Heat 111, Clippers 89
The Los Angeles Clippers rolled into Miami healthy and ready to test the NBA champs, but LeBron James had other ideas, shooting the Heat past the Clippers, 111-89. James appeared to use the return of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Chauncey Billups for the Cilppers as a test of his own and he passed with flying colors, making nine of 11 shot and scoring 30 points in just 31 minutes of action. It was James' fourth consecutive 30-point game.
After taking a double-digit lead to halftime, the Heat put away the Clippers in the third quarter as James scored 15 of his 30 points. Miami pushed the lead to as many as 32 in the third quarter, which pounded any remaining fight out of the visitors and allowed LeBron to watch.
James led a lethal shooting attack from the perimeter for Miami, making four of five three-point shots. As a team, Miami made 15 of 27 shots from behind the arc. Mario Chalmers made five of those three-balls to finish with 18 points and Dwyane Wade added 20 points and seven assists for the Heat.
The trio of returning Clippers combined for just 23 points. Paul (three points) and Billups (seven points) both played fewer than 20 minutes once the game got out of hand. DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers in scoring with 17 points.
Bulls 93, Jazz 89
The Chicago Bulls played a rough third quarter on the road and then rallied late in the fourth quarter to beat the Utah Jazz, 93-89. After leading for much of the game, the breaks and whistles all seemed to start going to the Jazz as the home team took a four-point lead with four minutes remaining in the game after a frustrated Carlos Boozer picked up a technical foul.
Instead of completely falling apart, Boozer and the Bulls turned their frustration into action to reclaim the lead and then make 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win. Boozer led the way with 11 of his 19 points in the final four minutes of the game.
Al Jefferson paced the Jazz with 32 points and 13 rebounds.
Lakers 100, Bobcats 93
The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from a loss at Boston on Thursday to beat the Charlotte Bobcats, 100-93 and win their fourth game in five tries. Kobe Bryant led a balanced attack for the Lakers as one of six players to score in double figures with 20 points while adding eight assists. Dwight Howard played 37 minutes and pitched in 12 points and 11 rebounds. Byron Mullens led the Bobcats with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Raptors 100, Pacers 98 OT
Rudy Gay came up big in overtime for the Toronto Raptors as they took advantage of a few mistakes by the Indiana Pacers to sneak out of Indy with a 100-98 win. Before Gay clinched the game with a tough jumper over Paul George, the Raptors scored four points in the final six seconds of the game to force OT. David West led the Pacers with 30 points but threw a terrible inbound pass in the waning seconds of regulation to give Toronto the ball and a chance to tie. Amir Johnson was able to convert a put-back bucket at the buzzer to keep Toronto's hopes alive. Gay finished with 23 points. Paul George had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers but his shot to tie the game at the buzzer in overtime went in and out leaving the Pacers with just their fourth home loss of the season.
Wizards 89, Nets 74
The Washington Wizards continued their strong play at home by rolling past the Brooklyn Nets, 89-74 on Friday night. It was the Wizards' third impressive home win in a row after beating the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks earlier in the week. The Wizards took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Nets 30-11 to take a 20-point lead to the break and never looked back. Nene was strong early and finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds while John Wall added 15 points and nine assists. Deron Williams led the Nets with 20 points.
Cavaliers 119, Magic 109
The Cleveland Cavaliers won their fourth consecutive game by running past the Orlando Magic, 119-109. The Cavs scored 63 second-half points in the shootout as All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving scored 24 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds. Big man Marreese Speights continued his strong play off the bench for Cleveland with 18 points. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Pistons 119, San Antonio 109
The Detroit Pistons survived a shootout with the San Antonio Spurs to post an impressive 119-109 win at the Palace at Auburn Hills. The Pistons torched one of the NBA's top defenses while also snapping the Spurs' 11-game winning streak. Greg Monroe was a monster in the middle for the Pistons with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Brandon Knight added 24 points while Charlie Villanueva came off the bench to pitch in 21 points and eight rebounds. Tony Parker kept the Spurs in the game by scoring 31 points and delivering eight assists, but on this night Detroit simply ran away with the win.
Thunder 127, Suns 96
The Oklahoma City Thunder imposed their will on the Phoenix Suns with 72 second half points while cruising to a 127-96 home win. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 21 points as one of five OKC players to score in double figures. Before the game ended, all 13 Thunder players to see the court scored at least two points. Michael Beasley scored 25 points off the bench for Phoenix.
Rockets 118, Trail Blazers 103
The Houston Rockets returned to the win column with a 118-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. James Harden shot the lights out for Houston, making 13 of 16 shots, including four of five three-pointers, en route to scoring 35 points and dishing out 11 assists. Chandler Parsons made four three-pointers of his own to add 20 points to the Houston attack. LaMarcus Aldridge paced the Blazers with 31 points and 11 rebounds.
Hornets 111, Hawks 100
The New Orleans Hornets rallied in the second half to win their third consecutive game by beating the Atlanta Hawks, 111-100. Guard Greivis Vasquez put on a show for the Hornets, continuing his strong play of late with triple-double of 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Running mate Eric Gordon added 27 points and Ryan Anderson came off the bench to make four three-pointers and score 19 points. Josh Smith had 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds to lead the Hawks.
Grizzlies 99, Warriors 93
The Memphis Grizzlies earned a win after losing their last two games when they held off the Golden State Warriors at home, 99-93. Marc Gasol (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Zach Randolph (16 points, 12 rebounds) posted a pair of double-doubles to muscle the Grizz to the win. Golden State dropped their third straight game despite 32 points and eight assists from Stephen Curry. Memphis won the battle on the glass against Golden State with a 43-34 rebound advantage in the game.
Knicks 100, Timberwolves 94
The New York Knicks rallied from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-94 on Friday night. Carmelo Anthony led the charge, scoring 12 of this 36 points for the Knicks down the stretch and scoring with just over a minute left in the game to put New York up for good. J.R. Smith came off the bench to add 15 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks. Ricky Rubio had the Timberwolves going earlier and finished the game with 18 points and 11 assists until Melo decided to take over the game.