Post Up: One For the Record Books

Hornets 109 (14-9), Magic 88 (10-14)

The Hornets won the rebounding battle 59-40, and held the Magic to 37% shooting and 9-34 from three. Their defensive dominance allowed Kemba Walker and the starters to sit the entire fourth quarter. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nic Batum both scored 16, with Walker adding 15. A game after scoring 87 points, the Magic only managed 88 tonight. Evan Fournier led Orlando in scoring with 14.

Cavs 114 (16-5), Heat 84 (7-16)

LeBron James is now ninth on the all-time scoring list. He passed Elvin Hayes tonight and now trails Moses Malone by less than 100 points for the eighth slot. The 32-year-old has a real chance of at least catching up to Dirk Nowitzki (sixth) before it’s all said and done.

Kevin Love had 28 and 15 for the Cavs, with James contributing 27/8/8. Cleveland rolled through this one. Besides James Jones, every single Cav scored. They shot a blistering 55% from the field.

Miami, meanwhile, hit only 34% of their looks. Derrick Williams had 17 points and Goran Dragic had 15 points and 4 assists. The Heat have lost four straight.

Raptors 101 (16-7), Celtics 94 (13-10)

Can we just count Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan as one person for all the awards they both deserve? These days, the duo is ridiculously in-tune with each other on the court and they’re cracking jokes off it. Tonight it was Lowry’s turn to step up. He scored 34 points, snatched 7 rebounds and grabbed 3 steals. And of course, he hit clutch buckets for the North. DeRozan chipped in 24 and Norm Powell (!) finished with 20.

It marks yet another tough win the Raptors have had to earn this season. Dwane Casey has just let his two superstars loose, free to take over games as they see fit. Neither one of them rushes, or is forced into doing what the defense wants. Their patience and ability to find pockets of time to inflict maximum heartbreak is incredible.

The Celtics really missed Isaiah Thomas, who’s nursing a strained right groin. He sat out for the second consecutive time tonight. Al Horford and Avery Bradley both got 19 points, but they couldn’t outshoot Lowry and DeRozan (they combined for 12 of Toronto’s 26 fourth quarter points).

Hawks 114 (12-12), Bucks 110 (11-10)

The Hawks completed their biggest comeback of the season tonight, winning despite a 20-point Milwaukee lead. They turned things around in the third when they scored 40 points, nearly matching their output from the whole first half when they scored 44 points. Dennis Schroder had a career-best 33 points and Paul Milsap came down with 23 points and 14 boards. Tim Hardaway (18 points) hit a three-pointer with 36 seconds left gave the Hawks a 110-106 lead. They never looked back.

With Giannis Antetokounmpo dealing with foul trouble for most of the night, Jabari Parker finished with 27 points for the Bucks.

Rockets 102 (16-7), Thunder 99 (14-9)

With 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Russell Westbrook tallied his seventh straight triple-double. It’s the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan in 1989. Let that sink in.

But it wasn’t enough to stop James Harden and the soaring Rockets. Houston’s now five in a row, the longest active streak currently in the League. Harden didn’t shoot well tonight, but his 21 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds proved to be enough to put Houston in position for Patrick Beverly to work his magic.

The Chicago native showed off the dog in him with his outrageous defense on Westbrook. He had 12 rebounds and locked up Russ on the game’s final possession.

Pistons 117 (13-12), Wolves 90 (6-17)

Andre Drummond’s delivered consecutive 20 point/20 rebounds games. The big man pulled down 22 ‘bounds and scored 22 points tonight, leading six Pistons to score in double-figures. Detroit shot 50% from the field, 48% from deep and 82% from the line. They had 23 assists and only 7 turnovers. They were up by 35 at one point.

Minnesota made only 3 three-pointers and their Big Three combined for only 44 points. The Wolves have now lost three in a row by at least 14 points.

Mavs 111 (5-17), Pacers 103 (11-12)

Wesley Matthews dropped 26 points and Harrison Barnes got 25 for the injury-plagued Mavs. Even without Andrew Bogut and Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas was able to beat the length and height of the Pacers. Deron Williams added 16 points and 6 assists who were able to take the lead early in the third and never give it back. Paul George had 22 points and 7 rebounds for Indiana.

Suns 119 (7-6), Lakers 115 (10-15)

Birthday boy Eric Bledsoe had a monster game. 30 points, 9 assists, 3 steals and 1 block were enough for the Suns to outlast the Lakers. 21 from Leandro Barbosa and Alex Len’s 14 points and 13 rebounds helped Phoenix, too. The Suns made 13 three-pointers, the most they’ve made this season.

Brandon Ingram hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to trim Phoenix’s lead to 115-113, but Bledsoe and Brandon Knight (14 points) each hit two free throws in the closing moments.

Lou Williams has scored 137 points in his last 126 minutes. He dropped 35 on 19 shots tonight. The Lakers, without D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young because of injuries, didn’t have the firepower to match the Suns. It’s LA’s fifth straight loss.

Knicks 103 (13-10), Kings 100 (8-14)

Carmelo Anthony joined Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki as the only active players with 23,000 points tonight. Melo finished with 33 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Derrick Rose is out with a back injury and Kristaps Porzingis’ shot was way off.

Both Anthony and DeMarcus Cousins seemed to be doing things by themselves for most of this game, as mishaps from their respective teammates limited their performances. Cousins got 28 points, 12 boards and 6 helpers in this close game.

There were 17 lead changes and 12 ties. The Knicks had 15 more rebounds, but the Kings had 9 fewer turnovers. Field goals and free-throws were extremely close, too. Sacramento had countless open looks in the clutch, including a wide open 12-footer from Rudy Gay and a layup from Cousins. They botched all of them and New York was able to escape with a W.