Sunday was a day of statements as the top four teams in the Eastern Conference met in potential second round matchups. The Oklahoma City Thunder also made a statement out west.
Perhaps the loudest statement made was by the Miami Heat, as they blew out the Boston Celtics 100-77. In a very physical game the Heat beat up the Celtics in their first matchup since the trade deadline. LeBron James led the Miami with 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists. Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points, and 7 rebounds.
The Heat climbed into second place in the East with the win, a game ahead of Boston. Should the teams end the season with the same record, Boston would claim the two seed since they won the season series 3-1.
Derrick Rose put the final nail in the coffin of the MVP race with a 39 point performance in a 102-99 victory over the Orlando Magic.
The victory was Chicago’s 60th of the season. Ryan Anderson led Orlando with 28 points. Both teams are locked into their positions in the East and could possibly meet up in round two of the playoffs.
Lastly, we cannot forget about the Thunder. The Oklahoma City defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 120-106.
This was OKC’s first game against the Lakers with Kendrick Perkins. For one game, it looks as if the addition of Perkins may make OKC a legitimate contender. Kevin Durant scored 31 and Russell Westbrook added 26 points to pace the Thunder. Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and Paul Gasol finished with 26 points in the loss.
Statements were made on sunday, but the time for talk is almost over and the playoffs are on the horizon.