The Celtics welcomed Doc Rivers back in style on Wednesday night, but the Clippers prevailed on the court with a 96-88 win at TD Garden. In the coach's first visit to Boston since leaving the franchise last offseason, Los Angeles rode a strong second half to victory.
After celebrating Rivers' time with the club during a special break between the first and second quarters, the Celtics took a 45-39 lead into halftime. The Clippers quickly erased that lead in the third quarter, though, and eventually expanded their own lead to eight.
Chris Paul played well for Los Angeles, leading the team with 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Blake Griffin also added 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting, while guard Jamal Crawford scored 21 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Jeff Green led Boston with 29 points, and Jordan Crawford added 20 points and nine assists in the loss.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points in 27 minutes as Oklahoma City easily won this one. For the Thunder point guard, who's battled inconsistency early this season while recovering from knee surgery, Wednesday was arguably his best performance of the season to date.
With Kevin Durant scoring just 18 points, his quietest scoring night since Nov. 1, Westbrook looked very much like his old, healthy self. Adding nine assists and six rebounds to a well-rounded effort, he often dictated a game that was out of the Grizzlies' reach by the start of the fourth quarter.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 20 points and nine assists. He wasn't on the court when Durant did this:
The Bucks' starters looked like an absolute disaster in this one. You can tell simply from the minutes played: Milwaukee played their five reserves for a combined 150 minutes, while the starters got just 90.
It's pretty easy to see why Larry Drew pulled the plug on his starters so early, though. O.J. Mayo, Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, Ekpe Udoh and John Henson shot a combined 7-of-28 (25 percent) on Wednesday night.
The Spurs similarly avoided big minutes for their starters, but that's nothing new. Tim Duncan still managed 21 points and 16 rebounds in just 24 minutes of action, often looking like the best player on the court. Here's Tony Parker finding the big man for a mid-range jumper:
Also, I feel that everyone should see this Giannis Antetokounmpo dunk, because GIANNIS RISE FROM THE EARTH:
Antetokounmpo finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and two steals in 33 minutes. He's 19 years old. How did that guy fall so far in the draft?
Glen Davis and Nikola Vucevic delivered double-doubles in this one as Orlando held a sizable advantage on the boards. The Bobcats struggled offensively throughout the game, shooting just 37 percent, and didn't really make up for it elsewhere.
Davis finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. Before halftime, he nailed this corner three at the buzzer:
The Magic also got 12 points and 14 rebounds from Vucevic. Jameer Nelson added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Charlotte had five players score between 10-12 points. Kemba Walker filled up the box score with 10 points, four assists, four blocks, three steals and two rebounds.
Timberwolves 106, 76ers 99
Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio each topped 20 points as Minnesota gets back to .500 with the win. Taking advantage of a turnover-ridden performance by Philly, the Timberwolves somehow managed to score 106 points despite shooting 39 percent from the field.
Playing a fast-paced, hectic style, the 76ers shot 53 percent from the field, but committed 26 turnovers. That proved impossible to overcome, even as they consistently hit a higher percentage of their shots than Minnesota.
Spencer Hawes and Tony Wroten each scored 20 points for the Sixers, while Thaddeus Young and James Anderson added 16 apiece. Love finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists to lead the Timberwolves.
Facing a big Detroit team, the Pelicans won the rebounding battle and played tough in the post. Greg Monroe scored 28 points as the Pistons held a 56-38 advantage on points in the paint, but a big advantage at the free throw line was too much to overcome.
Detroit may have Andre Drummond, but New Orleans has LOU AMUNDSON:
New York creeps out of Madison Square Garden with a win, but there's not much to be proud of. After leading by 23 points midway through the third quarter, blowing that lead and walking away with a five-point victory comes as a consolation.
After a J.R. Smith three with 5:54 left in the third, the Knicks led 64-41 and appeared to be coasting to a big win. However, the Bulls would charge over the next 10 minutes, going on a 33-10 run to tie the game with about three minutes in regulation.
New York would pull it out from there, with Carmelo Anthony hitting seven free throws as Chicago's Derrick Rose-less offense sputtered, but it wasn't pretty. Anthony finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, the rest of the starters combined for just 17 points and Amar'e Stoudemire (14 points) was the only other player to score in double-figures.
For a young Utah team that's struggled on the road this season, a matchup against the shorthanded Kings was just what the doctor ordered. With Sacramento still awaiting the arrival of Rudy Gay after dealing four players to Toronto, the Jazz looked as good as they have all season.
Entering the game shooting 42.9 percent from the field as a team, tied 24th in the league, the Jazz shot 58 percent against Sacramento on Wednesday. Richard Jefferson (remember him?) broke double-figures in scoring for the third straight game, leading the way with 20 points on just nine shots.
Stephen Curry drilled a 19-foot jumper with three seconds remaining to complete the comeback win for Golden State at home against their Western Conference foes.
The Warriors trailed by 11 at halftime, but let a second half surge for the victory. Curry scored 33 points, including 6-of-11 from three-point range, to go along with his 10 assists and four rebounds in the win. Andrew Bogut cleaned the glass with 18 rebounds, helping Golden State to a 50-43 advantage on the boards.