Sixers 95 (5-28), Cavaliers 92 (19-16)
There’s a first time for everything, and last night was the first home win for the Philadelphia 76ers. Michael Carter-Williams led the way with 18 points and 13 assists, and Tony Wroten added a team-high 20 off-the-bench to send the LeBron- and Kyrie-less Cavs home with a loss. The dub for Philly came despite a second-half 17-point Cleveland lead and a 28-point, 12-rebound double-double performance from Kevin Love. As the game was set to start, rumors spread that Dion Waiters would be headed to the Thunder in a trade involving the Knicks, so he too was not available. Philadelphia capitalized on the undersized Cavs and gave their homecrowd fans a treat they probably weren’t expecting—a long awaited win at the Wells Fargo Center.
Hornets 104 (12-24), Celtics 95 (11-21)
Kemba Walker scored a game-high 33 points to lead his short-handed Charlotte squad to a solid win on the road. Cody Zeller added a career-high 20 on a perfect 8-8 shooting night. The Hornets led most of the game and built an advantage as great as 22. Jared Sullinger scored 22 for Boston, but there wasn’t much he or his teammates could do to contain the Hornets yesterday, as the Celtics collected their third straight loss.
Mavericks 96 (26-10), Nets 88 (16-18) OT
Congratulations, Dirk! With a 3-point shot coming at no other time than an overtime period on the road, Nowitzki passed Moses Malone for seventh place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
After trailing by 14 at the end of the first quarter, Dallas used the next two quarters to catch up. The final period was split 17-17 and the game headed to OT, in which the Mavericks took over thanks to Monta Ellis (19 points), a couple 3-balls from Chandler Parsons (Mavs shot an ugly 12 percent from the arc, but they hit it when it mattered—all three 3-pointers connected in OT), and a couple offensive boards from Tyson Chandler (14 points and 13 rebounds). Rajon Rondo added 10 boards and 14 assists in the game. The well-rounded team effort earned the Mavs their sixth win in a row—that’s the current League-best—despite 22 points and 13 boards from Brook Lopez on his home floor.
Bulls 114 (25-10), Rockets 105 (23-11)
Yo Pau Gasol, muy bien my man. The Chicago Bulls were set to host the strong Western Conference contender last night, and Pau made sure to show the Rockets there are still some beasts in the East. He exploded for 27 points and 14 rebounds in the Bulls’ third consecutive win. A whole lotta teammates helped—just to name a couple, Jimmy Butler scored 22, and Derrick Rose added 19 points and 9 assists. Taj Gibson was responsible for this:
Out of the nine Rockets who saw minutes, five put up double-figures, but a dominant 31-16 fourth quarter by the Bulls put the visitors away for good.
Grizzlies 105 (25-9), Knicks 83 (5-32)
The Knicks tied a franchise record last night. Their blowout loss at home to the Memphis Grizzlies was their 12th straight L—the longest losing streak in Knicks’ history. Mike Conley scored the game-high 22 points to go along with his 7 boards and 7 dimes to lead the Grizz to a road win over the short-handed Knicks. No Melo or STAT, no Shump or JR (who’ll soon be on their way to Cleveland as a part of the three-team trade mentioned above). The Knicks played with a nine-man rotation and their high-scoring guy was Quincy Acy with 19 points and 14 boards off-the-bench. But the Knickerbockers, dead last in the Eastern Conference, were simply no match for one of the best teams in the L.
Nuggets 110 (15-20), Timberwolves 101 (5-28)
There’s a team whose record looks almost as bad as the Knicks. That team is Minnesota. With their loss at home to the Denver Nuggets last night, the Timberwolves also extended their losing streak to 12 games, despite all five of their starters scoring double-figs. Arron Afflalo stacked up 34 for Denver, and JJ Hickson added 16 points and 11 boards off the bench.
Wizards 92 (23-11), Pelicans 85 (17-17)
Unlike the Timberwolves and Knicks, the Wizards haven’t let their losing streak extend past three games this season. John Wall scored 15 points and dished out 12 assists to make sure the Wizards strayed far away from another loss. The vets Paul Pierce added 14 and Andre Miller contributed 12 in the win. Washington maintained a lead throughout the game, minus the opening minutes of the match. Anthony Davis’s 21-point and 10-board double-double wasn’t enough for the Pels, as the Wiz held them to just 85 points on the night.
Pacers 105 (14-22), Jazz 101 (12-23)
The Indiana Pacers built an early lead to start this one off in Utah. They outscored the home team 31-16 in the first and headed to the locker room at halftime up by 14. At the start of the fourth, the Pacers still had a 12-point lead. But Derrick Favors (27 points and 11 rebounds), Gordon Hayward (24 points and 7 rebounds), and the Jazz erupted for a 39-point quarter. Still, they came up a tad short and couldn’t claim the win over Roy Hibbert (22 points and 8 rebounds) and his Pacers.
Trail Blazers 98 (27-8), Lakers 94 (11-24)
Damian Lillard, though.
Thirty-nine points ain’t shabby at all, especially when 16 of those come in the fourth quarter to seal a W. Lillard led all scorers in the Blazers’ home game versus the Lakers last night to come back from a 10-point deficit. LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points and 8 rebounds to defeat the Kobe-less Los Angeles team, despite a strong 23-point and 14-rebound double-double performance from Jordan Hill.
Warriors 117 (27-5), Thunder 91 (17-18)
The League’s best record holders, the Golden State Warriors blew out Kevin Durant (14 points and 10 rebounds), Russell Westbrook (22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) and the rest of the OKC Thunder in Oakland last night. The Warriors got help from everyone on their roster—five guys were in double-figs, including Klay Thompson (19 points) who made this happen:
Steph Curry also scored 19 to go along with 9 rebounds and 6 assists, and dazzled with a whole lot of pretty handles:
Draymond Green added an 11-point, 13-board double-double, and Harrison Barnes led all scorers with 23, as Dub Nation held OKC to an ugly 30.6 percent shooting night from the field and 17.9 percent from the arc.
Hawks 107 (26-8), Clippers 98 (23-12)
Like I said last week, we just don’t know when we’ll stop having to say #ATLshawty (always nodding to Lang Whitaker). The Atlanta Hawks are on a five-game winning streak and have the No. 1 record in the East, people! Paul Millsap led the way with 23 points and 8 rebounds, while four other guys scored in double-figures. Jeff Teague was one of those guys, with 20 points, 9 assists, and 4 steals—four of the 21 turnovers the Hawks forced from the Clips to translate into 23 points. Atlanta’s win came even though Blake Griffin (26 points and 10 rebounds), DeAndre Jordan (15 points and 16 rebounds), and Chris Paul (10 points and 10 assists) all finished with double-doubles.