Report Card 4.19.12: Playoff momentum, intensity, and you

By Matt Moore | NBA writer
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The Clippers got a big win over the Nuggets Tuesday to help their pursuit of homecourt. (Getty Images)


Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was.

Paul Pierce29 points and 14 assists for Pierce who took over the distributing load for the Celtics in a big win over Orlando, even without Dwight Howard. The Celtics clinch the Atlantic Division, ensuring they can finish no worse than 4th in the playoffs. Pierce put on a show against a short-handed Magic team that was still game.
Los Angeles ClippersNot a flawless victory but a crucial one. The Clippers keep winning tough games that should allow Memphis to catch up. This time it was Kenyon Martin with his biggest play as a Clipper, and L.A. keeps pace with L.A. for the division and the third seed.
HoustonA must-win and they just couldn't get their defense put together late. When you shoot 50 percent from the field and lose, your defense has done something pretty terrible. Outcoached late.
Charlotte BobcatsNine points in the fourth quarter against the Bulls. Nine. NINE.


E FOR EFFORT
Paul Pierce (29 points on 14 shots, 14 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals)
Pau Gasol (22 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists)
James Harden (40 points on 17 shots, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals)
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