There was plenty of great NBA action Saturday night. The Los Angeles Lakers notched their first victory since Kobe Bryant made his season debut, Carmelo Anthony dropped 35 points on the Atlanta Hawks, the Portland Trail Blazers' offense set a new season-high in total points and much more.
Here's our Saturday night roundup:
The Lakers snapped their three-game losing streak since Bryant made his season debut with a three-point victory over the Bobcats. Bryant finished with a season-high 21 points, scoring six of his points in the final six minutes, including this vintage Bryant move:
How was it like for Bryant to come in as the Lakers' closer again? Fun, of course:
Fun finish for Kobe? "Particularly on the road. It's always fun to close a team out down the stretch."— KEVIN DING (@KevinDing) December 15, 2013
Miami Heat 114, Cleveland Cavaliers 107
The Heat were strolling along with a 19-point lead against the Cavaliers until the second half came along. The Cavaliers outscored Miami 33-17 in the third quarter and took the lead from Miami in the fourth.
Miami turned it on down the stretch though, leaning on LeBron James' seven points and three assists in the fourth quarter to right the ship and seal the victory. Is it worth mentioning Mike Brown got thrown out in the second quarter? Of course it is.
The big three all did their part (each scoring at least 20 points) but James' near triple-double with 25 points, nine rebounds and nine assists was good for the line of the night in Miami. Sorry Bosh, but your 22 points and 12 rebounds were a close second. Erik Spoelstra went into great detail about how well Bosh performed after the game:
Erik Spoelstra on Bosh's game: "I really liked it." Really expansive about it.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) December 15, 2013
New York Knicks 111, Atlanta Hawks 106
Anthony roasted the Hawks Saturday night, dropping 35 points on 16-of-22 shooting and leading the Knicks to victory. J.R. Smith? He hung out on the bench through the end of the game after going 1-for-8. He was caught moping once the game was wrapped up, in case you were wondering:
Knicks 1, J.R. Smith 0 for Saturday night.
Portland Trail Blazers 139, Philadelphia 76ers 105
The Portland Trail Blazers scored 139 points in 48 minutes setting a new team season-high for the season. They drained 21 three-point attempts, setting a new franchise record for made three-point shots in a game and fell two short of tying the NBA record. Here's a look at Portland's shot chart on the night:
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 20 points, but Portland had eight players in double-digits. Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard combined to go 8-for-16 from beyond the arc and Dorell Wright made all five of his three-point attempts.
Points in bunches for the Blazers who are now the second team to reach 20 wins this season.
Chris Paul is a marvelous basketball player. He dropped 38 points on 11-of-14 shooting against the Wizards, dominating from just about everywhere. He was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and was also making his shots around the paint and at the rim. Sometimes you just get Chris Paul'd:
Dallas Mavericks 106, Milwaukee Bucks 93
The Mavericks were missing Rick Carlisle and Dirk Nowitzki but still managed to outlast the Milwaukee Bucks. Vince Carter put together a 15-point, nine-assist effort off the bench. Brandan Wright scored 19 points in his season debut for Dallas and Jose Calderon added in 18 points while shooting 4-for-6 from three-point range.
It's ok though. Milwaukee is always a fun outing if only to see what Giannis Antetokounmpo is up to. Check out this nasty one-handed putback dunk from "The Greek Freak":
San Antonio Spurs 100, Utah Jazz 84
Tim Duncan got his way after pleading with Gregg Popovich to play in the team's fourth game in five nights, and Duncan rewarded the team with a double-double. Duncan finished with game-highs in both scoring (22 points) and rebound (12 boards) in 28 minutes and the Spurs rolled over the Jazz. Rookie Trey Burke scored 20 points on 18 shot attempts for Utah.