by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz
In a slate of not-so-close games, Dwight Howard and Antawn Jamison took down Denver, Atlanta choked and Boston got a much-needed W.
Nets (11-4) 98 at Magic (5-10) 86
Orlando was without Jameer Nelson last night. They’re 4-4 in games with Nelson this season, but now 1-10 without him. The Nets led for most of this game, and pulled away in the third quarter when they outscored the Magic, 31-21.
Gerald Wallace (20) and Joe Johnson (22) were the leading scorers for the Nets. Reggie Evans pulled down 10 rebounds off the bench, and has been dominant on the glass all season. Andray Blatche scored 14 points with 7 rebounds filling in at center for the injured Brook Lopez.
For Orlando, Glen Davis led the way with 16 points. Rookie Andrew Nicholson contributed 12 points off the bench.
Suns (7-10) 97 at Raptors (4-13) 101
The Raptors are shockingly bad. They had an opportunity to improve in a big way after picking up Kyle Lowry via trade in the offseason, but have fallen flat on their faces. They were able to pickup a win behind DeMar DeRozan’s 23 points on Friday, but their outlook for the season remains bleak.
For Phoenix, five players scored at least 10 points, but nobody reached 15. Marcin Gortat scored 14 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked 3 shots.
76ers (10-6) 104 at Bobcats (7-8) 98
Philadelphia has been a pleasant surprise so far. They’re winning games even with Andrew Bynum sidelined, and got 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting from Evan Turner last night in the win. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and hit a three. Jrue Holiday scored 13 points and handed out 15 assists. Jason Richardson dropped 22 with 4 threes.
Charlotte’s leading scorer was Ben Gordon (19). But five other players also reached double-figures, including Bismack Biyombo, who came off the bench for 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Blazers (6-10) 78 at Celtics (9-7) 96
Boston took a 23-point lead into halftime and never looked back. The Blazers shot terribly, as Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum were a combined 6/25 from the floor. The team as a whole was just 3-for-15 from downtown.
Meanwhile, the Celtics made nearly 50 percent of their shots and 18 of their 20 free throws attempts. Jeff Green was great off the bench, scoring 19 points on 13 shots. Jason Terry started at point guard for Rajon Rondo (suspension) and dropped 17.
Wizards (1-13) 87 at Knicks (11-4) 108
No surprises here. The Wizards may have finally gotten their first win on Wednesday, but they’re still a horrible team. They turned the ball over 17 times and hit just 12-of-21 free throws against the Knicks. New York got 20 each from Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith, and dominated the whole game.
Tyson Chandler recorded 10 rebounds, and Steve Novak came off the bench and knocked down 3 treys.
Cavaliers (4-12) 113 at Hawks (9-5) 111
The Hawks really blew this game. They led by nine points entering the fourth quarter, but Cleveland took the lead with roughly four minutes left on a Daniel Gibson three. Lou Williams knocked down a triple of his own with just 14 seconds remaining to tie the game, but Alonzo Gee won the game at the buzzer for Cleveland.
Atlanta has been good this year, but this was a terrible loss. Six players scored in double-figures, including all five starters. They hit 12-of-20 from deep. Josh Smith and Al Horford combined for 40 points, 19 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 blocks. All this, and yet they couldn’t hang on.
Anderson Varejao continued his incredible season with 20 points and 18 rebounds. Dion Waiters and Jeremy Pargo each scored more than 20.
Pistons (5-12) 78 at Grizzlies (12-2) 90
This was a much more competitive game than it could have been. Detroit actually out-rebounded Memphis, and hit as many threes. They did, however, turn the ball over 22 times versus 15 assists.
Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight combined for 27 points but 13 turnovers for Detroit. Kyle Singler played a team-high 39 minutes. He scored 9 points with 6 boards and 2 steals.
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 18 points, while Marc Gasol (11 boards, 4 blocks) and Mike Conley each added 17. Quincy Pondexter failed to score in 25 minutes, yet was a +19 on the floor.
Jazz (9-8) 94 at Thunder (13-4) 106
OKC outscored Utah by 10 in the second quarter, essentially icing the game before halftime. Each team scored 52 points in the second half, so OKC’s 12-point halftime lead was enough to win it last night.
Kevin Durant was sharp, scoring 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting while blocking 4 shots. Russell Westbrook was huge, posting 23 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 steals while hitting 3 threes. He did commit 8 turnovers. Serge Ibaka had 4 blocks, while Kendrick Perkins swatted 3 shots.
Enes Kanter shot 8-of-11 for Utah on his way to 18 points and 7 rebounds. Al Jefferson went for 16 and 11. The Jazz are now 3-8 on the road and 6-0 at home.
Bucks (7-7) 85 at Timberwolves (7-8) 95
Both of these teams opened the season hot but have since slowed down. Last night, the T-Wolves 10-point halftime lead led to a victory, inching them closer to .500. Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams combined for a ridiculous 40 rebounds. Luke Ridnour and Alexey Shved led the team with 16 points each.
Larry Sanders posted a triple-double for Milwaukee with 10 points, 12 boards and 10 blocks. He’s been solid all season. Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings each dropped 18.
Pacers 97 (8-8) at Kings (4-11) 92
This was a close game throughout, as Indiana led by about six for nearly the entire fourth quarter. Sacramento couldn’t manage to get any closer, though, and fell to a disappointing 4-11.
David West led Indy with 31 points and 11 rebounds. He’s been great this season, averaging upwards of 17 points and 8 rebounds. George Hill scored 26 of his own, and tallied 8 dimes. The always inconsistent Paul George hit just 2-of-11 shots.
DeMarcus Cousins went off for 19 points and 16 rebounds, but he made just 5-of-17 attempts from the floor. The team hit just under 43 percent combined. Jimmer Fredette scored 12 points off the bench.
Nuggets (8-9) 103 at Lakers (8-8) 122
The Lakers outscored Denver by seven points in each of the first two quarters last night, putting the game away early. Antawn Jamison and Dwight Howard posted massive lines. Jamison turned back the clock to the tune of 33 points (13/19 shooting) and 12 rebounds. DH dropped 28 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked 3 shots. Kobe Bryant scored just 14, but wasn’t needed.
Denver outscored LA in points off of turnovers and points in the paint, but their defense was awful. Danilo Gallinari led the team with 19 points, and connected on 4 threes. Jordan Hamilton scored 13 off the bench.