by Peter Walsh
Surprisingly, last night was the second time the Celtics have lost to the Bobcats this season. Charlotte beat down on Boston behind Gerald Henderson’s career-high 35 points. Charlotte opened the second half on a 12-3 run that eventually led to a Boston timeout. After the T.O., the Bobcats pushed the lead to as many as 28 and the C’s never got closer than six the rest of the way. Ben Gordon scored 17 off the bench and Josh McRoberts finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jeff Green led Boson with 14 points.
After being welcomed by a chorus of boos during introductions, Dwight Howard went out and completely dominated his old team to the tune of a season-high 39 points (25-39 from the stripe) and 16 boards as the Lakers won their fourth straight game. Los Angeles was in control for much of the contest and pushed the lead to as many as 16 early in the fourth to cruise to the finish. Jameer Nelson had 21 and Tobias Harris grabbed a career-high 15 boards to go along with 17 points.
Dion Waiters scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, Alonzo Gee finished with 17 points and Tristan Thompson had a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double as the Cavs bested the Wiz. After giving up 33 points in the opening quarter, Cleveland buckled down defensively and outscored D.C. 56-32 over the second and third quarters to build their lead. The Wizards now own the league’s worst road record at 5-24. John Wall finished with 27 points, 14 dimes and 7 boards in the loss.
The Nets and Hornets battled back and forth over the first three quarters before starting off the fourth with a 10-3 run that turned a two-point lead into a nine-point lead and gave the Nets full control down the stretch. Deron Williams continued his hot streak with 21 points and 13 assists, Brook Lopez scored 26 on 10-15 shooting and reggie Evans grabbed 13 boards. Greivis Vasquez scored 15 and dropped 14 dimes, Eric Gordon scored 24 and Ant Davis finished with 17 points and 11 boards in the loss.
Miami led wire-to-wire and blew out the Hawks to extend their franchise-best winning streak to 19 games. Atlanta cut the deficit to one point in the second quarter but the Heat closed out the half on a 16-4 run and the Hawks were left in the dust. DWade led all scores with 23 points and 6 dimes and LeBron finished with 15 points, 7 boards and 7 assists as the Heat used a balanced attack to dominate.
Down 14 in the fourth quarter, the Bucks scored seven straight to cut Dallas’ lead in half with 6:30 left. But over the final half of the fourth quarter, Vince Carter was cookin’. Carter nailed three 3-pointers down the stretch and each one killed the Bucks momentum every time they got within striking distance. After Monta Ellis cut the deficit to six with 2:47 left, Carter hit a dagger 26-foot 3-pointer to finally bury the Bucks. Carter finished with 23 points and Dirk finished with a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double. Monta Ellis led all scorers with 32 points and 9 dimes.
Watch highlights from Ricky Rubio’s 21-point, 13-rebound, 12-assist triple-double below. Safe to say he is finally 100 percent back.
The Grizzlies have quietly won 12 of their last 13 games and got a tough road win over the Blazers last night. Up 71-65 with nine minutes to go in the game, the Grizzlies ended all hopes of a Portland comeback with an 8-2 run that sealed the win. Zach Randolph finished with 19 points and 10 boards and Mike Conley had 14 points and 15 dimes in the win. Dame Lillard scored 27 and LaMarcus Aldridge went for 28 and 10 boards.