by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz
Last night, Brandon Jennings out-dueled Damian Lillard in Portland, the Wizards nearly beat the Clippers and a bunch of bad teams played tight games.
Kings (16-25) 97, Bobcats (10-30) 93
This game was tied at 90 late before the Kings pulled out the W. The Bobcats, once 7-5, continue to blow games late, while Sacramento got a rare road win (4-15 away from home this season).
Marcus Thornton knocked down 6-of-11 shots including 4 threes on his way to a game-high 18 for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins double-doubled with 17 and 10.
Kemba Walker continued his sweet season for Charlotte, going for 14 points, 10 assists and 4 steals. Charlotte is 3-25 in their last 28.
Spurs (32-11) 98, Hawks (22-18) 93
This game was close the whole way through, but the Hawks never led in the fourth quarter. The Spurs, playing without Tim Duncan, got a big 23 points and 12 assists from Tony Parker. Matt Boner hit 7-of-8 shots off the bench, and finished with 17. Tiago Splitter went 7-for-11 from the floor and posted 14 points and 7 boards.
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 21 points. Al Horford only made 4-of-11 shots, but grabbed 15 rebounds.
Grizzlies (26-13) 85, Bulls (23-16) 82
Memphis led by 13 entering the fourth quarter before Chicago made things very interesting. The Bulls took a three-point lead with 1:32 remaining before the Grizzlies stole it back on a Marc Gasol jumper. Marco Belinelli split a pair of free throws followed by missed shots by both teams, sending the game into overtime.
In OT, Nate Robinson was blocked on a three-point try that would have tied the game at the buzzer. Carlos Boozer then got a desperation look, but couldn’t knock down a miracle shot. Rudy Gay blocked Robinson’s shot, and finished with 16 points. Marc Gasol led the team in scoring with 19, and Zach Randolph torched Chicago for 13 and 19.
Jimmy Butler, starting in place of Luol Deng, led Chicago with 18 points. Carlos Boozer (17 & 14) and Taj Gibson (10 & 12) both double-doubled.
Warriors (24-15) 116, Hornets (13-27) 112
The Hornets led by six early in the fourth, but Golden State took the lead on a Klay Thompson three with 4:39 left. New Orleans took a two-point lead with 1:22 left before the Warriors closed the game out.
Thompson led the game with 29. He was very efficient, knocking down 11-of-16 shots. Jarrett Jack was huge with 25 points and 12 dimes off the bench against his former team. Stephen Curry scored 20.
Anthony Davis went for 20 points, 12 boards and 4 blocks for the Hornets. Eric Gordon dropped 23, and Greivis Vasquez tallied 15 assists.
Timberwolves (17–20) 92, Rockets (21-21) 79
This was a close game until Minnesota pulled away late. Andrei Kirilenko was huge for Minnesota, leading the team with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals. Luke Ridnour scored 16, and undrafted veteran Chris Johnson, playing in his first game this season, shot 4/4 and finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds.
James Harden shot just 5-of-18 from the floor for 18 points. The Rockets made a shade over 32 percent of their shots on the night.
Jazz (22-19) 109, Cavaliers (10-32) 98
Utah is a really good home team (13-4), and led by double-digits throughout the entire fourth quarter last night. Randy Foye made 4 threes and led Utah with 20 points. Derrick Favors added 19 and 8 off the bench in 25 minutes. Al Jefferson double-doubled.
Dion Waiters went to the line 12 times and led Cleveland with 23. Kyrie Irving scored 18, but needed 20 shots to get there. Tristan Thompson double-doubled again with 12 and 11.
Milwaukee (21-18) 110, Blazers (20-20) 104
Milwaukee controlled this game before Portland got back in it late. The Bucks led 97-82 with 6:26 left, but that the lead was cut to three with 44 seconds left. Bucks free throws sealed the game from there.
Ersan Ilyasova started and went off for 27 points and 14 rebounds in the win. Brandon Jennings made 9-of-20 shots from the floor and 12-of-15 from the stripe for 30 points. Monta Ellis struggled, making only 5-of-15 shots.
Damian Lillard was Portland’s high-man with 26, and he added 10 assists. LaMarcus Aldridge also double-doubled with a big 20 and 14, while Wesley Matthews scored 21.
Clippers (32-9) 94, Wizards (8-30) 87
The Wizards really hung with the Clips last night. They trailed by just one with a buck-thirty-two left before Red LA closed the game on a 7-1 run.
John Wall, whose return has made the Wiz pretty decent, scored 24 off the bench, but didn’t get enough help from teammates. No other Washington player scored 15.
Chris Paul scored 22 points, and handed out 11 assists. Blake Griffin posted 17 and 11 and Eric Bledsoe scored 11 points with 7 rebounds and 2 steals off the bench for Los Angeles.