by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad
Playing against his former team for the first time, Nick Young scored 18 points to help the Sixers down the Wiz in Philly. After D.C. pulled within two in the third quarter, Swaggy P nailed back-to-back three-pointers to trigger a 17-5 run. The Wiz cut the deficit to five with under two minutes left but Jrue Holiday (21 points, 6 dimes, 6 tunovers, 4 steals) hit a free throw then sealed the deal with a jumper. Emeka Okafor led the Wizards with 15 points and 17 boards.
The Pacers led wire-to-wire and were up by as many as 23 during last night’s blowout win over Detroit. The Pistons cut it to two in the second quarter but Indy responded with an 18-2 run that made it a 13-point game with under three minutes to go in the half. Indy eventually pushed it to 18 heading into the break. Detroit–who was playing without traded forwards Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye–opened up the second half with a 9-2 run but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way as the Pacers cruised to a victory. Roy Hibbert had 18 points and 11 boards, David West scored 14 and Born Ready finished with 12 points, 11 boards and 5 dimes to lead Indiana. Greg Monroe led Detroit with 18 points and 9 boards.
Boston came out on fire, hitting 62.5 percent of their first half shots, and took a 59-38 lead into the half. From there, they led by at least 14 points the rest of the way and earned their second win A.R. (After Rondo). The easy win didn’t come without a loss, though, as Jared Sullinger left the game with back spasms early in the game. His status is unknown. Paul Pierce led the way with 16 points and 10 boards and KG finished with 13 points, 9 boards and 5 assists. ‘Reke Evans led the Kings with 19 points, 11 boards and 3 steals.
New York got off to another slow start and Orlando took advantage behind J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson’s 36 combined first half points and the game was tied at 51 heading into the half. New York shut the Orlando guards down in the third quarter, holding them to just nine points and took a 78-73 lead heading into the final quarter. The Knicks took over in the fourth, outscoring the Magic 34-24 in the to open up the lead and put the game out of reach. Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points and now has the team record for most consecutive 20-point games with 30. Tyson Chandler scored 21 points on 10-11 shooting, grabbed 7 boards and dropped 5 dimes while STAT scored 14 on 7-7 shooting. Raymond Felton chipped in with 15 points, 9 dimes and 0 turnovers. Redick led the Magic with 29 points, Jameer Nelson scored 21 and dished out 9 assists and Nikola Vucevic scored 12 points and grabbed 11 boards. Big Baby Davis broke his foot in the game, he has no timetable for return.
The Hawks struggled out of the gate and the Raptors took advantage, taking a 13-point lead into the half and forcing the Hawks to fight an uphill battle. ATL woke up in the third quarter and outscored Toronto 30-14 to take a six point lead into the final frame. Despite only suiting up nine players following yesterday’s trade, the Raptors wouldn’t go away. A Kyle Lowry (14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 dimes) bucket gave Toronto an 87-86 lead with 2:35 to go. DeMar DeRozan (23 points) stole the ball on the next possession and scored to make the Raptors lead three. Kyle Korver (17 points, 5-9 from three) hit a three to tie the game at 89 but Alan Anderson answered with a three of his own to give Tornto the lead again. With 30 seconds to go and the Raptors’ lead only a point, John Lucas III (19 points) missed a jumper that gave the Hawks a chance. After great ball movement, Al Horford (22 points, 10 rebounds) found himself open and slammed the ball home with 21 seconds left for the go ahead bucket. Horford then blocked Lowry’s shot with 12 seconds remaining but the Raptors had a chance to win on the inbounds. Following a timeout, DeRozan missed two shots under the basket and the Hawks survived. Josh Smith finished with 20 points and 11 boards.
The Heat and Nets played to a 49-49 stalwart in the first half, but the defending champs took over in the second half to blowout Brooklyn and earn their thirteenth straight victory over the Nets. Miami outscored Brooklyn 56-36 in the second half and LeBron James (24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 dimes), Dwyane Wade (21 points) and Chris Bosh (16 points) each sat early in the fourth. Brook Lopez finished with 21 points and 7 boards to lead the Nets. Reggie Evans is eating crow today.
The Bulls jumped all over the Bucks in the second quarter, going on a 20-4 run to take a nineteen-point lead. Nate Robinson was on fire during the quarter, scoring 16 of his 24 points to lead the Bulls to an easy victory. Jimmy Butler, who was making his return to Milwaukee (he played at Marquette) scored 18 points and grabbed 5 boards. Samuel Dalembert finished with 14 points and 13 boards to lead the Bucks.
Blake Griffin scored 26 points and grabbed 13 boards and running mate DeAndre Jordan finished with 16 and 12 as the Clippers used a dominating inside game to beat the Wolves. The Clippers hope to get back on track with the win after losing four of their previous five games with Chris Paul out–it will be tough, though. They play the next seven games on the road due to the Oscars. The Timberwolves went on a late 8-2 run that gave them an 86-84 run with four minutes to go. Caron Butler (19 points, 5 rebounds) responded with a three pointer and the Clippers proceeded to outmuscle the injury ravaged Timberwolves, winning multiple loose ball situations. Griffin’s three-point play with 30 seconds to go proved to be the dagger. Minnesota has lost five straight. Jamal Crawford scored 17 off the bench. Nikola Pekovic led the Wolves with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Pop returned to the bench after missing the last three games with an illness and the Spurs laid waste to the Bobcats. The Spurs played without Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner who sat with sore knees. The Bobcats cut a 19-point deficit to 10 in the fourth but the Spurs finished the game on a 15-1 run to close the game on a high note. The Spurs now have the best record in the League at 37-11. Tony Parker led the way with 22 points and 7 dimes and Kawhi Leonard chipped in with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Ramon Sessions led the Bobcats with 20 points off the bench.
Gallo dropped 27, Kenneth Faried scored 19 and grabbed 9 boards to lead the Nuggets to their fifth straight win while ending Houston’s three-game win streak. The Nuggets went on a 24-3 fourth quarter run to open up a 13-point lead with seven minutes to go. The Rockets responded with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to six but Gallo hit a three to stretch the lead back to nine. Houston kept hanging around and cut the deficit to four with three minutes to go. The Nuggets responded again, this time with back-to-back layups from Andre Miller (12 points, 5 assists) and Ty Lawson (16 points, 4 dimes) to push the lead back to eight and end any hopes of a comeback. Jeremy Lin scored 22 points, James Harden scored 22 and Chandler Parsons scored 21 for the Rockets.
Paul Millsap finished with 25 points and 10 boards and Al Jefferson scored 22 to lead the way as Utah bounced back from their embarrassing 45-point loss on Monday. Utah fell behind early but regrouped and outscored the Hornets 32-18 in the second quarter to take a 51-47 lead into the half. The two teams played a contested second half and Anthony Davis’ (14 points, 7 boards) eight-point fourth quarter pulled the Hornets within one with 2:18 remaining. But Millsap and Jefferson were too strong inside, hitting consecutive shots to give the Jazz a five-point cushion and the win. Derrick Favors scored 15 off the bench and Randy Foye had a solid 14 points and 8 dimes. Greivis Vasquez finished with 17 points and 13 dimes but shot 8-21 form the field and turned it over 4 times.
The Lakers were well on their way to a fourth straight victory in Phoenix when they suddenly went ice cold from the field and watched their 13-point lead evaporate and lost their eighth straight road game. With the game knotted up at 86, Michael Beasley (season-high 27 points) scored on a tough layup as the shot clock expired to give Phoenix the lead with 43.8 seconds left. Kobe (17 points, 9 assists) had a chance to tie on the other end but missed a layup with 24 seconds to go and the Lakers were sent packing for their next road game with an L. Dwight Howard re-injured his shoulder with seven minutes to go in the game and did not return. Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 12 boards and Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley each finished with 11. Steve Nash scored 11 points in his return to PHX and Pau Gasol scored 14 off the pine.