by Peter Walsh

Wizards 90 (28-46), Bulls 86 (40-33)

The Bulls are stumbling to the finish line and ran into a hot Wizards team, who served them another loss. John Wall continued his tear with 27 points, 9 boards and 8 dimes, while Emeka Okafor scored 10 points and grabbed 9 boards to lead the Wiz. Late in the game, Wall hit one of two free throws to put D.C. up  84-82, but Nazr Mohammed responded with a jump hook to tie the game up with under a minute remaining. On the next possession, Nene drove the lane and found Okafor for the score that put the Wizards up for good. Carlos Boozer scored 19 and grabbed 12 boards while Nate Robinson scored 17 off the bench.

Knicks 102 (47-26), Heat 90 (58-16)

No LeBron, no DWade, but there was plenty of Carmelo Anthony. Melo came out on fire and matched his career-high with 50 points on 18-26 shooting (7-10 from three) as he led the Knicks to their third win over the Heat this season and their ninth straight overall. The Heat stuck around for much of the game—even leading by eight at the half—and their reserves gave the Knicks all they could handle but eventually ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. J.R. Smith scored 14 off the bench and Raymond Felton scored 10 and dished out 9 assists. Chris Bosh scored 23 points and grabbed 6 boards; Mike Miller scored 18 and Norris Cole scored 14 to lead the Heat.

Lakers 101 (39-36), Mavericks 81 (36-38)

On the night Shaq had his jersey retired, it was no surprise that Kobe had a few tricks up his sleeve. Bryant, whose season has been nothing short of incredible, finished with a 23-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double to lead the Lakers to a 20-point dub over the Mavs. Dallas cut the deficit to just 5 in the third quarter after an OJ Mayo 3-pointer. On the next possession, Earl Clark grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it back in and was fouled. He bricked the free throw but Gasol grabbed the board and found Clark for a 3-pointer to make it a five-point possession that put the Lakers up double-digits. Dallas never got closer than 7 the rest of the way. Dwight Howard scored 24 points and grabbed 12 boards and Clark finished with 17 points and 12 boards.