Sacramento Kings 108, Miami Heat 103
Utah Jazz 105, Los Angeles Lakers 103
With the score tied at 103 and seconds ticking off the clock, Gordon Hayward drove to the rim as Lakers defenders collapsed. His shot rimmed out, but the front of the basket was left open with Robert Sacre and Jordan Hill converging on Hayward. That's when Derrick Favors slammed in the game-winning bucket with 2.1 seconds remaining.
Favors finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds, but no rebound and no bucket was more important than his last.
We've heard all year about how stingy this Bobcats team is, but holding the Thunder to 89 points on 41 percent shooting is a real testament to that defense. Even without Russell Westbrook, who is out until the All-Star break, one would expect Oklahoma City to have enough fire power to muster at least 90 points.
But Charlotte kept them in check--at least enough to give itself a chance to win. It didn't win, as Josh McRobert's game-winning three-pointer came up short as time ran out, but one has to appreciate the Bobcats' chutzpah.
Orlando Magic 109, Detroit Pistons 92
Three Magic players--Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo--recorded double-doubles and Arron Afflalo led the way with 23 points as Orlando routed the Pistons. Orlando's youngster, Oladipo, impressed with 16 points, 11 assists and five rebounds.
The Pistons couldn't really get anything going, which is a nice way of saying they shot 41 percent from the field and turned the ball over 15 times. Brandon Jennings scored 21 and Will Bynum chipped in 18 off the bench, but nobody else scored more than 10 points.
Brooklyn Nets 104, Milwaukee Bucks 93
The Nets shot 12-of-26 from downtown and got 46 points from their bench to beat a deflating Bucks squad. One bright spot for Milwaukee was, again, rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak scored 16 points, collected 10 rebounds and blocked three shots in the loss. He also closed his eyes and dunked in traffic, which is fun.
Toronto Raptors 95, New York Knicks 83
The Knicks led 71-66 after three quarters, but scored just 12 points in the game's final 12 minutes. That is... not ideal. That fourth quarter was a fountain of sad for New York, who connected on just five of its 19 shot attempts.
The Raptors, on the other hand, scored 29 points on 9-of-18 shooting in the final quarter. Toronto is now 6-3 since trading Rudy Gay to the Kings, which probably drives Masai Ujiri crazy. The Raptors have a real chance at a playoff berth. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Kevin Love scored 25 points and pulled in 11 rebounds on the NBA's only nationally televised game Friday, but the news here is the injury to Bradley Beal. The second-year guard fell to the ground late in the fourth quarter and was unable to leave the floor under his own power.
The team announcedthat X-Rays were negative, but that he'll have an MRI on Saturday. Let's hope for the best.
New Orleans Pelicans 105, Denver Nuggets 89
Tyreke Evans registered 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds off the bench for the Pelicans, who played without Eric Gordon. Anthony Davis recorded a cool 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
The Brow's great. Possibly the best player I've seen at that age apart from LeBron— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) December 28, 2013
Two completely different players in two completely different positions but, yeah, Davis just makes everything look so easily. That he can't even legally drink speaks to how good at basketball at this point in his life.
After a hot start, Denver has lost five games in a row and eight of its last 11.
Golden State Warriors 115, Phoenix Suns 86
Stephen Curry was one rebound and one assist short of a triple-double by halftime and recorded that triple-double early in the third quarter. He practically didn't play in the fourth quarter as the Warriors ran away with an easy win over the Suns.
Pegged as a fast-paced, three-point shootout, this game really didn't live up to the hype. The Suns, as fun and surprising as they are, played horribly: P.J. Tucker scored 11 points and he was the only person in double-figures.