by Peter Walsh
Brooklyn found themselves down by ten at the half but came out in the third quarter on fire as they turned that ten-point deficit into a 13-point lead with a 16-3 run. The Nets didn’t trail again and stretched their lead to as many as 23. Joe Johnson scored 22 points, Deron Williams scored 20 and dished out 8 assists and Reggie Evans grabbed 16 boards in the win. Mike Kidd-Gilchrist led the Bobcats with 17 points on 8-13 shooting.
Utah held a six point lead with 1:41 left in the game but the Cavaliers ended the game on a 9-0 run-triggered by Kyrie Irving–to win the game. Irving scored the first five points of the run then stole the ball from Gordon Hayward and found Wayne Ellington for a dunk that put the Cavs up for good with 57 seconds to go. Mo Williams had a chance to regain the lead for Utah but missed a fast-break layup with four seconds left and the Jazz were sent packing with an L. Irving finished with 20 points and 10 dimes and Tristan Thompson had a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double. Hayward led the Jazz with 25 and 7 boards off the bench.
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Celtics were down 14 and looked like they were well on their way to a loss against the upstart Pacers. Instead, the Pacers missed their first nine shots of the fourth quarter and the C’s put together an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to just one. With their backs against the wall, Indiana responded with a run of their own and George Hill scored eight straight points to push the lead back to nine. Boston wouldn’t go away, though, and a Paul Pierce 3-pointer with 2:33 left cut it two. The teams went scoreless over the next minute and change then Avery Bradley hit a layup to tie it the game up at 81 with 1:21 left. The Pacers had two chances to retake the lead but couldn’t get a good shot as the Celtics defense stepped up and shut down Indiana. On the C’s final possession, Jeff Green came off a Pierce back screen to get an open look under the bucket and hit the game winning layup with 0.5 left on the clock. Pierce scored 13 and grabbed 8 boards, KG finished with 18 and 10 and Avery Bradley scored 13. Paul George led the Pacers with 16 points, 7 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals while David West scored 11 and grabbed 16 boards.
Anthony Tolliver came off the bench and scored a season high 21, Jeff Teague scored 27 and dropped 11 dimes and Al Horford had 21 points, 12 boards and 6 dimes as the Hawks snapped their three-game losing streak with a win over the Sixers. The Hawks got off to a slow start and fell behind 8-0 but quickly turned things around and finished the rest of the half shooting 70 percent from the field as took a 19-point lead. Philly did cut the deficit to three in the third quarter but ATL finished the quarter on a 25-7 run and the Sixers never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Up by 20, the Heat got comfortable and the Magic stormed back behind 25 points and 21 boards from Nikola Vucevic and nearly pulled he upset to end Miami’s 15-game winning streak. Jameer Nelson hit a jumper with 1:36 remaining to give the Magic a 96-93 lead and LeBron missed two 3-pointers on the next possession and it looked like Orlando was going to come away with an improbable win. On the Magic’s next trip down the floor, Tobias Harris drove baseline and hit a layup but the basket was called off thanks to Shane Battier coming up with the defensive play of the game by drawing the charge. Chris Bosh was fouled after grabbing a rebound and hit both free throws to cut the deficit to one. Al Harrington responded by missing a wild 3-pointer and LeBron grabbed the rebound to give Miami a chance with 12.6 seconds remaining. After coming out of the timeout, LeBron caught the ball on the inbounds, drove past DeQuan Jones and hit a tough left-handed layup in traffic that proved to be the game-winner. LBJ finished with 26 points (11-12 from the stripe) and DWade scored 24 points and grabbed 6 boards.
Raymond Felton scored 26 and grabbed 6 boards, STAT dropped 22 and grabbed 9 boards and J.R. Smith scored 20 and the Knicks won a weird game to sweep their season series with Detroit. Each team squandered away multiple double-digit leads and New York went on two separate 16-0 runs in the second half to win in Detroit. New York then gave up an 8-0 run but responded with their second 16-0 run–a stretch that featured four 3-pointers–that gave the Knicks the lead for good. Greg Monroe missed the first game of his career with an injury. He had started 208 games prior to last night. Jose Calderon had 16 assists and Brandon Knight scored 17.
The Grizzlies found themselves in a 17-point hole but closed out the final six and a half minutes of the third quarter with a 15-3 run that gave them all momentum heading into the fourth. The Blazers briefly had control during the final quarter and went up 82-76 with 6:32 remaining. That lead quickly evaporated as Memphis responded with a 9-0 run to go up 85-82 and remained in the driver’s seat down the stretch. Marc Gasol led the Grizz with 23 points and 12 boards and Mike Conley had 20 points and 6 dimes. Dame Lillard led the Blazers with 20 points.
Kobe dropped 42 points, handed out 12 dimes and grabbed 7 boards to lead the Lakers back from 25 down for a tough road victory over the Hornets. Kobe scored 13 of his 42 over the final nine minutes of the game to ignite the comeback and the Lakers held New Orleans scoreless over the final 6:47 while finishing the game on a 20-0 run to get the hard-fought win. Dwight Howard had a solid game with 20 points, 15 boards and 4 blocks and Jodie Meeks scored 19 off the bench. Greivis Vasquez had 15 points and 12 dimes and Eric Gordon scored 18 in the loss.
The undermanned Wolves were led by Ricky Rubio’s 15-point, 11-assist, 7-rebound, 6-steal performance to take down the Wizards in Minnesota. The Wolves trailed 77-74 with around six minutes to go before mounting a 13-5 run that was fueled by J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour, who scored eight of the 13 points. With 30 seconds remaining, the Wolves were up 83-82 but the Wizards had the ball and a chance to take the lead. Rubio came up with the decisive steal from John Wall and found Barea for a layup that gave the Wolves a three point lead and iced the game. Trevor Ariza scored 16, grabbed 7 boards and dropped 6 dimes and John Wall scored 19, dropped 7 dimes and turned the ball over 6 times.
After losing by 33 against Houston on Sunday, the Mavericks got revenge with a win over the Rockets. The Mavs led 110-108 when James Harden threw up an airball from three with 30 seconds left but the Rockets regained possession and still had a chance to win. Houston went back to Harden but Shawn Marion was on him like stink on shit and forced Harden into a tough layup attempt that bounced off the rim with 6.9 seconds left. Darren Collison was then fouled and hit his free throws to ice the game. Marion and Dirk Nowitzki each scored 22 points and O.J. Mayo finished with 13 points and 12 dimes. Harden finished with 28 points on 5-17 shooting (16-16 from the stripe) and Chandler Parsons scored 23.
Tim Duncan scored 18 points and grabbed 10 boards, Manu Ginobili scored 18 points and dropped 9 dimes and Tiago Splitter finished with 13 points and 10 boards as the Spurs smacked around the Bulls in the second half for a convincing win. With 3:30 left in the third quarter, the game was tied up after Nate Robinson’s 3-pointer. But, the Bulls went cold from the field and the Spurs outscored Chicago 29-15 to run away with the game in the fourth. Marco Belinelli scored 21 points and dropped 7 dimes and Luol Deng scored 19 and grabbed 7 boards.
The Raptors came in losers of five-straight but turned things around against the lowly Suns with a 27-point dub. After Marcin Gortat left the game late in the first quarter with an ankle injury, the Suns were down to just one center since Jermaine O’Neal took the night off due to a family issue. When Gortat went down, the Raptors took control and outscored Phoenix 73-49 the rest of the way. DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points and grabbed 6 boards, Amir Johnson scored 14 and former Sun Sebastian Telfair scored 13 points and dropped 7 dimes. Marcus Morris led the Suns with 12 points.
Blake Griffin stole the show with a 23-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double and an array of highlight worthy dunks to lead the Clippers to an easy dub over the Bucks. Peep the highlights below and enjoy the show. Jamal Crawford scored 25 off the bench, Matt Barnes dropped 20 and Chris Paul finished with 14 points and 9 dimes in the win. Monta Ellis scored 22 points and Brandon Jennings scored 18 points and dropped 12 dimes to lead the Bucks.
The Warriors shot under 40 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers but held on to defeat the Kings in the battle for Northern California. Klay Thompson finished with 20 points and came up huge in the closing seconds of the game. After Patrick Patterson hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to put the Kings up 83-82, Thompson caught a pass from David Lee in the corner and nailed the deciding 3-pointer. Thompson then played tough defense on Tyreke Evans on the other end and caused him to miss what would have been the game winner for Sacramento.