by Leo Sepkowitz | @LeoSepkowitz
Last night, Kyle Lowry and Vince Carter made clutch shots for their teams, Kobe dropped 40 and the Warriors won wearing sleeves.
Raptors (23-33) 100, Knicks (32-20) 98
Rudy Gay’s 32 and Kyle Lowry’s 15 were the keys to Toronto’s win last night. With 28 seconds left, Lowry hit a floater to put the Raptors ahead. They led by three with 10 seconds left, and a missed three by Carmelo Anthony sealed the game.
Gay led his team in scoring, and Lowry tallied 7 assists and 0 turnovers. DeMar DeRozan added 18, and Jonas Valanciunas grabbed 10 rebounds.
Melo led New York in scoring with 32. He only made 1-of-8 threes, but connected on 9-of-11 free throws. JR Smith chipped in 19 off the bench.
Wizards (16-37) 119, Nuggets (34-22) 113
The Wizards are shockingly good with John Wall. Last night, they beat a really good Nuggets squad pretty convincingly. They led by 16 entering the fourth quarter before letting Denver back into the game. The Nuggets were within two points with roughly a minute left, but the Wiz were able to close the game out with defensive stops and free throws.
Seven Wizards scored at least 12. Emeka Okafor and Bradley Beal each scored a team-high 17 for Washington. They also combined for 25 rebounds, leading to a 49-36 advantage on the glass for the Wiz.
Ty Lawson (27 and 12), Wilson Chandler (22) and Andre Miller (19 and 7) all played well for the Nuggets. Danilo Gallinari and and Kenneth Faried combined for only 12 points and 7 rebounds, but teams should be able to win on nights they drop 113.
Bulls (32-23) 105, Bobcats (13-42) 75
You know you’re bad when the opposing team’s high-scorer has 17 and you lose by 30. Last night, Taj Gibson led the Bulls in scoring, and six other players joined him with at least 10 points. Chicago was up 14 at the break and 21 after three quarters. They made over 50 percent of their shots and committed 6 turnovers compared to 13 from Charlotte.
The Bobcats leading man was Kemba Walker with 27. He played well, but Byron Mullens, Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist combined to shoot 6-of-31 from the floor. That’s trouble for the ‘Cats.
Pacers (34-21) 114, Pistons (22-35) 82
In two games since the All-Star break, Indiana has outscored New York and Detroit 239-173, for an average margin of 33 points. Last night, David West’s 18 was enough to lead the team. Paul George scored 12 points with 7 rebounds, but coughed the ball up 7 times. George Hill dropped 15 with 2 threes, and Indiana knocked down 10-of-14 from downtown as a team.
Rodney Stuckey (11) was the only Pistons starter in double-figures. Detroit made only 15.8 percent of their threes and 35.4 percent of their shots overall. Will Bynum led the team with 17.
Rockets (31-26) 106, Nets (33-23) 96
The Nets just couldn’t keep up with Houston’s offense on Friday. James Harden and Carlos Delfino each scored a team-high 22 for Houston, who closed the game on a 9-2 run.
Omer Asik double-doubled for Houston, and Jeremy Lin scored 9 points with 6 assists and 5 turnovers.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 27 points on 21 shots. Deron Williams scored just 15 points on 17 shots, but racked up 13 assists with just 3 turnovers. CJ Watson, starting in place of the injured Joe Johnson, scored 17.
Hawks (30-23) 122, Kings (19-37) 108
Sacramento led by eight after one and two at the break before letting up. The Hawks won the second half by 16.
Al Horford was big for Atlanta, hitting 11-of-14 shots for 24 points. He added 8 rebounds and 6 dimes. Jeff Teague added 20 and 12, Josh Smith—amazingly still a Hawk—scored 18 and DeShawn Stevenson hit 5 threes on his way to 17 points.
DeMarcus Cousins played well for Sacto, posting 26 and 13, and Isaiah Thomas dropped 30 with 9 dimes. But the Kings couldn’t stop the Hawks, who shot over 53 percent from the floor and 12-of-27 from deep.
Grizzlies (36-18) 88, Magic (15-40) 82
Give the Magic some credit for playing a close game in Memphis with only seven players. Arron Afflalo (20), Moe Harkelss (19), Andrew Nicholson (14), Nikola Vucevic, E’Twaun Moore, Kyle O’Quinn and DeQuan Jones were the only active players for Orlando.
The Magic cut a big deficit down to three with over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get any closer.
Marc Gasol (19 and 13) and Zach Randolph (16 and 14) were huge for Memphis. Mike Conley added 14 and 7 dimes, while Ed Davis scored 10 off the bench. The Grizz have ripped off six straight wins.
Mavericks (25-29) 104, Hornets (19-37) 100
New Orleans led by four with under a minute remaining before letting Dallas pull away with an 8-0 run. Veterans Mike James and Vince Carter each hit big threes late for Dallas.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 25 points. Air Canada dropped 22 with 9 boards and 5 threes, and Elton Brand went for 13 and 7 off the bench.
Jason Smith was big with 22 in 24 minutes for NOLA. Eric Gordon led the team with 23, Ryan Anderson scored 20 off the bench and Anthony Davis double-doubled with 10 and 11.
Thunder (40-15) 127, Timberwolves (20-32) 111
OKC turned an eight-point halftime lead into a 17-point advantage midway through the third. They never looked back.
Russell Westbrook was hot early and often and finished with 37 on only 22 shots. Kevin Durant scored 27 and Kevin Martin added 18 off the bench. The Thunder shot nearly 58 percent but committed 18 turnovers.
Minnesota played well offensively, but just couldn’t keep up with Oklahoma City. Alexey Shved led the team with 17, and Ricky Rubio tallied 13 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Reserves JJ Barea, Dante Cunningham and Greg Stiemsma were great and kept things interesting for a while.
Celtics (29-26) 113, Suns (18-38) 88
Boston won every quarter on Friday, and really created separation in the fourth. Jeff Green started for Kevin Garnett and exploded for 31 points. He hit 11-of-14 shots and blocked 5 shots. Chris Wilcox added 14 points and 8 boards off the bench.
Goran Dragic led Phoenix with 19 points and 10 dimes. Markieff Morris scored 11. Phoenix made only 4-of-19 threes.
Lakers (27-29) 111, Blazers (25-30) 107
Portland took a one-point lead with 4:35 left, but the Lakers were able to pull out a tight game behind Kobe Bryant.
Kobe hit 15-of-23 shots for 40 points. It’s really amazing how well he’s still playing at age 34. Dwight Howard double-doubled with 19 and 16, and Antawn Jamison dropped 16 off the bench. LA got to the line 34 times, 22 more than Portland.
Each of Nicolas Batum and JJ Hickson scored a team-high 22 for the Blazers. They combined for 19 rebounds, but LaMarcus Aldridge finished with only 15 points (19 shots) and 6 boards. They need LA to be his reliable self to win big games like this. Damian Lillard connected on 9-of-22 shots for 19 points.
Warriors (32-23) 107, Spurs (44-13) 101
What a game. San Antonio led by one with seven seconds left, when Jarrett Jack hit a go-ahead trey. Manu Ginobili answered with a bucket off a great feed from Tim Duncan which sent the game into OT.
In overtime, the Ws outscored the Spurs 9-3 in the final 1:30.
Jack was massive off the bench for Golden State, leading the team with 30 points. He also handed out 10 assists in 42 minutes, and made a number of clutch shots. David Lee went for 25 points and 22 boards against Duncan, who got 13 rebounds of his own. Stephen Curry added 19.
Danny Green led the Spurs with 20. Manu and Tony Parker each scored 18.