by Peter Walsh
One night after a grind-it-out win over the Knicks, Oklahoma City caught a break with Charlotte on the schedule and got a dub in blowout fashion. Kevin Durant scored 19 points in 23 minutes to lead OKC who separated themselves from the Bobcats in the second quarter with a 19-0 run. Gerald Henderson scored 21 for Charlotte.
Paul George scored 25 points and Tyler Hansbrough came off the bench to score 18 as the Pacers made light work of the Magic. Much like Oklahoma City, the Pacers used a big second quarter to run away from the Magic and cruised through the second half. Indiana takes on Miami on Sunday. Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 19 points.
Deron Williams set a new NBA record with nine first half three-pointers to lead the Nets to an easy win over the Wizards. DWill went off for 42 points and hit 11 3’s by the time it was all said and done. Williams hit his first eight 3-pointers and matched the Wizards entire first half scoring output by himself. Reggie Evans grabbed a career-high 24 boards and Brook Lopez chipped in with 11.
Dallas led by 15-points in the fourth quarter but the Pistons stormed back making for a tight finish. After the Pistons grabbed a 97-96 lead, Dirk Nowitzki finally woke up after a quiet first three quarters. Dirk hit back to back mid-range jumpers to give the Mavericks enough to hold on for the win. O.J. Mayo scored a game-high 22 points and Nowitzki finished with 12 points and 7 boards. Brandon Knight scored 21 for the Pistons.
The Cavs led going into the break but the Grizzlies regrouped at the half and outscored Cleveland 32-18 in the third quarter to take control of the game. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points, 8 boards and 5 dimes and Mike Conley finished with a 17-point, 11-assist double-double. Kyrie Irving scored 24 points on 11-21 shooting for Cleveland.
A contest between two teams currently battling for the fifth seed went to overtime where JET added another huge shot notch to his belt with the game winner. With the score knotted at 102 and under a minute left in OT, Paul Pierce drove baseline, drew Atlanta defenders and found Jason Terry with a great pass and JET took care of business with the game winner. Pierce finished with 27 points, 7 boards and 7 dimes and Terry scored 19 off the bench. Josh Smith scored 32 points, dropped 9 dimes and grabbed 8 boards and Al Horford went for 22 points and 13 boards.
The Heat trailed for three quarters then came alive in the fourth quarter to beat the Sixers and win their 17th in a row. Miami trailed 77-76 before going on a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter that gave them the lead for good. LeBron scored 25, grabbed 10 boards and dropped 5 dimes and Dwyane Wade went for 22 points on 9-16 shooting. Thad Young led Philly with 25 points.
A back and forth game came down to the final seconds and Marco Belinelli’s 3-pointer with time expiring gave Chicago the win. With Chicago trailing by one and the game clock winding down, Belinelli missed his first shot attempt but Joakim Noah grabbed the offensive board and found Jimmy Butler who found a wide open Belinelli for the corner three. Gordon Hayward had a final chance to win but his shot drew iron.
Dame Lillard took advantage of Tony Parker’s absence by going for 35 points, 9 dimes and 0 turnovers to lead Portland to a blowout win over San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 and J.J. Hickson finished with a 23-point, 11-assist double-double. Eric Maynor(!) scored 20 and dropped 6 dimes off the bench. Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 18 points and 8 rebounds.
Sacramento snapped their two-game losing streak with a win over the Suns. Four Kings’ players scored 22 or more points and they were led by Isaiah Thomas’ game-high 27 points 0n 8-13 shooting. DeMarcus Cousins scored 22 points, grabbed 14 boards and dished out 7 dimes. Michael Beasley led the Suns with 24 points.
Kobe Bryant continues to prove that he can still perform at the highest level and carried his time to victory over the Raptors. Bryant finished with 41 points and 12 assists and hit the big shots when his team needed them. Kobe hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining in regulation then exploded to the basket for a go-ahead dunk with 10 seconds left in overtime to seal the deal. Dwight Howard scored 24 points and grabbed 13 boards and Steve Nash scored 22. DeMar DeRozan scored 28 points, grabbed 5 boards and dished out 5 assists and Kyle Lowry finished with 15 points and 10 dimes.
Chandler Parsons scored a game-high 26 points and James Harden scored 20 and handed out 11 assists to lead the Rockets to the victory. Houston is now within one game of the Warriors for the six seed in the Western Conference. Houston held Golden State to just 12 points and won the game despite not scoring a field goal over the final four minutes.