Jazz 115, Warriors 101
After a brilliant 30-17 start to the season, the Golden State Warriors have come crashing back down to Earth in recent weeks. That crash continued on Tuesday night in Utah, where the Warriors fell to the Jazz, 115-101. The loss was Golden State's (30-23) sixth straight, and it now finds itself only percentage points ahead of Utah (31-24) for the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
The Warriors' defense has been especially woeful during their slide, and that was no different on Tuesday. The Jazz were firing on all cylinders from the start, with seven players reaching double figures and the team shooting 50.0 percent as a whole and 10-of-21 from three. Al Jefferson led the way with 24 points, while Gordon Hayward returned from an injury to score 17 points off the bench to give Utah its third straight win.
Stephen Curry had 29 points and Jarrett Jack came off the bench to score 19 for Golden State, but it was not nearly enough to overcome the defensive shortcomings. During the losing streak, the Warriors are giving up a whopping 117.5 points per game.
Nuggets 97, Celtics 90
The Denver Nuggets got a little revenge for their triple overtime loss on Feb. 10, beating the Boston Celtics, 97-90, at the Pepsi Center. Both Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson scored 26 points in the winning effort for the Nuggets, who are now 23-3 at home on the season.
The game was tight throughout before Denver (34-21) closed the third quarter on a 12-5 run to give itself an eight-point lead heading into the final frame. Jeff Green helped Boston (28-25) storm back to get the deficit to one early in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics could not get over the hump, managing just one field goal in the last five-plus minutes of action.
Nets 113, Bucks 111 (OT)
In a wild and wacky game, Joe Johnson hit not one, but two buzzer-beaters to give the Brooklyn Nets a 113-111 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Johnson first sent the game to overtime with a three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, then won it in overtime with a jumper at the horn.
Johnson finished with 24 points on the night to lead the Nets (32-22), who remain one half game ahead of the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. Brook Lopez and Deron Williams both had 19 points apiece.
Brandon Jennings had 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds in the losing effort for the Bucks (26-26). Jennings did much of his damage in the third quarter, scoring 16 of his points in that frame as Milwaukee got back in the game after a rough first half.
Spurs 108, Kings 102
Tony Parker scored 30 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 108-102 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Danny Green chipped in with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting, knocking down five threes in the process. The Spurs (43-12) led pretty much the entire game, but the Kings (19-36) did make it close in the fourth quarter.
Isaiah Thomas led Sacramento with 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 8-of-8 from the line. Tyreke Evans added 20 points in the loss.
Raptors 96, Wizards 88
Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points apiece to propel the Toronto Raptors past the Washington Wizards, 96-88. The win was the Raptors' (22-32) fifth straight victory as they continue to play well since the Gay trade.
The Wizards' (15-37) offense struggled all night long, shooting just 38.5 percent from the field and turning the ball over 16 times. John Wall had an especially brutal outing, going just 1-of-12 with seven turnovers. Rookie Bradley Beal had 25 points.
Bobcats 105, Magic 92
The Charlotte Bobcats used some hot shooting early to grab a 20-point halftime lead, and then held on late to beat the Orlando Magic, 105-92. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson paced the Bobcats (13-40) with 24 points apiece.
Grizzlies 105, Pistons 91
The Memphis Grizzlies got off to a slow start after one quarter, but then proceeded to blow the door off the Detroit Pistons in a 105-91 victory. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies (34-18) with 19 points, as they outscored the Pistons, 62-30, over the second and third quarters.
Jonas Jerebko and Brandon Knight both had 13 points in the loss for Detroit (21-34). Former Piston Tayshaun Prince got a nice round of applause in his return to The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Bulls 96, Hornets 87
The Chicago Bulls welcomed Kirk Hinrich back to the lineup from an elbow injury, and Hinrich put forth a solid effort with a season-high 10 assists in a 96-87 victory. Luol Deng scored 20 points to lead the Bulls (31-22), while fellow All-Star Joakim Noah had 15 points, 17 rebounds and five assists.
Suns 102, Trail Blazers 98
The Phoenix Suns jumped out to a big early lead before holding on late in a 102-98 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Goran Dragic had 16 points and 18 assists, including a couple late free throws to salt the game away for the Suns (18-36).