MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat reacts after Chauncey Billups #4 of the New York Knicks makes a big shot during a game at American Airlines Arena on February 27, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

NBA Scores And More: Billups Rides Again, L.A. Wins In Spite Of Kobe

Is Mr. Big Shot back? Billups hit a key three-pointer and had a vital steal in the closing moments to give the Knicks a win over the Heat. In other action, the Lakers won in spite of Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Martin aced another foe.

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Knicks Vs. Heat: Chauncey Billups Insists You Do Not Forget About Him, Leads New York To Win Over Miami

Is the famed Mr. Big Shot back? Chauncey Billups scored five points and had two steals in the final three minutes of the game as the New York Knicks stormed back from a six-point deficit late to steal a win from the Miami Heat 91-86 in South Beach on Sunday. On the game, Billups scored 16. No bucket was bigger than his three-pointer to give New York a one-point lead with a minute left. It was from way downtown, and Dwyane Wade's reaction (however brief in its appearance) is priceless. (It's the second play in the clip.)

On the next Miami possession, as you can see above, Chris Bosh drives the lane and makes an awful pass to Mike Miller, with Billups staring. That's an easy steal, and two points in transition after Shawne Williams draws the foul.

Some say Billups (who has played a big role in both of New York's post-trade wins) is the overlooked champion in the Carmelo Anthony-Amar'e Stoudemire Megatron. It's quite true -- Billups is much better than Felton -- but that only serves to further cloud the issue with the Knicks now and for the foreseeable future. And that is that the offense, where Billups bring the most, will always be fine with S.T.A.T. and 'Melo. It's the defense that worries. Billups isn't an all-world defender these days, and while his shooting and level decision-making will help tremendously, unless he can stop a small forward from cranking off, the team's upside is ultimately limited.


Lakers Vs. Thunder: Kobe Bryant Relies On Defense To Close The Door On Oklahoma City

Kobe Bryant led the Los Angeles Lakers past the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday 90-87 in the teams' first match-up in the Sooner State since that thrilling Game 6 in last year's playoffs. Kobe didn't lead the Lakers in scoring, actually; his 17 points were fewer than Pau Gasol's 18. But, per usual, Kobe did lead the Lakers in terms of insisting that he -- not a teammate -- decide the game.

Bryant played the entire fourth quarter (a rarity), and took 11 of the team's 17 field goal attempts in the period (not terribly rare). He also committed two of the team's three turnovers, one an offensive foul that James Harden sold like snake oil. Bryant scored seven points on 11 FGAs; the rest of his team scored 11 on seven. Harden and Thabo Sefolosha played solid defense on Kobe all night, and Kobe didn't care he kept taking those tough turnaround jumpers (one of three of which fall), determined to settle the game himself.

In the end, Andrew Bynum's strong help defense (five blocks, including a ridiculous rejection on a 18-foot jumper by 6-10 Serge Ibaka in the fourth) and Ron Artest's defense on Kevin Durant (who shot 8-20) gave L.A. just enough to hold off the kids. But Kobe almost shot L.A. out of this game. If Russell Westbrook had hit a couple of clean looks late, it's a different result and a different mood. The champs survived this one.


Rockets Vs. Hornets: Kevin Martin Brings The Heat As Houston Wins Again

Kevin Martin scored 33 points to help give the Houston Rockets their fourth straight victory, a 91-89 win over the New Orleans Hornets. It was Martin's third straight 30-plus night; he did the deed on 15 field goal attempts and 13 free throws. In those three games, Martin has averaged 1.488 points per shot attempt. League average is around 1.09. That's scoring that helps you win games.

Kyle Lowry added 18 points, 12 of which came on three-pointers. More importantly, Lowry, a solid defender, held Chris Paul to 2-12 shooting. CP3 managed to eke out 12 assists on zero turnovers, but the Hornets need more scoring punch from their best player, and Paul didn't have it on Sunday.

Houston is one win away from .500. Unfortunately, in the West that means the Rockets would still be in 11th place. Memphis has the No. 8 seed at five games above .500.

In other action:

Suns 110, Pacers 108: The Suns and Pacers went to overtime, and a second overtime was threatened. Channing Frye hates working late. Hates it.

I'm not sure what exactly Brandon Rush is supposed to do there, other than be four inches taller.

76ers 95, Cavaliers 91: I'm not sure if that 26-game losing streak unlocked something deep within J.J. Hickson, but he had 22 and 16 and in Febuary averaged 18 and 11.

Wolves 126, Warriors 123: In a wild game of swings, Minnesota closed it out. Kevin Love's 37 points and 23 rebounds (yes, seriously) helped.

Magic 100, Bobcats 86: Orlando was just solid against Charlotte. Stephen Jackson went off a bit (35 points on 22 shots), but the Magic held the fort defensively otherwise. On offense, Brandon Bass and Gilbert Arenas augmented the Dwight Howard-centric attack. Just a solid win.

Hawks 90, Blazers 83: Jamal Crawford has One Of Those Games, with 23 points on 13 shots off the bench. Gerald Wallace and Brandon Roy are both coming off the bench right now, and both struggled on Sunday, shooting a combined 7-21.

Spurs 95, Grizzlies 88: Zach Randolph had a huge game (24 and 17), and that might worry the Spurs' faithful given that Memphis could be a first-round matchup for San Antonio. But Manu Ginobili -- 35 points, eight assists -- is not to be trifled with.

Mavericks 114, Raptors 96: Dallas swept all four factors (shooting, rebounding, turnovers and free throws) and made the game uncompetitive in the fourth quarter. Three Mavs scored nine points in the fourth: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and ... Ian Mahinmi.

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