by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz
Last night, Martell Webster went off, the Pacers dropped their second straight and Tim Duncan proved he’s as good as ever. It wasn’t a big slate of games, but there were some big time performances. Let’s get to it.
Wizards (23-44) 127, Suns (22-45) 105
Webster’s massive 34 points led to an easy Wizards win last night. He shot 10-of-18 overall, 7-of-10 from deep and 7-of-7 from the line. Five other guys scored at least 10. John Wall (17 & 11) and Emeka Okafor (17 & 10) had double-doubles.
The Suns’ high-scorer was Michael Beasley with 21. Goran Dragic recorded 11 assists without a single turnover.
Celtics (36-29) 105, Bobcats (14-52) 88
A big third quarter allowed the Cs to pull away last night. They outscored Charlotte 33-23 in the third, getting two threes from Jason Terry in the final 45 seconds of the period.
The Jet finished with a team-high 15 off the bench. Paul Pierce did it all with 14 points, 6 boards, 8 dimes and 3 blocks, and Avery Bradley chipped in 13. Boston shot 10-of-15 from deep on the night.
Charlotte got 18 from Jannero Pargo off the bench and 16 from Gerald Henderson.
76ers (25-40) 98, Pacers (40-26) 91
Suddenly Indiana has lost its last two and four of six. Last night, they allowed Philly to open the fourth quarter hot, and couldn’t erase a big deficit late.
Spencer Hawes went off for 18 points, 16 boards, 8 dimes and 7 blocks—beastly. Jrue Holiday was huge too, scoring 27 points with 12 dimes.
Paul George did all he could in the loss, and finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists. Roy Hibbert went for 25 & 10, but bizarrely attempted 26 shots. David West went 8/13 for 18 points.
Spurs (51-16) 119, Cavaliers (22-44) 113
Cleveland had the score within two points in the final two minutes last night, but San Antonio was able to hold them off.
Tim Duncan continued his unbelievable season with 30 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. He’s playing fewer minutes than he did in his prime, but his production hasn’t dipped at all. It’s amazing how good he still is on both sides of the floor. Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points with 13 rebounds and 2 steals. Manu Ginobili came off the bench for 14.
Cleveland’s two leading scorers were Wayne Ellington (21) and Marreesee Speights (19)—both reserves who came over with a pick from the Grizzlies. Pretty good deal. Rookie Dion Waiters added 15.
Jazz (34-32) 90, Grizzlies (44-21) 84
Memphis led by five going at the break, but were held to just 9 points in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Utah scored 24 and took a 10-point lead to the fourth. Memphis was within three with a minute to play after a pair of clutch Jerryd Bayless triples, but a three from Utah’s Gordon Hayward iced the game.
Hayward finished with 15 (5/10, 3/6) and 8. Al Jefferson labored—shooting 7/16 for 14 points. Paul Millsap scored only 13.
Bayless broke out with 24 for the Grizz. He hit 4 threes in 24 minutes. But Marc Gasol was only 5/14, Mike Conley was 6/18 and Tayshaun Prince was 3/11. You have to be better than that to come away with a win in Utah, where the Jazz are now 24-8.
Blazers (31-34) 112, Pistons (25-43) 101
This game was close at 102-99 with 2:11 left, but Portland ran away with it by closing on a 10-2 run. LaMarcus Aldridge scored five points in the final 1:45, and finished with 31 and 12. In a League where the number of big guys who score in the post is decreasing, Aldridge is a real gem. He has a sweet outside shot, and has become among the most reliable guys in the NBA. He’s 11th in the League in scoring, and averages more rebounds than anybody ahead of him on the list.
JJ Hickson double-doubled with 18 and 15, and Wes Mathews dropped 17. Both Matthews and rookie Damian Lillard (14) were 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Portland outrebounded Detroit 45-33.
The Pistons got big efforts from Rodney Stuckey (12/23, 33 points) and Will Bynum (10/14, 23 points), but it wasn’t enough. Greg Monroe shot only 9 times (5/9, 14 & 9) and the team made only 5-of-17 threes and 16-of-24 free throws.