Raptors (23-38) to further dent their opponent’s play-off hopes. David Lee (29pts/11rbs/5as), Stephen Curry (26pts/12as) and Klay Thompson (22pts) combined for 77 POINTS as the Warriors look to cement their play-off position. The home side had opened up a double digit lead during the first half but a third quarter blip allowed Toronto back in and the visitors outscored their opponents 36-21 to take a 90-83 advantage into the final quarter. Thompson contributed eight points in a 10-2 start to the fourth as the Warriors regained the lead. The Raptors tied the game on three occasions but a 9-0 spell from the home side proved decisive and Golden State maintained their advantage to record a 125-118 victory after a 42-28 quarter.

STAT: It was the 40th time this season that All-Star David Lee posted double figures in points and rebounds in a game.

Miami Heat (44-14) set a new franchise record after claiming their 15th straight win after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-37) 97-81 on the road. Dwyane Wade top scored with 32 points whilst providing 10 assists with LeBron James adding a 20p-10r double-double. Ricky Rubio was at the heart of several plays for the hosts, finishing with 14pts/8as/6st while Derrick Williams had 25 points and 10 rebounds in their sixth consecutive loss. Despite losing Carmelo Anthony to injury before half-time, the NY Knicks (36-21) battled back from a TWENTY-TWO point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers (20-40) 102-97. Amar’e Stoudemire matched his season high with 22 points while the game-high honours went to Marreese Speights with 23 having had 21 points at the half on 10-10 FG shooting.

STAT: It was the first time this season that Wade dished out 10 assists in a game.

Orlando Magic (17-44) picked up a 105-102 win in New Orleans (21-40) despite a 17p-15r double-double from Anthony Davis while the Portland Trail Blazers (28-31) powered their way to a 122-105 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats (13-47) in search for the play-offs. Denver (39-22) took their win streak to five games after easing past Atlanta (33-26) 122-104 while Milwaukee (30-28) needed overtime to beat the Utah Jazz (32-28) 109-108 with Monta Ellis scoring 34 points and Larry Sanders collecting 16 boards and six swats during the win.

Check-out Monta Ellis going ‘360’ to the hoop: (NBA)

Game Night! ft. Oklahoma @ Denver

OKC CRASH IN DENVER THRILLER; MIAMI MAKE IT 13 STRAIGHT NEW YORK, INDIANA, SAN ANTONIO & THE CLIPPERS ALL PICK UP WINS

Ty Lawson nailed the game-winner with 0.2 seconds left to give the Denver Nuggets (38-22) a deserved 105-103 win at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder (42-16). Wilson Chandler came off the bench to match his career-high points tally of 35 after making 6-7 from 3PT range but the game-high honour went to Russell Westbrook, who netted 12/17 free throws (the same amount Denver made as a team) on his way to 38 points.

The visitors made the better start but Denver closed the opening quarter with the last five points to only trail by 3 at 29-26. The Nuggets then took the lead with an 11-0 start to the second and although the lead had risen to as many as twelve during the quarter, they still enjoyed a commanding 56-47 advantage at half-time. Denver narrowly edged the third to take a 85-75 lead into the final quarter where OKC started their fightback. A 16-4 spell hauled the Thunder back as they tied the game at 91 to set up a tense finale. The visitors went up by 3 but they were tied again with under a minute left. Kevin Durant answered Chandlers’ lay-up to level at 103 before Lawson stepped up and drained the winner before the buzzer.

Miami Heat (42-14) took their win streak to THIRTEEN games after denying Memphis (38-19) a NINTH straight victory with a 98-91 success. LeBron James had a slow start before finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists while Dwyane Wade led the way with 22 points for the hosts. After snapping a four game losing streak, the NY Knicks (35-20) have now won their last three after beating the Washington Wizards (18-39) 96-88 on the road. Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 30 points for the visitors while the hosts were led by Bradley Beal’s career-high effort of 29 points. Indiana (37-22) remain in third despite having recorded more wins but they kept up the pressure with a 93-81 win in Toronto (23-36) to tie the season series with the Raptors at 2-2.

STAT: LeBron James has reached double figures in scoring for 475 consecutive games.

San Antonio Spurs (46-14) powered their way past the Sacramento Kings (20-40) with a 130-102 blow-out. The home side had no fewer than EIGHT players in double-figures with DeJuan Blair leading the way with 16 although the win was marred by the ankle injury sustained by Tony Parker. The LA Clippers (43-18) moved past OKC in the win column with a fourth straight victory, beating the Cavaliers (20-39) 105-89 in Cleveland. Jamal Crawford led the rout with 24 points while Blake Griffin (16pts/11rbs) and Chris Paul (11pts/15as) added double-doubles.

STAT: Manu Ginobilli dished out a career-high 15 assists for the Spurs including a through-the-legs dime to Blair.

Boston Celtics (31-27) recorded a 94-86 win over the Golden State Warriors (33-26) after restricitng Stephen Curry to just 25 points. The home side raced out of the blocks and were carried to victory by a 26 point haul from Paul Pierce to help Boston close on Chicago (33-25) in the race for the play-offs. Houston (32-28)needed a strong fourth quarter performance to overcome the Orlando Magic (16-43) 118-110 with James Harden contributing 24pts/7rbs/8as to inspire the Rockets‘ victory.

STAT: Steph Curry has now scored 107 points in his last three games with 21 made 3-pointers.

“I think he’s the best shooter in the league.” Boston head-coach Doc Rivers on Steph Curry.

Utah Jazz (32-27) eased to an emphatic 98-68 triumph against the Charlotte Bobcats (13-45) after a career-high night from Enes Kanter (23pts/22rbs) Phoenix Suns (21-39) were led by Goran Dragic’s 19 points on their way to a 92-87 home win against the Atlanta Hawks (33-24) while New Orleans Hornets (21-39) also enjoyed a home win after beating Detroit (23-38) 100-95. Dallas Mavericks (26-32) picked up an impressive 98-90 road win in Brooklyn (34-25) despite a 24 point performance from Deron Williams.

CHECK-OUT KD‘s incredible reverse lay-up against Denver (NBA):