Celtics (7-11) 101, Wizards (13-6) 93
The Celtics controlled most of this game before the Wiz stormed back in the fourth. Washington cut an 18-point deficit all the way down to 1 with under three minutes left, but couldn’t convert from there.
Jeff Green dropped a game-high 25 for the Celtics, but Rajon Rondo stole the show with 13 points, 13 boards and 11 assists. Marcus Thornton delivered 21 off the bench.
Paul Pierce keyed the late spurt in his return to Boston, and finished with 16. John Wall roughly matched Rondo with 17 points, 14 assists and 8 boards. Rasual Butler came out of nowhere for 22 points, including 6/10 shooting from deep.
Hawks (13-6) 96, Nuggets (9-11) 84
The Hawks are one of the L’s best home teams (9-2), and dominated from the tip last night.
Paul Millsap led the way with 23 (4 threes, 7/10 free throws), and Kyle Korver added 15 in the win.
Denver got 29 and 10 from Wilson Chandler, but shot under 37 percent from the field as a team. Ty Lawson (1/10) and Arron Afflalo (4/14) couldn’t get much to fall.
Grizzlies (16-4) 103, Heat (9-11) 87
If shooting 59 percent and holding the opposing team to 12 fourth-quarter points is considered good, then I guess the Grizzlies played a good game last night.
It was textbook Grit n’ Grind, save for Jon Leuer’s 20-point, 12-board eruption. Mike Conley dropped 18 and Z-Bo posted 17 and 6. Tony Allen and Courtney Lee, who have been tremendous together on the wing all season, combined to shoot a ridiculous 13/17 for 31 points.
Miami got a game-high 25 from Dwyane Wade, but not enough from the rest of the squad. Chris Bosh was neutralized by the West’s most fearsome frontcourt, finishing with 12 points and 2 rebounds.
Thunder (7-13) 96, Pistons (3-18) 94
One night after Detroit dropped one of the ugliest games in NBA history to the lowly Sixers, they hung in there with a healthy OKC squad. They actually had a chance to take the lead late, but Josh Smith was off the mark with a triple that likely would have served as the game-winner.
Kevin Durant (10/19, 28 points) and Russell Westbrook (9/19, 11 boards, 7 assists) paced OKC in the win. (I’ve been waiting a long time to write that sentence.) Serge Ibaka added 13 and 13 with 4 rejections, and Jeremy Lamb chipped in 12 off the bench.
Detroit got a balanced effort — five guys in double-figures — but had no answer for the Thunder’s stars. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a team-high 19.
Mavericks (16-6) 125, Bucks (11-11) 102
Dallas has been held to under 100 points just once at home so far this season, and easily rolled last night.
Chandler Parsons canned 11/14 shots (4/6 threes) on his way to a game-high 28, and Dirk Nowitzki hit 8/12 shots for 21 points. Monta Ellis added 19 (7/13), rounding out roughly the most efficient night in any Big Three’s history.
The Bucks could not stop Dallas, but they still showed up offensively. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 18 (8/11), while Jabari Parker scored 15 with 5 boards.
Blazers (16-4) 103, Knicks (4-18) 99
New York hasn’t won since nearly a week before Thanksigiving, but still gave one of the West’s top teams a run for its money last night.
A 6-0 spurt put the Knicks ahead with 3:30 remaining, but Portland closed strong from there to snatch the win.
LaMarcus Aldridge (24 and 11) and Damian Lillard (20) led the way for Portland once again. Wesley Matthews added 18.
Carmelo Anthony went for 23 and 10, while Amar’e Stoudemire posted 16 and 10 for the home team. Regardless of New York’s sad record, STAT’s bounceback campaign has been one of the NBA’s most awesome stories this season. JR Smith dropped 20 off the bench.
Pelicans (9-10) 104, Lakers (5-16) 87
The Lakers sent Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer to the bench in favor of Ronnie Price and Ed Davis, and it… um… didn’t help.
New Orleans controlled this one from start to finish, and led by 20 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Anthony Davis was huge yet again, hitting 11/15 shots for 23 points. He disappointed with only 6 boards and 2 blocks. Jrue Holiday added 22, and Ryan Anderson came off the bench to double-double with 11 and 10.
Kobe Bryant hit 6/18 shots for 14 points, amazingly good enough for a team-high. The Lakers are just two games behind Philly in the tanking loss column.